by Dennis Shanahan, Political editor

The Australian < >

August 26, 2008

A CAREER diplomat with close links to Kevin Rudd and his two prime ministerial predecessors has been given the job of steering Australia’s first female governor-general through the vice-regal world.

Stephen Brady, was a former ambassador to The Netherlands and Sweden. He is the current head of Foreign Affairs’ (protocol division). He is to replace long-serving vice-regal official secretary Malcolm Hazell.

Mr Brady is a long-time friend of Mr Rudd (from the Prime Minister’s days as a diplomat) and Bradys partner, Peter Stephens, is personal adviser to Mr Rudd’s wife, Therese Rein.

Incoming governor-general Quentin Bryce and Ms Rein are friends from Brisbane and both will now be living in Canberra – Ms Bryce at Government House and Ms Rein at The Lodge.

Mr Hazell (whom Mr Brady replaced as an adviser to John Howard), was dropped from Government House (and the $225,000-a-year job), after Prime Minister KRudd nominated Ms Bryce (the former Queensland governor), to take over from the retiring Governor-General, Michael Jeffery.