NSW appoints state’s first female auditor-general

By Stephen Easton

Wednesday February 3, 2016

New South Wales has a new auditor-general in Margaret Crawford, deputy secretary for corporate services with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.

The highly respected public servant will take over from Tony Whitfield, who has been acting auditor-general since Grant Hehir took up the same role for the federal government last year.

Premier Mr Baird described Crawford as “a respected, accomplished and experienced leader who has worked at the top levels of the public sector for more than 20 years” whose “strong management and leadership credentials” made her the outstanding choice to fill the key accountability role.

A blurb on her LinkedIn profile describes the incoming auditor-general’s career highlights:

“She has a track record of success in a diverse range of sectors; housing and homelessness, community and disability services, road transport policy and regulation, taxation administration, and gaming regulation. While varied, the key focus of each role has been to transform and improve outcomes for customers, often the most vulnerable citizens in our community.

“An inspiring and empathetic leader of large and often distributed workforces, Margaret is also a trusted partner of colleagues across government, non government organisations and industry bodies; and an authoritative adviser to Government Ministers and Boards.”

She has previously held senior leadership roles with organisations including the Victorian Department of Human Services, Australian Taxation Office, Brisbane City Council and the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, as well as Victoria’s gambling regulator.

Crawford is also a Fellow of the Institute for Public Administration Australia (she is pictured receiving the award from Baird and former IPAA national president Terry Moran in 2015).

Crawford is not the first female auditor-general in Australia however. The Australian Capital Territory was the first, where Tu Pham was appointed in 2004 by then chief minister Gary Humphries. Pham served in the role until 2011 and was awarded the Public Service Medal.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles appointed Julie Crisp last year.

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