Michael Schwager
9 August 2018

We are pleased to advise that Michael Schwager has been appointed as the new Director General, IP Australia. 

Michael is currently acting as Chief Operating Officer at the CSIRO. Prior to this, Michael spent a number of years in senior executive positions in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in diverse areas including corporate operations, industry and small business policy, business regulation reform, foreign investment attraction and international energy policy. Michael has a Bachelor of Economics with majors in accounting and commercial law. He brings a knowledge of the innovation system, including IP, to the role and is equipped to make a strong contribution to leading IP Australia.

Michael is expected to join IP Australia in late September. 

Michael will take over from Patricia Kelly, current Director General IP Australia, who retires from the Australian Public Service on 10 August 2018 after almost five years in this role. Patricia retires from a public sector career spanning 38 years, including in a range of senior roles in the Industry portfolio. 

IP Australia also recently farewelled Deborah Anton, Deputy Director General Policy and Corporate Division IP Australia, who has taken up a secondment with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as First Assistant Secretary, Office of the National Data Commissioner. 

Arrangements and senior contacts in the interim are as follow:

  • Dr Frances (Fran) Roden, acting Director General IP Australia until Michael commences in late September.
  • Dr George Vuckovic, Acting Deputy Director General IP Rights Division until late September when Fran Roden will return to this position.
  • Ms Terry Moore joins IP Australia on 16 August as Deputy Director General Policy and Corporate Division following Deborah Anton’s recent departure to take up a secondment with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Mr Robert (Rob) Bollard, is acting in this role until Terry Moore commences.


At IP Australia, we look forward to continuing to work with our customers and stakeholders as we strive to deliver on our purpose: to ensure Australians benefit from great ideas.