Our department

Role and functions

To achieve our planned outcomes DAFF works throughout the entire supply chain, from producer to consumer. We:

  • work with the Australian Government and our stakeholders to develop and deliver policies and programs that help our portfolio industries
  • provide biosecurity services offshore, at the border and onshore to protect the environment, people’s health and our portfolio industries
  • work through our biosecurity services to maintain Australia’s favourable pest and disease status
  • provide export certification services to support access to overseas markets for Australian agricultural commodities
  • protect and develop the natural resource base on which our portfolio industries rely
  • negotiate access to international markets for our animals, plants, seafood and associated products
  • provide professionally independent and integrated economic and scientific research, analysis and policy advice
  • work with international stakeholders to promote sustainable resource management, build agricultural productivity, protect Australia’s biosecurity and support free trade.

Planned outcomes

The department had two planned outcomes in 2012–13. There were no changes to this structure during the year.

Outcome 1

More sustainable, productive, internationally competitive and profitable Australian agricultural, food and fibre industries through policies and initiatives that promote better resource management practices, innovation, self-reliance and improved access to international markets.

Outcome 2

Safeguard Australia’s animal and plant health status to maintain overseas markets and protect the economy and environment from the impact of exotic pests and diseases, through risk assessment, inspection and certification, and the implementation of emergency response arrangements for Australian agricultural, food and fibre industries.

Organisational structure

Our divisions work individually and together to deliver planned outcomes. Figure 7 shows our organisational structure.

Figure 7 Organisational structure at 30 June 2013

Secretary: Andrew Metcalfe AO  Deputy Secretary: Rona Mellor PSM  Deputy Secretary: Mark Tucker  Deputy Secretary: Phillip Glyde  Biosecurity Animal: Karen Schneider  Biosecurity Plant: Tom Aldred  Biosecurity Policy: Greg Williamson  Border Compliance: Tim Chapman  Australian Chief Veternary Office: Mark Schipp  Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer: Vanessa Findlay  People and Service Delivery: Lynne O’Brien Post Entry Quarantine Program: Colin Grant   Agricultural Productivity: Matt Koval (A/g)  Information Services Chief Information: Graham Gathercole  Sustainable Resource Management: Ian Thompson  Climate Change: Fran Freeman  Governance: Nico Padovan  Finance and Business Support Cheif Finance Officer: Darren Schaeffer  ABARES Executive Director: Paul Morris  Chief Economist: Michael Harris  Chief Scientist: Kim Ritman  Food: Greg Read  Live Animal Exports: Rebecca Irwin  Trade and Market Access: Jo Evans

Our executive

Andrew Metcalfe AO

Andrew Metcalfe AO

Andrew Metcalfe AO commenced as the secretary of DAFF on 29 January 2013, following seven-and-a-half years as Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship2.

The secretary is responsible for the efficient and effective operation of the department and is also Australia’s Director of Animal and Plant Quarantine. His other roles include:

  • chair of the DAFF Executive Management Team (EMT)
  • chair of the Commonwealth, state and territory Primary Industries Standing Committee (PISC)
  • chair of the PISC National Biosecurity Committee
  • chair of National Management Groups for nationally coordinated emergency responses to pest and disease incursions
  • member of the Food Regulation Standing Committee
  • departmental Parents’ and Carers’ Network Champion.

Three deputy secretaries assist the secretary across a range of issues and departmental functions and oversee the work of particular divisions.

Rona Mellor

Rona Mellor

Rona Mellor PSM joined the department in February 2010. She has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland.

Rona has responsibility for the work of the biosecurity divisions and the People and Service Delivery division. Her other roles include:

  • member of the EMT
  • chair of the EMT Change Management Committee
  • chair of the EMT Legislation and Regulatory Reform Committee
  • chair of the EMT People Committee
  • member of the EMT Budget, Investment and Finance Committee
  • member of the EMT Information and Communication Technology Committee
  • deputy chair of the DAFF Audit Committee
  • chair of the DAFF Biosecurity Reform Steering Committee
  • co-chair of the DAFF–Customs Strategic Working Group
  • deputy chair of the PISC National Biosecurity Committee
  • member of the Strategic Border Management Group
  • departmental Attendance Champion.

