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  • Recognising our centenary

    A century in the making

    We proudly commemorated our 100th anniversary. We recognised our people, the work we have done in serving the community and the important part we have played in Australia's economic and social development.

    100 not out

    We held our official centenary event in our National Office in Canberra.

    The event was attended by Her Excellency the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, Assistant Treasurer, Bill Shorten, our present and past leaders, academics, members of our consultative forums and staff representatives from all of our sites.

    The Governor-General acknowledged our importance in the growth and development of the community. She described the ATO as an institution that sustains Australian democracy and our staff as dedicated public servants, carrying out essential work for the greater good of the nation.

    The Assistant Treasurer also recognised our centenary and the challenges our next 100 years would bring.

    The event included the sealing of our time capsule, to be opened on our 150th birthday, the launch of our official history book and the cutting of our centenary birthday cake.

    'This centenary is an occasion to celebrate what the ATO has contributed, and how much we owe to the steady and faithful heartbeat of this organisation.'

    Governor-General Quentin Bryce

    'Today is a day, in this hundredth year, when we might reflect, acknowledge, and praise the significant good that our tax and super systems bring to us all, and hold fast to their future potential'.

    Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten

    Governor-General Quentin Bryce attended our official centenary event and placed a letter in our time capsule, to be opened in 2060.

    Governor-General Quentin Bryce attended our official centenary event and placed a letter in our time capsule, to be opened in 2060.

    We celebrate

    We held centenary balls in a number of sites to celebrate the occasion.

    ATO employees at the ball.

    ATO employees at the ball.

    Musician playing at the ball.

    Musician playing at the ball.

    Our centenary cake.

    Our centenary cake.

    Lessons from the past

    Blatant, artificial and contrived: tax schemes of the 70s and 80s, written by former Commissioner Trevor Boucher, was released.

    The book documents a key period in legal and taxation history, sharing the true story of unprecedented challenges to the integrity of the tax system. It was a time when the perspectives and ethics of some in the community seemed to awry and Trevor's account helps us remember the lessons of the past.

    To read the book, visit

    Australian Valuation Office celebrates 100 years

    In recognition of its centenary, past and present Australian Valuation Office employees attended a celebration. The office produced a short commemorative booklet tracing its history, from its formation in 1910 and its contribution to Australia across the decades of change and evolution.

    To read the booklet, visit  

    Congratulations ATO

    Our centenary attracted many congratulatory messages from around the world.

    Hon Wayne Swan MP, Treasurer
    It's due to your work the ATO has developed a positive reputation internationally. An organisation that is held up by other tax authorities around the world as a leading example of best practice - in other words, a world class tax administrator.

    Hon Peter Costello, former Treasurer of Australia
    It's essential for the conduct of government to collect tax and should collect as much as the public needs for the delivery of goods and services and no more. But if we can do it in an efficient and simple way, then so much the better. Have a happy birthday.

    Ken Henry, former Treasury Secretary
    Congratulations on outstanding public service to the Australian people. I consider myself fortunate in my career to have the opportunity to work closely with the ATO over the last quarter of a century.

    Doug Schulman, Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service, USA
    The ATO is among the best tax agencies around the world. You are on the forefront of modern tax administration, pushing forward imaginative and innovative ideas to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

    Jean-Marc Fenet, Director de la Fiscalitem, Commissioner for Taxation, France
    We are especially impressed by the quality of the service you provide to your clients and by the very future oriented organisation and solutions you have put in place. ATO is one of the advanced tax administrations in the world today.

    Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance, former Commissioner of South African Revenue Service
    Celebrate this occasion with the knowledge that you have made a tremendous contribution both to Australian society and to many tax administrations around the world.

    Putting a stamp on it

    Australia Post released into public circulation a commemorative stamp marking our centenary. The stamp represented our support of Australians and the economy, acknowledged our past and present and pointed to our future.

    Australia Post commercial manager for New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Mark Warren, said it was fitting the ATO received recognition for its efforts over the last 100 years. 'It was appropriate the community reflect on the ATO's role in delivering the high standard of living we enjoy in Australia', he said.

    Australia Post commemorative stamp pack

    Australia Post commemorative stamp pack

    From its simple origins in 1910, the ATO has kept pace with an emerging Australian nation, responding and adapting to the challenges of the times. One hundred years on, the ATO is an internationally respected leader in the complex field of tax and superannuation administration.

    Excerpt from Australia Post commemorative stamp pack

    Recording our history

    On 12 November 2010, we launched our official history book, Working for all Australians 1910-2010: A brief history of the Australian Taxation Office.

    The book, researched and written by historian Dr Leigh Edmonds, chronicles the evolution of our organisation.

    Circulating our message

    The Royal Australian Mint circulated 5 million 20-cent commemorative coins bearing our centenary message, 'Working for all Australians'.

    Mint Chief Executive Officer, Ross MacDiarmid, expressed delight at launching the ATO coin.

    20-cent commemorative coins bearing our centenary message, 'Working for all Australians'.

    20-cent commemorative coins bearing our centenary message, 'Working for all Australians'.

      Last modified: 31 Oct 2011QC 28036