Until May 2005, Mr Thawley served as Australia's ambassador to the United States. Before that, he was international adviser to the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, and served in a variety of positions in the Australian Government in Canberra and overseas.
In March 2004, Hon. Michael Thawley gave a talk at the right-wing think tank the Heritage Foundation, where he discussed four key points about the terrorist threat of al-Qaeda and other fundamentalist Islamic groups associated with it from an Australian perspective.
- Michael Thawley, "Australia's Continuing Role in the War on Terrorism", Heritage Foundation Lecture No.830, 31 March 2004.