Stephen Brady concluded his Australian Public Service career as Australia’s Ambassador to France. During his 36 years of service he was ambassador to twelve European countries, chief of staff to two Governors-General – including Australia’s first woman - and Senior Adviser to Prime Minister John Howard on two occasions.
His period as Ambassador to France (2014-17) was momentous and saw Australia and France come together as never before. After the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice, Stephen oversaw the close dialogue and information sharing between the two countries on counter-terrorism intelligence. He was intimately involved in the negotiations with the French Government on Australia’s purchase of 12 submarines, the largest defence contract of the 21st century.
At the end of his posting in Paris, the French Government made him a Commander of the Legion d’Honneur, a rare honour making him the highest ranking Australian civilian alive with this award.
Stephen is a keen observer of global affairs and politics, lived through his varied appointments. His diplomatic dispatches required discretion, insight, and alacrity in a range of challenging engagements and negotiations, and a capacity to gain the confidence of presidents, prime ministers, and monarchs. Above all, he is known for speaking ‘truth to power’, founded in his integrity, steady judgment, and a clear sense of fairness.