Neil Truscott

Horace Neil Truscott AM (14 January 1923  23 January 2011) was an Australian public servant and diplomat.

Neil Truscott AM
Born(1923-01-14)14 January 1923
Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
Died23 January 2011(2011-01-23) (aged 88)
Canberra, Australia
OccupationPublic servant, diplomat

Born in Warnambool, Victoria on 14 January 1923, Neil Truscott moved to Perth when he was 8. He studied at Wesley College, then at a university for a year (law), before enlisting in the Royal Australian Navy for two years. He was accepted into the Department of External Affairs during World War II, one of 12 accepted into the diplomatic service from 1600 applicants.[1]

His early diplomatic posts were in Washington, Singapore, Jakarta and Bonn.[2] From February 1966 to 1970, Truscott was Australian Consul-General in San Francisco.[3][4] In the role, Truscott attended several functions each week, often at universities in the Bay Area, and fielded many questions about the White Australia policy which had by that time been abolished.[5]

In 1970, he was posted to Beirut, Lebanon, as ambassador, being also accredited to Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. He left 1973 to various roles in Canberra, before in 1975-1977 being head of the Foreign Affairs office in Melbourne, Victoria.

In 1977, he moved to Baghdad as the first Australian resident ambassador to Iraq.[6] Ahead of the move, he studied Arabic at the Australian National University.[7] He was appointed Australian Ambassador to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon in September 1978.[8]

Truscott was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2002 Queen's Birthday Honours, for service through a range of community and social welfare organisations in Canberra, and to international relations through the Australian Diplomatic Service and the Australasian Middle East Studies Association.[9]

Truscott died in Canberra on 23 January 2011.[1]


  1. "Vale Neil Truscott AM" (PDF), The Link, Toc H, 71 (1): 9–11, March 2011, archived (PDF) from the original on 25 January 2014
  2. Summary of 1994 sound recording: Neil Truscott interviewed by Michael Wilson for the Australian diplomacy 1950-1990 oral history project, retrieved 15 November 2016
  3. CA 1321: Australian Consulate-General, San Francisco [United States of America], National Archives of Australia, retrieved 12 November 2016
  4. "The Truscotts get ready to disperse". The Canberra Times. 15 January 1969. p. 18.
  5. Mathers, Tony (16 November 2011), Working /Living in San Francisco in the Sixties, archived from the original on 15 November 2016
  6. "Bagdad post". The Canberra Times. 28 October 1976. p. 17.
  7. "An intensive course in Arabic for the holidays". The Canberra Times. 3 February 1977. p. 15.
  8. "Envoy to Syria". The Canberra Times. 27 September 1978. p. 3.
  9. "Members (AM) in the general division". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 10 June 2002. Archived from the original on 10 June 2002.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Frederick Homer
Australian Consul-General in San Francisco
Succeeded by
Roger Dean
Preceded by
Bill Forsyth
Australian Ambassador to Lebanon
Succeeded by
Pierre Hutton
Preceded by
John Starey
as Chargé d'affaires
Australian Ambassador to Iraq
Succeeded by
John Starey
Preceded by
John McCarthy
as Chargé d'affaires
Australian Ambassador to Syria
Australian Ambassador to Jordan
Australian Ambassador to Lebanon

Succeeded by
D.G. Wilson
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