Department of Defence (Australia)

The Department of Defence is a department of the Government of Australia charged with the responsibility to defend Australia and its national interests.[3] Along with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), it forms part of the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) and 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.

Department of Defence
Department overview
Formed14 April 1942 (1942-04-14)[1]
Preceding Department
JurisdictionCommonwealth of Australia
HeadquartersCanberra
Employees65,647
Annual budgetA$32.4 billion (2016/2017)[2]
Ministers responsible
Department executive
Parent DepartmentAustralian Defence Organisation (ADO)
Child agencies
Websitewww.defence.gov.au

The head of the Department, who leads it on a daily basis, is the Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF), currently Greg Moriarty. The Secretary reports to the Minister of Defence, currently The Hon. Linda Reynolds MP, following appointment by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in May 2019.

History

Australia has had at least one defence-related government department since Federation in 1901. The first Department of Defence existed from 1901 until 1921. In 1915, during World War I, a separate Department of the Navy was created. The two departments merged in 1921 to form the second Department of Defence, regarded as a separate body.[4]

A major departmental reorganisation occurred in the lead-up to World War II. The Department of Defence was abolished and replaced with six smaller departments – the Defence Co-ordination (for defence policy, financial, and administrative matters), three "service departments" (Army, Navy, and Air), the Supply and Development (for munitions and materiel), and Civil Aviation.[4] The current Department of Defence was formally created in 1942, when Prime Minister John Curtin renamed the existing Department of Defence Co-ordination. The other defence-related departments underwent a series of reorganisations, before being merged into the primary department over the following decades. This culminated in the abolition of the three service departments in 1973. A new Department of Defence Support was created in 1982, but abolished in 1984.[5]

Defence Committee

The Defence Committee is the primary decision-making committee in the Department of Defence, supported by 6 subordinate committees, groups and boards. The Defence Committee is focused on major capability development and resource management for the Australian Defence Organisation and shared accountability of the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force.[6]

The members of the Defence Committee are:

Organisational groups

The Department of Defence consists of ten major organisational groups:[7]

Diarchy

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 in which both report directly to the Minister for Defence and the Assistant Minister for Defence. The ADO diarchy is a governance structure unique in the Australian Public Service.

List of departmental secretaries

The Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF) is a senior public service officer and historically the appointees have not come from military service.

NamePost-nominlal'sDate appointment
commenced
Date appointment
ceased
Term in officeNotesRef(s)
Captain Sir Muirhead CollinsKCMG, PVNF 190119109 years, 0 daysPethebridge was acting Secretary 1906–1910
Brigadier General Sir Samuel Pethebridge KCMG 191019188 years, 0 daysTrumble was acting Secretary 1914–1918
Thomas TrumbleCMG, CBE 191819279 years, 0 days
Malcolm ShepherdCMG, ISO 1927193710 years, 0 days
Sir Frederick SheddenKCMG, OBE 19371956 19 years, 301 days
Sir Edwin HicksCBE 28 October 19565 January 196811 years, 69 days[12]
Sir Henry Bland 1 May 196819701 year, 361 days[13]
Sir Arthur TangeAC, CBE March 1970August 19799 years, 92 days[14]
Bill PritchettAO August 19796 February 19844 years, 189 days[15][16]
Sir William Cole 6 February 198415 October 19862 years, 251 days[16]
Alan WoodsAC December 198631 July 19881 year, 243 days[16]
Tony AyersAC 1 August 1988February 19989 years, 184 days[16][17]
Paul BarrattAO February 199831 August 19991 year, 211 daysAppointment terminated by the Governor-General on the recommendation of Prime Minister Howard.
Barratt fought the decision in the Federal Court, losing on appeal.
[18][19]
Dr Allan HawkeAC21 October 199920 October 20022 years, 364 days[16][20][21]
Ric SmithAO, PSM 11 November 20023 December 20064 years, 22 days[16][21][22]
Nick WarnerAO, PSM4 December 200613 August 20092 years, 252 days[16][22][23][24]
Dr Ian WattAO13 August 20095 September 20112 years, 23 days[16][23][25]
Major General Duncan LewisAO, DSC, CSC 5 September 201118 October 20121 year, 43 days[16][25][26]
Dennis RichardsonAO18 October 201212 May 20174 years, 206 days[26]
Greg Moriarty4 September 2017Incumbent 2 years, 103 days[27]

See also

References

  1. CA 46: Department of Defence [III], Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 8 February 2014
  2. Thomson, Mark. "The no-surprises Defence budget". ASPI Strategist. Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  3. "Defence Leaders: Senior Managers". Department of Defence. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  4. "Defence: Administrative History". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  5. "Department of Defence [III]". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  6. "Who we are and what we do". Australian Government Department of Defence. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  7. "Groups: About us". Department of Defence. Australian Government. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  8. Peever, David (April 2015). "First Principles Review: Creating One Defence" (PDF). Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  9. "Fact Sheet: Smaller Government: Defence Materiel Organisation: Reintegration into the Department of Defence" (MS Word). Department of Defence, Australian Government. May 2015.
  10. "Stop Press! Name Change" (Press release). 31 July 2015. Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015. As part of the First Principles Review implementation, from 1 July 2015 the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) has been renamed as the Defence Science and Technology Group.
  11. Intelligence and Security Group Archived 12 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Australian Government Directory
  12. Farquharson, John (2007). "Hicks, Sir Edwin William (Ted) (1910–1984)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  13. Farquharson, John. "Bland, Sir Henry (Harry) (1909–1997)". Obituaries Australia. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  14. James, Lieutenant Colonel Neil (May 2000). "Reform of the Defence Management Paradigm : A Fresh View" (PDF). Working Paper Series. Strategic and Defence Studies Centre: 40. ISBN 0-7317-0441-X. Retrieved 10 November 2013. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. NLA Catalogue
  16. Jennings, Peter; Channer, Hayley (October 2012). "Look Behind You, Mr Richardson". The Strategist. Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  17. Hawke, Bob (2 June 1988). "For the media". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  18. Colvin, Mark; Reynolds, Fiona (31 August 1999). "Barratt sacked" (transcript). PM. Australia. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  19. Colvin, Mark; Reynolds, Fiona (10 March 2000). "Barrett loses appeal against dismissal" (transcript). PM. Australia. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  20. Howard, John (21 October 1999). "New Secretary to the Department of Defence". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  21. Farnsworth, Malcolm (25 September 2002). "Defence Department Head Removed By Government". australianpolitics.com. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  22. Howard, John (2 November 2006). "Secretary – Department of Defence". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  23. Rudd, Kevin (13 August 2009). "Departmental secretaries and statutory office-holders, Canberra". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  24. Keane, Bernard (30 March 2009). "Defence is simply too big for Nick Warner". Crikey. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  25. Gillard, Julia (4 August 2011). "Departmental Secretaries". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  26. 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 (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  27. Turnbull, Malcolm (28 July 2017). "Secretary of the Department of Defence". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
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