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Department of Defence
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Department overview
Formed 1901
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Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Headquarters Canberra
Employees 65,647
Annual budget A$27.371 billion (2013/2014)[1]
Ministers responsible David Johnston,
Minister for Defence
Michael Ronaldson,
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Stuart Robert,
Assistant Minister for Defence
Darren Chester,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence
Department executives Dennis Richardson, Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF)
Dr Alex Zelinsky, Chief Defence Scientist
Phillip Prior, Chief Finance Officer
Dr Peter Lawrence, Chief Information Officer
Steve Grzeskowiak, Deputy Secretary, Defence Support and Reform
Steve Meekin, Deputy Secretary, Intelligence and Security
Brendan Sargeant, Deputy Secretary, Strategy
Carmel McGregor, Deputy Secretary, Defence People
Parent Department Australian Defence Organisation (ADO)
Child agencies Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO)
Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
Defence Signals Directorate (DSD)
Defence Intelligence Group
Defence Housing Australia
Army & Air Force Canteen Service
Army Amenities Fund[3]

The Australian Department of Defence is a department of the Government of Australia charged with the responsibility to defend Australia and its national interests. The department forms part of the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) along with the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The department is accountable to the Commonwealth Parliament, on behalf of the Australian people, for the efficiency and effectiveness with which it carries out the Government's defence policy.

The head of the department is the Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF), currently Richardson, DennisDennis Richardson AO, who leads the department on a daily basis and, along with the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF), is jointly[4] responsible to the Minister for Defence, currently Senator the Hon. David Johnston, the Assistant Minister for Defence, currently the Hon. Stuart Robert MP, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, currently the Hon. Darren Chester MP.

Organisational groups[edit | edit source]

The Department of Defence consists of 11 major organisational groups:

(The Australian Defence Force (ADF) consists of the uniformed groups. i.e. RAN, Army, RAAF, JOC and VCDF.)

The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) is a prescribed agency responsible for acquisition, sustainment and disposal of Defence equipment. Although the DMO forms part of the Department of Defence, it is also separately accountable to the Minister for its budget and performance.

Diarchy[edit | edit source]

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) and the Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF) jointly manage the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) under a diarchy wherein both report directly to the Minister for Defence[4] and the Assistant Minister for Defence. The ADO diarchy is a governance structure unique in the Australian public service.

Secretary, Department of Defence (SECDEF)[edit | edit source]

Name Date appointment
Date appointment
Term in office Notes Ref(s)
Collins, Sir MuirheadSir Muirhead Collins KCMG January 1910 Error in Template:Dts: months must be an integer between 1 and 12 9 years Pethebridge was acting Secretary 1906–1910
Pethebridge, Brig Gen Sir SamuelBrig Gen Sir Samuel Pethebridge KCMG 1910 1918 8 years Trumble was acting Secretary 1914–1918
Trumble, ThomasThomas Trumble CMG 1918 1927 9 years
Shepherd, MalcolmMalcolm Shepherd CMG 1927 1937 10 years
Shedden, Sir FrederickSir Frederick Shedden KCMGOBE 1937 1956 9 years
Hicks, Sir EdwinSir Edwin Hicks CBE 1956 1968 12 years [6]
Bland, Sir HenrySir Henry Bland 1968 1970 2 years [7]
Tange, Sir ArthurSir Arthur Tange ACCBE March 1970 August 1979 9 years, 5 months [8]
Pritchett, BillBill Pritchett August 1979 February 1984 4 years, 5 months [9][10]
Cole, Sir WilliamSir William Cole February 1984 October 1986 2 years, 8 months [10]
Woods, AlanAlan Woods December 1986 July 1988 1 year, 8 months [10]
Ayers, TonyTony Ayers AC August 1, 1988 February 1998 9 years, 6 months [10][11]
Barratt, PaulPaul Barratt AO February 1998 August 31, 1999 1 year, 6 months Appointment terminated by the Governor-General on the recommendation of Prime Minister Howard;
Barratt fought the decision in the Federal Court, losing on appeal.
Hawke, Dr AllanDr Allan Hawke AC October 21, 1999 October 20, 2002 70002000000000000002 years, 7002364000000000000364 days [10][14][15]
Smith, RicRic Smith AOPSM November 11, 2002 December 3, 2006 70004000000000000004 years, 700122000000000000022 days [10][15][16]
Warner, NickNick Warner AOPSM December 4, 2006 August 13, 2009 70002000000000000002 years, 7002252000000000000252 days [10][16][17][18]
Watt, Dr IanDr Ian Watt AO August 13, 2009 September 5, 2011 70002000000000000002 years, 700123000000000000023 days [10][17][19]
Lewis, MAJGEN DuncanMAJGEN Duncan Lewis AODSCCSC September 5, 2011 October 18, 2012 70001000000000000001 year, 700143000000000000043 days [10][19][20]
Richardson, DennisDennis Richardson AO October 18, 2012 70008000000000000008 years, 700140000000000000040 days [20]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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  3. Flipchart of FMA Act Agencies, finance.gov.au
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  5. Intelligence and Security Group, Australian Government Directory
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  8. James, Lieutenant Colonel Neil (May 2000). "Reform of the Defence Management Paradigm : A Fresh View" (PDF). Australian Defence Studies Centre. p. 40. ISBN 0-7317-0441-X. http://www.ada.asn.au/assets/files/papers/ADSCWorkingPaper.pdf. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  9. NLA Catalogue
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 "Look Behind You, Mr Richardson". Australian Strategic Policy Institute. October 2012. http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/look-behind-you-mr-richardson/. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  11. Hawke, Bob (2 June 1988). "For the media". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. http://pmtranscripts.dpmc.gov.au/browse.php?did=7330. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  12. "Barratt sacked" (transcript). PM (ABC Radio). Australia. 31 August 1999. http://www.abc.net.au/pm/stories/s48205.htm. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  13. "Barrett loses appeal against dismissal" (transcript). PM (ABC Radio). Australia. 10 March 2000. http://www.abc.net.au/pm/stories/s109519.htm. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  14. Howard, John (21 October 1999). "New Secretary to the Department of Defence". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. http://pmtranscripts.dpmc.gov.au/browse.php?did=11267. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".
  16. 16.0 16.1 Howard, John (2 November 2006). "Secretary - Department of Defence". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. http://pmtranscripts.dpmc.gov.au/browse.php?did=22554. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Rudd, Kevin (13 August 2009). "Departmental secretaries and statutory office-holders, Canberra". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. http://pmtranscripts.dpmc.gov.au/browse.php?did=16752. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  18. Keane, Bernard (30 March 2009). "Defence is simply too big for Nick Warner". Crikey. http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/03/30/defence-is-simply-too-big-for-nick-warner/. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 Gillard, Julia (4 August 2011). "Departmental Secretaries". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. http://pmtranscripts.dpmc.gov.au/browse.php?did=18051. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Gillard, Julia (17 September 2012). "Diplomatic Appointment and Appointment of Secretaries of the Department of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. http://pmtranscripts.dpmc.gov.au/browse.php?did=18795. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Department of Defence website
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