29 November 2023

Foster formally replaces Pezzullo in the Home Affairs top job

| Chris Johnson
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Stephanie Foster

Stephanie Foster has been appointed for a five-term term as the Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs. Photo: File.

Stephanie Foster has formally replaced Mike Pezzullo as secretary of the Department of Home Affairs.

She had been acting in the role since Mr Pezzullo was first stood down in September over his extensive string of political text messages to a Liberal Party powerbroker.

Mr Pezzullo’s employment was officially terminated on Monday (November 27).

An independent inquiry led by Lynelle Briggs found Mr Pezzullo had breached the APS Code of Conduct.

Late on Tuesday, Anthony Albanese named Ms Foster as the new boss of the department.

Her five-year appointment began immediately.

READ ALSO Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo sacked by PM after breaching APS code of conduct

“I am pleased to announce the Governor-General has accepted my recommendation to appoint Stephanie Foster as Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs,” the Prime Minister said.

“Ms Foster has had an extensive career in the Australian Public Service, including as acting secretary and associate secretary of Home Affairs, and deputy secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

“Ms Foster has held other senior positions in the APS, including at the Australian Public Service Commission, the Department of Infrastructure and the Department of Defence.

“Ms Foster has well-established relationships across the APS and significant policy experience, which make her eminently suitable to the role of secretary.”

It was in October last year that Ms Foster was appointed associate secretary to the department, raising speculation that she was being primed to replace Mr Pezzullo even then.

That role placed her in the perfect position to step into the acting secretary role once the text scandal broke and an inquiry into the matter was launched.

READ ALSO Was it easy for the PM to sack Pezzullo?

In 2021, she led a review into practices in parliamentary workplaces following serious incidents taking place.

Her recommendations saw the establishment of the Parliamentary Workplace Support Service.

She also implemented government recommendations in the Set the Standard report.

Ms Foster joined the Australian Public Service in 1987 as a graduate at the Defence Signals Directorate.

She has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Monash University and was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2008 for her policy support to Australian Defence Force deployments overseas.

She was also awarded the French Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2010 for her work in developing defence relations between France and Australia.

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Adults are back in charge on Capital Hill8:22 am 29 Nov 23

This women couldn’t even tell a senate estimates committee, how many contractors Defence had on its books!

Adults are back in charge on Capital Hill8:16 am 29 Nov 23

What a joke!

Ah oh the winker!!

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