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Movers & shakers: shake-up in the pomp and protocol crowd

New Senior Executive Services promotions in the Australian government. Also, a new Usher of the Black Rod and a lot of movement around Government House.

Deputy Secretary

Penny Shakespeare

Penny Shakespeare has been officially promoted to full Deputy Secretary of the Health Financing Group in the Department of Health.

Shakespeare has been acting in the role for several months following 12 years in the department with senior roles including division head of Technology Assessment and Access, division head of Health Workforce. Her earlier career was centred on industrial law, including at Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and as head of the ACT Office of Industrial Relations.

Deputy Commissioner

Justine Saunders announced her intent to step down from her post as Chief Police Officer for the ACT last month to take up the Band 3 role of Deputy Commissioner in the Australian Border Force. Saunders is backfilling the ABF Support group vacancy created by Michael Outram’s promotion to Commissioner and Mandy Newton’s side move from Support to the ABF Operations group.

Saunders won’t need to swap uniforms until the end of October, but in the meantime doesn’t appear to have slowed down in her CPO duties. It’s been a busy period with ACT Police issuing its first Amber Alert that thankfully ended in success with the missing 6-year-old boy found safe and well.

Director General

Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is being officially promoted to Director General, Emergency Management Australia — one of the quasi-separate agencies that has jumped around portfolios including Defence and Attorney-General’s, and has since gobbled up by the Home Affairs behemoth. Hierarchically, the agency now sits as a Division within the Infrastructure, Transport Security & Customs Group.

Cameron was previously the Assistant Secretary, Crisis Management responsible for the Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre, a dedicated 24 hour facility which provides all-hazards, whole-of-government situational awareness, planning and incident management, and the National Security Hotline. Before that Cameron headed the Health Emergency Management Branch in the Department of Health’s Office of Health Protection.

Official Secretary to the Governor-General?

Mark Fraser

Yes, the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) is moving on — that was let slip this week to great media attention. But it seems his Official Secretary has slyly beat him out the door.

Early last week Mark Fraser was appointed Head of Commonwealth Protocol and First Assistant Secretary, Protocol and International Visits in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. No, the position was not advertised. It’s a bit of a promotion from Fraser’s last APS substantive role, an EL2 in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

So, maybe a new Official Secretary vacancy in the vice-regal digs … certainly once the new Govenor-General is commissioned. We asked if a temporary appointment would be made, but they’re busy today hosting Investiture Ceremonies for Order of Australia honours.

Usher of the Black Rod

John Begley will be replacing Brien Hallett on September 17 in responsibility for a 1.3-metre-long piece of ebony wood known as the Black Rod — while the prop looks like it belongs in a Shakespearean comedy is for ceremony, the Usher’s primary duties are quite serious, being also the chief operating officer of the Australian Senate. Thankfully, for all concerned, the Usher now primarily wears a suit rather than a long-tailed coat, knee-breeches or kilt, court shoes, gloves, lace cuffs and sword.

Band 1

Jessica Foote has been promoted to Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Andy Johnston has been promoted to Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Rachel Livingston has been promoted to Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

John Walker has been promoted to Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Stephen Drydan has been engaged as Assistant Secretary in the Department of Home Affairs, originally from the Royal Australian Navy.

Kendra Morony has been promoted to Assistant Secretary in the Department of Home Affairs, originally from the Department of Defence.

Jadd Sanson-Fisher has been promoted Assistant Secretary in the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Matthew Geysen has been promoted to Executive Manager/Chief Financial Officer at the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

See last week’s movers and shakers update here.

Author Bio

The Mandarin

The Mandarin staff journalists.