Text size: A A A

Movers & shakers: reshuffle in the social services cluster

The final pieces of a Department of Human Services restructure will shortly be in place when its new chief operating officer takes over. Roxanne Kelley replaces the well-liked Andrew Wood who had to retire suddenly due to unfortunate news.

Social Services Cluster

Roxanne Kelley PSM

Roxanne Kelley will take up the role of chief operating officer in the Department of Human Services from November 26. It will be Kelley’s fourth role at Band 3 since making the leap to deputy secretary exactly two years ago, quickly accumulating people, policy and strategic experience on the path back to the nuts and bolts of service delivery.

The move represents a return to Human Services for Kelley, who was once Centrelink’s national manager for call performance has long been in the social welfare area, most recently as the chief operating officer for the federal Department of Social Services, and as Centrelink’s national manager Centrelink Call Performance but also 19 years in the Queensland Public Service.

Kelley has also held delivery and policy roles at the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, and governance, reform, people, strategy, policy and intelligence in the Department of Defence. It was the reform work at the Department of Defence that earned Kelley a Public Service Medal in 2017.

The recently created COO/corporate enabling role at DHS is a super group with 10 divisions reporting to it as part of a restructure led by Andrew Wood, who retired suddenly for health-related reasons. The group incorporates divisions from Wood’s enabling group and the corporate group previously run by Jonathan Hutson, who retired in July.

Chief counsel Annette Musolino has been acting in the COO role since Wood’s retirement.


Michael McNamara

ANZ executive Michael McNamara will take up the role of chief information officer in the Department of Human Services from January next year.

It will be McNamara’s first public sector role, following a string of high-profile commercial IT roles including at Commonwealth Bank, Colonial First, AGL and Hewlett Packard in addition to his current general manager Architecture, Delivery Services and Business Management role at ANZ.

Chief technology officer Charles McHardie, a former Commodore in the Royal Australian Navy, has been acting in the CIO role since the departure of the department’s long-time CIO Gary Sterrenberg in January this year to work on a PhD following his launch of a billion-dollar welfare payments infrastructure transformation, WPIT.

DHS’ other top level executives under secretary Renée Leon remain unchanged: Catherine Rule on Programme Design, Rebecca Cross on Integrity and Information, Amanda Cattermole on Health and Aged Care as well as chief executive of Medicare, Barry Jackson on Service Delivery Operations and chief executive of Centrelink, and John Murphy on Payments Reform.


Margaret McKinnon

Margaret McKinnon will be promoted to Band 3 to take up the role of chief operating officer in the Department of Social Services this month, replacing Roxanne Kelley.

Currently the group manager for Delivery Strategy and Operations – Community Grants Hub at DSS, McKinnon has also held numerous roles across the department. These included on policy responsible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and corporate functions. McKinnon was also seconded across to the NDIA to as deputy chief executive officer responsible for governance and stakeholder relations

In the Employment portfolio, McKinnon has previously been the group manager of Job Services Australia — the privatised employment network; while in the Education portfolio she was responsible for policy and programs dealing with vocational education and training.


In other promotions in the Social Services cluster…

George Sotiropoulos from Department of the Communications and the Arts has been picked up by DSS in a promotion to Band 2 to fill the role of group manager of  Disability, Employment and Carers.

Lauren Callinan in the DHS has been promoted to Band 1, national manager of Indigenous and Remote Servicing, where she is already acting in the role.


In other promotions across the Commonwealth Senior Executive Service…

Timothy Matthews from the Department of Defence has been picked up by the Department of Jobs and Small Business in a promotion to Band 1 to fill the role of branch manager, People in the People, Communication and Assurance division of the Corporate group.


Governance Institute of Australia

Megan Motto has been named as the new CEO of Governance Institute of Australia, commencing in January next year, but will be on hand early to attend its national conference at Crown Melbourne from November 29-30.

Motto is the former chief executive officer of Consult Australia and is on the boards of Standards Australia and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA).

See the last movers and shakers update here.

Author Bio

Harley Dennett

Harley Dennett is editor at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's held communications roles in the New South Wales public sector and Defence, and been a staff reporter for newspapers in Sydney and Washington DC.