Terry Moran

By The Mandarin

July 18, 2014

Terry Moran was, as secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australia’s most senior public servant, from 2008 to 2011. He is currently:

  • Chair, Barangaroo Delivery Authority in NSW;
  • Senior adviser, Boston Consulting Group;
  • Senior adviser, Maddocks Lawyers;
  • National fellow, Institute of Public Administration Australia;
  • Chair, Cranlana Program;
  • Vice chancellor’s professorial fellow, Monash University;
  • Chair, Melbourne Theatre Company;
  • Director, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research;
  • CEDA board of governors, and;
  • Director, Hornery Institute.

Moran was educated at Parade College, East Melbourne and received a BA (Hons) from La Trobe University. He spent his early career as a public servant in the Australian (Commonwealth) and Victorian Public Services. Moran’s first position as a public sector CEO was as chief executive of the Office of the State Training Board in Victoria from late 1987 until May 1993. In May 1993 he was appointed as the first CEO of the Australian National Training Authority in Brisbane. In August 1998 he became Queensland’s director-general of Education.

Moran was appointed secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet for the state of Victoria in July 2000 and held this position until his appointment as secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was secretary from March 2008 to September 2011, the most senior position in the Australian public service. He was appointed by Kevin Rudd, and continued in the position under Rudd’s successor Julia Gillard.

As secretary, Moran was responsible for leading the work of the department on national security and international policy; environment, industry and economic policy; social policy and reforms negotiated by the Council of Australian Governments; and co-ordination of government administration, including cabinet support. During the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, Moran helped to lead the development of Australia’s highly successful policy responses.

Moran also led development, negotiation and implementation planning for the National Reform Agenda for the Council of Australian Governments, work he began while head of the Victorian public service. This agenda reshaped relations between the Commonwealth and the states, particularly in the areas of business regulation, health care and hospitals, schooling, vocational education and training, social housing and indigenous affairs. In 2010 these reforms delivered significant microeconomic reform in public hospitals in Australia.

Moran chaired the advisory group on the Reform of Australian Government Administration, which developed a blueprint for reform of the Australian public service. A major reworking to the Australian Public Service Act, giving effect to these reforms, has now been proclaimed. He was chair of the Secretaries Board, the lead forum for discussing matters affecting the Australian public service, composed of all departmental secretaries and the Australian public service commissioner.

While secretary of the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet and secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Moran played a leading role in founding and achieving financing for new institutions which have come to make an important contribution to Australia’s cultural life and higher education — the Australian and New Zealand School of Government, the Melbourne Recital Centre, the Wheeler Centre, the Grattan Institute, Opera Victoria, the National Institute of Public Policy, the National Security College, the Coombs Forum and continuation and enhancement of funding for the Australian National Academy of Music.

In 2006 Moran was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “service to public sector leadership in key policy areas and program implementation, including technical and further education at state and national levels”. In 2012, Moran was named a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for “eminent service to the community through public sector leadership, as a significant contributor to policy development, program delivery and effective governance, and to the implementation of contemporary government administration”. This is the highest level of recognition for an Australian citizen.

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