Movers & Shakers: NSW and Vic governments on the hunt for commissioners

By Anna Macdonald

July 14, 2022

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

Lindsay Buckingham

At Austrade, Anthony Weymouth has been appointed head of defence and space, centre of excellence and Dannielle Green has been appointed head of client programs. 

Luci Henson has been named general manager, corporate services at Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

At the Australian National Audit Office, Corinne Horton has been appointed executive director.

Brett Nordstrom has moved from the Department of Social Services to the Department of Education to take up the role of assistant secretary. 

Marie-Charlotte McKenna

There is a new assistant secretary at the Department of Finance, Louise Sasaki.

There are ten new assistant secretaries at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: David Vosen, Lindsay Buckingham, Megan Jones, Ian Gerard, Andrew Jacenko, Marie-Charlotte McKenna, Natalie Roche, Derek Yip, Troy Kaizik, and Aedan Whyatt.

Victoria on the lookout for its first mental health commissioners

The Victorian government has opened expressions of interest for its four inaugural mental health commissioners.

Natalie Roche

The commissioners, made up of a chair commissioner and three commissioners, will lead a new agency that the government said will strengthen performance, leadership and accountability throughout the mental health and wellbeing system.

Victorian minister for mental health Gabrielle Williams commented the government was on the lookout for the ‘best and brightest’.

“This new Commission will be tasked with ensuring our new mental health and wellbeing system is one that improves everyone’s experience, driving system-wide cultural change and leading the way to reduce stigma,” Williams said in a statement. 

NSW property services commissioner departs after eight months

John Minns

John Minns has departed his position as NSW property services commissioner, having taken up the role in December 2021 as previously reported in Movers & Shakers

NSW minister for fair trading Eleni Petinos thanked Minns for his contribution to the role, acknowledging his efforts and wishing him well. 

“John has contributed greatly to the NSW Government’s modernisation of the property services industry by engaging with stakeholders and providing a platform for the continued journey,” Petinos said. 

The government is now looking to establish an independent property services commissioner.

“We’ve considered the feedback collected during the Property Services Listening Tour,” Petinos said. 

“As a result, we will legislate to provide the property services commissioner more responsibility for the regulation of the sector, including managing complaints, direct communication and engagement with consumer groups and industry, and investigating breaches of relevant legislation.”

The secretary of the Department of Customer Service Emma Hogan will appoint an acting property services commissioner from August 1 while the parliament considers legislation.

Outgoing WA police commissioner to become state’s governor

Chris Dawson

WA police commissioner Chris Dawson ended his five-year term at midnight on Thursday, taking up the role as governor of Western Australia. 

WA premier Mark McGowan thanked Dawson for his contribution, particularly during the state’s COVID response, calling him a ‘fine example of what it means to be a police officer’.

“As WA’s Vaccine Commander, he worked steadfastly to drive up vaccination rates and protect the community, making an incredibly important contribution as part of our pandemic response.

“His work to heal historic wounds with the Aboriginal community was an incredibly important step for reconciliation in Western Australia,” the state premier said. 

Col Blanch is set to replace Dawson as the state’s new police commissioner.

Comms director at Department of Parliamentary Services departs

Lyndal Curtis has left her position as communications & media director at the Department of Parliamentary Services. 

“Thanks to Department of Parliamentary Services for being a wonderful home for the last year. A great place to work with great people. But I have been offered an opportunity that I could not turn down. I’m very excited,” Curtis said on LinkedIn

The department has advertised for Curtis’ replacement. 

New WA Magistrates Court and District Court appointments

Linda Black

State prosecutor Linda Black has become a judge of the District Court of Western Australia.

WA attorney general John Quigley congratulated Black on her appointment, calling her one of the state’s ‘leading barristers’.

“Ms Black has a strong reputation as a specialist jury trial advocate and has appeared in the State Administrative Tribunal in complex matters involving proceedings brought by regulatory boards.

 “The breadth of her experience will further strengthen the District Court bench,” Black commented. 

Meanwhile, four new magistrates have been appointed to the state’s Magistrates Court: Natasha Owen-Conway, Janie Gibbs, Anthony Sullivan, and Kelly Thompson.

“The addition of these four experienced and accomplished lawyers to the Magistrates Court will further enhance the legal services available to the community, particularly in the regions. I congratulate them on their appointments,” Quigley added.

The attorney general also thanked retiring magistrates Peter Malone and Stephen Sharrat for their service. 

Three new appointments at NSW District Court

Huw Baker, William Fitzsimmons, and Pauline David are three lawyers who have been appointed to the New South Wales District Court. 

NSW attorney-general Mark Speakman called each practitioner highly skilled.

“In carrying out their duties as District Court judges, they will each continue to draw on the considerable skill, experience and knowledge they have gained as lawyers, for the benefit of the court and the community it serves,” Speakman said.

Baker will be sworn in on July 21, Fitzsimmons on July 28, and David on August 1. 

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