Our vision: We are Australia's trusted global gateway
Our mission: To protect Australia's border and manage the movement of people and goods across it
Our outcomes: We contribute to achieving three national outcomes:
- strong national security
- a strong economy
- a prosperous and cohesive society
About the Australian Border Force (ABF)
On 1 July 2015, the functions of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service were integrated into a new Department. The Australian Border Force was established as the new front-line operational agency within the Department reflecting a greater focus on the border as a strategic national asset. The integrated arrangements build on recent border protection reforms and the long history of the two organisations working closely together.
The Australian Border Force brought together all existing operational border, investigations, compliance, detention (facilities and centres) and enforcement functions. Policy, regulatory and corporate support for the Australian Border Force are delivered by the Department.
We have significant service and enforcement functions, including:
- facilitating the lawful passage of people and goods
- investigations, compliance and enforcement in relation to illicit goods and immigration malpractice; and
- onshore detention, removals and support to regional processing arrangements
We consider the border not to be a purely physical barrier separating nation states, but a complex continuum stretching offshore and onshore, including the overseas, maritime, physical border and domestic dimensions of the border.
Treating the border as a continuum allows an integrated, layered approach to provide border management in depth— working ahead of and behind the border, as well as at the border, to manage threats and take advantage of opportunities.
By applying an intelligence-led model and working with our partner agencies across the border continuum, we deliver effective border control over who and what has the right to enter or exit, and under what conditions.
Officers in the Australian Border Force are operationally focused, uniformed and part of a disciplined enforcement body undertaking functions across our operating environment – patrolling our air and seaports, remote locations, mail and cargo centres and Australia's extended maritime jurisdiction.
We work closely with other government and international agencies to detect and deter unlawful movement of goods and people across the border.
The integration of our complementary customs, immigration and border protection functions and capabilities provides more diverse and interesting jobs and careers for our people. They will be supported by better training, modernised business processes and systems, an increased sense of professionalism and a strengthened culture of integrity.
The combination of enforcement resources from both immigration and customs will enable us to boost our capacity over time and maintain investment in key capital infrastructure that supports the protection of Australia’s border.
The full implementation of the Australian Border Force vision, model and workforce transformation will take time and arrangements will be progressively implemented.
The ABF structure comprises two Groups – the Operations Group and the Support Group.
Operations Group has responsibility for all operational activity relating to the management of travellers, goods and cargo throughout the border continuum.
Support Group has responsibility for providing planning, support and specialist services to ensure operational continuity across the border continuum and the operational management responsibility for detention services management including health, detention estate management, and regional processing and settlement.
The Australian Border Force Commissioner
The Australian Border Force is headed by a statutory officer - a Commissioner - reporting directly to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection on operational matters, responsible for managing these operations and commanding officers.
Mr Roman Quaedvlieg is the Australian Border Force Commissioner, a role he was appointed to when the Australian Border Force (ABF) started operations on 1 July 2015. Prior to becoming the ABF Commissioner, Mr Quaedvlieg was the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, a role he commenced in October 2014.
Mr Quaedvlieg first began with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service in May 2013, after being appointed the Deputy Chief Executive Officer Border Enforcement.
Prior to his appointment with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Mr Quaedvlieg was the Chief Police Officer of ACT Policing, the community policing arm of the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Mr Quaedvlieg arrived at the AFP in 2005 and assumed the position of Manager Economic Operations, with responsibility for financial and economic investigations including money-laundering, large-scale fraud against the Commonwealth, proceeds of crime recovery, identity crime enforcement, and the management of the Oil-for-Food Task Force.
In 2007, Mr Quaedvlieg was promoted to Assistant Commissioner at the AFP and assumed responsibility for Border Operations, which encompassed investigations of major drug importation and trafficking, people-smuggling activity, sexual servitude, and child sex tourism offences. Mr Quaedvlieg has also performed the role of National Manager Aviation (at the Assistant Commissioner level) and was the AFP Chief of Staff for a period of time, a role which incorporated responsibility for the governance mechanisms of the AFP, including Ministerial Liaison, National Media and Marketing, Legal Services, Professional Standards, Recognition and Ceremonial, and Executive Services.
Prior to his appointment with the AFP, Mr Quaedvlieg undertook a three year appointment with the Australian Crime Commission in an executive role, with responsibilities for the transition of the former National Crime Authority to the Commission.
A career police officer, Mr Quaedvlieg served as a sworn member of the Queensland Police Service for 15 years, where he performed duties in a range of positions investigating and managing serious and organised criminal activity.
In 2000, he undertook a development tenure in the private sector by completing a two-year executive contract with a major airline group operating in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr Quaedvlieg has a Bachelor of Justice from the Queensland University of Technology, and is undertaking a Master of Business Administration at the Melbourne Business School. He was awarded an Australian Police Medal in 2011 for serving the Australian community with distinction, particularly in the areas of police operations and administration.