Andrew Metcalfe AO FIPAA elected new IPAA National President

IPAA National President 

Former Secretary of the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Director of Biosecurity Andrew Metcalfe AO FIPAA has taken up the role of Institute of Public Administration (IPAA) president after Professor Renée Leon PSM FIPAA stepped down.

At the annual general meeting last week, the IPAA National Council elected Andrew Metcalfe AO FIPAA as their new president.

Recently retired from his role as secretary for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Australia’s Director of Biosecurity, Mr Metcalfe looks back on a distinguished career in public service, as secretary of three different departments working directly with 15 portfolio ministers.

Mr Metcalfe said he was honoured to have the opportunity to lead IPAA, and grateful to the previous president, Professor Renée Leon PSM FIPAA, for her exceptional leadership of the organisation since July 2022.   

“Public servants undertake key roles for the well-being of the Australian community – every day, throughout Australia and right around the world. Over 2 million people work in the public sector – it is a key part of our economy,” Mr Metcalfe said.

“Well-delivered public services, provided by committed and high-performing public servants, are critical to our future as a country. IPAA National plays a crucial role in promoting excellence and pride in public service – a mission that is especially important in light of recent challenges.

“Under Professor Leon’s presidency, IPAA delivered a highly successful program of events.”

Professor Leon said that she greatly enjoyed working on national programs and priorities to bring diverse perspectives that reflect member needs across Australia.

“It has been an honour to serve as the national president of IPAA. As the voice of the public sector and the champion of its enduring values, IPAA plays a vital role in strengthening public service culture and capability.”  

“Over the past year, IPAA has focused on themes of significant importance to public servants across Australia in these times: integrity and values, and engagement with First Nations communities. I was proud to open the National Conference in 2022 and to host Dr Chris Sarra for the second Frances Adamson Oration in 2023, both events which explored these key themes. 

“I know there will be more work to progress on both fronts and I have confidence in my successor as president and in the dedicated staff, partners, and members of IPAA to take these themes forward.

“I thank my colleagues from all states and territories for their unity of purpose and their commitment to the values of public service that support citizens and keep our democracy strong and wish IPAA all the best for continued impact and contribution.”  

Looking forward, Mr Metcalfe is keen to focus on strengthening IPAA’s relationships.

“Together with the presidents and members of other IPAA divisions, we look to continue to strengthen IPAA’s relationships with wider groups in the public and private sectors involved in advancing public administration in Australia.”


Media contact: Julia Ahrens,, M: 0402 190 656  

About IPAA  

The Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) is a member-based organisation promoting excellence and pride in public service across Australia.  IPAA is a non-profit and non-partisan organisation open to all public servants, academics, and others interested in public administration.