Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull LUKAS COCH

Turnbull begins five-nation tour, from Jakarta to Berlin

SPARE a thought for Australia's diplomats as the season of summits for world leaders sends fleets of VIP jets to Turkey (G20), the Philippines (APEC) and Malaysia (East Asia Summit).

Long before the current Prime Minister mandated "flexibility" and "agility" as national traits, the diplomatic service had embodied it, by adapting to the succession of Australian prime ministers or their proxies at a string of summits in recent years.

Australia's high speed game of musical chairs at the G20 table was the result of either wrenching leadership change or routine general elections, and with each rotation it has fallen to diplomats to brief foreign governments, and arrange meetings with world leaders who duly greet the new prime minister or proxy with an air of welcoming familiarity.

Malcolm Turnbull today embarks on a five-nation tour, designed to introduce him to at least 20 leaders and to subtly put his own stamp on diplomatic priorities.

Trip schedule

Today: Jakarta
Nov 13: Berlin
Nov 15-16: Antalya, Turkey
Nov 18-19: Manila
Nov 21-22: Kuala Lumpur

-ABC News