Two new federal secretary appointments have been announced today, with Martin Bowles moving to head the Department of Health and Chris Moraitis given a top appointment for the first time to head the Attorney-General’s Department.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the appointments would take effect on October 13 and September 15 respectively.
Chris Moraitis is replacing Roger Wilkins at A-GD, who retired last week. Moraitis is a long-serving diplomat and international law expert, having been with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade since joining as a graduate trainee 1989 and currently serving as deputy secretary.
He served as high commissioner to Papua New Guinea as well as diplomatic missions in Geneva, Madrid and Paris. He has also held roles with taskforces on human rights and chemical weapons. Coming in handy for answering directly to Attorney-General George Brandis is his previous ministerial advisor experience to former foreign affairs minister Gareth Evans.
Moraitis has legal bona fides, admitted to practice in Victoria as a barrister and solicitor, and holding a Masters of International Law. He was awarded the public service medal in 2014 for outstanding public service to Australia’s international affairs.
Bowles returns to the health portfolio area after almost a decade in other fields, having come from a corporate services and health management background. He is moving on from Department of Immigration and Border Protection where he has performing the role of secretary since 2012.
He previously held deputy secretary roles with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and the Department of Defence. In the New South Wales public sector, Bowles held deputy director-general roles responsible for corporate services in the state health and education departments.
Abbott said he would announce Bowles’ replacement as secretary of Immigration and Border Protection in the near future.