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Appointment of Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman

Media Release

Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Acting Attorney-General

The Morrison Government congratulates Penny McKay on her five-year appointment as a Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman.

As Deputy Ombudsman, Ms McKay will assist the Commonwealth Ombudsman with strategic leadership and day-to-day management, in addition to the development of policies, systems and processes for effective and timely investigations and compliance audits.

Ms McKay is currently First Assistant Secretary of the Integrity, Security and Assurance Division at the Department of Home Affairs. Ms McKay’s 23-year public service career spans state and commonwealth jurisdictions and includes senior roles with the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety.

Ms McKay commences on 10 August 2020. She replaces Ms Jaala Hinchcliffe who was appointed as Integrity Commissioner in February 2020.


Ms McKay’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business (Management); she was admitted to practise in 1999. She has held the position of First Assistant Secretary at the Department of Home Affairs since March 2020, serving as an Assistant Secretary from 2018-2020.

Ms McKay has served as General Counsel for the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (2014-2018); Director, Royal Commission into the Protection of and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory (secondment 2016-2017); and Principal Legal Officer, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (2008-2014).