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Orange, NSW, Australia


6 August 1945


  • Political Commentator
  • Author / Correspondent


  • 2000 Mediation Course – Legal Aid Commission (Sydney)
  • 1968/71 BA (Honours) Politics and History University of Western Australia



  • Australian Foreign Affairs Record
  • Australian Outlook (Journal of the Australian Institute of International Affairs)
  • Directions in Government
  • The Olive Press (Magazine of the Australian Olive Association)
  • Quarterly Essay


  • “The Great Australian Blight” (Australian relations with Indonesia, with particular reference to East Timor.)
  • “Pillars of Fear” (An examination of Australia’s failure in regional defence planning.)


  • Independent Australia
  • Crikey
  • The Project
  • The Australian Magazine
  • The Good Weekend
  • The Australian
  • The Canberra Times
  • The Sydney Morning Herald
  • The Age
  • The Australian Financial Review
  • New Matilda
  • On Line Opinion
  • ABC The Drum
  • Interviews and Commentary with ABC Radio, Radio Australia, Radio National, JJJ, ABC TV, SBS TV, Sky TV, Channel 9.


  • 2000 – 1995 Refugee Review Tribunal
  • 1993 – 1990 Australia – South Africa Training Program
  • 1994 – 1972 Department of Foreign Affairs
  • 1974 – 1973 Department of Labour
  • 1969 Journalist, The West Australian Newspaper
  • 1967 – 1966 National Service Royal Australian Armoured Corps
  • 1965 Private Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, WA
  • 1964 Jackaroo, Kimberley WA
  • 1963 BP Australia, WA


  • 2000 – 1995 Member, Refugee Review Tribunal
  • 2000 – Public advocacy on behalf of refugees. Commentary and writing
  • 1994 – Deputy High Commissioner, Sri Lanka
  • 1993 – 1990 Executive Director, Australia – South Africa Training Program
  • 1988 – 1986 Counsellor, Australian Embassy, Pakistan
  • 1986 – 1984 Director, Indonesia Section
  • 1984 – 1982 First Secretary, Saudi Arabia
  • 1979 – 1976 Second Secretary, South Africa
  • 1974 – 1973 Secondment to Dept of Labour, Member of the Productivity Council of WA
  • 1973 – 1972 Third Secretary, Pakistan
  • 1972 – Diplomatic Trainee, Department of Foreign Affairs


Bruce Haigh joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1972. He served in South Africa from 1976/79 with the Australian Embassy. Bruce initiated Australian Embassy contact with members of the black South African resistance, including the Black Consciousness Movement in 1976.Included amongst the friends he made at this time were Steve Biko (murdered by police whilst being held in detention in 1977) and Dr. Mamphela Ramphele (Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town and a Director of the World Bank ).

Bruce helped banned newspaper editor, Donald Woods, escape from South Africa. His role in this escape was portrayed in the film, “Cry Freedom” produced by Richard Attenborough. Bruce helped a number of other political activists escape South Africa

He worked in the Australian Embassy in Saudi Arabia from 1982/84. From 1984/86 he was Director of the Indonesia Section. During that time he travelled within the Indonesian archipelago. From 1986/88, he was at the Australian Embassy, lslamabad. He travelled to Afganistan where he reported on the war and other aspects of the Soviet occupation. He also undertook the photographic recording of Soviet activities and installations

Bruce established and ran the Australia-South Africa Training Program (ASATP) from 1990/93. Seventy black South Africans came to Australia under the program for extended periods of work experience and training including well known South African artist, Bernadette Searle.

In 1994, he was Deputy High Commissioner at the Australian High Commission, Colombo.

Bruce has visited or worked in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Israel, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Yemen, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Canada, the United States and Europe. He was involved in high level trade and foreign policy negotiations.

Bruce was instrumental in helping to set up the Ifa Lethu Foundation as an institution to locate, repatriate and curate South African works of art taken out of the country during the years of apartheid. In July 2005 his collection of black South African art was donated to the people of South Africa through Ifa Lethu.

Bruce provides regular political analysis on international and domestic issues for radio and television, conferences and seminars. He writes opinion pieces for a number of newspapers and journals. He stood as an Independent candidate for the federal seat of Gwydir in 2001 and 2004.

Written by Bruce Haigh