Australian High Commission
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

High Commissioner to Sri Lanka

High Commissioner, Paul Stephens Official Portrait

His Excellency Paul Stephens 

High Commissioner's Welcome

Welcome to the Australian High Commission’s website, where you will find a wide range of information about our role and responsibilities in Sri Lanka.

With Sri Lanka, Australia has been a close friend and partner since before independence, underpinned by extensive bilateral cooperation and people-to-people links. Australia’s Sri Lankan community of 170,000 people makes a significant contribution to Australian society. Our relationship encompasses development cooperation, education and close collaboration on countering people smuggling. We support Sri Lanka as it makes progress towards meaningful reconciliation.

On challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, Australia works actively with Sri Lanka to address shared interests, including the threats posed by transnational crime.

For Australians travelling or living in Sri Lanka, I recommend subscribing to the latest Travel Advice to receive updates through Smartraveller:

Sri Lanka:

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The travel advice for Sri Lanka has been updated. For further information:

Sri Lanka Travel Advice

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recognises Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech, India) for the purpose of establishing a traveller's vaccination status. Details ➡️ COVID-19 vaccinations | Smartraveller

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Important changes to Smartraveller 

Smartraveller has the latest, authoritative travel advice so you can be informed and prepared about overseas travel. Subscribe to receive travel advice updates - by simply supplying your name and email address – straight to your inbox.

You can now also subscribe to the new SMS service - by supplying your mobile number – to receive critical alerts in the event of a crisis overseas.

In a crisis, Smartraveller will activate a crisis page on its website. It will make it easier for you or someone you know to contact the Australian Government if you need help. It will supplement the consular emergency hotline.

Visit to subscribe or connect with Smartraveller on Facebook and Twitter.



Sydney World Pride Reception 2023 

On 30 March 2023, High Commissioner Paul Stephens hosted an event at Australia House to celebrate the success of Sydney World Pride 2023 and bring together LGBTIQ activists, representatives from the Sri Lankan government and police force as well as the diplomatic corps for an evening of conversation and networking on issues around gender diversity and Sri Lanka. 

75th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Australia and Sri Lanka 

On 27 January 2023, High Commissioner Paul Stephens hosted a reception to celebrate the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Sri Lanka. This event was attended by key Sri Lankan government officials, members of the diplomatic community and other partners across development, education, trade and investment sectors. 

Australia's support for COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery in Sri Lanka

The strong friendship between Australia and Sri Lanka goes back more than 70 years. In the unprecedented global crisis unfolding as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that friends continue to support each other. The COVID-19 pandemic represents a significant challenge for governments and communities globally - including Australia. Our support will help Sri Lanka prepare for, and prevent, the spread of COVID-19, and to manage the social and economic impacts to come.

Further detail on our support can be found here.

International Students in Australia 

The Australian Government recognises that COVID-19 is affecting international students in Australia, who are friends, colleagues, classmates and members of the Australian community. On 4 April 2020, the Australian Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, said the Australian Government had agreed that:

   -   international students who had been in Australia for longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship would be able to access their Australian superannuation

   -   international students would be able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight

   -   the Government would increase flexibility for a number of regulations to make it easier for international students to continue their studies in  Australia should they wish to do so

   -   the Government would be flexible in cases where COVID-19 has prevent international students from meeting their visa conditions (such as not being able to attend classes).   

A factsheet for International Students in Australia can be found here.

More information can be found at the Study in Australia webpage.




Study in Australia