Movers & shakers: a dozen promotions in the Treasury

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday August 9, 2019

 The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

Senior executive service band 1

Rebekka Wheate

The Department of the Treasury has been busy appointing 12 new Principal Advisers. Aidan Storer, Mohita Zaheed, Katherine Tuck, Robb Preston, Merrick Peisley, Neena Pai, Damian Mullaly, Nghi Luu, Marianne Dolman, Andrew Deitz, Philippa Brown and Timothy Baird have all obtained the title.

Rosemary Gauci has moved from Director of Cyber Security to Assistant Secretary of Critical Systems, Department of Defence.

Grant Stevens was promoted from Director to Chief Financial Officer in the Department of Finance.

Over in the Department of Home Affairs, Jodie Bjerregaard has been promoted to Assistant Secretary and Sarah Nicolson has been named a Commander in Australian Border Force.

Gavin Wolfe has been appointed National Manager of Operational Planning, Department of Human Services.

Jane Mitchell
Anne-Marie Boxall

Kai Cantwell is back at the Department of Social Services in a band 1 role after a stint as a ministerial adviser. His last position at DSS was State Manager.

Rebekka Wheate has been promoted to Assistant Secretary, National Security and Cabinet Branch in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. She was previously an Adviser, and has acted as an Assistant Secretary in the Strategic Coordination and National Security division. Roland Trease — another former Adviser — has also been named Assistant Secretary in the PM&C. 

There are three new Assistant Commissioners at the Australian Taxation Office: Justin Dearness in the Tax Counsel Network, Jane Mitchell in the ATO Corporate division, and Adrian Jeczewski in ATO Portfolio Management.

Anne-Marie Boxall has been promoted to Assistant Secretary in the Department of Health.

New role for Murray-Darling Basin’s ‘tough cop’

Mick Keelty

Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty will serve as interim Inspector-General for the Murray-Darling Basin.

He was appointed Northern Basin Commissioner last year. The new role will allow oversight of both Northern and Southern Basins.

Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud put the idea to the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council, part of the Council of Australian Governments, and it was approved by all basin states and the ACT.

“The Inspector-General will be a tough, but fair cop to oversee all state and federal agencies delivering the Basin Plan,” Littleproud said.

“They will make sure all agencies live up to their responsibilities and can investigate allegations of water theft.”

The Inspector-General has the responsibility of investigating suspected water theft and overseeing recovery projects across the river system, and will report to the ministerial council every six months.

Construction control part 1: NSW

David Chandler

David Chandler is setting up the newly established office of the NSW Building Commissioner, following the evacuation of two dodgy Sydney apartment blocks.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the appointment was part of the state’s commitment to overhauling building laws.

“David has more than 40 years’ industry experience, which will be invaluable as we move to restore confidence in the building and construction industry,” she said.

“We know there are national challenges affecting the industry, but this new appointment will play a key role in protecting NSW homeowners and driving critical reforms.”

The commissioner will be responsible for investigations and disciplinary action for misconduct in the building industry as well as overseeing end-to-end licensing and auditing across the sector, guiding law reform and running industry consultation.

Construction control part 2: Vic

Dan O’Brien

Victoria’s Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, announced the appointment of Dan O’Brien as the CEO of Cladding Safety Victoria.

The agency was established by the state government to oversee a $600 million program of rectification works on hundreds of buildings found to have high-risk cladding, as recommended by the Victorian Cladding Taskforce.

In his new role, O’Brien will ensure buildings are safe and compliant with all regulations and will report to Victorian Building Authority Chairman Owen Donald.

O’Brien has experience in the public and private sectors, and was most recently Chief Executive of Incolink, a trustee company jointly owned by employers and unions that funds redundancies and sick leave in the Victorian and Tasmanian construction industry. He has held executive roles at the National Australia Bank and Medibank Private, and senior roles in both the Victorian and federal governments, including Chief Executive of Regional Development Victoria and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Regional Development, Arts and Sports. O’Brien also served as Chief of Staff to former Victorian Premier John Brumby, and is currently a Director of VicTrack and the Brodies Law Foundation.

Construction control part 3: Tasmania

Tasmanian Minister for Building and Construction, Elise Archer, has announced the appointment of Peter Graham as Executive Director of Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS), to replace Andrew Goldsworthy.

