I pay tribute to Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM, who has advised me that she will finish her public service career and step down as Secretary of the Department of Education and Training in February 2016.
Lisa has had a distinguished public sector career and will leave the public service with much that she can be proud of.

Appointed by Prime Minister John Howard, Lisa has been a Departmental Secretary since 2004 and is currently the second longest serving Commonwealth Secretary.
Lisa hopes to apply her energy and drive to a career outside of the public service. Ms Paul is highly regarded in Australia and internationally. She has made a significant contribution to the public service and driven cultural and organisational change. 
In 2003, Lisa was awarded a Public Service Medal for leading the Australian Government’s domestic response to the Bali bombings. Lisa was also recognised in 2011 when she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public sector leadership in key policy and program implementation. 
Lisa has led major reforms in many domains including early childhood, schooling, vocational education, skills and training, higher education, research, science, employment and workplace relations. In particular, I pay tribute to Lisa’s leadership on Indigenous policy and her personal interest and promotion of this important area of policy.

Many ministers from both sides of politics owe Lisa a debt of gratitude for her advice, guidance and tireless work. As both Assistant Minister for Education and Training and the Minister for Education and Training I have greatly valued Lisa's experience and expertise. 

I am sorry Lisa is departing at this time but understand her reasons after such a long and distinguished career.  Lisa will be missed by many, especially those within the Public Service to whom she has provided valuable leadership and mentoring.  I wish Lisa all the best in her next career where I know she will continue to make a significant impact and contribution to Australia.
Senator Birmingham’s media contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974
Department Media: media@education.gov.au