Mark Tucker

Mark Tucker

Mark Tucker joined the department in February 2012. He has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) majoring in Marine Zoology.

Mark is DAFF’s Chief Operating Officer and also has responsibility for the work of the Agricultural Productivity, Climate Change, Finance and Business Support, Governance, Information Services, and Sustainable Resource Management divisions. His other roles include:

  • member of the EMT
  • chair of the EMT Budget, Investment and Finance Committee
  • chair of the EMT Information and Communication Technology Committee
  • member of the EMT Change Management Committee
  • member of the DAFF Audit Committee
  • chair of the DAFF Security Committee
  • chair of the National Employee Consultative Committee
  • chair of the PISC High-Level Group on Drought
  • chair of the PISC National Agvet System Policy Taskforce
  • departmental Indigenous Champion
  • departmental Information Champion
  • departmental Advocate of the National Compact for the
    Not-for-profit Sector
  • departmental Complexity Officer for the Complexity Flag Scheme.

Phillip Glyde

Phillip Glyde

Phillip Glyde joined the department in November 2006. He has an honours degree in natural resource management from the University of New England and a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University.

Phillip has responsibility for the work of ABARES and the Food, Live Animal Exports and Trade and Market Access divisions, including the overseas post network.

His other roles include:

  • member of the EMT
  • member of the EMT Change Management Committee
  • member of the EMT Budget, Investment and Finance Committee
  • chair of the PISC Animal Welfare Committee
  • Commissioner of the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna
  • departmental Disability Champion.

Division roles and responsibilities

Agricultural Productivity Division

The Agricultural Productivity Division aims to make Australia’s agricultural and food industries more globally competitive and profitable. The division has several branches, each with responsibility for a specific industry sector, such as crops, wine, horticulture, wool, meat, dairy and for the food value chain. The division works collaboratively with industry, portfolio agencies, governments and the community on activities to enhance industry development and to reduce market impediments.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is the department’s research arm. It provides professionally independent research, analysis, commodity forecasting and data across the fields of economics, science and social science. ABARES shares its outputs and findings with government agencies, industry, research bodies and other relevant groups for the benefit of the Australian community.

Australian Chief Plant Protection Office

The Australian Chief Plant Protection Office works closely with the Biosecurity Plant Division to enhance and drive opportunities for the Australian economy and Australia’s plant-dependent industries through improved market access; to promote a shared vision for plant health in Australia to protect our valuable plant resources; and to represent the Australian Government on plant health issues of international and national interest.

Australian Chief Veterinary Office

The Australian Chief Veterinary Office provides leadership and the strategic focal point for international and national biosecurity policies and strategies relevant to animal health and welfare, especially in the context of emergency management. The office works closely with the Biosecurity Animal Division to enhance trade and market access for animals and animal products, and with public health, environmental and veterinary experts to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Picture of a giraffe arriving at the Melbourne Zoo 

Nakuru arrives at her new home: This picture of a giraffe arriving at the Melbourne Zoo from quarantine was the winning image in the Our Events category of the 2013 DAFF Photo Competition.

Photo: Peter Finnin 

Biosecurity Animal Division

The Biosecurity Animal Division works to maintain and enhance trade and market access for animals and animal products. The division undertakes risk analyses and provides inspection services for the import of live animals and animal genetic material. It works collaboratively with Australian industries, governments and the community to strengthen Australia’s animal disease prevention, preparedness and response capabilities, as well as providing leadership and strategic direction on domestic and international animal welfare issues.

Biosecurity Plant Division

The Biosecurity Plant Division works to maintain and enhance trade and market access for plants and plant products. The division provides direct input into inspection and certification requirements for plant imports and exports to ensure they meet international standards. It works collaboratively with Australian industries, governments and the community to strengthen Australia’s plant pest and disease prevention, preparedness and response capabilities, and provides leadership and strategic direction.

Biosecurity Policy Division

The Biosecurity Policy Division develops long-term, strategic policy initiatives for Australia’s biosecurity. It works collaboratively with Australian industries, governments and the community to ensure the development and implementation of a risk-based approach to managing biosecurity risk, and to prepare for, and support the management of, post border incursions.

