The latest senior public sector appointments from across the country.
At the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, James Chisholm was promoted to deputy secretary, net zero economy taskforce.
Cha Jordanoski moved to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts to take up the role of first assistant secretary, chief financial officer, coming from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.
Joseph Benjamin Sladic moved to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations to become chief financial officer, coming from the Department of Health and Aged Care.
Bruce Edwards moved to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water to take up the role of division head, coming from the Department of Education.
At the Department of Home Affairs, Meredith Byron was promoted to assistant secretary, character and cancellation.
At the same department, Penelope Spies was promoted to commander.
Lyndal Thomson was promoted at Defence to the Defence Intelligence Group.
At the Department of Finance, Kelly Wood was promoted to assistant secretary.
The Attorney-General’s Department has begun recruitment for an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) president and additional members after the old body was dissolved by the government.
Work is still underway on the new administrative review body that replaces the AAT, but the successful candidate for this AAT president will become the new body’s president.
“It is essential that the new president has the skills, expertise and personal qualities to lead the AAT during a period of significant and exciting reform,” attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said.
“The appointment is full-time for a period of up to seven years.
“To ensure the recruitment process attracts the strongest possible field of candidates, appropriately qualified individuals can apply for the role directly or be nominated by a third party.”
To address the backlog of AAT claims, expressions of interest have opened for at least 75 new members.
The government has also released new AAT appointment guidelines, applicable to members but not the president.
Applications close at 11.55pm on March 8.
A former NSW departmental secretary was named the first permanent CEO of the NSW Reconstruction Authority.
Simon Draper has previously had roles such as secretary of the NSW Department of Industry and deputy secretary of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Draper was appointed following a recruitment process from the NSW Public Service Commission.
“It is a privilege to be asked to lead the NSW Reconstruction Authority as we work with communities across the state to build more resilient places that will protect lives and property,” Draper said.
Setting up the agency was one of the recommendations of the flood inquiry.
Adam Hatcher was appointed president of the Fair Work Commission, a position he had been acting in.
Employment minister Tony Burke said Hatcher had provided strong leadership since being in the role.
“He brings extensive experience to the role, and I am confident he will continue to execute his duties with impartiality and diligence,” Burke said.
“Mr Hatcher’s appointments will officially commence on 19 February 2023 at the conclusion of his current term as acting president.
“I once again thank Justice Iain Ross for his leadership of the FWC over a decade.”
Hatcher has been at the commission since 2013, having previously served as vice president.
Peter Duncan was named chair of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) alongside Dr Collette Burke as non-executive director of the board.
Both appointments are for three years.
Duncan replaces Warren Truss, who stood down as chair in November last year.
Duncan’s public sector experience includes roles within the NSW government, including deputy chair and commissioner of the NSW Independent Planning Commission, chief executive of NSW Roads and Maritime Services and director-general of the NSW Department of Services Technology and Administration.
Burke was the inaugural Victorian chief engineer.
Infrastructure minister Catherine King welcomed both appointments.
“Mr Duncan brings critical experience in governance and risk management, infrastructure and transport to the ARTC Board. His experience will be invaluable in guiding ARTC through the coming years,” the minister said.
“Dr Burke’s extensive experience in engineering and infrastructure will strengthen the board’s ability to oversee ARTC’s operations, including its network maintenance regime, efforts to improve network resilience and in construction of new sections of the Interstate Network, including Inland Rail.”
Tony Shepherd, chair of Venues NSW, has retired from his position after 21 years on the board.
NSW sports minister Alister Henskens thanked Shepherd for his leadership.
“Among his many achievements, Tony was instrumental in the planning and delivery of the new world-class Allianz Stadium, which has cemented NSW as the nation’s premier sports and entertainment destination,” the minister said.
“With the creation of Venues NSW, Tony has been responsible for a diverse portfolio of infrastructure, including stadiums and indoor venues across Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.”
Venues NSW deputy chair Rod McGeoch will serve as interim chair.
Queensland under-treasurer Leon Allen was appointed chief executive officer of the Queensland Treasury Corporation.
Queensland treasurer Cameron Dick said Allen was the “ideal candidate”.
“When governments and institutions across Queensland need to invest in future growth, QTC is their window to the world,” Dick said.
