Movers & shakers: Treasury promotions, new COO for Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

By Melissa Coade

April 29, 2022

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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Laura Berger-Thomson

The Department of Treasury’s Martin Robinson and Laura Berger-Thomson have been named new first assistant secretaries for the revenue group.

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Townsville-based Jaimeelie Fletchett has been promoted at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority from principal government lawyer to chief operating officer. 

Lauren Le Cerf

Lauren Le Cerf has been promoted to commonwealth-state relations assistant secretary at the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet. 

David Arnold at the Department of Home Affairs has been promoted to assistant secretary executive level 2. 

Felisa Omran

The Australian Government Solicitor’s Felisa Omran has been promoted to senior executive lawyer.

Carmen Saunders, from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, has been promoted to assistant secretary.

WA’s new corrective services commissioner

Mike Reynolds

Mike Reynolds has accepted a five-year appointment as Western Australia’s commissioner for corrective services. He brings 35 years’ experience in corrections, having started his career as a prison officer to take on leadership positions across South Australian prisons. More recently, Reynolds led the state’s Corrections Security and Emergency Management team.

Corrective services minister Bill Johnston said Reynolds’ appointment was well-deserved, noting he had been acting in the role since November 2020. 

“The commissioner has ably navigated the state’s prisons through a challenging period in which the COVID-19 pandemic has put unprecedented pressures on the custodial estate,” Johnston said. 

“I look forward to him building on the improvements made in the performance of our correctional facilities and services.”

Ex-Defence minister accepts council chair role at Australian War Memorial

Brendan Nelson
Brendan Nelson

Dr Brendan Nelson, former AWM director (2012-2019) and Australian defence minister (2006-2007), has been welcomed as the new chair of the War Memorial Council. As previously reported by The Mandarin, Nelson was appointed to the council in early April to fill a vacancy created when Kerry Stokes stood down. 

Members of the council elect the chairperson from within the council, under the Australian War Memorial Act 1980.

Commenting on Nelson’s new role, AWM director Matt Anderson said Nelson had demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the purpose of the institution, as well as for veterans and their families. 

“We look forward to working with Dr Nelson as our chair. He will bring his passion, commitment and knowledge to serve the Memorial in this strategic capacity,” Anderson said.

Centre for Social Impact nabs senior public servant as CEO

Armine Nalbandian
Armine Nalbandian

The NSW premier’s deputy chief of staff and director of policy Arminé Nalbandian will take the reins of national research and education collaboration group Centre for Social Impact (CSI) in May.

Commenting on her new role, Nalbandian said she planned to focus on broadening and deepening CSI’s footprint as a national leader on social impact.

“I’m extremely passionate about translating rigorous academic research into practical applications for businesses and their ESG policies, governments, and the social sector. I’m looking forward to working with CSI’s national team of experts, and its expansive network of partners and for-purpose organisations to continue to advance the real-life, boots-on-the-ground impact of social policy,” she said. 

Nalbandian graduated summa cum laude as a presidential scholar from Northeastern University in Boston and holds a master of science in international development from the London School of Economics as a Luys Scholar, along with a master of commerce in strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship from the University of Sydney as a Business Leaders Scholar.

She is also a US Fulbright Scholar who has worked for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia and US state governments.

Victoria makes municipal monitor appointments for three councils

John Watson, Marg Allan, and Janet Dore will serve as Victoria’s new municipal monitors at Darebin City Council,  Moira Shire Council and Wodonga City Council respectively.

In a statement on Tuesday, local government minister Shaun Leane said the appointments had been finalised and would assist with the selection of council CEOs in Darebin and Wodonga.

“Councils must be representative of the communities they serve and should have good governance, accountability and integrity,” Leane said. 

“I am confident John Watson, Marg Allan and Janet Dore will be effective at guiding Darebin, Moira and Wodonga councils to better serve their communities.”

In 2021 Victoria conducted a wide-ranging study into what influenced council culture as part its Local Government Culture Project. The project aims to identify and foster ways to create positive and inclusive council cultures to improve governance and build public trust.

The monitors will service until January next year, providing the minister with regular progress reports and making recommendations for any further actions.

NSW welcomes Supreme Court judge

Barrister Michale Meek SC has been appointed to the bench of the NSW Supreme Court. He has practised law for 36 years, 13 years of that time as a silk.

In a statement, attorney general Mark Speakman said the justice system was fortunate to be able to call upon a practitioner of Meek’s calibre, experience and standing.

“Mr Meek is recognised as a leader in estates, trusts, charitable trusts and protective law, appearing regularly in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of NSW,” Speakman said.

 “He has also been involved in commercial litigation and acted in significant common law cases, including the Thredbo landslide commercial claims litigation.

“Mr Meek was also a contributing author of the staple legal text Ritchie’s Uniform Civil Procedure for 15 years,” the AG added. 

Moves at the NSW Law Enforcement Conduct Commission

NSW Supreme Court Justice Peter Johnson has been named as the state’s chief commissioner for police oversight and Anina Johnson a commissioner of the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC).

Justice Johnson’s five-year tenure will start in early July. He replaces outgoing chief commissioner Reginald Blanch QC.

Meanwhile, Ms Johnson will commence in mid-May replacing Lea Drake. 

In a statement, the NSW AG thanked Blanch and Drake for their service to the LECC. He added the agency’s two-commissioner structure provided a robust decision-making process for the use of the commission’s coercive powers and to advance its important work. 

“The LECC is an independent integrity body that provides oversight of the NSW Police Force and NSW Crime Commission,” Speakman said.

“The LECC’s primary role is to detect, investigate and expose misconduct and maladministration within the NSW Police Force and the NSW Crime Commission.”

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