Movers & Shakers: New senior executives, first Australian woman appointed to ICJ

By Jackson Graham

Friday November 12, 2021

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country
The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country

Stephanie Ierino
Adi Smith

Senior Executive Service
Band 1 

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has promoted Adi Smith to a data analysis assistant secretary. 

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has promoted Sophia Farmakis to assistant secretary. 

The Attorney-General’s Department has promoted Stephanie Ierino to assistant secretary. 

Former federal secretary leads food standards authority

Glenys Beauchamp

Glenys Beauchamp, a former health department secretary, will be the next chair of Food Standards Australia New Zealand after acting in the role since September.

Beauchamp has more than 35 years of public service experience. Before leading the health department she led the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

FSANZ is an independent statutory authority that develops food standards for Australia and New Zealand, under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

The code regulates the use of ingredients, additives, colours, processing aids, vitamins and minerals, including labelling requirements for packaged and unpackaged food, and mandating of some warning or advisory labels that appear on some food products.

First Australian woman appointed to UN court

Hilary Charlesworth

Human rights scholar and international law expert Professor Hilary Charlesworth has become the first Australian woman to be elected to the United Nations’ International Court of Justice.

Charlesworth is the fifth woman ever to be appointed to the court and will hold the position for two years. She replaces former Australian judge James Crawford, who passed away in May. 

Charlesworth is a veteran judge and has worked with non-governmental human rights organisations on ways to implement international human rights standards, and played a leading role in developing the ACT’s human rights legislation. She also leads the Centre for International Governance and Justice at the Australian National University.

The ICJ settles legal disputes between states and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by other authorised UN bodies.

Lived experience at the heart of new mental health role

Mary O’Hagan will be Victoria’s first executive director of lived experience to help build the state’s new mental health and wellbeing system.

Mary O’Hagan

O’Hagan as a young woman experienced psychological distress and felt trapped in services that exacerbated the condition. Now a strong advocate, she has been involved in a movement for 35 years for people with lived experience to be central to delivering mental health services. 

She has served as New Zealand’s mental health commissioner.

O’Hagan said she saw hope for mental health reform in Australia. 

“It won’t be easy, but there’s never been a more important time for people with lived experience – consumers, carers, families and supporters — to take on leadership roles to bring real changes to the new system and new services,” she said. 

This appointment delivers on a Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommendation to employ people with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress in leadership positions within the Department of Health.

She will work to ensure that mental health and alcohol and other drug services respond to the needs of consumers and their carers by engaging their views and expertise in the development of policies and programs.

Portrait Gallery’s new chair 

Penny Fowler will be the next National Portrait Gallery of Australia chair after serving on the board for the past five years.

Penny Fowler

Fowler currently chairs the Herald and Weekly Times, is director of the Australian Ballet, chairs the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, is deputy chair of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, and is a member of the Tourism Australia Board and Visy Advisory Board.

She is due to commence for a three-year term in January 2022, and replaces outgoing inaugural board chair Dr Helen Nugent. Nugent will continue her role as a member of the gallery’s foundation committee for a further three-year term from January. 

The federal government has also appointed the Hon Heidi Victoria as a member of the gallery board for a three-year term. Victoria has more tahn 30 years’ experience of engagement in the arts, not-for-profit, and public service sectors. Previously as a member of Victoria’s Liberal Napthine government, she served as arts minister, consumer affairs minister, and minister for women’s affairs. She has served as president and director of the Make-A-Wish Foundation; and director of the National Council of Women.

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