Movers & shakers: new deputy at APS Commission, Treasury loses a star, and more

By The Mandarin

August 24, 2018

New Senior Executive Services promotions in the Australian government, including the new Deputy Public Service Commissioner, also promotions at Environment and Energy, Attorney General’s and Home Affairs, and more.

Deputy Public Service Commissioner

Mary Wiley-Smith

Mary Wiley-Smith has been named as the new Deputy Public Service Commissioner starting September 3. The incumbent, Jenet Connell, is moving to the Chief Operating Officer role at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, made vacant by the departure of Randall Brugeaud who was named the new head of the Digital Transformation Agency following Gavin Slater’s resignation in June this year.

Since May this year, Wiley-Smith has been running the APS Review secretariat inside the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet with deputy secretary David Williamson, and will be promoted from first assistant secretary to Band 3 on the move to the APSC.

Wiley-Smith has previously led Australia’s ‘city deals’ at the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities and PM&C, and was chief operating officer for the Department of Environment and Energy where she led the strategic review, and the major downsizing and transformation of the department.

Deputy Secretary

Matt Cahill has been officially appointed as Deputy Secretary, Strategy and Operations in the Department of the Environment and Energy — one of several departments that doesn’t have a minister today and putting it into de facto caretaker mode. Cahill has been acting in the role for some time and was previously the FAS for the Environmental Standards division.

Cahill has also served as a FAS in the former Immigration department covering Status Resolution Services division, and the Indigenous Regional Network division in PM&C.

First Assistant Parliamentary Budget Officer

Linda Ward has been appointed to one of the Parliamentary Budget Office’s two Band 2 deputy positions, having been poached from her long career at Treasury. Ward was most recently the principle advisor at Treasury responsible for Individuals and Indirect Tax, and International Policy and Engagement, and had roles in the Revenue Group, Fiscal Group and Macroeconomic Group.

Ward has also served as an economic advisor in a ministerial office — to Anthony Albanese, then Infrastructure minister — and worked in the private sector on a secondment at BHP Billiton’s marketing office in Singapore.


Three new first assistant secretaries have been promoted in the Attorney-General’s Department, one of a few portfolios still to have a minister at our deadline today.

  • Andrew Walter
  • Tamsyn Harvey
  • Susan Robertson

Home Affairs

Kylie Scholten has been acting as the first assistant secretary of the Executive and Coordination division at the behemoth Department of Home Affairs, and has been officially promoted this week.

Even though they haven’t had a minister for most of this week, we’re fairly certain the ministerials and briefs under Scholten’s watch haven’t slowed — assuming, of course, that someone in cabinet is concerned that a 12-year-old girl in detention “set herself alight” this week.

Four newly promoted assistant secretaries in the department have been announced, but expect more to come because there are many vacancies still to be filled from the national security machinery of government change.

  • Chad Hodgens (from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
  • Leanne Loan
  • Anita Langford
  • Christie Sawczuk

Assistant Commissioner

Rebecca Fealy has been promoted to Assistant Commissioner, Strategy, Implementation & Taskforce Initiatives, Smarter Data Program at the Australian Taxation Office.

See last week’s movers and shakers update here.

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