Movers & Shakers: New national data commissioner, education department leader

By Jackson Graham

Friday December 3, 2021

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.

Senior Executive Service 

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The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has promoted Nicole Ingram to first assistant secretary. 

Michael Thomas is now first assistant secretary at the Department of Home Affairs

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has promoted Bronwyn Notzon-Glenn to principal legal and policy adviser. 

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Laura Sham

Simon Delamont is director of people at the Fair Work Ombudsman and Registered Organisations Commission Entity

Linley Henzell is senior assistant parliamentary counsel at the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and Karyn MacMullin has become a senior assistant. 

Jessica Casben has been promoted to a general manager position at the  Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

Laura Sham has been promoted to assistant secretary at the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Sarah Kennedy and Peta Langeveld have been promoted to assistant secretaries at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Claudine Cross has been promoted to commander at Home Affairs.

National data commissioner appointed

Gayle Milnes has been appointed by the federal government as the new national data commissioner designate. 

Milnes is currently first assistant secretary of the Data, Analytics and Policy Division at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

She has also held other senior leadership positions across the Australian Public Service, including chief executive officer of the Climate Change Authority, with the Department of Environment, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

The governor-general will be asked to consider this appointment as a statutory office holder following the passage of the Data Availability and Transparency (DAT) Bill. 

Milnes would replace interim national data commissioner Deb Anton, who led the development of the Data Availability and Transparency Bill during the past three and a half years and established the Office of the National Data Commissioner. 

New director-general of state’s education department

Michael De’Ath

Michael De’Ath is the new director-general of Queensland’s Department of Education.

De’Ath was formerly deputy secretary of Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services and has held director-general positions with the ACT’s community services and health directorates. 

Most recently was in a strategic advisor role at KPMG.

He also has more than 20 years of public sector leadership experience, spread across schools as a teacher and principal, as a regional education director and a deputy secretary. 

He was appointed by an open merit recruitment process, with premier Annastacia Palaszczuk accepting the recommendation. 

“I am pleased someone with his skill and experience will be leading one of our most critical departments, which has responsibility for our world-class education system,” she said.

Solicitor-general re-appointed 

Stephen Donaghue

Dr Stephen Donaghue QC has been reappointed by attorney-general Michaelia Cash as Australia’s solicitor-general for a term of five years.

The solicitor-general is the second law officer of the commonwealth and the principal legal counsel to the Australian government, both requiring Donaghue to appear before the courts and provide advice on government policies. 

Donaghue had practised as a barrister after being called to the Victorian Bar in 2001. 

He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2011 and subsequently Queen’s Counsel in 2014, prior to being appointed solicitor-general in December 2016.

New ACCC appointment

Liza Carver

Liza Carver has become a full‑time member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Carver has more than 25 years of experience in consumer law and has worked on some of Australia’s leading and most complex competition law cases.

Carver is currently a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, where she is a senior competition law and regulatory specialist. 

She is a former commissioner of the Australian Energy Markets Commission and former associate commissioner of the ACCC.

The federal government has appointed her for a five‑year period starting March 1, 2022.

New leader of Corrective Services 

Kevin Corcoran

Kevin Corcoran has become the commissioner for Corrective Services NSW, after acting in the role since July.

Corcoran began his corrections career in 1984 as a trainee Superintendent in South Australia.

He later transferred to Queensland as director of custodial corrections for the Queensland Corrective Services Commission in 1994, and became executive director of operations in 1997, before spending 14 years in the private sector. 

He then joined Corrective Services NSW as an assistant commissioner in January 2014. Corcoran has been the acting commissioner since the retirement of Peter Severin earlier this year. 

Acting Secretary of the Department of Communities and Justice Catherine D’Elia congratulated Acting Commissioner Corcoran for his appointment.

“Throughout his career, Mr Corcoran has shown integrity, professionalism and initiative to drive change for the better and I know Corrective Services NSW is in good hands,” Ms D’Elia said.

“I look forward to working alongside Mr Corcoran in ensuring Corrective Services NSW continues to lead the country in keeping our communities safe.” 

First woman leader of water board

Nerina Di Lorenzo

Dr Nerina Di Lorenzo has become the first woman to be appointed managing director of the Melbourne Water Board in the organisation’s 130 years. 

Lorenzo, a former chief executive of Moreland City Council, joined Melbourne Water in July 2019 as the executive general manager of service delivery. 

In commencing the appointment, Lorenzo said she wanted to forge stronger relationships with Traditional Owners, water users and partners. 

“This is the decade that matters for Greater Melbourne in terms of water security. We need to ensure we have secure water supplies as we move towards the unprecedented challenges of climate change and population growth,” she said. 

“As the climate gets drier and our population grows we will need a diverse and resilient water supply, including increasing the use of recycled water for non-drinking purposes, desalination and being more efficient with the way we all use water. 

“I look forward to leading this great organisation through this exciting chapter and making a real impact in the water industry.” 

Two new directors at Wine Australia

The federal government has appointed two new non-executive directors and reappointed a further four. 

NSW’s John Lloyd, the former CEO of Horticulture Innovation Australia, is among new recruits alongside the ACT’s Justin Brown – a former trade negotiator with extensive experience in market access issues. 

They will serve in the role until September 30, 2024, alongside reappointed directors; Frances-Anne Keeler; Catherine Oates; Mitchell Taylor and Catherine Cooper. 

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