Movers & shakers: digital experts appointed

By Shannon Jenkins

March 6, 2020

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

Senior Executive Service

Band 2

Garrett McDonald

Peter Timson has taken on the role of assistant commissioner in the Department of Home Affairs. He was formerly a commander in the Operational Readiness Branch.

Garrett McDonald has been appointed general manager at Services Australia. He was responsible for the successful introduction of the myGov system, according to the Digital Transformation Agency, as well as the Future State Technology Design project, and the former Department of Human Services’ Augmented Intelligence Centre of Excellence. McDonald also helped deliver the GovPass Digital Identity Exchange, and the DTA’s Service Connect platform.

Band 1

Simon Quarrell has been appointed branch manager at the DTA. He was previously in the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. Berlinda Crowther and Michelle McClintock have also taken the role, with the latter moving over from Defence.

Jessica Mohr

Steven Fievez has been appointed assistant secretary service management in the Department of Defence. Also in Defence, Lisa Yourmann has been named assistant secretary ICT strategy realisation, while Kate van Hilst has taken an unnamed Band 1 role.

Jessica Mohr has been appointed branch manager at the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. She was previously at the Department of the Treasury.

Georgina Wade has been named assistant commissioner, strategy and integration, at the Australian Taxation Office.

Michael Odgers has been appointed assistant secretary at Home Affairs.

Digital Experts Advisory Committee

Michael Shoebridge

Back in November, a Digital Technology Taskforce was established in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to “guide Australia on the path to being a leading digital economy by 2030”.

A new Digital Experts Advisory Committee has been established to help inform the work of the taskforce. The members of the committee are:

  • Sunita Bose, managing director of Digital Industry Group Inc,
  • Jeff Connolly, chair and CEO of Siemens Ltd,
  • Cheryl Hayman, non-executive director of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and board member of Clover Corp, HGL Ltd and Shriro Holdings,
  • Robert Hillard, chair of the Australian Information Industry Association, and chief strategy and innovation officer at Deloitte Australia,
  • Sue MacLeman, chair of MTPConnect,
  • Oli Madgett, co-founder of Platfarm,
  • Professor Jason Potts, co-director of the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub,
  • Tim Reed, president of the Business Council of Australia,
  • Michael Shoebridge, director of defence, strategy and national security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute,
  • Andrew Stevens, chair of the Data Standards Body for the Consumer Data Right implementation, and chair of Innovation and Science Australia,
  • Lauren Solomon, CEO of the Consumer Policy Research Centre
  • Wendy Stops, non-executive director of CBA, Coles, and Fitted for Work, and council member at University of Melbourne,
  • Peter Strong, CEO at the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia,
  • Chris Vonwiller, chair of Appen.

The committee will meet every quarter until mid-2021.

WA electoral commissioner

Robert Kennedy

Experienced public servant Robert Kennedy has been appointed as the Western Australian electoral commissioner.

Kennedy began his public service career with the Western Australian Government as a research officer in 1995. He has also held various senior positions with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet since 2007. Kennedy has held the role of executive director, state services with the DPC since 2017. He also took on the position of acting official secretary to the Governor for several months in 2019.

He will replace acting electoral commissioner Chris Avent on March 16. Avent has held the role since David Kerslake retired in September 2019.

National Sports Tribunal

John Boultbee

John Boultbee has been appointed CEO of Australia’s new National Sports Tribunal.

A former director of the Australian Institute of Sport, Boultbee was a major driver behind the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said Boultbee would oversee the delivery of reliable, high quality arbitral decisions and other dispute resolution services, “to ensure Australian sport is clean, fair and inclusive”.

The tribunal will begin operations on March 19, and will initially be established as a two year trial to develop capability against demand, and refine operations and services.

Energy Safe Victoria

Marnie Williams

Marnie Williams has been appointed director of Energy Safe Victoria. She will take over from Paul Fearon, who has retired after more than 10 years as director.

She has extensive experience in regulation and community safety and helped to transform both the Taxi Services Commission and WorkSafe Victoria.

In her new role, Williams will act as the chair delegate to oversee the establishment of the three-person ESV Commission. The position will prepare Victorian workers for an energy industry in transition, particularly in relation to the safe integration of new and emerging technologies, through relevant regulations, licensing and training.


Ariadne Vromen

Professor Ariadne Vromen has been appointed as the new Sir John Bunting chair of public administration at the Australian National University.

She has worked at the University of Sydney for 20 years, most recently as Professor of Political Sociology in the Department of Government and International Relations.

In her new role, Vromen will work with the ANZSOG network of academics and senior practitioners, build relationships with universities and governments and help to set research priorities.

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