Last updated: 
30 January 2017

Patricia Kelly PSM – Director General


Patricia Kelly has been Director General of IP Australia since December 2013. Prior to joining IP Australia, Patricia Kelly was a Deputy Secretary in Commonwealth departments responsible for industry and innovation from 2004 -2013. Patricia has had a public sector career spanning over thirty years. Her experience in other portfolios includes the Department of Social Security and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Patricia has served on a range of boards and committees, including the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (2004-2009) and the Co-operative Research Centres Committee (2004-2013). She chaired her department’s Audit Committee from 2006-2013. She was a member of the Council of the University of Technology Sydney (2006-2008), a member of the Review Panel of the National Innovation System (2008) and chaired the Management Advisory Committee Steering Committee to report on innovation in the Australian Public Service (2008-2009).

From 2007 Patricia worked closely with the research and higher education sector. She led Australia’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope and represented Australia on the Board of the International SKA Organisation (2012-2013). In 2015 she was asked to resume this role and is currently (in addition to her role at IP Australia) responsible for the SKA project team at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. She chairs the Australia-New Zealand SKA Co-ordination Committee.

She was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal in 2013 in acknowledgement of her efforts to secure Australia’s bid to host the SKA and to promote public sector innovation.

Patricia has a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in communication.


Victor Portelli, A/g Deputy Director General


Victor Portelli has been a member of the Executive team at IP Australia since 2007 and holds the substantive position of General Manager of the Patents Chemical, Plant Breeder’s Rights and Electrical Group. Victor has participated in numerous international fora and has chaired the Patents Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Working Group at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Prior to taking up this position, Victor enjoyed a variety of roles within IP Australia. Victor joined the Patent, Trade Marks and Designs Office in 1988 as a trainee patent examiner, examining patents in pure and applied chemistry.  He was promoted to the role of Supervising Examiner and headed up the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sections.

Other positions included three years in the Designs section where Victor led the introduction of the new Designs Act. Victor then transferred to the Trade Marks and Designs Group as Deputy Registrar and facilitated the introduction of new customer product for self represented trade mark filers, TM Headstart.

Victor has a Bachelor of Science from the Australian National University where he studied Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry.


Deborah Anton, Deputy Director General


Deborah Anton joined IP Australia in September 2015 from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science where she was a Division Head in AusIndustry.  She is responsible for the Policy Group and all the corporate functions, as such she fulfils the function of Chief Operations Officer. 

Deborah has held Senior Executive roles in the following portfolio’s - Education, Industry and Attorney-General’s covering both policy and programme delivery.   Most recently she was responsible for the design and implementation of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. 

Deborah’s academic qualifications include  a Masters of Management (Industry Strategy),  Bachelor of Science (Hons) both from the Australian National University and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.