Movers & shakers: Victoria appoints disability council chair ahead of disability plan release

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday August 20, 2021

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

Senior Executive Service

Band 1

Heather Walsh has been appointed as assistant secretary, Library Collections and Databases Branch at the Department of Parliamentary Services. She was previously acting in the role.


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


Victorian Disability Advisory Council

Dr George Taleporos

Dr George Taleporos has been appointed chair of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council (VDAC). He has been serving as interim chair of the council since former chair Brent Phillips resigned late last year.

Taleporos is currently policy manager of the Summer Foundation. He has expertise in disability reform, youth engagement and advocacy, and played a significant advocacy role in the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

This year VDAC has led community consultation and advised the government on key priority areas for the development of the next state disability plan, which is scheduled for release in December. The council is also continuing to advise the government on COVID-related matters such as accessible communication, testing, treatment, and vaccination.

Taleporos said he was honoured to lead a ‘passionate and diverse’ group who work hard to improve the lives of Victorians with disabilities.

“Council has a lot of work ahead with the new state disability plan and we look forward to this new chapter as we strive towards an accessible and inclusive community for all,” he said.

Taleporos joins VDAC members Colin Hiscoe, Amanda Lawrie-Jones, Astrid Edwards, Caitlin Syer, Eliza Hull, Gabrielle Hall, Jax Jackie Brown, Karen Fankhauser, Martin Heng and Sholam Blustein. The council’s three-year term ends July 2022.

Australian Broadband Advisory Council

Dr Bronwyn Evans

Dr Bronwyn Evans and Vince Pizzica have joined the Australian Broadband Advisory Council for the next year.

Evans is currently CEO of Engineers Australia and chair of the Building 4.0 Cooperative Research Centre, while Pizzica has extensive senior level experience in the media and telecommunications industries across several continents.

Communications minister Paul Fletcher said the knowledge and expertise of Evans and Pizzica would be of great value to the council.

“The council provides important advice on how we can maximise the economic and social benefits from the widespread adoption of high-speed digital networks, including through increased take up and use of the NBN and 5G,” he said.

“Dr Evans’s background in the construction sector will be useful as the council continues its exploration of the barriers and opportunities for connectivity in that sector, while Mr Pizzica’s experience in creative industries will support the council’s work on how connectivity can support innovation and growth in these industries.”

Fletcher has also thanked Jan Müller for his contribution during his time on the council.

Public servant heads to Nous Group

Mark Booth

Former federal public servant Mark Booth has been appointed as principal at Nous Group.

Booth was most recently CEO of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). Prior to that, he was first assistant secretary in the Department of Health’s health systems policy division and primary and mental health care division. He has also held roles in the UK, New Zealand and the United States.

Nous managing principal and CEO Tim Orton said Booth’s broad experience and global perspective would strengthen the consultancy’s team of experts in health and in industry.

“We are delighted to add Mark’s deep understanding of the health sector and multinational industry to our existing expertise. We look forward to leveraging his skills to benefit of our clients,” he said.

Data Standards

Andrew Stevens

Andrew Stevens has been reappointed as the data standards chair of the government’s Data Standards Body until February 2023.

The reappointment will enable Stevens to continue his contribution to establishing and implementing the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regulatory framework, according to superannuation, financial services and digital economy minister Jane Hume.

“CDR Standards facilitate safe and secure rails for consumers to access, and consent to, sharing of their data with trusted and accredited third parties,” she said.

“Stevens’ reappointment will provide important continuity and expert advice to support the accelerated rollout of the CDR across the economy. The CDR has now entered a period of multi-sector expansion with consumers already benefiting from sharing of banking data, the energy sector soon to follow and processes already underway to assess and designate telecommunications as the third sector.”

Stevens was first appointed to the role in 2018. He is the former managing director of IBM Australia, and the current chair of the Industry, Innovation and Science Australia Board.

Creative Victoria

Jane Crawley

Creative Victoria’s executive director of creative industries, Jane Crawley, has departed the agency after five years. She had previously held roles at the City of Melbourne council.

Crawley has helped to transform the organisation to deliver on the Victorian government’s creative state agenda during her time at Creative Victoria, according to chief executive Andrew Abbott.

“Jane brought a unique combination of big picture thinking, a collaborative approach, an appetite for doing things better, and a deep commitment to equity – and Creative Victoria is better and stronger for her contribution. We miss Jane enormously and wish her the greatest success in her next chapter,” he said.

While the agency undertakes a recruitment process, Michael Hudson will act in the role of executive director, and Christabel Harvey will act as director of creative industries investment.

Safe Harbour Review Panel

Genevieve Sexton has been named as chair of a three-month review of the insolvent trading safe harbour, while Leanne Chesser and Stephen Parbery have been appointed as members of the review panel.

Gen Sexton

Sexton is a partner at Arnold Bloch Leibler, Chesser is a restructuring partner at KordaMentha, and Parbery is a senior advisor at Duff & Phelps-Kroll.

The government created a safe harbour for company directors to protect them from personal liability for insolvent trading if the company is genuinely attempting to restructure, according to assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar.

“The aim of the safe harbour is to encourage directors to seek advice early on how to restructure and save financially distressed but viable companies, rather than closing down prematurely to avoid personal liability. This supports a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, by providing breathing space for distressed businesses,” he said.

The review of the safe harbour is part of the government’s commitment to explore further reforms to Australia’s insolvency framework to provide businesses with the opportunity to turnaround, restructure and survive.

Sukkar said the appointments to the review panel would bring a high level of skills and experience to the review.

“They will support the review to determine if the safe harbour remains a fit for purpose tool to support companies to restructure and survive,” he said.

Tasmanian solicitor-general

The Tasmanian government’s solicitor-general, Michael O’Farrell, has advised the government that he will resign in December, after seven years in the role.

Attorney-general Elise Archer said O’Farrell has made a significant contribution to the state with his extensive knowledge and experience.

“In particular, his advice has been especially valuable over the past 18 months as the government has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications on our laws across a number of areas — including our strong border controls that have kept Tasmanians safe,” Archer said.

“I wish to personally thank him for his advice, guidance and assistance to me as attorney-general since 2017, as well as his dedication to the administration of justice over his seven years of professional and dedicated service as solicitor-general, and also more generally through his long and distinguished career as a barrister and solicitor spanning in excess of 35 years.”

The state government has commenced the process of appointing O’Farrell’s successor, and has invited expressions of interest from legal practitioners with a minimum of seven years’ experience.

About the author
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Mandarin Premium

Insights & analysis that matter to you

Subscribe for only $5 a week

Get Premium Today