Three new APS department secretaries appointed

Ian Bushnell 9 July 2021 10
Kathryn campbell

New DFAT Secretary Kathryn Campbell. Photo: IPAA.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced new secretaries for three Australian Public Service departments, filling two vacant roles, including that created by the recent appointment of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade boss Frances Adamson as the Governor of South Australia.

Kathryn Campbell will move from leading the Department of Social Services, where she has had to grapple with the Robodebt controversy, to the plum role at DFAT. Ray Griggs is taking her place at DSS.

Katherine Jones will become Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department after Chris Moraitis was appointed Director-General of the Office of the Special Investigator in January to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by Australian troops in Afghanistan.

Ms Campbell will commence on 22 July 2021.

She served as Secretary of the Department of Human Services from 2011 to 2017 and has been at Social Services since September 2017.

She has also held senior roles in the Australian Army Reserve. She was the first woman appointed to the rank of Major General.

She was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in 2010 for outstanding achievement as the Commanding Officer of the Sydney University Regiment. Ms Campbell also held Deputy Secretary roles in the Finance and Education portfolios.


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Mr Griggs will also commence on 22 July. He has led the National Indigenous Australians Agency since he was appointed its inaugural Chief Executive Officer on 1 July 2019. Before that, he was the Associate Secretary of the Indigenous Affairs Group of PM&C.

Mr Griggs was the Chief of Navy and Vice Chief of the Defence Force between 2014 and 2018 as part of a long and successful Defence career.

He was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force as Deputy Head Strategic Reform and Governance, Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, and Chief of the Royal Australian Navy.

Ms Jones will commence on 16 August. Currently Associate Secretary of the Department of Defence, Ms Jones has previously held Deputy Secretary positions in the Department of Finance and the Attorney-General’s Department, including as the Deputy Secretary responsible for National Security, Criminal Justice and Emergency Management.

Ms Jones received a Public Service Medal in 2017 for outstanding public service in the area of national security and emergency management.

All three appointments are for a period of five years.


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10 Responses to Three new APS department secretaries appointed
tfx1 tfx1 10:13 am 10 Jul 21

These appointments provide evidence that the Commonwealth bureaucracy is now beholden to pseudo Sir Humphreys as none appear to have the portfolio knowledge or experience for their new jobs.

Julia Felton Julia Felton 9:46 pm 09 Jul 21

Congratulations to Katherine Jones well deserved.

Deborah Gale Deborah Gale 8:35 pm 09 Jul 21

Poor DFAT.

    Chris Johnston Chris Johnston 9:19 pm 09 Jul 21

    Deborah yup. I guess it was a safe choice though, because DFAT staff are generally loyal to the department. Safe bet putting her where a mass exodus is less likely to happen.

Lyalle Patterson Lyalle Patterson 7:26 pm 09 Jul 21

Congratulations Kathryn, you have certainly come a long way since DAS!!!!

Bernadette Oakes Bernadette Oakes 5:55 pm 09 Jul 21

There to “change the culture” probably

Stephen Saunders Stephen Saunders 4:39 pm 09 Jul 21

If Morrison had the remotest sense of compassion, shame or remorse, “Major General” Campbell would have been very quietly retired, not rewarded. They’re both laughing in the faces of the 400,000 (surviving) victims who joined the class action.

    Kim Kim 8:08 pm 10 Jul 21

    Yes this Federal Liberal government is certainly sticking their middle finger up at public servants!

Robyne Mitchell Robyne Mitchell 2:50 pm 09 Jul 21

Is thus a reward for robodebt?

    Daniel Duncan Daniel Duncan 10:10 pm 09 Jul 21

    so she can start a robot-war (this a joke and I don't want that to happen in RL)

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