“Leon has been an integral part of Queensland’s world-leading economic response to COVID-19, which has put our state in a position to seize opportunities for future growth.
“His guidance of Treasury has played an important role in restoring the strength of Queensland’s balance sheet post-pandemic.”
Deputy under-treasurer Maryanne Kelly will act as under-treasurer while recruitment for Allen’s replacement is underway.
New Australian Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer Dr Bertie Hennecke has started in the role this month.
According to DAFF’s website, Hennecke has held roles in agencies such as the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
“Dr Hennecke’s background is in natural resource management, invasive species and agricultural sciences with nearly 30 years of experience in the public service and academia in Australia,” the website stated.
Greg Melick was reappointed as chief commissioner of the Tasmanian Integrity Commission.
Tasmanian attorney general Elise Archer said Melick was a “highly qualified and nationally respected legal figure”.
“His extensive career includes tribunal experience, special investigator for Cricket Australia, deputy president of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (part-time) since 2014, and a statutory member of both the NSW Casino Control Authority and National Crime Authority.”
Melick’s new five-year term will end on August 16, 2025.
Colin Davies was named interim administrator for Coober Pedy district council in South Australia.
The appointment of a long-term administrator is expected to take place by March.
Davies’ most recent role was chief executive officer of the Flinders Rangers Council.
South Australian independent member Geoff Brock thanked outgoing administrator Tim Jackson for his work in the role.
“I expect to provide more information on the new administration later this month when the appointment process is completed,” Brock said.
“Resolving the ongoing issues in Coober Pedy presents a significant challenge, due to the council’s continuing poor financial position and its responsibility to properly manage the provision of water and power in the town.
“As interim administrator, Mr Davies will be required to report to me at the end of his term, advising me on the governance issues that remain to be resolved, including any views or recommendations that he may have formed during his tenure about the finances of the council and a way forward.”
David Boddice will replace Philip McMurdo on the Queensland Court of Appeal, following the latter’s retirement.
Boddice was previously on the Supreme Court for over a decade, as well as an additional judge on the Mental Health Court from 2011 to 2014.
Queensland attorney-general Shannon Fentiman said Boddice’s skill and calm in the courtroom had been noted by his peers.
“His Honour possesses a wealth of experience that clearly warrants his new appointment,” Fentiman said.
“The court of appeal possesses the finest legal minds in Queensland and Justice Boddice fits comfortably alongside them.
“Justice Boddice has been a passionate educator as the long-standing legal patron of the Medico-Legal Society of Queensland, encouraging barristers, instructing solicitors, medical practitioners and expert witnesses to gain a clearer understanding of what is required of them in sorting complex medical matters in the courtroom.”
Deputy chief magistrate of the Local Court Michael Allen was appointed as a permanent District Court judge after acting in the position.
Allen has been acting as a District Court judge since 2022.
NSW attorney-general Mark Speakman said Allen had a wealth of experience in presiding over a range of matters.
“His Honour brings more than 14 years’ service as a magistrate, including almost five years as a deputy chief magistrate,” Speakman said.
“Prior to his appointment as a magistrate, his Honour worked as a solicitor for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Legal Aid Commission, and as a regional barrister with chambers in Orange, appearing as counsel in District and Supreme Court jury trials and in sentence and appeal hearings.
“I wish his Honour well as he steps into his permanent role.”
Allen will be sworn in on February 27.
Tom Sullivan was appointed to the Queensland Supreme Court.
A Brisbane barrister, Sullivan’s experience has been in construction law and is president of the Bar Association of Queensland.
Queensland attorney-general Shannon Fentiman congratulated Sullivan on his appointment.
“It is a true honour – and one with great responsibility – to sit on the bench of the Supreme Court of Queensland. Mr Sullivan has already demonstrated he has the capabilities to handle those duties to the highest level,” Fentiman said.
“Mr Sullivan has a distinguished academic history, having been awarded the University Medal at the University of Queensland and a Masters of Laws from Cambridge University, in which he took a first.”
Anna Macdonald is a Sydney-based Journalist at The Mandarin. She was previously at Mumbrella, reporting on Australia’s media and marketing industry. She graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts and Laws.
Tags: Movers & Shakers Public sector appointments
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By Anna Macdonald
Attorney-General’s Department
Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA)
Tasmanian Government

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