Our Senior Executive

Our senior executive team consists of the Director General and our two Deputy Director Generals. Find out about their experience and expertise.  



 
 Photo of Michael Schwager

Michael Schwager
Director General

 

 

As Director General since 2018, Michael has led IP Australia on a customer-focused, digital-first strategy. As well as seeing unprecedented growth in IP rights during the pandemic, IP Australia has been a test bed of public sector innovation and digital transformation.

Prior to his appointment, Michael spent three years as Chief Operating Officer at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.  He also spent time as acting Chief Operating Officer at CSIRO.

Michael’s career across industry, innovation and science policy has included responsibility for implementing innovation programs including the $3B R&D tax incentive; developing med-tech, pharma-bio, small business and industry policy; attracting foreign investment into Australian high-tech industries; leading trade and multilateral negotiations in food, agriculture and energy.

From 2012 to 2015, Michael was Minister-Counsellor (Industry, Science and Education) at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC.  He also spent five years in Parliament House as a researcher and speechwriter, and two years as an auditor for a large multinational accounting firm.

Michael has a Bachelor of Economics and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



 
 Photo of Paula Adamson

Paula Adamson
Deputy Director General, Customer Services Division 

  Paula Adamson is Deputy Director-General, Customer Services Division, IP Australia. In this role, Paula holds the Statutory positions of Commissioner of Patents and Registrar of Trade Marks, Designs, and Plant Breeder’s Rights.

Before joining IP Australia, Paula held senior executive positions across the Australian Public Service, including Deputy Coordinator, Critical Technologies Policy Coordination Office at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

As General Manager Trade Marks and Designs, she led the Design Rights Reform Program, resulting in an improved design rights system to better support designers in the Australian economy.

Paula also worked in the private sector and has over 10 years' consulting experience, including senior positions at Guinane Consulting Group, EY, Fujitsu and RSM Australia. As a management consultant, Paula specialised in organisation transformation and change management.

Paula holds a Masters in Management from the University of Canberra.

   
Photo of Margaret Tregurtha

Margaret Tregurtha 
Deputy Director General, Policy and Corporate Division

  Margaret was appointed Deputy Director General, Policy and Corporate Division in 2020.

Before joining IP Australia, she was A/G First Assistant Secretary of Legal and Compliance in the former Department of Environment and Energy.

Margaret's extensive experience in providing legal and governance advice to government has seen her contribute to many significant legislative and program outcomes across education, industry, science, environment and energy.

Since 2008 she has held Senior Executive roles in the Commonwealth Government. She was General Counsel of the Department of Industry Science and Resources from 2012 to 2017 and General Counsel of the then Department of Environment and Energy from 2017 to 2019.

She has a Bachelor of Arts/Laws (Hons) and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University. She is also a graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors.

Related content

Our agency

We administer intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation for trade marks, patents, design rights and plant breeder's rights (PBR) in Australia.  

Organisational structure

Our organisational structure outlines what each of our business groups do to ensure the efficient operation of our agency.  

Our research

As part of our goal to continuously improve our products and services, research is one of our core activities.