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An Evening with Michael Pezzullo

Speakers: Michael Pezzullo

Michael Pezzullo, Secretary for Department of Immigration and Border Protection made a keynote address on the topic ‘Strategy, Conjecture and Evidence’ followed by Q&A with the audience.

Michael Pezzullo was appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection with effect from 13th October 2014. From 1st July 2015, the remit of the Department was expanded to cover immigration, citizenship, customs, border protection and civil maritime security, and on that day the Department was merged with the former Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS). This merger also saw the establishment of the Australian Border Force as the Department’s operational arm.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Mr Pezzullo was Chief Executive Officer of ACBPS from February 2013, having joined the Service as its Chief Operating Officer in July 2009. As CEO, Mr Pezzullo was charged with implementing and overseeing reforms in ACBPS’s business processes and systems, and its workforce culture and capability. In his prior role as Chief Operating Officer, Mr Pezzullo was responsible for civil maritime security, ACBPS’s intelligence, national security and law enforcement programmes, integrity and professional standards, and corporate operations.

Prior to joining ACBPS, Mr Pezzullo was Deputy Secretary Strategy in the Department of Defence—a position to which he was appointed in January 2006. In this position, he was responsible for defence strategy and planning, force structure development, the policy aspects of Australian Defence Force operations, defence diplomacy and international engagement, and the delivery of national security programmes in areas such as export controls and counter-proliferation. He also oversaw the Department’s ministerial support and public affairs programmes.

In March 1993, he joined the staff of the Foreign Minister, Senator the Hon Gareth Evans QC. He remained in Parliament House until December 2001, including serving five years as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Kim Beazley MP.

In February 2002, he rejoined the Department of Defence as an Assistant Secretary in the Corporate Services and Infrastructure Group (now Defence Support Group). In March 2004, he was promoted to the position of Head Infrastructure. In July 2004, he was transferred into the newly formed role of Chief Of Staff Australian Defence Headquarters and Head of Coordination and Public Affairs Division.

Between February 2008 and May 2009 he led the Defence White Paper team and was also the principal author of the 2009 Defence White Paper.