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Brandon How

Gig Guide: ANU chief to step down in December

The Australian National University’s vice-chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt has announced he will step down at the end of December, after eight years in the role.

The announcement comes just two months after his appointment as chair of the Group of Eight. He will remain Go8 chair until the end of December, when he will be replaced by deputy chair and University of Sydney vice-chancellor Professor Mark Scott.

Professor Schmidt said last Tuesday he is “realistic about a VC’s ‘shelf-life’” and “wanted to to leave before I become ‘the status quo’”.

“And, personally, after eight years, I will be ready to get back to my research and teaching, and a somewhat more balanced life,” he added.

“My love for ANU is undimmed. My zest to see it improved hasn’t changed. And I always said that when I stepped down as vice-chancellor I wanted to hand on a university I would be happy to continue to work in.”

In 2020, Professor Schmidt was reappointed to the vice-chancellor role on a five-year term. He also has outstanding terms as a member of the federal government’s National Science and Technology Council and the Fulbright Commission, a bilaterally supported scholarship scheme between the United States and Australia.

His three-year term as a member of the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations concludes on Tuesday.

ANU vice chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt delivering his State of the University 2023 address. Image: ANU

Finance and Public Service minister Katy Gallagher has announced a review of board appointments across the federal government to ensure they were made on merit. It will be led by former APS commissioner and Medicare Australia chief executive Lynelle Briggs. Ms Briggs also served as one of the Royal Commissioners for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The new secretary of the Education Department for the next five years is Tony Cook, who replaces Dr Michele Bruniges after she retires at the start of April. Dr Bruniges has served in the role for the last seven years. Mr Cook is currently Department of Education deputy secretary, higher education, research and international. He has held several senior public servant roles across state and federal governments.

Last Wednesday, the full membership of the government’s Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group was announced. The previously unannounced members are:

  • Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence director John Gertsakis
  • City of Melbourne zero carbon buildings lead Dr Dominique Hes
  • Australian Council of Recycling president Michael Jackson
  • Planet Ark chief executive Paul Klymenko
  • WRAP Asia Pacific managing director Claire Kneller
  • Circular 360 chief executive Vaughan Levitzke 
  • Engineers Australia chief executive Romilly Madew
  • Circular Australia managing director and chief executive Lisa McLean
  • University of Technology Sydney Professor Robynne Quiggin
  • Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia national vice president Mark Rawson
  • Chemistry Australia chief executive Samantha Read
  • Flinders University pro vice chancellor – research impact professor John Spoehr

The NSW Department of Customer Service has lost its chief information security officer Matthew Fedele-Sirotich who has been appointed chief technology officer of cyber company CSO Group. Mr Fedele-Sirotich led the development of the state’s cyber security strategy during his time at the NSW Department of Customer Service. He previously served as chief information security officer at NSW government’s Stronger Communities Cluster and at the Department of Family and Community Services.

Matthew Fedele-Sirotich

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has promoted Clare Gibney and Bruce Young to executive director for policy and advice, and technology and data respectively. New executive director for superannuation Carmen Beverley-Smith, who joins in March, previously held senior roles at Westpac and Commonwealth Bank, while new chief of staff Jane Magill, who joins in May, moves from a long career at Macquarie.

The Australian Research Council has appointed 91 new members to its College of Experts, taking the total to 269.

Oracle’s new regional managing director Australia and New Zealand is Stephen Bovis who moves from his role as Hewlett Packard Enterprise vice president and managing director South Pacific. Mr Bovis worked at HP since 2000.

The SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre’s (CRC) new chair is Dr Michele Allan, who is also currently the chair of Charles Sturt University, the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre (FIAL), Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence CRC, and Wine Australia.

The Kwinana Energy Transformation Hub’s new chief executive is Simona Chady, who joins the hub following 20 years at oil and gas giants Shell and TotalEnergies. The hub is a subsidiary of the Future Energy Exports CRC.

Marc England is the new chief executive of Ausgrid, moving from Genesis Energy in New Zealand after six and a half years.

A new director of cybersecurity firm Tesserent is Anthony Sheehan, who previously spent 32 years in government. This included time as the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s deputy director-general.

Jordan Hatch, who just served as assistant secretary to the federal government’s myGov User Audit, is now the Department of Finance’s assistant secretary, regulatory technology and innovation. He has held senior digital roles across the federal and state governments, and in the United Kingdom.

Claes Mansson is the University of Sydney’s new interim chief information officer, filling the vacancy left by Trevor Woods. Mr Mansson is currently the University’s program director, technology consolidation and rationalisation, and its director, enterprise systems.

Urban policy think tank Committee for Sydney has appointed Eamon Waterford as its new chief executive. Mr Waterford has spent the last two years in the NSW government, with the last 16 months spent as chief strategy officer of Investment NSW and subsequently the Department of Enterprise, Investment, and Trade.

Tommy Cheung has moved from his role as executive director for technology at Transport for NSW to become Syndey Metro’s chief information officer.

Recharge Industries’ chief financial officer is Shankar Raman who moves from Metallica Commodities, where he held the same role.

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