Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Work of Immigration Cause for Pride

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Work of Immigration Cause for Pride

Article excerpt

TOOWOOMBA'S diverse multicultural make-up has changed dramatically when compared to Andrew Metcalfe's childhood memories of the city.

It is something of which he is particularly proud.

The majority of his extensive public service career was spent in the Department of Immigration.

He transferred into the department's Brisbane office in 1981 and rose quickly through the ranks on the back of his legal knowledge.

In 1985, he moved with his then girlfriend, barrister Jenny Dunstan, to Canberra.

They were married two years later before moving to Melbourne, where Mr Metcalfe was Deputy State Director for Immigration for two years.

A foreign assignment came next, with the couple moving to Hong Kong where Mr Metcalfe took up a post as Regional Director for the Australian Department of Immigration.

"We ended up staying in Hong Kong for almost four years," Mr Metcalfe said.

"It was an incredibly interesting and rewarding time.

Their return to Australia resulted in Mr Metcalfe's heading up the department's legal branch for three years.

The couple also welcomed their son Riley and daughter Nellie into the world during this time.

John Howard's election win in 1996 led to an opportunity for Mr Metcalfe to view immigration from a different perspective.

Minister for Immigration Philip Ruddock hired him as a chief of staff.

"I was delighted to have the opportunity to go and work for a cabinet minister.

"He was a very decent man."

Two years in the role made him feel as if he was at the absolute centre of government.

"Walking out of Parliament House every night, even if it was at midnight or 1am, you had a real since of privilege."

Mr Metcalfe finished working for Mr Ruddock at the end of 1997 and was Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration by 1999.

His three years in that role included managing immigration directly after the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001. …

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