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Retirement of ANZSOG Board Chair Peter Woolcott

18 April 2023

News and media


Peter Woolcott AO headshot

ANZSOG Board Chair Peter Woolcott AO has announced his retirement as the Australian Public Service Commissioner, effective in mid-May.

He has agreed to remain as ANZSOG Board Director and Chair until our Annual General Meeting on 31 May 2023. A new Chair will be elected at that meeting, and a new Commonwealth member nominee to replace Peter on the Board will be made in due course. Mr Woolcott has been a Director of ANZSOG since March 2019, and Chair since November 2020.

ANZSOG Dean and CEO Adam Fennessy PSM said that ANZSOG had been fortunate to have such a distinguished and capable figure chairing its Board through the uncertainty of recent years.

“Peter has shepherded the organisation through a time of significant change and demands on public service leaders and public sector organisations. In particular, his work helping to steer ANZSOG through the COVID-19 outbreak was invaluable,” he said.

Former Dean and CEO Ken Smith said in October 2022 that: “Peter Woolcott has consolidated ANZSOG reputationally in the midst of an international pandemic and helped us position as we emerge from the COVID fog.”

Prior to his role at the APSC, Mr Woolcott served Australia as an Ambassador to Italy and the United Nations, High Commissioner to New Zealand, and as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Woolcott’s five-year term as public service commissioner saw some significant achievements, including the first APS Workforce Strategy, the publication of the Thodey Review into the APS and the launch of the APS Academy, an initiative which has ANZSOG as one of its inaugural partners.

Federal Minister for the Public Service Katy Gallagher has thanked Mr Woolcott for his commitment and dedicated service over a distinguished career.

“Under Mr Woolcott’s leadership, the APSC has played a key role in driving reforms to build a stronger APS,” she said.