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Features Australia

Eyeballing DFAT

10 February 2018

9:00 AM

10 February 2018

9:00 AM

In republican Canberra, admiration for British tradition is thin. But in one respect it’s alive and well. Our career mandarins are deeply attached to the Westminster belief in a non-partisan bureaucracy which in theory faithfully serves either side of politics. Former Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Secretary Peter Varghese once publicly lamented ‘the disturbing trend for incoming governments to sack some Secretaries’ which is ‘highly corrosive of the culture of impartial service which is essential to an effective public service’.

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