Anthony Albanese unveiled his choice for a new secretary for APS reform, in addition to swapping top mandarins in four government departments and choosing a secretary for the new department to oversee climate change, energy, environment and water.
Doctor Gordon de Brouwer will take on the APS reform role, working closely with APS Commissioner Peter Woolcott and under the leadership of Civil Service Minister Katy Gallagher. He holds the post after being economics specialist jointly appointed to the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and College of Business and Economics.
In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the Prime Minister said de Brouwer, who has more than 35 years of experience in public service, would join the APS from July 1 to begin his five-year term.
“Dr. de Brouwer will lead and implement a wide range of public sector reforms that will support my commitment to placing greater value on the public service and developing its capabilities,” Albanese said.
Also named among the prime minister’s team of senior mandarins were new bosses in the foreign and trade departments; infrastructure, transport, regional development, communications and the arts; employment and labor relations; finance; and climate change, energy, environment and water.
Kathryn Campbell, patron of DFAT was dropped in favor of a longtime diplomat John Adamswho will take the reins from July 1.
Adams is currently Australian Ambassador to Japan, and previously served as ambassador to China. She also has experience as a senior trade negotiator, as an ambassador for climate change, and has worked in a diplomatic capacity in Washington and at the OECD Secretariat in Paris.
Campbell, meanwhile, will be given a high-level AUKUS-related role in the Defense portfolio.
Department of Employment and Labor Relations to lose Dr Michele Bruniges for Deloitte associate and senior civil servant Nathalie James, who will take up his new duties on July 11. James was a former chief department attorney from 2005 to 2010, when she became state director more than 10 years ago. In 2013 James, based in Melbourne, was appointed Fair Works Ombudsman for the Commonwealth. She has worked as an associate in a consulting firm for the past three years.
Finance will have a new boss in the current Assistant Treasury Secretary Jenny Wilkinson. She succeeds Rosemary Huxtable, who will retire on August 9. Wilkinson received a PSM in 2021 for outstanding public service in shaping fiscal policy. She has held a number of senior positions in the public sector, including as Head of the Parliamentary Budget Office (July 2017-January 2020), and provided advice on a wide range of economic policy issues in roles within the Treasury, Department of Industry, Department of Climate Change, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Jim Betts, a civil servant with extensive jurisdictional experience has been chosen to lead the large Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, from July 11. He replaces Simon Atkinson. Betts’ CV includes roles such as NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Secretary, Victoria Department of Transport Secretary and CEO of Infrastructure NSW. He is also a former partner of EY.
“He will bring to the federal level a deep understanding of the priority challenges facing governments in this space,” the prime minister said in a statement.
The brand new Directorate of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water will be led by David Frederickwho will leave his post boss of the Ministry of Industry, Science and Resources to take on the role.
Fredericks previously worked as a Senior Ministerial Adviser at State and Commonwealth levels, and at the Solomon Islands Department of Treasury. He has also held senior positions in the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Finance.
The prime minister said an announcement on who would lead the Department of Industry, Science and Resources would be made soon. In the meantime, ministers would appoint acting secretaries as needed.
“I congratulate Mr. Betts, Ms. Adams, Ms. James and Ms. Wilkinson on their appointments,” he said of the five-year secretary appointments.
Albanese thanked Atkinson and Campbell for their services — their roles as chief of infrastructure, transportation, regional development and communications, and DFAT, respectively, will end on July 1.
“They both brought great professionalism and depth of experience to the range of roles they have held, and I wish them both the best,” Albanese said.
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