Michael Manthorpe – Commonwealth Ombudsman

Michael Manthorpe PSM

Michael Manthorpe PSM was appointed by the Australian Government to the role of Commonwealth Ombudsman for a five year term commencing on 8 May 2017.  He is the 10th Commonwealth Ombudsman since the Office’s inception in 1977. By virtue of an arrangement between the Commonwealth and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Governments, he is also the ACT Ombudsman.

Over time the role of Commonwealth Ombudsman has grown to include oversight of immigration, law enforcement, postal services, private health insurance and a variety of other matters, as well as general Australian Government administration.

Prior to his appointment, Michael was a career Australian public servant.  He is a generalist, who studied journalism and history at the University of Queensland in the 1980s, and worked for different governments on a variety of public policy and program issues over the years.  Most recently, he held Deputy Secretary level positions at the then Department of Immigration and Border Protection, where he was responsible for the global delivery of Australia’s visa, citizenship and refugee programs.  For 25 years he worked in the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolios. He is fascinated by the way in which large complex administrative systems interact with and serve people, and how this can occur in the best possible way.

Michael was a recipient of the Public Service Medal in 2010 for leading work arising from the corporate collapse of Australia’s then largest childcare provider (ABC Learning).  He was awarded a Wolfensohn Scholarship in 2016 to extend his public policy and leadership skills at the Harvard Kennedy School in the United States.

Michael is on the Executive of the Australia New Zealand Ombudsman Association (ANZOA) and is a Deputy President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (ACT Division).