PM Transcripts - Prime Ministers of Australia

Appointment of Secretaries

Prime Minister - Gillard, Julia

Media release - 28 September 2012

United States

I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Mr Andrew Metcalfe AO as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Mr Martin Bowles PSM as Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.


The current Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Conall O'Connell, has indicated his intention to finish in that role on 28 January 2013. Dr O'Connell has been Secretary since May 2007 and prior to that appointment was Deputy Secretary of the then Department of the Environment and Water Resources. I take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding service provided by Dr O'Connell over his career in the Australian Public Service.

Mr Metcalfe has been Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship since mid 2005 and was reappointed to that position in 2009. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in January 2012 for his distinguished service to public sector leadership, through contributions to Australia's international relations and to major public policy development and program implementation in the areas of immigration, Australian citizenship, cultural diversity and national security, and to the community.

As an experienced Secretary, Mr Metcalfe is well placed to take on the role of Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. I am sure Mr Metcalfe's knowledge and experience will be a considerable asset to the Commonwealth in his new role.

Mr Martin Bowles has been the Acting Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship since March 2012 while Mr Metcalfe has been on leave. He joined the department in December 2011. Prior to that, Mr Bowles had been a Deputy Secretary at the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and at the Department of Defence. Before joining the Australian Public Service in 2006, Mr Bowles held senior executive positions in the education and health portfolios in the New South Wales public sector. I look forward to Mr Bowles continuing his contribution in this important role.

Having received a report from the Secretary of my Department, as required by the Public Service Act 1999, I have appointed Mr Metcalfe and Mr Bowles for periods of five years from 29 January 2013.

I thank Dr O'Connell for his contribution and congratulate Mr Metcalfe and Mr Bowles on their appointments.