Chair Audit and Risk Committee, Member Governance & Strategy Committee  Des Pearson



Federation University Australia

Website Personal Website

Des Pearson’s public sector career spans over 40 years and across five jurisdictions.

He has more than thirty years’ experience at senior, chief executive and statutory officer levels. He has primarily worked in governance, financial and program management, performance evaluation and accountability roles, including more than 21 years as an Auditor-General across two jurisdictions.

Des was Victoria's twenty-fifth Auditor-General (2006 to 2012). Prior to this appointment, he served as Western Australia's Auditor-General for 15 years and is Australia’s longest serving sitting Auditor-General.

Des’s breadth and depth of public sector experience has enabled him to develop particularly strong capabilities for working in public policy and program delivery while also bringing a thorough understanding of and a keen interest in pursuing sound governance practice, effective stakeholder management, prudent financial management, active risk management and performance assessment and reporting.

His long and distinguished public sector career began in 1970 at the Australian National Audit Office. In 1976 he became Chief Auditor of the Northern Territory Region. He held the position of Assistant Secretary, Corporate Services, with the Australian Department of Primary Industries and Energy from 1979 to 1988, later becoming a Senior Assistant Director with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service of that Department. Between 1988 and 1991, Des was the Associate Director, Corporate Services, at the Canberra Institute of Technology and during this period also acted as the Director of the Institute. He was Convener of the Australasian Council of Auditors-General from 1997 to 1999, a member of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board between 1997 and 2000 and a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board from 2005 to 2008.

Des has been an active member of CPA Australia; the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian Institute of Public Administration, having served all three bodies as the Western Australian President and at a National Board level.

He is currently a Non-Executive Director at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; a Life Member and Fellow of CPA Australia; a Life Member and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management; a National and Victorian Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia; a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia; and a Fellow, International Society of Engineering Asset Management.


During his visit to the department, Des Pearson delivered the following seminars to staff and students:

Seminar 1:

Public sector accountability and the role of the Auditor-General (PDF)

Seminar 2:

Performance Reporting and Auditing in the Public Sector (PDF)

Research interests