Michael Thawley

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Michael Thawley
AO
Amb Michael Thawley.jpg
Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
In office
1 December 2014 – 23 January 2016
Ambassador of Australia to the United States
In office
February 2000 – May 2005
Preceded by Andrew Peacock
Succeeded by Dennis Richardson
Personal details
Born Michael Joseph Thawley
(1950-04-16) 16 April 1950 (age 67)
London, England
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party
Alma mater Australian National University
Occupation Public servant, Diplomat

Michael Joseph Thawley, AO (born 16 April 1950)[1] is a senior Australian public servant. From December 2014 to January 2016 he was Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Life and career[edit]

Thawley was born in London[1] in 1950, the son of an Anglican clergyman, raised in Queensland, and educated at Geelong Grammar School and then at the Australian National University.[2][3] He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1972.[4] There he held various posts including Head of the Papua New Guinea and New Zealand bureaus; Head of Current Intelligence at the Office of National Assessments; Minister at the Australian Embassy, Tokyo; Head of the International Division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was the International Advisor to Prime Minister John Howard, between 1996 and 1999.[5]

From 2000 to 2005, Michael Thawley was Australian Ambassador to the United States of America.[6] While Thawley was in the role, the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement was established, ensuring greater access to the US market for Australian products.[7] When he left the post, US President George Bush hosted a farewell reception for him in the Oval Office, and dignitaries including US Vice President Dick Cheney, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfield and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attended.[8]

He was a Senior Vice President and International Advisor at Capital Strategy Research Inc.[when?][9] He was also a board member of the Lowy Institute for International Policy.[when?][10]

In October 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Thawley had been appointed Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, commencing 1 December 2014.[11][12][13][14][15] According to media, his brief entering into the role was to concentrate on the Australian Government's economic agenda,[16][17] and to give more structure and form to coordinate the budgetary implications, across all Australian Government departments, of Coalition Government promises and what the Labor Party blocks in Parliament.[18] It was also noted that he could "bring fresh energy to the urgent task of rebuilding relationships between the public service and the political branch."[19] He announced on 24 November 2015 that he would be standing down from the position in January 2016.[20]

Thawley is married to Deborah Thawley and has three sons and four grandchildren.

Awards and honours[edit]

Thawley was awarded a Centenary Medal in January 2001 for a significant contribution over many years to international relations.[21] In June 2006 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the community, particularly through significant contributions to the advancement of Australia's strategic and economic interests internationally.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Richard McGregor, "Washington-bound", Weekend Australian, 11–12 December 1999, p. 24
  2. ^ Downer, Alexander (5 December 1999). "Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to the United States of America" (Press release). Archived from the original on 12 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Nethercote, J.R. (21 November 2014). "Yet more variety at Prime Minister and Cabinet". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "MEDIA RELEASE". Australian Foreign Minister. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, The Secretary, Australian Government, archived from the original on 26 January 2015 
  6. ^ Michael Thawley on Australia's relationship with the US, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 4 May 2005, archived from the original on 26 January 2015 
  7. ^ Kenny, Mark; Thomson, Phillip (30 October 2014). "Michael Thawley take over sends shudders through public service". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 20 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Gawenda, Michael (4 February 2006). "A former envoy under siege". The Age. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Michael Thawley, AO". United States Study Centre, University of Sydney. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Mr Michael Thawley AO". Lowy Institute for International Policy. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  11. ^ Abbott, Tony (20 October 2014). "Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Burton, Tom (31 October 2014). "Thawley returning for PM&C post to ‘get good things done’". The Mandarin. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Thomson, Phillip (30 October 2014). "Michael Thawley appointed new PM&C secretary as Ian Watt resigns". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. 
  14. ^ Shanahan, Dennis (31 October 2014). "Washington DC to PM&C: Tony Abbott's new capital guy Michael Thawley". The Australian. News Ltd. 
  15. ^ Kenny, Mark; Thomson, Phillip (30 October 2014). "Michael Thawley take over sends shudders through public service". The Age. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. 
  16. ^ Hartcher, Peter; Bourke, Latika (1 December 2014). "Anxious Abbott government hoping it will be Thawley to the rescue". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 30 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Abbott concedes pressures on budget". Sky News. AAP. 1 December 2014. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Bongiorno, Paul (6 December 2014). "Abbott through the looking-glass". The Saturday Newspaper. Schwartz Media. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Mulgan, Richard (2 December 2014). "Michael Thawley: the delicate dance awaiting Prime Minister and Cabinet's new secretary". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. 
  20. ^ Belot, Henry (24 November 2015). "PM and C secretary Michael Thawley resigns in public service shake up". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. 
  21. ^ "Search Australian Honours: THAWLEY, Michael Joseph, Centenary Medal", itsanhonour.gov.au, Australian Government, archived from the original on 26 January 2015 
  22. ^ "Search Australian Honours: THAWLEY, Michael Joseph, Officer of the Order of Australia", itsanhonour.gov.au, Australian Government, archived from the original on 26 January 2015 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Andrew Peacock
Australian Ambassador to the United States
2000–2005
Succeeded by
Dennis Richardson
Government offices
Preceded by
Ian Watt
Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
2014–2016
Succeeded by
Martin Parkinson