Department of Human Services (Australia)

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Department of Human Services
Department of Human Services (Australia) logo.png
Caroline Chisholm Centre entrance March 2013.jpg
The Caroline Chisholm Centre, location of one of the Department of Human Services' main offices, in Tuggeranong, ACT.
Department overview
Formed 26 October 2004 (2004-10-26)[1]
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Headquarters Forrest, Australian Capital Territory[2]
Employees 34,757 (at June 2014)[3]
Minister responsible
Department executive
Child agencies

The Department of Human Services (also called DHS) is a department of the Government of Australia charged with responsibility for delivering a range of welfare, health, child support payments and other services to the people of Australia.

The Department of Human Services delivers its services through a portfolio of two organisations and three departmental master programs:[6]

  • Australian Hearing – a statutory authority[7] providing hearing services
  • Centrelink – a departmental master program administering the Australian Government’s income support system
  • Child Support – a departmental master program providing support to separated parents
  • CRS Australia – a DHS business unit providing disability employment services (ceased delivering services on Friday 27 February 2015)
  • Medicare Australia – a departmental master program delivering health programs to Australians

The head of the department is the Secretary of the Department of Human Services, currently Renée Leon PSM,[5] who is responsible to the Minister for Human Services, currently the Hon. Michael Keenan[4] MP.


The Department of Human Services was created on 26 October 2004 as part of the Australian Government's Finance and Administration portfolio. At the time of the department's creation, it incorporated the Child Support Agency and CRS Australia.

The Human Services Legislation Amendment Act 2011 integrated the services of Centrelink, Medicare Australia and CRS Australia into the Department of Human Services, with effect from 1 July 2011.

The Secretary at the Department's establishment in 2004 was Patricia Scott.[8] Helen Williams was appointed Secretary of the Department in 2007.[9] Finn Pratt succeeded Williams in September 2009 after her retirement from the public service.[1][9]


Currently, the Department of Human Services is responsible for administering the following Australian legislation.

  • Australian Hearing Services Act 1991
  • Human Services (Centrelink) Act 1997
  • Human Services (Medicare) Act 1973[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b CA 9004: Department of Human Services, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 12 December 2013 
  2. ^ Towell, Noel (11 December 2013). "Centrelink boss Kathryn Campbell keeps three offices despite cutbacks". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Australian Public Service Commission (2014), Main features:APS at a glance, archived from the original on 5 October 2014 
  4. ^ a b "Minister for Human Services". Department of Human Services. Retrieved 15 February 2018. 
  5. ^ a b "Secretary of the Department of Human Services". Department of Human Services. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 9 November 2017. 
  6. ^ "About us". Department of Human Services. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "About Us". Australian Hearing. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Howard, John (22 October 2004). "Appointment of Secretaries" (Press release). Archived from the original on 19 November 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Rudd, Kevin (13 August 2009). "Departmental secretaries and statutory office-holders, Canberra" (Press release). Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Administrative Arrangements Order" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Australian Government. 12 December 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 August 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.