Movers & shakers: Tasmania, WA appoint agency heads

By Shannon Jenkins

June 11, 2020

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

Senior Executive Service

Band 3

Christine Dacey

Christine Dacey has been named deputy secretary, infrastructure group, at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

Band 2

Renae Houston has been appointed to the role of first assistant secretary, VET quality and policy division, at the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

Band 1

Over at the Department of the Treasury, Erin Wells and Andre Moore have been named assistant secretaries.

Anthea Raven

An unnamed bureaucrat from the Office of National Intelligence has been promoted to the role of assistant director-general, East Asia branch.

Julia Taylor has been named senior assistant ombudsman at the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Brooke Griffin has been appointed senior executive lawyer for the Australian Government Solicitor.

Anthea Raven has moved from Safe Work Australia to the Department of Health, to take on the role of assistant secretary.

Infrastructure WA

Philip Helberg has been appointed CEO of Infrastructure WA, where he will provide advice to the premier and state government on the planning and implementation of infrastructure priorities and initiatives.

Philip Helberg

As a former deputy director general, buildings and contracts, at the WA Department of Finance, Helberg drove sector-wide reforms in infrastructure planning and development.

Premier Mark McGowan thanked Lance Glare for his leadership as the acting CEO since August 2019, and congratulated Helberg.

“His extensive leadership experience in infrastructure roles in the private and public sectors will help drive the achievement of improved economic, social and environmental outcomes for the state,” he said.

“This appointment comes at an exciting time for Infrastructure WA, with the State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion Paper being released later this month.”

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Tim Baker has been appointed as secretary of the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

Tim Baker

Baker has been acting in the role since January 2020. He has previously acted in the role on three occasions, with a career spanning 20 years in the state public service.

Premier Peter Gutwein said Baker would play a key role in the state government’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

“Baker will lead DPIPWE as the steward for Tasmania’s land, air and water, in partnership with the community and industry,” he said.

“He brings extensive experience in leading public sector organisations across a 20 year state service career. This includes leading DPIPWE most recently in the vital response to coronavirus at Tasmania’s borders.”

Mrdak moves on

Tech company NEC Australia has appointed former top public servant Mike Mrdak as its inaugural non-executive chairperson.

Mike Mrdak

Mrdak joins the company following several senior roles with the Australian Public Service. He most recently served as secretary of the axed Department of Communications, Media and The Arts.

Prior to that, he headed the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, and served as deputy secretary at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Department of Transport and Regional Services.

Following the major restructure of the APS in December — which saw 18 departments shaved down to 14 and cost five secretaries their jobs — Mrdak revealed his 32-year career in the public service had come to an end.

Mrdak said he was “honoured” to take the role.

“Whether it be solutions in transport, major infrastructure, public safety, telecommunications and 5G, my goal is to help NEC support public and private organisations throughout Australia as our economy transitions out of pandemic restrictions,” he said.

“This will necessitate digital transformation across a range of product and service areas. Something I am very keen to ensure NEC Australia is at the forefront of.”

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