Gig Guide: CDR advocate returns to private sector

Brandon How

The Australian Regional Director of the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA), Jamie Leach announced her resignation on Friday. Ms Leach has been in the role for the past two years advocating for open data and Australia’s Consumer Data Right, and will now start a senior executive position at Sydney-based financial services business Cuscal Limited.

The Association is undertaking a professional executive search for her replacement.

Ms Leach also founded Open Data Australia, an independent data authority, and does digital identity contract work for the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, The World Bank, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund.

FDATA global chief executive Richard Prior thanked Ms Leach for working with government, regulators, and other stakeholders in the financial industry to advance the Consumer Data Right. He described Ms Leach as a “tireless champion for open data” and added that FDATA will miss her greatly.

Jamie Leach

A shakeup of the Australian AgriTech Association’s (AusAgritech) leadership has resulted in the election of a new treasurer and secretary. The roles will be filled by Cal Archibald and Lewis Frost respectively. Mr Archibald is director at Beanstalk AgTech and is a new board member at the Association, while Mr Frost is a returning board member and the chief operations officer at Ceres Tag.

Also new to the board is Rechelle Leahy, who is the founder and chief executive of RegionalCollab. These appointments follow the resignation of Craig Shapiro and Sarah Nolet who were board members since the association’s foundation at the start of 2020. AusAgritech chief executive Tracey Martin said that the new board comes at a time of huge growth and opportunity for the association and the wider AgriTech ecosystem.

Sydney-based space data firm Quasar Satellite Technologies has appointed Natasha Rawlings as its new chief operating officer. Ms Rawlings moves from commercialisation fund UniSeed after more than four and a half years as an investment manager. She currently sits on the board of several stratups and has served as a mentor on the INCUBATE startup accelerator for almost seven years. Ms Rawlings was also chief executive and founder of mobile marketing platform StreetHawk as well as chief executive of Heads Over Heels, which supported the growth of businesses run by women.

The new chief executive of Lotterywest and Healthway is Ralph Addis, who was acting in the role since February. Mr Addis’ term of appointment is until December 31, 2023. He has worked Western Australian public sector since 2014, and was most recently the Director General of the newly formed Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development from 2017. Prior to that, he worked for almost 20 years in the Kimberly region, including a two-year stint as chair of the Kimberley Development Commission.

The MedTech and pharmaceuticals growth centre MTPConnect has appointed Dr Dharmica Mistry as the director of diagnostics industry engagement in Sydney. Dr Mistry will work with Pathology Technology Australia to create a Diagnostics Action Plan. She previously spent more than two and a half years as the head of MedTech and BioTech for deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations.

Commonwealth Bank’s venture-scaler x15ventures has appointed Laura Faulconer as its new portfolio director. Ms Faulconer moves from her role as an associate partner of Antler, a global early-stage venture capital firm. In that role, she oversaw HealthTech and DeepTech investment.

Before that, Ms Faulconer was investment manager at New Zealand based WNT Ventures, co-founder of MedTech accelerator The Actuator, and launched the Monash University entrepreneurship program The Generator. She was also previously an Associate Professor in the faculty of science at Monash.

x15ventures managing director Toby Norton-Smith said that Ms Faulconer’s extensive experience would be hugely beneficial to the group.

“She has a proven track record of taking IP-rich technologies to market and is already bringing that experience to bear in support of our ventures. We couldn’t be happier to have her join the x15 team,” Mr Norton-Smith said.

Austrade general manager for Greater China Daniel Boyer has been promoted to deputy chief executive of trade and investment at Austrade. He replaces Peter Horn who is currently acting in the role.

Emma Taylor has been promoted to the head of technology at Virgin Australia after a year as head of technology strategy architecture and integration. She has around 20 years of experience working in tech roles across the Bank of Queensland, NAB, and Qantas among others.

The new chief technology officer of Australian Super is Mike Backeberg. He is being promoted from his role as head of technology, strategy, and planning, which he held for more than two years.

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