Gig Guide: CSIRO appoints champion in America

Brandon How

CSIRO has appointed Dharmini Robertson as the new science counsellor for the United States and Canada.

She will be based at the Australian embassy in Washington DC during her three-year term. Ms Robertson will help CSIRO engage with North American government ministries, industry, and researchers collaboratively with Australian government departments.

She will also oversee the development of programs that can produce opportunities for learning from the entrepreneurial ecosystem in North America, showcasing CSIRO technology, as well as for commercialisation or funding.

Before taking up this role, Ms Robertson was the director for low emissions technology strategy at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources between October 2021 and May 2022. Ms Robertson also spent just under four years as a director at the Office of Industry Innovation and Science Australia, and 14 years at international consultancy firm KPMG.

CSIRO USA and Canada Science Counsellor Dharmini Robertson

The new director of Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Material is Professor Sally McArthur, a biomanufacturing expert who was previously the CSIRO Research+ science leader in biomedical manufacturing between 2016 and 2021.

Professor McArthur leaves her role as director of the Manufacturing Futures Research Institute at Swinburne University. The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering fellow also established the MedTechVic hub and helped establish the Australian National Fabrication Facility Victoria, Biointerface Engineering Hub.

Deputy vice-chancellor research Alfred Deakin Professor Julie Owens said she was looking forward to working alongside Professor McArthur.

“We look forward to working with Sally, knowing that under her direction IFM will be at the forefront in leading the transition from a linear to a circular economy. Sally has the right skills and experience to help us address specific industry needs, as demonstrated by her work in surface engineering, bioengineering and, most recently, hydrogen and zero-carbon energy sources,” Professor Owens said.

The new chief executive of the New South Wales Environmental Protection Agency is Tony Chappel. Mr Chappel leaves his role as the Australian Energy Market Operator’s executive general manager for corporate affairs, legal, risk, and governance. Mr Chappel joins the agency from AGL Energy where he was general manager for government, media, and community relations. He was also formerly the chief of staff for then-New South Wales Planning Minister Rob Stokes between November 2012 and February 2016.

Andrew Morrison is the new chief technology officer of the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). He moves from the role of chief digital officer at the Queensland Department of Communities, Housing, and Digital Economy after three years. Overall, Mr Morrison was employed by the Queensland government for about 15 years, including a few years as a teacher.

A number of promotions have also been made at the DTA to individuals who were already acting in their roles. Wayne Poels has been appointed general manager for investment – advice, contestability, and assurance. Officially appointed as branch managers are Brendan Reilly, Jamie Whitcombe, Lisa Jansen, and Doug Rutherford.

Southern Launch general manager for infrastructure Andrew Curran has been made a fellow at professional association Engineers Australia. He has over 32 years of project and operations management experience. Mr Curran began his engineering career in 2004 after qualifying as a civil engineer at the University of Southern Queensland. Prior to this, Mr Curran spent nine years in the New South Wale Police, with an almost three years period as an undercover officer.

The Australian Academy of Science has elected 22 new fellows. This includes the Australian Research Council’s executive director for mathematics, physics, chemistry, and earth sciences, Professor Craig Simmons.

Professor Simmons is being honoured for his contribution to earth science, particularly his work on variable-density flow phenomena in groundwater. Professsor Craig is also a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, and of the American Geophysical Union. Among a number of other awards, he was the South Australian Scientist of the Year in 2015.

Karen Penrose will join the board of hearing aid manufacturer Cochlear from July 1. Ms Penrose is also a non-executive director for Ramsay Health Care, Estia Health, Bank of Queensland, and Vicinity Centres.

In April, AGL found a new chief information security officer in Maryam Bechtel, who was previously the executive manager for security operations at NBN Australia. Prior to her almost three years at NBN, Ms Bechtel spent almost six years at Deloitte, half of which was spent in Germany.

KPMG Australia’s new national cyber partner to the health sector and cyber partner to the Victorian Government will be Mitra Minai.

Ms Minai ends her two-and-a-half-year stint as the chief information security officer at healthcare provider Healthscope. She is also an advisory member at the Australian Cyber Security Centre and the Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation. Since January 2022, she has also been an Adjunct Associate Professor at Deakin University.

Danish content production platform Templafy has appointed David Nemes as its APAC regional director. He brings with him more than 15 years of experience in media, SaaS, and tech organisations. This includes a stint a two year stint at Buzzfeed and a more than five and a half year stint at LinkedIn.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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