Go to top of page

The Department

Our mission

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) advances the wellbeing of Australians by delivering high-quality support to the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

We take a whole-of-nation approach, working closely with communities, stakeholders and across all areas of government and acknowledge the special place of the First Peoples of our nation. We lead the Australian Public Service (APS) in rigorous and collaborative policy development, implementation and program delivery.

Our purposes

In 2018–19, our work was guided by three key purposes:

  1. Supporting the Prime Minister, as the head of the Australian Government, the Cabinet and portfolio ministers.
  2. Providing advice on major domestic policy, national security and international matters.
  3. Improving the lives of Indigenous Australians.

Our role is to

  • provide high-quality advice and support to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and our portfolio ministers to achieve a coordinated and innovative approach to the development and implementation of Government policies
  • coordinate and develop policy across the Government in economic, domestic and international issues
  • build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to increase positive opportunities for economic development, health, wellbeing and cultural identity
  • lead an APS that is best placed to serve the Australian people into the future.

We are supported by

  • 2,178 staff in 105 office locations around the country
  • our Regional Network, which works in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to develop locally driven solutions, community empowerment and place-based partnership models
  • our Transformation Agenda, which is driving change from within and creating a PM&C that is a knowledge organisation, technologically adept, flexible and collaborative, and inclusive and diverse.

Our structure

PM&C has four operational groups, delivering strategic priorities through a range of policy and program activities.

Domestic Policy Group

The Domestic Policy Group advises the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and portfolio ministers on jobs and economic growth, the Budget, industry, infrastructure, agriculture, innovation, health, education and the environment. It coordinates whole-of-government regulatory reform and supports government priorities for gender equality and the empowerment of women. The group coordinates the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) arrangements and provides advice and support for the Budget process. The group coordinates whole-of-government public data policy, national policies and strategies to enhance the safety of children; and supports the G20 Sherpa, Dr David Gruen, in developing and prosecuting Australia’s contributions to the G20.

National Security and International Security Group

The National Security and International Policy Group provides advice on Australia’s foreign policy, defence, trade and aid interests. This includes the Prime Minister’s engagement with foreign counterparts and business leaders, international commemorative events, treaty matters, defence policy and operations, sovereign defence industrial capability, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, law enforcement, intelligence policy, cyber policy, border security and crisis management. This group also coordinates the foreign affairs, trade and national security aspects of the Budget.

Governance Group

The Governance Group provides advice on legal policy, parliamentary and government matters and honours, symbols and territories policy. In addition, it provides support services to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, Cabinet committees, PM&C’s portfolio ministers and assistant ministers, and the Governor-General. The group delivers PM&C’s enabling and support functions and oversees the implementation and ongoing delivery of government programs, policies and initiatives.

Indigenous Affairs Group

In 2018–19 the Indigenous Affairs Group was responsible for most Commonwealth Indigenous- specific policy and programs. The group worked with the Australian Government and state and territory governments, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations and peak bodies to achieve government priorities of getting adults into jobs, getting children into school and making communities safer. The group included the Regional Network, which partners with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities and other stakeholders to develop and implement tailored local solutions.

The Regional Network has 500 staff in over 70 locations across the country. These staff routinely visit over 400 communities.

On 29 May 2019 the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, announced the formation of the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) within the Prime Minister’s portfolio. The functions of the Indigenous Affairs Group transferred to the NIAA as of 1 July 2019.

Our organisational structure

Our organisational structure as at 30 June 2019Our organisational structure as at 30 June 2019

Our Executive

As at 30 June 2019, PM&C’s senior executive was as follows:


Dr Martin Parkinson AC PSM

Associate Secretary, Indigenous Affairs

Mr Ray Griggs AO, CSC

Deputy Secretary, APS Review Taskforce

Mr David Williamson

Deputy Secretary, Economic

Dr David Gruen

Deputy Secretary, Governance

Ms Stephanie Foster PSM

Deputy Secretary, Indigenous Affairs

Professor Ian Anderson AO

Deputy Secretary, Industry and Jobs

Mr Simon Duggan

Deputy Secretary, National Security

Ms Caroline Millar

Deputy Secretary, Social Policy

Ms Alison Larkins

PM&C Executives Dr Martin Parkinson, Dr David Gruen, Ms Alison Larkins, Mr Simon Duggan, Ms Caroline Millar, Ms Tess Bishop and Ms Stephanie Foster at an all staff address.