Retirement of Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer

As of 1 December 2023, after a 30-year tenure with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mark Schipp will be retiring from the Australian Public Service.

Dr Schipp was appointed Chief Veterinary Officer of Australia in 2011. During his tenure he has led Australia’s national responses to emergency animal disease incursions, provided global and national leadership on the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and worked to strengthen the veterinary services in Australia and countries in our region.

Dr Schipp has been instrumental in building the capacity of the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer, with a focus on biosecurity, One Health, AMR, international engagement in the Pacific and south-east Asia, and advocacy for the veterinary profession.

Since 2012, Dr Schipp has been Australia's Delegate to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). Dr Schipp exemplifies Australia's global leadership in animal health, having been elected the President of the WOAH General Assembly for a three-year term from 2018-21, and will continue to serve on the WOAH Council as immediate past-President until May 2024.

Through his appointments, Dr Schipp saw Australia's animal health status remain free from many emergency diseases – a status central to our access to international markets. He also worked to progress international standards to improve animal health and welfare worldwide.

Prior to his tenure as Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Schipp was posted overseas for 6 years in Seoul, South Korea and Beijing, China. While in China he opened the Agriculture Counsellor post at the Australian Embassy in Beijing and negotiated new market access for Australian agricultural products.

The department would like to thank Dr Schipp for his incredible work improving animal health and welfare, supporting the Australian agriculture industry, and leadership in the control of transboundary animal diseases.

Until 1 December, Dr Schipp will continue in his duties as the Chief Veterinary Officer, supported by his office including Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Beth Cookson.

An external recruitment process will be undertaken to identify the next Australian Chief Veterinary Officer.