Past events

Wednesday May 3, 2023

Valedictory: Peter Woolcott AO

  • Valedictory: Peter Woolcott AO image

Peter Woolcott AO delivering his valedictory speech at the National Press Club

On 3 May, IPAA ACT hosted a valedictory address by Peter Woolcott AO, Australian Public Service Commissioner, who will retire from the APS on 10 May 2023. During this event, he reflected on his time in the role, following his retirement announcement after four decades of public sector and diplomatic service.

Mr Woolcott commenced his role as the Australian Public Service Commissioner in 2018. He has had a distinguished career in the Australian Public Service, serving in senior diplomatic positions around the world.

He has served as Australia’s High Commissioner to New Zealand (2016–2017), Ambassador for the Environment (2014–16) and led the negotiations for the Paris Agreement on climate change (2016), Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Ambassador for Disarmament (2010–2014), Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues (2009), Ambassador to Italy (2004–2007), and Australian Consul General, Honolulu and Representative to US Commander-in-chief Pacific (1998-2001).

Mr Woolcott served as Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull from 2017 to 2018.

Transcript – download a copy of the transcript here.
Video – a video of the event is below or can be viewed on the IPAA ACT Vimeo channel.


  • Peter Woolcott AO image
    Peter Woolcott AO

    Former Australian Public Service Commissioner

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