Movers & shakers: Queensland launches Women’s Safety and Justice taskforce

By Shannon Jenkins

March 12, 2021

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

Senior Executive Service

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Lucas de Toca

Bronwyn Field, Eliza Strapp, Phillip Gould, Amy Laffan, and Lucas de Toca have all been appointed to the role of first assistant secretary at the Department of Health.

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Ashley Sedgwick has been named assistant secretary at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

Brian Hickey and Ashley Bell have been appointed assistant secretaries at the Department of Home Affairs.

Do you know a senior public servant who has recently taken on a new role? Email to let us know.


Captain Jeanine Drummond has been named a member of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Board.

Captain Jeanine Drummond

Deputy prime minister Michael McCormack said Drummond’s impressive global experience across shipping and leadership roles would enhance the AMSA Board’s collective maritime and governance expertise.

“Her links to the Australian Maritime College and interest in maritime skills will support the government and industry in responding to shared future challenges, such as ensuring a steady supply of new mariners needed to fill critical roles in Australia at sea and on land,” he said.

“Captain Drummond is a shining example to future female leaders, providing excellent support for AMSA to deliver its primary functions for maritime safety and protection of the marine environment while being an advocate and influence for change.”

Drummond said it was an honour to have been appointed to AMSA’s Board.

“Having worked across a variety of maritime industry sectors, at sea and ashore, in Australia and overseas, I look forward to being able to contribute an often unique perspective and understanding to a range of issues – that will allow me to offer valuable input,” she said.

“I am particularly passionate about maritime safety, the environment and communities we operate in, seafarer welfare, and the continual evolvement of a diverse and inclusive maritime industry — one that is ready to respond to the regulatory and operational challenges of implementing wisely the next generation of evolving technologies and digitalisation, at sea and ashore.”

Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice taskforce

Former president of the Queensland Court of Appeal Margaret McMurdo will lead a wide-ranging review into the experience of women across the criminal justice system through the Women’s Safety and Justice taskforce.

Margaret McMurdo

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the recent announcement to legislate against coercive control was the first part of work being done by the taskforce that would also examine issues faced by women when accessing the criminal justice system.

“We know that women face barriers when reporting against domestic, family and sexual violence. And while we’ve made significant progress to prevent and respond to domestic, family and sexual violence in Queensland, we know there is more work to be done,” Palaszczuk said.

“With one in five Queensland women having experienced sexual violence since the age of 15 and one in four women having experienced violence at the hands of their partner, we want to make sure these crimes are being reported and justice is being done.”

The taskforce includes:

  • Tracy Linford, deputy commissioner, Queensland Police Service (QPS),
  • Laura Reece, Barrister-at-Law,
  • Di MacLeod, deputy director, Queensland Sexual Assault Network,
  • Gillian O’Brien, manager, WWILD;
  • Thelma Schwartz, principal legal officer, Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service,
  • Patrick O’Leary, professor, Griffith University,
  • Kelly-Ann Tansley, manager, Brisbane Domestic Violence Service – Micah Projects,
  • Dr Nora Amath, Islamic Women’s Association of Australia,
  • Philip McCarthy, acting deputy director of public prosecutions,
  • Alexis Oxley, solicitor.

The taskforce will consider possible future areas of reform, including attitudinal change, prevention, service response, training for first responders and legislative amendment. It will consult widely and make recommendations on how best to legislate against coercive control as a form of domestic and family violence; the need for a new offence of ‘commit domestic violence’; and other areas warranting future reform to improve women’s experience in the criminal justice system, including both legislative and non-legislative measures.

The group will provide its recommendations on how to best legislate against coercive control by October this year, and will deliver recommendations on how to best improve women’s experience in the criminal justice system and by March next year.

Destination NSW

Christine McLoughlin has been named chair of Destination NSW, replacing John Warn.

Christine McLoughlin

McLoughlin has held various domestic and international executive positions in a range of industries spanning the corporate, government and not for profit spheres. She is currently chair of Suncorp Group.

Tourism minister Stuart Ayres said McLoughlin’s experience made her the ideal candidate to lead the recovery and growth of the NSW visitor economy.

“Strong leadership will be needed to implement our blueprint, the Visitor Economy Strategy 2030, and align the efforts of government and industry to achieve our vision for NSW to be the premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific,” he said.

“Christine has proven strategic skills and expertise in governance, complex stakeholder engagement and innovation, which will be invaluable to support Destination NSW during this first phase of recovery and beyond.”

Australia Post Board

Tony Nutt

John Howard’s former principal adviser, Tony Nutt, has been reappointed as a non-executive director of the Australia Post Board for a three-year term.

He has served on the Australia Post Board since March 2018, and has supported the business to continue operating through COVID-19, according to communications minister Paul Fletcher.

“Mr Nutt will continue to bring to the board a depth of knowledge on Australia Post and a range of skills including public policy and budget expertise, strategy development and implementation, and stakeholder relations,” he said.