Graham most recently worked as the Executive Director of Strategy, Reform and Operations at the Victorian School Building Authority, where he led a strategy for planning, budget information, grants and programs for school infrastructure in Victoria. Graham has also worked in senior regulatory and economic roles in Victoria across various  government departments.

Under the Department of Justice, CBOS is Tasmania’s regulator responsible for consumer affairs and fair trading, renting, building, plumbing, gas and electricity standards, occupational licensing and incorporated associations and fundraising.

Graham will start his new role on 19 August.

Vic County Court

Arushan Pillay has been named a judge of the County Court. He has represented numerous statutory bodies including the Medical Panels of Victoria, the Nurses Board of Victoria, the Victims of Crimes Assistance Tribunal, and the Legal Aid Commission.

After signing the Victorian Bar roll in 2003, Pillay worked mainly in the occupational health and safety, administrative law, and personal injury fields, and established a practice representing medical professionals before their professional disciplinary bodies and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

He was nominated for the Victorian Bar’s Pro Bono Award in 2017 for his work as lead counsel at the inquest into the death of Numan Haider.

Acting Attorney-General Gavin Jennings said Pillay’s experience across a range of legal areas would be a huge asset for the County Court.


Kay Hull

Kay Hull AM has been reappointed as the AgriFutures Australia chairperson for a further three years, effective 2 August. Hull served as a National Party member of the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2010, representing the Riverina.

AgriFutures plays an important role in planning, investing in and managing research and development (R&D) for some of Australia’s emerging and niche agricultural industries, according to Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie.

“Australia’s agriculture sector has benefited greatly from AgriFutures’ skilled and experienced leaders and its critical role in R&D to improve resource management and increase agricultural productivity,” she said.

Mckenzie said Hull would help realise the organisation’s priorities, including identifying and addressing common challenges and opportunities across rural sectors and delivering value investments.

Child protection

Victoria’s first Child Protection Youth Advisory Group has been established to give young people in the child protection system a voice, heard directly by government at bi-monthly meetings.

Advocate for children and young people Natasha Anderson will co-chair the meetings with Minister for Child Protection Luke Donnellan. Anderson has been involved in Berry Street’s Y-Change program for youth leadership and social change, is a Roadmap Implementation Ministerial Advisory Group member, and is the youngest member of the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council.

The Ministerial Youth Advisory Group (MYAG) was established in partnership with the CREATE Foundation, which represents children and young people with out-of-home care experience. CREATE helped select and support 15 young people from metropolitan and regional areas, as well as culturally-diverse backgrounds, and will represent the views of young people at the meetings.

Anderson looks forward to helping deliver services and supports for children in care.

“It’s incredibly important to have young people’s voices represented and use our own experience to advocate for a better care system,” she said.

Melbourne sport

John Harnden

John Harnden has been named the next Chief Executive of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust (MOPT). He will replace Brian Morris, who has spent 14 years in the role.

Harnden was Chief Executive of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Corporation, and CEO of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He is currently chair of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and will continue with the role until a replacement is found.

Harnden will oversee the Andrews government’s $271 million third stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment, which is underway. Works include construction of a new functions and media centre, a multi-purpose sunken show court and a central logistics hub.

The Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula, said Morris had done an “outstanding job at the helm of a key Melbourne organisation” and wished him well. 

“John Harnden has a record of achievement and a passion for sport that make him the right person to fill Brian’s shoes,” he said.

Pakula has also announced appointments to a new Victorian Racing Integrity Board, which has been established to safeguard the state’s racing industry.

The board will be led by Chairperson Jack Forrest, who previously held the position of principal judge of the common-law division of the Supreme Court.

Forrest will be joined by three Deputy Chairpersons – barrister and former Family Court judge Peter Young QC, former Racing Victoria head of integrity Dayle Brown and magistrate Jacqueline Billings.

Brian Gurry, Hayden Opie, Kate Savage, Amelia Lynch and John Barrett have been named general members of the board.

The board will have a range of functions across the thoroughbred, harness and greyhound codes. It will endorse annual integrity plans, give recommendations on integrity budgets, policies and licensing, and consider proposed amendments to the rules of racing.

