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New Commissioner for the AFP.

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Joint News Release


The Hon. Daryl Williams AM QC MP

Minister for Justice & Customs

Senator the Hon. Chris Ellison

2 April 2001


Australian Federal Police deputy commissioner Mick Keelty has been appointed Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Mr Keelty was sworn in by Federal Court Justice Paul Finn this afternoon at a ceremony at Parliament House attended by the Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Customs, family and colleagues.

Mr Keelty, 46, was selected from a strong field of candidates and takes over from Mick Palmer who retired on 14 March 2001.

Since the AFP was established in 1979, it has carved out a unique jurisdiction encompassing community policing, national and international operations and peacekeeping. It has a complex international face, with liaison posts in 21 countries and personnel involved in peace-keeping missions in Cyprus, East Timor and the Solomons.

Mr Keelty is a career police officer of 27 years and the first AFP Commissioner to be appointed from within the ranks of the AFP. He brings to the position wide policing experience and a deep understanding of the complex international role of the AFP.

For several years, Mr Keelty was in charge of National Operations within the AFP and has overseen the implementation of the law enforcement elements of the Government’s National Illicit Drug Strategy that has resulted in record drug seizures.

Previously, he was in charge of the AFP’s Northern Operations (Qld & NT) and has five years experience in the National Crime Authority working on references associated with organised crime and corruption.

Mr Keelty holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree (Charles Sturt University) and a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Education (University of Virginia, USA) and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Mr Keelty has had a major role in relation to the deployment of Australian police to East Timor, Bougainville and the Solomons and has championed diversity issues and in particular the contribution made by women in law enforcement.

We congratulate him on his appointment.


  Michael Joseph Keelty, APM, MPPA, FAIM

Date of Birth: 13 July 1954

Nationality: Australian




Community Policing - full range of duties including general police duties, traffic duties, Recruit Training Instructor, Juvenile Aid Bureau, Criminal Investigations Branch, Hostage Negotiation Team and Detective Training Skills Instructor.

1987-1991 Seconded to National Crime Authority (NCA) Sydney working on organised crime and corruption. Promoted to Superintendent in 1989 while still serving at the NCA.

1991-1992 Officer in Charge AFP Drug Operations in Sydney.

1993-1995 Promoted to Commander and Officer in Charge of Intelligence Division in Sydney.

1995-1998 Promoted to Assistant Commissioner (General Manager) of AFP Northern Region, including Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Torres Strait. Member of the National Exchange of Police Information Coordination Group.



General Manager National Operations oversighting AFP national and international operations, and member of the Assistant Commissioners’ Crime Forum.

May 2000 Commenced acting as Deputy Commissioner of the AFP. Appointed to the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police in December 2000.


1997 Master of Public Policy and Administration (Charles Sturt University)

1993 Graduate Certificate Criminal Justice Education (University of Virginia, USA)

1993 Graduate FBI National Academy

1988 Commissioned Officers Course (AFP)

  Awards Received

1996 Australian Police Medial for distinguished service

1988 Commissioner’s Sword of Honour (Dux of Commissioned Officers’ Course)

1984 Commissioner’s Prize (Dux of Detective Training Course)

  External Appointments

2000 Member Australian Institute of Judicial Administration

1998-2000 Head of Australian Delegation to UNDCP Head of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies (HONLEA)

1999 Fellow Australian Institute of Management (FAIM)

1995-1998 Chair, Women in Management Committee an initiative of the Queensland Regional Heads Development Committee (QDEV), and Member QDEV Management Committee

1995-1997 Member, National Police Exchange of Information (NEPI) Co-ordination Group

  Internal Appointments

2000-2001 Chair, National Operations Management Team

Member, CHOGM Executive Steering Group

1998-Current Chair, Board of Management Operation Avian

  Chair, Law Enforcement Co-operation Program (Government initiative NIDS)

2000 Member, Olympics Security Liaison Group


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