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Stella Maris Inquiry - Commissionerís biography

Mr John Lawler AM APM

Mr John  Lawler AM APMMr John Lawler AM APM is a 34 year career law enforcement officer. He served from 2009 to 2013 as the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) - the Australian Government's national criminal intelligence agency, having previously served for 29 years with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) the Australian Government's primary law enforcement agency Mr Lawler retired from the Australian Public Service in October 2013.

Mr Lawler has extensive experience in a wide range of law enforcement disciplines performing roles at the local, national and international levels including Community Policing, Investigations, Protection, Intelligence, International Operations and Executive Services.

In addition to an extensive high profile investigational background, Mr Lawler performed the role of Director of Internal Security and Audit, during which he performed the critical oversight role of the AFP's internal security activities.

In 1997, Mr Lawler was posted to Washington DC as the AFP's Senior Liaison Officer responsible for the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America. Mr Lawler returned to Australia in 1999 to take up a key role as the General Manager, Protective Security in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics.

Between 2000 and 2003 Mr Lawler held the position of General Manager, Eastern Operations - the AFP's largest operational office. Mr Lawler returned to Canberra in February 2003 to take up the position of General Manager, Executive Services and National Operations - a role responsible for all AFP media activities, parliamentary interaction, legislation formulation, the Commissioner's office and oversight of AFP national operations.

Through 2002 - 2003, Mr Lawler regularly performed the duties of Deputy Commissioner and the Executive Director, Protection. In 2004 Mr Lawler was appointed to the position of National Manager, Border and International Network Ė a role in which he was responsible for the AFP's International Network and Transnational Crime Operations. In July 2004, Mr Lawler's statutory appointment as the Deputy Commissioner of the AFP was confirmed. In this role he had responsibility for all of the AFP's operational activities, including its high profile Counter Terrorism Operations.

Mr Lawler was awarded an Australia Day Medallion in 1997 and Australia's highest law enforcement award, the Australian Police Medal, in 2003. The former Deputy Commissioner has also been awarded the National Medal and Clasp for his 25 years of diligent service. In June 2012, Mr Lawler was appointed as a member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

As Chief Executive Officer of the ACC and a member of the ACC board, Mr Lawler has strong relationships with State and Territory Police Commissioners, State Police Ministers and key State and Territory Departments including the Commissioners of Corrections. Up until his retirement, Mr Lawler was also a member of the Secretaries Committee on National Security, National Intelligence Coordination Committee, Cyber Operations Board and the Board of the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Mr Lawler holds a graduate certificate in Business Banking from Monash University, is a graduate of the Australian Graduate School of Management Managers Program at the University of New South Wales and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.