The board features some of the most experienced legal minds in Australia and all members share a passion for racing and a desire to see integrity maintained across the three codes,” Pakula said.

Vic law reform

Former judge Anthony North has been appointed Chairperson of the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

North’s legal career spans more than four decades. He was admitted to practice in 1973 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1989. He practised as a barrister at the Victorian Bar until 1995.

In 1995, North was made a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, where he served until his retirement in 2018. He was an additional judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory from 2004 to 2018.

As a judge, he presided over cases that involved constitutional and commercial law, industrial and employment law, taxation, intellectual property and native title. North has also taught, mentored and worked with law students, including holding moot trials at universities.

He replaces Bruce Gardner, who was appointed as the Acting Chairperson of the commission in March following the death of Philip Cummins.

Attorney-General Jill Hennessy says North is an ideal candidate for the job.

“The Victorian Law Reform Commission makes a significant contribution to developing a fair, just, and inclusive legal system for all Victorians, something Mr North has done in his 40 years in the justice system,” she said.

“I also want to thank Bruce Gardner for his dedication and service to the commission and pay respect to Philip Cummins who made a significant contribution to the legal landscape in Victoria.”

Infrastructure WA

John Langoulant

The inaugural Infrastructure WA Board has been established, with the appointments of John Langoulant AO as Chairperson and Nicole Lockwood as Deputy Chairperson.

 The search for board members received more than 150 nominations from highly experienced candidates across the country.

Nicole Lockwood

Langoulant is a member of CEDA’s Board of Governors, has led private, public and not for profit entities as the WA Under Treasurer and has held Chief Executive roles with Mitsubishi, CCIWA and Australian Capital Equity, among many other roles. He also led the WA government’s special inquiry into government programs and projects.

Lockwood brings a wealth of knowledge from her experience on national, State and regional level boards and committees centred on infrastructure.

Other board members appointed include Terry Agnew, Kerryl Bradshaw, Andrea Sutton and Wayne Zekulich.

There are also four board members appointed to represent the government – the Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, the Under Treasurer, the Director General of the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the Director General for Transport.

The board will shape development of WA’s first State Infrastructure Strategy, which will identify the state’s future infrastructure needs and priorities.

Premier Mark McGowan says the board has the expertise and experience needed to achieve the functions set out in the Infrastructure Western Australia Act 2019. 

“I look forward to Infrastructure WA’s engagement with government, the community and industry as they work to develop a 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy to identify needs and opportunities for the state,” he said.

Family violence Victoria

Jan Shuard

Former Victorian Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard PSM has been appointed the new Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor (FVRIM). She will begin her new role in October, replacing Tim Cartwright APM. 

The position came about after the Labor Government’s 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence, as a way of ensuring the Commission’s family violence reform package is correctly implemented.

Shuard served as Commissioner for Corrections Victoria for five years, overseeing the state’s adult corrections system. Her contribution to the public service was acknowledged in 2011 with a Public Service Medal. She has worked on family violence rehabilitation and prevention, and the coordination of prisons across Victoria and WA.

Simon Kent will temporarily replace Cartwright until October. Cartwright was the inaugural Monitor and served years of dedicated public service in the police force. 

Acting Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Martin Foley has welcomed Shuard to the role.

Western Sydney Uni

Pru Goward

Pru Goward has joined Western Sydney University as Professor of Social Interventions and Policy.

As a former NSW Minister for Family and Community Services and Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Goward has spent more than a decade focused on complex social issues and families across several portfolios. Goward was the first NSW minister for the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover AO, noted Goward’s extensive public service career.

“Professor Goward’s impressive legacy in government includes a child protection system which resulted in a drastic reduction in the number of children entering care. She also oversaw the biggest social housing building program in the country,” he said.

“Western Sydney University prides itself on reducing inequalities and promoting inclusive and equitable quality education, and I am certain Professor Goward’s appointment will complement our important work in this area.”

In her new role, Goward will provide regional, national and international leadership in research on social policy and evaluation.

Spooks on the move

As previously reported on the Mandarin, Andrew Shearer, deputy director-general of the Office of National Intelligence, has been appointed cabinet secretary. Meanwhile, Mike Burgess has been named head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, leaving his role at the Australian Signals Directorate.

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