Movers & shakers: DFAT leadership shakeup

By Shannon Jenkins

October 31, 2019

The latest public sector appoints from across the country.

Senior Executive Service

Band 3

Roslyn Baxter

Roslyn Baxter has moved from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to the Department of Human Services, where she has taken the role of deputy secretary. She was awarded a Public Service Medal earlier this year. Michelle Lees has also taken the role. She has previously worked in the Department of Jobs and Small Business.

Michelle Lees

Meanwhile, one unnamed public servant has been engaged as deputy director-general in the Office of National Intelligence, in the Prime Minister’s department.

Band 2

Hoa Wood

Hoa Wood has been promoted from assistant commissioner in the Tax Counsel Network to deputy chief of tax counsel at the Australian Taxation Office.

Julie-Ann Guivarra

Elisabeth Bowes, Matthew Anderson, Julie-Ann Guivarra, Ridwaan Jadwat, Pablo Kang, Angela Macdonald, Elizabeth Peak, Gerald Thomson, and Danielle Heinecke have all been promoted to first assistant secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Many of these appointees have served as ambassadors. Guivarra was ambassador to Spain, making her Australia’s first female Indigenous ambassador. Jadwat has been Australia’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, while Kang has served as ambassador to Abu Dhabi.

Sabeena Oberoi is the new chief corporate officer in the Director of Public Prosecutions office, in the Attorney General’s department. Oberoi was previously in the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Band 1

Jennifer Mackinlay

Jennifer Mackinlay, Michael Helleman, Paul Sanda, and Brent Moore have been named senior trade commissioners in Austrade, under DFAT, while Christian Hirst, Natalie Cohen, and Vanessa Wood have been named assistant secretaries in the department.

Anthony Bach

Anthony Bach has been promoted to assistant commissioner in the ATO’s Tax Counsel Network. He was previously a director. Also in the ATO, Sarah Vawser has been named assistant commissioner in the service delivery division.

Edward Duncan has been promoted to state manager for Western Australia in the Participants and Planning Experience division of the National Disability Insurance Agency. He was previously director of service delivery.

Ana Markulev has been appointed assistant commissioner of inquiry and research in the Productivity Commission. She was previously a director.

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

Comcare CEO Sue Weston has been appointed as a part-time member of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC) for a five-year term. The role involves providing rehabilitation, compensation and other benefits to current and former members of the Australian Defence Force and their dependants.

Sue Weston

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said Weston had an impressive record of public sector experience, and that her role at Comcare would complement those of the commission.

He also noted that she had been nominated for the commission by the Minister for Industrial Relations, Christian Porter.

Weston has previously served as deputy secretary and head of industry and small business policy at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. She was also previously head of the Office of Small Business at the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, and holds professional qualifications in science, accounting, and arbitration and mediation.

NSW Valuer General

Dr David Parker

Dr David Parker has been appointed as the NSW Valuer General. He is currently an acting commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court, an academic at the University of South Australia, and a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and of the Australian Property Institute. Parker is also a Sessional Member of the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

He will oversee the valuation of “every parcel of land” in the state, according to Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey.

“I am extremely pleased Dr Parker, who has extensive experience in various land valuation systems, compulsory acquisition and in academia, has accepted this crucial role which sets the standards and policies for the implementation of our independent valuation system,” she said.

Michael Parker was acting in the role until October 18, and his deputy Paul Chudleigh has stepped up until the next valuer general takes up the seven-year appointment in January.

NSW Surveillance Devices Commissioner

Don McKenzie

Crime and corruption lawyer Don McKenzie has been appointed as the first Surveillance Devices Commissioner in NSW. McKenzie has 26 years of knowledge and legal experience in the conduct of high-level criminal investigations and prosecutions in the state. During this time, he dealt extensively with applications for the use of surveillance devices and warrants.

McKenzie has held senior roles at the NSW Crime Commission, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the NSW Police Force, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. He is also currently working for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.

 The new role is part of the state government’s response to the Ombudperson’s probe into the conduct of state law enforcement officers during investigations between 1999 and 2002. Mckenzie was director of Legal Services at the NSW Crime Commission during the final stages of the probe and gave advice on how to respond to the Ombudperson’s recommendations.

Starting November 4, McKenzie will ensure covert tools are used appropriately. He will receive advance notice of surveillance device warrant applications, have the right to be heard by a judge in relation to the granting of a warrant and receive reports about the use of a warrant from law enforcement agencies. He will also deliver annual reports that will include figures on how often warrants are sought and granted.

Sustainability Victoria

Claire Ferres Miles

Claire Ferres Miles is the new CEO of Sustainability Victoria. She will lead the agency’s climate and energy programs, as well as continuing to work to strengthen the state’s recycling sector.

She was most recently City of Melbourne’s director of city strategy and place. In 2017, she was named one of Victoria’s Top 50 Public Sector Women. 

Ferres Miles said she looks forward to working with stakeholders to ensure “social, economic and environmental prosperity” for the state’s future.

“All Victorians are seeking advice and action to reduce their energy use, recycle more, and respond to the challenges of our changing climate,” she said.

WorkSafe Victoria

Colin Radford

Colin Radford is the new chief executive of WorkSafe Victoria, replacing Clare Amies. He is currently the CEO of the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, and has previously served in senior executive roles at WorkSafe and the Transport Accident Commission.

Meanwhile, John Merritt has been appointed as chair of WorkSafe’s board, with Elizabeth Lukin and Julie Warren named as board directors.

Merritt is currently non-executive director of the Transport Accident Commission and principal of Aeon Advisory Pty Ltd — an advisory company to boards, ministers and chief executives. He has previously held leadership roles at VicRoads and the Environment Protection Authority.

Lukin has been with the AFL since 2015, currently serving as the corporate affairs advisor. She has held previous roles at the AFL as general manager corporate affairs and communications and head of corporate affairs. Prior to that she was owner and director of Essential Media Communications.

Warren was the president of the Victorian branch of the National Union of Workers from 2006 to 2018 and has held various roles at the union as organiser and trainer.

She is currently a board member of the Portable Long Service Authority, Migrant Workers Centre, Manufacturing Skills Advisory Board and Cities & Successful Societies Project.

Vic state coroner

John Cain

John Cain has been appointed as state coroner for Victoria, and has been named a county court judge, starting in December.

He has been the solicitor for public prosecutions for Victoria since 2015. Cain has been responsible for reforms to improve support for victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system, such as a support website and a Victim Support Dog program. He has also introduced programs to address workplace vicarious trauma as well as critical technology and digitisation initiatives.

Cain has served in a number of senior leadership roles across the legal sector, including the chief executive of the Law Institute of Victoria, and as Victoria’s government solicitor. His appointment to the Coroners Court follows the resignation of State Coroner Sara Hinchey earlier this year. His father served as Victorian premier from 1982 to 1990, making him the longest-serving Labor premier.


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