The resignation was revealed in parliament today. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Searle resigns from Dept of Communities

Wednesday, 12 September, 2018 - 17:17

Department of Communities director general Graham Searle has resigned from the role, with the decision believed to be due to illness.

Mr Searle was appointed to a two year term as director general in January, after serving as interim director general of the department since its formation through a merger in July 2017.

In the role, he reported to five ministers, including the Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Housing and Minister for Child Protection.

His previous positions have included state reform leader, working on policies for regional and remote Aboriginal communities, and director general of the Department of Housing.

His resignation was announced in parliament by Community Services Minister Simone McGurk today.

Ms McGurk thanked him for his efforts bringing numerous former departments together under the Department of Communities umbrella.

"Bringing (the departments) together and breaking down the many silos that existed for years was no easy feat, but Mr Searle used his extensive experience and skill to do just that," she said.

"Mr Searle has been a public service leader for a long time, having served both in this state and in Victoria for a total of 47 years.

"He was director general of the former Department of Housing from 2008 to 2015 after having previously been the chief executive officer of Landgate from 2004 to 2008.

"It was his work with the Regional Services Reform Unit that shed a light on the issues faced by Western Australians living in regional and remote locations, particularly those of Aboriginal Australians.

"He knew, however, that he could not do this genuinely as, and I quote, “an old white guy based in Perth”, which is why he packed up and moved to Kununurra.

"It is this dedication to public service that has seen Mr Searle become widely respected in government and by Aboriginal leaders for his ability to facilitate collaboration and achieve results.

"As minister, I am grateful for his advice, experience and knowledge and his focus on achieving important outcomes for the most vulnerable members of our community.

"I wish Mr Searle all the best, good health and thank him for his service to Western Australia."