The federal Department of Health’s outgoing secretary hasn’t even left the building yet but already has his next gig lined up.
Even by public sector executive standards, Martin Bowles has had a surprisingly diverse career with early stints in health and education, and later Defence, climate change and immigration. But for post-government life, Bowles will be sticking with the health portfolio, albeit from the other side of the fence.
The chair of the Catholic health provider Calvary, John Watkins, announced Tuesday morning that Bowles will be taking over as its national CEO of its nearly 12,000 strong workforce. Bowles will be returning to Sydney, where he once worked for the NSW government, to take up the role in November after the retirement of current CEO Mark Doran.
The abrupt resignation of Bowles last week with just 9 days’ notice came amid swirling rumours of internal disquiet over the running of Health Minister Greg Hunt’s office — expected to be Glenys Beauchamp’s problem soon. In addition to being awarded a PSM for his work in the climate change portfolio, Bowles earned much peer and political respect over his nearly 40 years of public service, the final quarter of which was spent in Canberra’s elite ranks.