Border Compliance Division

The Border Compliance Division manages the biosecurity service delivery for the clearance of cargo, shipping, mail, vessels and passengers—including setting policy and standards—and administers quarantine third-party arrangements, both in Australia and internationally. The division works with the Australian, state and territory governments, industry and the community to manage Australia’s national biosecurity system to minimise the threat of the introduction of exotic pests and disease.

Climate Change Division

The Climate Change Division develops policies and implements programs to improve the capacity of Australia’s primary industries and producers to adapt and respond to climate change while improving productivity. It deals with issues of drought and farm adjustment, sustainable management and use of Australia’s forests and emissions mitigation and adaptation to climate change across our portfolio industries. The division works closely with other policy areas across the department to ensure DAFF maintains a well-developed understanding of challenges in different regions.

Finance and Business Support Division

The Finance and Business Support Division provides leadership and advisory services in financial management, business support and shared corporate services for the department. It also administers all cost-recovery arrangements. The division contributes to the department’s planned outcomes by providing high-quality, timely and cost-effective services and technical advice to the divisions, staff and stakeholders.

Food Division

The Food Division is responsible for developing strategies to gain, improve or maintain overseas market access for a range of food and animal products. The division encompasses market access and maintenance services and is responsible for coordinating Australian policy and technical input into international food standards. In consultation with Australian governments, industries and the community, the division also oversees the national management of export food programs.

Governance Division

The Governance Division works collaboratively across the portfolio and with stakeholders to foster a coordinated approach to portfolio priorities and to support the department’s work. It delivers policy analysis, coordination, advice and support services to the minister and parliamentary secretary, their offices, the executive and divisions. The division’s work includes secretariat functions, parliamentary and executive support, communications, business assurance, security and risk management and other strategic coordination functions, including legislation and regulatory reform.

Information Services Division

The Information Services Division is responsible for all information and communication technology (ICT) functions and activities within the department. It provides ICT applications support and development capability for all divisions and develops and maintains ICT strategic planning, enterprise architecture and information management.

Live Animal Exports Division

The Live Animal Exports Division was established in November 2012 to continue to implement regulatory reforms, the recommendations of the Farmer review and other priority live animal export reforms. The division provides certification for the export of live animals and genetic material to meet importing country requirements. In developing policies and processes for the export of live animals and reproductive material, the division consults broadly with Australian governments, industry representatives and animal welfare groups.

People and Service Delivery Division

The People and Service Delivery Division strengthens the focus on investing in our people and reforming our business. It brings together people capability and management, biosecurity reform, regional management, and program and project management functions. The division oversees the delivery of services through the department’s regional network.

Post Entry Quarantine Program Division

The Post Entry Quarantine Program Division was formed during 2012–13 to oversee the planning for, construction of and transition into a new, single consolidated post entry quarantine facility. The division is responsible for managing the five existing post entry quarantine facilities under a national service improvement model. These existing but ageing facilities will be progressively decommissioned between 2015 and 2018. The new, single government-owned and operated site will be located at Mickleham in Victoria.

Sustainable Resource Management Division

The Sustainable Resource Management Division works to strengthen the capacity of Australian primary producers and other land managers to use and manage natural resources sustainably and improve the national approach to weeds management. It provides policy advice and manages programs aimed at promoting sustainable agricultural, fishery and aquaculture sectors. The division also administers the Caring for our Country initiative, including Landcare.

Trade and Market Access Division

The Trade and Market Access Division pursues international market access for portfolio industries through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement. The division is responsible for ensuring that Australia’s obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO), and under free trade agreements, are met. It facilitates regular formal bilateral meetings and supports engagement with the WTO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The division maintains the overseas network of DAFF posted officers and supports high-level representations on market access issues.

Service charter and complaints

In 2012–13, we had a general service charter and a client service charter for providing biosecurity services. During the year we received a total of 181 compliments and 261 complaints through the biosecurity client service charter. No complaints were received through the DAFF client service charter mechanism. Other feedback was received through the department’s public inquiries inbox and was referred to relevant divisions. Each area of the department analyses and uses trend data from this feedback for planning and improving processes.

From 1 July 2013, we will have our first whole-of-agency Client Service Charter. The new charter is an important step in implementing a service delivery modernisation program. It links our service delivery to the new Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct and sets out clear standards for the way we deal with our clients.

2 Mr Metcalfe left the department on 18 September 2013

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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