Movers & shakers: who's replacing the new secretaries

By David Donaldson

November 30, 2018

It’s already been decided who is taking over from the two Victorian DPC deputies elevated to secretary level. Plus the latest federal appointments.

Thursday’s news of Victorian machinery of government changes brought with it the announcement that two Department of Premier and Cabinet deputy secretaries — Rebecca Falkingham and Simon Phemister — would be moving into secretary positions at the renamed Department of Justice and Community Safety and the new Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions respectively.

We now know who will take their old jobs.

Kate Houghton

Kate Houghton will be acting in Falkingham’s former position of deputy secretary social policy group. She is moving over to DPC from the Department of Justice and Regulation, where she was deputy secretary police and crime prevention. Prior to that she was a dep sec at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and has spent much of her career in the water and environment space.

Matt Lowe is acting in Phemister’s old job of deputy secretary, economic policy and state productivity. He was already at DPC, working in the grammatically challenging role of executive director, economic development and international; veterans. Before that he held a range of positions at DPC.

Over at Education, Jenny Atta is acting secretary following the resignation of Gill Callister. Katherine Whetton is acting in Atta’s former role of deputy secretary of the department’s infrastructure and finance services group, and will also continue with her existing role as deputy secretary for the strategy and performance group.

Federal movers

Clare McLaughlin will be the new general manager of the National Health and Medical Research Council, taking over from Tony Kingdon. McLaughlin is currently the general manager of the science agencies governance branch at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Paula Ganly

Paula Ganly will be the new executive director of the diplomatic academy at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Ganly will be the second head of the academy after its founder Robyn Mudie, former high commissioner in Colombo, was selected for another top international posting next year.

Ganley has been responsible for ceremonial functions at PM&C, diplomatic security, consular policy and corporate management at DFAT, as well as the South and South East Asia division, the post security task force. Other overseas postings include South Korea, Bangladesh, Venezuela, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, China (Beijing) and the United Kingdom.

Gerard Martin has been successful in the call to fill Ganley’s previous role as first assistant secretary at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, leading the 80-strong ministerial support division. It’s a key enabling function that supports not just the PM, but also parliamentary, speechwriting and governance support across the department. Martin is moving up from PM&C’s protocol and international visits branch.

Over in the Department of the Environment and Energy, there has been a mini-reshuffle resulting from Dr Rachel Bacon‘s departure and promotion to deputy secretary at the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities.

James Chisholm has taken over Bacon’s previous role as FAS of policy analysis and implementation, moving over from the FAS for energy.

Rachel Parry has been officially promoted up to first assistant secretary in the department’s energy division, replacing Chisholm. Parry’s previous substantive position was the gas and governance branch, but she was running the energy productivity branch most recently. Both assistant secretary roles need to be advertised as Parry’s counterpart Brenton Philp appears to have turned up as the new head of the welfare and housing group at the Department of Social Services.

A new crop of Band 1s has also been promoted into the Senior Executive Service recently…

  • Samantha Byng, moves up from acting to full assistant secretary in the Attorney General’s Department’s corporate services division
  • Bina Chandra, moves up from acting to full senior manager in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade running the strategy and property services branch in the Overseas Property Office.
  • Nicholas Stathis, moves up from acting to full program manager in the Australian Bureau of Statistics running the communication and parliamentary branch.
  • Teresa Blair, formerly director of investment portfolio management in the Department of Defence becomes the new assistant secretary running the maritime analysis branch.

See last fortnight’s movers and shakers update here.

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