Movers & shakers: APSC appoints academy head

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday May 7, 2021

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

Senior Executive Service

Bronwyn Worswick

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Bronwyn Worswick has been named chief counsel at the Department of Social Services. She has previously worked at the Veterans’ Affairs and Defence departments.

Grant Lovelock is the new head of academy at the Australian Public Service Commission. Prior to joining the APSC, Lovelock worked at the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s National Careers Institute. The APS Academy is set to open its doors at Old Parliament House in July.

Emily McBride

At the Department of Finance, Andrew Danks has been named first assistant secretary. He has previously worked at the former Department of Infrastructure and Transport and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

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Rebecca Vonthethoff has been appointed as senior assistant ombud at the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. She has previously worked at the Department of Home Affairs.

Emily McBride has taken on the role of national manager at the Australian Government Solicitor.


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


Diplomatic appointments

Claire Scott has been appointed as Australia’s first resident consul-general in Papeete. Scott is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently first secretary, Australian Embassy, Jakarta. She has previously served overseas in Fiji and in various positions in Canberra. She replaces Australia’s consul-general in Noumea Alison Carrington.

Adelle Neary

Brek Batley is Australia’s first resident ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Foreign affairs minister Marise Payne said Australia’s new diplomatic mission in Majuro reflects Australia’s “ongoing commitment to a resilient and prosperous Pacific”. Batley is a DFAT career officer and was most recently deputy high commissioner in Islamabad. He has also served in Papua New Guinea and Afghanistan and worked in the Office of National Assessments and Department of Defence.

Emily Luck has been named as Australia’s next high commissioner to Samoa. She will also be accredited to American Samoa. A DFAT career officer, Luck was most recently chief of staff to the secretary, Frances Adamson. She has previously served overseas in Port Moresby and Port of Spain and in various positions in Canberra. She replaces Sara Moriarty.

Adelle Neary is Australia’s next consul-general in Chengdu, and replaces Christopher Lim. Neary is a career officer with DFAT, and has previously served overseas in Vientiane and Jakarta. In Canberra she has undertaken work associated with the MH17 flight disaster as well as contributing to the work of the Foreign Policy White Paper Taskforce. She has also served as an adviser, international division, within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Visitor economy expert panel

Former federal tourism minister Martin Ferguson has been appointed to lead the new Reimagining the Visitor Economy Expert Panel over the next six months.

Martin Ferguson

The panel will provide advice to government and the tourism industry on the visitor economy, including domestic and international tourism, international students, business and leisure travellers, business and major events and short-term overseas workers, as well as associated industries such as hospitality, aviation, and accommodation.

Ferguson, who is currently chair of Tourism Accommodation Australia and the Clare Valley Wine & Grape Association, will be joined on the panel by:

  • Leanne Coddington, CEO of Tourism and Events Queensland,
  • Karyn Kent, chief executive of StudyAdelaide,
  • Kate Lamont, owner of Lamont’s Wine and Food,
  • Juan Walker, owner and operator of Walkabout Cultural Adventures.

Victorian solicitor-general

The Victorian government has named Rowena Orr as the state’s next solicitor-general. She is the third woman in history to be appointed to the role, and replaces Kristen Walker.

Rowena Orr

Over the course of her nearly 20 years as a barrister, Orr has served in a number of roles including as senior counsel assisting the commissioner in the banking royal commission. She also led a team of senior and junior counsel who conducted hearings across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory to examine and expose misconduct in the sector and its impact on vulnerable people in the community.

Prior to the Bar, Orr was a senior solicitor with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution. She is currently chair of Australian Bar Association’s ethics committee, a member of the advisory panel to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Inquiry into Judicial Impartiality, and chair of the public law section of the Victorian Bar’s Commercial Bar Association.

Attorney-general Jaclyn Symes said the state was privileged to have her services.

“Rowena Orr’s impressive career is testament to her tireless work ethic, relentless drive and dedication to justice – attributes that will serve her well as Victoria’s next solicitor-general,” she said.

“I’d like to thank Kristen Walker for her measured counsel and frank advice to the government during her time as solicitor-general and wish her the best for the next chapter of her career on the Court of Appeal.”

Shane Stone

National Recovery and Resilience Agency

As reported earlier this week in The Mandarin, Shane Stone has been appointed to lead the new National Recovery and Resilience Agency.

Stone was most recently coordinator-general at the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency, which has been replaced by the new agency.

Some of his past roles include chief minister of the Northern Territory, federal president of the Liberal Party, and chair of the Northern Australian Advisory Group.

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