Arthur Webb Pettit c. 1884–1940.
Credit: State Library of South Australia

IPAA began in South Australia with the formation of a regional group of the London-based Institute of Public Administration on Wednesday 28 October 1927.

The moving spirit behind the new regional group was Mr Arthur W. Pettit — an accountant and public servant — who accepted the role of Secretary.

Subsequent regional groups were established in Victoria (1929), New South Wales (1935), Australian Capital Territory (1943), Queensland (1951), Papua and New Guinea (1952–1968), Tasmania (1953), Western Australia (1954) and the Northern Territory (1954–1968; 1985).

IPAA became independent of the Institute of Public Administration on 1 January 1980 and adopted a confederated structure, led by a National Council with representatives from each IPAA Division.

The first National President of IPAA was Mr Duncan Steele Craik OBE CBE; Dr Gordon de Brouwer is the 15th National President.

List of
National Presidents

Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM

Dr Gordon de Brouwer

26 September 2019 onwards


Professor Peter Shergold AC

Professor Peter Shergold AC FIPAA

14 November 2017 to 25 September 2019


Ms Penny Armytage

Ms Penny Armytage FIPAA

13 October 2015 to
14 November 2017


Mr Terry F. Moran AC

Mr Terry F. Moran AC FIPAA

17 September 2012 to
13 October 2015


Professor Percy Allan AM

Professor Percy Allan AM FIPAA

18 November 2009 to
17 September 2012


Mr Andrew S. Podger AO

Mr Andrew S. Podger AO FIPAA

10 November 2004 to
18 November 2009



Ms Sue S. Vardon AO

Ms Sue S. Vardon AO FIPAA

28 November 2000 to
10 November 2004



Tony Ayers

Mr Tony Ayers AO FIPAA

24 November 1998 to
28 November 2000

Credit: National Library of Australia



Michael S Keating

Mr Michael S. Keating AC FIPAA

19 November 1996 to
24 November 1998



Ms Elizabeth Proust AO

Ms Elizabeth Proust AO FIPAA

22 November 1994 to
19 November 1996




Alison Gaines

Ms Alison Gaines

acting, 4 March 1993 to
22 November 1994




Richard Humphry

Mr Richard G. Humphry AO FIPAA

5 February 1990 to
4 March 1994

Credit: HuiHai Xie | National Portrait Gallery




Hedley Bachmann

Mr Hedley R. Bachmann AM FIPAA

11 November 1986 to
5 February 1990




The Hon. Mr Justice Rae Else-Mitchell CMG

The Hon. Mr Justice Rae Else-Mitchell CMG FIPAA

16 November 1982 to
11 November 1986





Duncan Steele Craik

Mr Duncan R Steele Craik OBE CBE FIPAA

1 January 1980 to
16 November 1982

Credit: The Canberra Times