Ambassador Melissa Hitchman, graduated as the Vice Captain of St Clare’s College in 1982. Ambassador Hitchman commenced in her position as Australia’s Ambassador to the Holy See on 18 July 2016 and presented credentials to His Holiness Pope Francis on 8 September 2016.
Ambassador Hitchman is an experienced career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She has previously served overseas as First Secretary at the Australian High Commission in London.
In Canberra, Ambassador Hitchman has served as Director, Regional and National Security Section; Director, Intelligence Review; and Director, International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament Secretariat; and most recently, Deputy Chief of Protocol. She was also an Adviser, International Division, in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Ambassador Hitchman holds a Master of National Security and a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from the Australian National University.
On 30 March 2017, Ambassador Hitchman visited the College. She spoke to senior students on the theme of ‘St Clare’s to St Peter’s’. She encouraged students to have ambition, form a world view and make a difference in a field of their choice. She discussed cooperation between the Australian Embassy and the Holy See on issues such as human trafficking and modern slavery, indigenous and gender empowerment, climate change, the sustainable development goals, and freedom of belief. Ambassador Hitchman and her family look forward to re-joining the St Clare’s community on return from Rome. She extends warm wishes to students, staff and their families.