ACT Corrective Services

Jon Peach

ACT corrective services commissioner Jon Peach has reportedly been moved into a new role within the Justice and Community Safety (JACS) Directorate — executive group manager of security and emergency management.

According to Riot ACT, Ray Johnson, deputy commissioner at the ACT Emergency Services Agency, will fill in as interim commissioner until a permanent appointment is made.

The publication has raised questions about the nature of the shuffle, but a government spokesperson asserted that Peach’s move was in response “to the growing security and emergency management national agenda”.

Peach was formerly director for security services at the Western Australian Department of Corrective Services.

Australian War Memorial

Major General Greg Melick, Colonel Susan Neuhaus, and Josephine Stone have been reappointed to the Council of the Australian War Memorial for three years.

Greg Melick

Veterans’ affairs minister Darren Chester said the reappointments would ensure the council has experienced and dedicated members as the AWM embarks on a major upgrade.

“Collectively they bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to the council and I thank them for their contribution to-date and congratulate them on their re-appointments,” he said.

Melick, a Hobart-based Senior Counsel, was appointed to the council in March 2015. He has been a member of the ADF Reserves since 1966. Neuhaus is currently chair of the Veterans’ Advisory Council, South Australia, and patron of the Virtual War Memorial, Australia. She has completed a career spanning 20 years in both the Regular Army and Army Reserve. Stone was appointed to the council in 2015. She has worked in a number of public and private legal institutions in Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Chester said the work of the council was crucial in raising national awareness of the service and sacrifice of our current and former serving Australian Defence Force members and their families.

“I thank all council members for their dedication and hard work in preserving and sharing our military history,” he said.

Food and Grocery Code reviewer

Nick Minchin

Former Liberal senator Nick Minchin has been appointed as the independent reviewer under the Food and Grocery Code for a three-year period.

He held a number of roles during his political career, and was more recently Australia’s consul-general in New York.

In this new part-time appointment, Minchin will oversee the code’s dispute resolution process and champion its protections to improve commercial practices within the food and grocery industry.

Suppliers that are dissatisfied by the handling of their complaint by a retailer or wholesaler can refer the matter to the Minchin for investigation. The independent reviewer can also make recommendations to resolve complaints, and can refer matters to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission if it is believed a breach of the code has occurred.

Minchin has been tasked with listening to issues raised by suppliers and farmers, and working collaboratively with the code signatories to address patterns of poor behaviour before they become systemic.

Insolvency Practitioner Registration and Disciplinary committees

Julie-Anne Berry

Julie-Anne Berry, Natalie Bhardwaj, Virginia Christie, Sergio Freire, Damian Mitsch and Stephen Parbery have been appointed as part-time members of the Insolvency Practitioner Registration and Disciplinary committees, each for a three-year period.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission convenes the committees to make decisions on liquidator registration applications and disciplinary matters.

The new members bring knowledge and experience across the fields of business and law, including corporate insolvency and restructuring, according to assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar.

“The Morrison government congratulates each appointee who will continue to support high levels of competence, expertise and professionalism within this industry,” he said in a statement.

Municipal Association of Victoria

Pyrenees Shire Council’s Cr David Clark has been elected president of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) for the next two years.

Clark has been a past deputy president of the MAV Board and served on the board from 2013 to 2019. He will join the 12 regional MAV Board members, including:

  • Interface: Cr Joseph Haweil (Hume City Council, new member),
  • Metro Central: Cr Rohan Leppert (City of Melbourne, unopposed/returned member),
  • Metro East: Cr Tom Melican (Banyule City Council, new/former member),
  • Metro West: Cr Kathy Majdlik (City of Melton, new member),
  • Rural Gippsland: Cr Brett Tessari (Bass Coast Shire Council, new member),
  • Metro South East: Cr Jami Klisaris (City of Stonnington, returned member),
  • Metro South: Cr Kristopher Bolam (Frankston City Council, new member),
  • Rural North Central: Cr Jennifer Anderson (Macedon Ranges Shire Council, returned member),
  • Rural North East: Cr Aaron Scales (Towong Shire Council, new member),
  • Rural North West: Cr Murray Emerson (Northern Grampians Shire Council, unopposed/returned member),
  • Rural South Central: Cr Kylie Grzybek (City of Greater Geelong, new member),
  • Rural South West: Cr Ruth Gstrein (Corangamite Shire Council, unopposed/returned member).
David Clark

Clark said a key part of his role would be to help Victorian’s understand the many ways in which they depend on council services every day.

“I am truly humbled to be elected to the role of president of MAV, coming as I do from one of the smallest councils in Victoria,” he said.

“With just 3% of the nation’s tax base to spend and half the nation’s community assets to care for, local government must continue to be more efficient in what it does as well as maintain its revenues through rating and through partnerships with state and federal government, in order to continue delivering for communities.”

He thanked interim President Cr Josh Gilligan, former president Cr Coral Ross, and the interim board members for their service, stewardship and contribution to local government.

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