Michael Pezzullo, held the position of Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs, a significant role within the Australian Public Service From 2017 to 2023. Before assuming this role, he served as the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and earlier as the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. His tenure as Secretary of Home Affairs was concluded after a review revealed his involvement in “gossip and disrespectful critique” of ministers. Often characterized as the “hardest nut” in the government, Pezzullo’s career trajectory has included key leadership roles in various government departments.
Age- 59 years
Profession- Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs of Australia
Pezzullo hails from the suburbs of St George in Sydney, where he was born and raised. While information about his parents is not disclosed, it is acknowledged that Fabio Pezzullo is Michael Pezzullo’s brother.
Michael Pezzullo is married to Lynne, who is an economist. Together, they are parents to four children.
He enrolled in Marist College Kogarah, participating in Rugby League. Pezzullo later pursued his academic endeavors, earning a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) in History from the University of Sydney.
Pezzullo began his career in 1987 as a graduate in the Department of Defence. After five years, he identified a gap between his experience, age, and ideology and the next level of advancement. Consequently, in 1992, he transferred to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, working in the International Division.
In 1993, Pezzullo joined the staff of Senator Gareth Evans, the Minister for Foreign Affairs at the time, and later considered Evans a friend. Remaining in Parliament House until December 2001, he served as the deputy chief of staff to opposition leader Kim Beazley. Returning to the Department of Defence in February 2002, Pezzullo rose to the position of Deputy Secretary Strategy in 2006. Between February 2008 and May 2009, he led the Defence White Paper team and played a key role in crafting the 2009 Defence White Paper.
In July 2009, Pezzullo transitioned to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service as the chief operating officer, eventually becoming the acting chief executive in September 2012 and the substantive CEO in February 2013. His appointment was crucial for driving structural reforms and emphasizing the multifaceted importance of border security.
On October 13, 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott appointed Pezzullo as the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, succeeding Martin Bowles. In this role, Pezzullo spearheaded transformative changes, reshaping traditional immigration and border security institutions and doctrines.
On September 5, 2019, Pezzullo was reappointed as Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs for a five-year term starting from October 13, 2019.
In April 2021, Pezzullo, in an Anzac Day message to staff, emphasized the importance of striving to reduce the likelihood of war without compromising precious liberty. This message coincided with Defence Minister Peter Dutton’s statement that war with China should not be dismissed outright.
Net Worth 2023
Mike possesses a net worth estimated at approximately $6 million.
Michael Pezzullo Dismissed for Code of Conduct Breaches
The Home Affairs secretary, Michael Pezzullo, has been dismissed from his position due to undisclosed dealings with lobbyists and clandestine attempts to wield political influence during the Turnbull and Morrison administrations. This marks the first instance of a department head being terminated for misconduct.
Dr. Gordon de Brouwer, the Australian Public Service Commissioner, announced on Monday that an independent inquiry, led by Lynelle Briggs, concluded that Pezzullo violated the Australian Public Service code of conduct on at least 14 occasions. Pezzullo, a prominent figure in Canberra, had served in key roles for both Labor and Coalition governments over several decades, including as deputy chief of staff to former Labor leader Kim Beazley and as deputy secretary in the Defence Department during the Howard years.
Pezzullo, who previously held the position of secretary of the Immigration Department in the Abbott government, assumed the role of head of the Department of Home Affairs in December 2017, reporting to Peter Dutton.
Notably, Pezzullo will not receive a payout from his annual salary of over $900,000, as the Remuneration Tribunal modified financial payout regulations last Friday.
The details of the Briggs report will not be disclosed to the public due to restrictions on personal information obtained during the investigation, as outlined in the Public Service Act. In a statement released on Monday morning, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed that the governor-general terminated Pezzullo’s appointment based on the recommendations of Glyn Davis, the secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Australian Public Service Commissioner Gordon de Brouwer.
The investigation identified multiple breaches of the public service code of conduct, including Pezzullo using his position for personal gain, engaging in gossip and disrespectful criticism of ministers and public servants, failing to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive government information, acting in a non-apolitical manner in his employment, and failing to disclose a conflict of interest.