Dr Michele Bruniges AM is the Secretary of the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
By working with government to develop and implement policy priorities, the department’s commitment is to ensure Australians can experience the wellbeing and economic benefits that quality education, skills and employment provide.
Between 2016 and February 2020, Dr Bruniges led the Australian Department of Education and Training and then the Australian Department of Education. Prior to these appointments, she headed the NSW Department of Education and Communities, one of Australia’s largest state government departments that had direct responsibility for more than 2,200 schools and a workforce of more than 84,000 people providing services across the state.
In April 2017, Dr Bruniges became the first Australian appointed to Chair the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Governing Board.
In her earlier executive career, Dr Bruniges headed the ACT Department of Education and held senior roles in the Australian Government’s then Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Dr Bruniges’ qualifications include a PhD in Educational Measurement and a Masters in Education. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Churchill Fellow, a Fellow of Australian College of Educators and a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders.
Dr Bruniges is a Member of the Order of Australia, given in 2012 for service to public administration through executive roles, and as a contributor to reform in the education sector at state and national levels. Also in 2012, Dr Bruniges was a joint recipient of Inaugural 100 Women of Influence Awards – for her work in public policy.
In 2015, Dr Bruniges received national recognition for her significant contribution to education as the recipient of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders Gold Medal Award. That year, she was also awarded the Australian College of Educators’ Sir Harold Wyndham Medal for her contribution to the education of young people in NSW.
The Australian College of Educators’ highest award, its 2019 College Medal, was presented to Dr Bruniges for her outstanding and sustained contributions to the fields of education and across a range of sectors.