PM Transcripts - Prime Ministers of Australia

Departmental Secretaries

Prime Minister - Gillard, Julia

Government - 21 December 2010



I am pleased to announce new arrangements for departmental Secretaries, which will take effect in the near future.

The Treasury

After 10 years as the Secretary to the Treasury, Dr Ken Henry AC, will finish in that role early next year.

Dr Henry was first appointed Secretary to the Treasury on 27 April 2001 and he was reappointed for a further 5 years from 27 April 2006. He is an ex-officio member of the Board of Taxation, member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Alternate Governor (for Australia) of the International Monetary Fund and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Australian Office of Financial Management.

Before his appointment as Secretary, Dr Henry had a distinguished career in the Treasury and related areas dating back to 1984. He has also served as a senior adviser to the Treasurer (1986-91) and as Minister (Economic and Financial Affairs) in the Australian Delegation to the OECD in 1992.

Dr Henry was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia General Division (AC) in the Australia Day Honours 2007 for service to the development and implementation of economic and taxation policy, to the finance sector through a range of banking and regulatory bodies, and to the community in the area of welfare and care of native wildlife. He has been instrumental to the development of taxation policy over a long period of time, not least with his work on the review of Australia's Future Tax System and to the public service in general.

More generally, Dr Henry has made a major contribution to the well-being of Australians and the prosperity of the nation during his more than 25 years at Treasury, during 10 of which he has been Secretary. He has become one of the greatest of all Treasury Secretaries.

Dr Martin Parkinson will succeed Dr Henry as Secretary to the Treasury. I congratulate him on his appointment to this very important role. In order to facilitate a smooth transition in the pre-Budget period, Dr Parkinson's appointment will take effect from 7 March 2011. Dr Henry has indicated to me that he warmly welcomes Dr Parkinson's appointment and is looking forward to taking a break after 10 years as Secretary. Over the coming months I will be having further discussions with Dr Henry concerning his future.

Dr Parkinson was appointed as Secretary of the Department of Climate Change upon its establishment on 3 December 2007. As Secretary of the Department of Climate Change and the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Dr Parkinson has contributed to the development of Australia's climate change policies, led constructive engagement with business and community groups, and established a new department with policy development, program design and management, service delivery and regulatory responsibilities.

Dr Parkinson has also served as Deputy Secretary in Treasury with responsibility for domestic and international macroeconomic issues and as an Associate Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has also worked at the International Monetary Fund on the reform of international financial architecture. In the early 1990s Dr Parkinson served as Senior Adviser to the Treasurer.

Dr Parkinson's involvement for more than two decades in economic policy in the Treasury, PM&C and the IMF, working on macroeconomic issues, monetary and fiscal policy, tax, labour market and structural reform, global financial system reform and other international development issues, has been invaluable preparation for his appointment as Treasury Secretary.

Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs

Dr Jeff Harmer AO, Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs has indicated his intention to retire from the Australian Public Service next year.

Dr Harmer began his career in the Federal Public Service in early 1978. Since then he has gone on to occupy executive positions across a range of Commonwealth Departments and agencies.

In 1994, Dr Harmer was promoted to the Deputy Secretary position in the Department of Housing and Regional Development and in 1996 he was recruited to the position of Deputy Secretary of the Department of Social Security. He was appointed Managing Director of the Health Insurance Commission in 1998. In 2003, he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Education, Science and Training. He was appointed Secretary of the then Department of Family and Community Services in October 2004.

Dr Harmer has also made a significant contribution to public policy development more broadly. He was appointed as a member of the panel, chaired by Dr Ken Henry, to review Australia's Future Tax System. He was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for service to public administration through leadership of key policy initiatives, particularly programs for housing assistance, child support, mental health, the disabled and insurance reform, and through initiatives for Indigenous Australians.I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding service provided by Dr Harmer over his career in the Australian Public Service. He has been an innovative and imaginative policy adviser while also adeptly managing the very large organisations he has headed over many years. He is in many senses a model for a successful modern senior public servant.

The position of Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs will be filled by Mr Finn Pratt PSM. Mr Pratt was appointed to the position of Secretary of the Department of Human Services in 2009.

Mr Pratt was previously the Chief Executive of Centrelink and before that was an Associate Secretary in the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. His background in linking policy and service delivery will continue to be invaluable in his new role.

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

Mr Blair Comley will be appointed to the position of Secretary of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Mr Comley commenced as a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Climate Change in 2008. He previously held a range of senior positions in the Treasury and has represented Australia on economic matters at the OECD. Mr Comley was also the Acting Chief Executive Officer the Australian Office of Financial Management.

Department of Human Services

Ms Kathryn Campbell CSC will be appointed as Secretary of the Department of Human Services. Ms Campbell is currently a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Ms Campbell has previously held positions in the Departments of Defence, Administrative Services, and Finance. Before joining DEEWR, from 2005 to 2010, Kathryn was Deputy Secretary of the Budget and Financial Management Groups in the Department of Finance and Deregulation.Appropriate transitional arrangements where required will be finalised in the new year.

Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government

I have also decided to appoint Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM to the position of Secretary of the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government. Ms Beauchamp has been the Acting Secretary of the Department since September 2010 and was previously a Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Prior to her appointment to PM&C, Ms Beauchamp worked in the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs as a First Assistant Secretary and Deputy Secretary.

All the appointments will be for a period of five years.