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Who we are

The Department of Home Affairs was created as part of the Home Affairs Portfolio on 20 December 2017.

Michael Outram APM

Michael joined the Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio on 9 March 2015 and was sworn in as Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) on 14 May 2018.

Michael brings to the ABF over 30 years of law enforcement experience in a diverse range of specialised areas, including community policing, covert operations, criminal intelligence, protective and major event security, public order management, and the investigation of terrorism, transnational organised crime, corruption and other serious crime types.

Prior to being sworn in as the Commissioner of the ABF, Michael led the Operations Group, which is responsible for compliance and enforcement operations relating to the movement of travellers and goods throughout the border continuum.

From 2011 Michael served as an Assistant Commissioner with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and had responsibility for the AFP's national protection function. He was responsible for the delivery of a range of protective services including close personal protection, the National Witness Protection Program, uniform protection and special event planning. In 2014, Michael was the AFP’s operational commander for the G20 Summit in Brisbane and the response to the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over the Ukraine.

Michael has also worked at the national and international level in relation to establishing and overseeing joint agency investigations, intelligence operations and task forces dealing with serious organised crime; in 2004 Michael was appointed as Executive Director, Serious and Organised Crime, at the Australian Crime Commission, where he was responsible for the investigative and intelligence functions of the Agency. Michael played a leading role in developing and implementing national approaches for managing crime targets and with peers from the AFP and ATO, established Operation Wickenby in 2004, which created a framework for future joint agency operations and led to significant recovery of revenue and behavioural change in the sector.

Following a secondment to the New South Wales Police Service in 2000, Michael migrated to Australia in 2002 and commenced work at the Independent Commission Against Corruption in New South Wales as the Executive Director Strategic Operations, with responsibility for investigations and intelligence operations.

Michael commenced his law enforcement career with the London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in 1980, where he spent 20 years in a variety of areas and leadership roles. He served as a detective from 1989 to 2002, rising to the rank of Detective Chief Inspector and served in the Anti-Corruption Command, Anti-Terrorism Branch and Major Investigation Teams.

Michael was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2014 in recognition of his outstanding service in law enforcement. In 2014 he was also awarded a Master of Business & Technology degree by the University of New South Wales and won a university prize for academic achievement. In April 2018, Michael completed the Harvard Kennedy School executive education programme Leadership in Crises: Preparation and Performance, which he attended having won a Sir James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship.