Movers & shakers: chief environmental biosecurity officer appointed

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday April 9, 2021

movers & shakers
The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country. (Image: The Mandarin)

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

Senior Executive Service

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Paula Adamson

Peter Banson has been named deputy clerk at the Department of the House of Representatives.

At IP Australia, Paula Adamson has been appointed to the role of deputy director general — customer services division, commissioner of patents, registrar of trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights.

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Cameron Jose has been named assistant secretary at the Department of Finance.

Dale Dawson has been appointed national manager at Services Australia.

Alana Winslow

At the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency, Angela Cameron has taken on the role of executive director, flood, while Hannah Wandel has been named executive director, drought.

Robert O’Farrell has been named assistant secretary at the Department of Home Affairs.

Alana Winslow has been appointed assistant secretary at the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. She has been acting in the role since June 2020. Prior to that, she worked for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Dr Robyn Cleland has been appointed as the new chief environmental biosecurity officer for the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Dr Robyn Cleland

Cleland has held senior leadership roles in the Australian Public Service for more than a decade. She has also worked for state and territory governments, non-government organisations, and several universities.

Deputy secretary of biosecurity and compliance Andrew Tongue said Cleland would “excel” in her new role.

“She has worked across the portfolios of Agriculture, Health and Environment, working in policy, compliance and regulation. Her scientific expertise spans biosecurity, plant health, biotechnology, food, ecology and agriculture,” he said.

“The role of the chief environmental biosecurity officer is to liaise between government and the community to raise awareness and build Australia’s capacity to manage biosecurity risks. This is a hugely important role, charged with protecting Australia’s unique wildlife, our way of life, and our status as a clean, green exporter of high-quality food.

“I congratulate Dr Cleland on her appointment, and wish her the best of luck in this new role.”

Services Australia

Maria Milosavljevic

Dr Maria Milosavljevic has been named chief information security officer at Services Australia. She was previously Services Australia’s inaugural chief data officer.

In the past, Milosavljevic has held CISO roles at AUSTRAC, the Australian Crime Commission, and within the NSW government.

“I will once again combine my passions for security, intelligence, risk and data. Especially looking forward to reconnecting with many of my colleagues in this space,” she wrote in a LinkedIn post announcing the appointment.

Garrett McDonald, the agency’s general manager, experience and data services, will take on the role of chief data officer. On LinkedIn, McDonald said it was “exciting to have the opportunity to move outside of Tech Services Group and run the next leg of this journey for the agency”.

Read more: NSW announces whole-of-government cyber security czar

Climate Change Authority

Former Origin Energy boss Grant King has been appointed chair of the Climate Change Authority for four years, and is joined by new members Susie Smith and John McGee.

Grant King

King, a former president of the Business Council of Australia, has held a number of roles in the Australian oil and gas industry. He currently chairs HSBC Australia, CWP Renewables and GreenCollar.

Energy minister Angus Taylor said King was a “thought leader” who has made significant contributions to the development of Australia’s emissions reduction policy framework.

“He continues to serve as a member of the government’s Technology Investment Roadmap Advisory Council and recently chaired an expert panel tasked with unlocking low-cost abatement across the economy (the King Review),” he said in a statement.

Smith is CEO of the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, and has served as a member of the King Review expert panel, as a director of the CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment,  and contributed to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

McGee was most recently the managing director of Bank of New York Australia. He previously served as a director at Air Services Australia, the Private Health Insurance Administrative Council and Westpac Funds Management.

Taylor said the new members would “play a key role in ensuring the authority provides robust advice to government on emissions reduction policy”.


Michael Easton has been appointed as deputy president of the Fair Work Commission. A barrister with 21 years’ experience in the legal profession, Easton specialises in industrial and employment law representing small and large businesses, government agencies, executives and employees.

Michael Easton

Meanwhile, Bernadette O’Neill, Sophie Mirabella, Phillip Ryan, and Alana Matheson have been named commissioners.

Matheson is director of workplace relations advisory at KPMG Australia, and has 15 years’ experience in workplace relations.

Mirabella previously served as the federal member for Indi in Victoria for 12 years, and is currently general manager, government and media relations at Hancock Prospecting Pty Limited.

O’Neill has been general manager of the Fair Work Commission since 2012 and has 18 years’ experience working in industrial relations at the state and federal level.

Ryan has 21 years’ service with the New South Wales branch of the Australian Hotels Association.


Kate Jenkins and Dr Kay Patterson have been reappointed to the Australian Human Rights Commission for two years, in their respective roles of sex discrimination commissioner and age discrimination commissioner.

Kate Jenkins

In her role, Jenkins has led the collaborative project on cultural reform within the Australian Defence Force, and the national inquiry into sexual harassment in workplaces. She will continue to support the government’s implementation of the [email protected] report’s recommendations, and is also leading the independent inquiry into commonwealth parliamentary workplaces.

Meanwhile, Patterson has been implementing recommendations from the report on the national inquiry into employment discrimination against older Australians and Australians with disability. She is also playing a part in the implementation of recommendations from the Australian Law Reform Commission’s report on elder abuse.


Mira Bashi

Telstra executive Mira Bashi has been appointed to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Board as a director with industry experience, replacing Jane van Beelen.

Bashi has more than 25 years’ experience with leading international telecommunication brands, and extensive business transformation experience.

Andrew Sheridan has also been reappointed as a director with industry experience for a second three-year term, and Gordon Renouf has been reappointed as a director with consumer experience for a third three-year term.


Steve McCutcheon

Former Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) CEO Steve McCutcheon has been appointed to the role of acting FSANZ Board chair following the departure of Robyn Kruk.

Kruk, a former secretary of the commonwealth Environment department, has held the role of chair since November 2016. She finished her term last month, and was recently appointed to chair a Western Australian government taskforce for children.

McCutcheon will take on the role of FSANZ chair until a permanent appointment is made. He was CEO of FSANZ from 2007 to 2017, and has experience in public administration, animal and plant health, banking and finance.

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