Mike Pezzullo, the first son of Italian working-class migrants, wanted to be a history professor. It was while studying at the University of Sydney in the early 1980s that he was steered away from academia and was encouraged to consider a more secure future in government service.
Mike felt additional pressure to seek a stable job as his mother was widowed, bringing up her three sons alone. In 1983, at the age of 46, Mike Pezzullo’s father had taken his own life. “Mum had done it pretty hard,” he says, “so getting a job was important.” In 1987 he joined Defence as a graduate.
Since then, Mike Pezzullo’s career in government has not been a standard climb through public service ranks; he has achieved a rare trifecta, working not only at the highest level of the public service but also as a top adviser to a senior government minister and a lead staffer to an opposition leader.
In September of this year, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull overhauled the top ranks of the federal public service, naming Mike Pezzullo who currently heads the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as head of the new Home Affairs Department that is to be established in 2018.
Midweekers are available to women and men of all ages who want to come and listen to inspiring stories from our local men, as well as to understand some of the key issues facing young guys in our region. You don’t have to be a guy to come to a Midweeker – just interested in supporting young guys and their families.
Hopefully we can see you there…