Gig Guide: CSIRO appoints new cyber mission lead

Brandon How

CSIRO’s new Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Mission lead is Dr Marthie Grobler, who previously held the role of deputy mission lead.

The Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Mission, which is still under development, aims to progress research that mitigates the risk of disruption to Australia’s critical infrastructure.

This includes a focus on “addressing acute cross-sector challenges — natural events, cyberattacks, supply chain disruptions” and on “creating integrated cyber-physical and supply chain aware infrastructure”.

In a statement, Dr Grobler said she is “extremely proud to be able to lead a mission-innovation initiative that is vital for maintaining the Australian way of life”.

Dr Grobler has been at CSIRO’s Data61 since 2017 and since 2021 has served as a principal research scientist leading the human-centric security team that focuses on cybersecurity and quantum systems.

Between 2020 and 2021, Dr Grobler was deputy research director for software and computational systems. She previously worked at the South African government’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

Katherine Bennell-Pegg has completed her 13 months of training with the European Space Agency, making her the first qualified female astronaut under the Australian flag.

Ms Bennell-Pegg’s, who is also a British citizen, reportedly had her training funded by the Australian Space Agency at a cost of $466,000.

Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar will step down from his role as co-chief executive, leaving co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes as the sole executive lead. As reported by, Mr Farquhar will formally leave at the end of August.

Australian Communications and Media Authority chair Nerida O’Loughlin has been reappointed for another three years and will now lead the agency until October 2027. She was first appointed in 2017 and reappointed again in 2022.

Ms O’Loughlin previously served as the Digital Transformation Agency’s interim chief executive and the head of the former Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy’s digital switchover taskforce.

The Queensland Department of Energy and Climate Change’s executive director of Hydrogen and Future Fuels, Kahil Lloyd, has moved to the state’s Department of Environment, Science and Innovation.

Having served as interim director-general for hydrogen between November 2023 and February 2024, he will now lead the state’s environment and conservation policy and legislation team.

Nicole Henry is the Department of Industry, Science and Resources’ new counsellor in Indonesia. Between October 2022 and April 2024, Ms Henry was the head of business engagement and program management on the Simplified Trade System Implementation Taskforce.

Earlier this year, former Infrastructure department deputy secretary for the communications and media group Richard Windeyer moved to the Department of Finance as the deputy secretary for the Commercial Group.

At the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Yvette Sims has been promoted to first assistant secretary for the technology and finance division.

Meanwhile, at the Department of Home Affairs, Britt Ryan has been promoted to assistant secretary for technology security policy.

At the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment, and Water, Phillip Boxall has been made branch head. He had previously been acting as the head of the Australian Antarctic Division’s Assets and Technology branch.

The new head of industry representative body AusBiotech is Rebekah Cassidy. She previously spent more than 12 years at French multinational pharmaceuticals manufacturer Sanofi, mainly heading up its communications function.

The Superpower Institute, an economic thinktank chaired by former ACCC chair Rod Sims and founded by economist Ross Garnaut, has appointed Baethan Mullen as its inaugural chief executive.

Mr Mullen moves from his role as executive director of the Victorian Essential Services Commission. Prior to that, He spent more than 19 and a half years at the ACCC.

From April 22, Kevin Russell began a three-year term as director for NBN Co. He replaces Andrew Dix, who served in the role since 2021. Mr Russell has previously held senior roles at Vocus Group, Telstra, and Optus.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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