Gig Guide: CSIRO gains Vic health chief

Brandon How

Victoria’s chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton is moving to CSIRO as the new director of health and biosecurity.

Professor Sutton will begin at the national science agency in September after more than four and a half years as Victoria’s chief health officer, including the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to this, Professor Sutton was deputy chief health officer (communicable disease) and has been in the Victorian public service since 2012.

At CSIRO Professor Sutton will lead the health and biosecurity group focusing on “research and development around Australia’s health and biosecurity preparedness and responsiveness, digital health, and health and wellbeing”.

CSIRO executive director future industries Kirsten Rose welcomed Professor Sutton’s extensive experience, saying it will help the agency address the challenges and opportunities of Australia’s health systems.

Professor Brett Sutton.

“The magnitude of the challenges Professor Sutton faced as Victoria’s Chief Health Officer in guiding the public health response to COVID-19, together with his specialised knowledge in tropical medicine and infectious disease, gives him a unique and compelling skill set to continue to drive CSIRO’s leadership in health and biosecurity research,” she said.

The new chief executive of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) will be Professor Steve Wesselingh when outgoing chief executive Professor Anne Kelso’s term expire on July 26. Professor Wesselingh is currently chair of the NHMRC of the Research Committee and was previously the Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences dean.

Monash University and former RMIT University president vice-chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner will be appointed the 30th governor of Victoria for a five-year term from August 9.

Professor Gardner had a distinguished academic career in economics, industrial relations, and organisational management, also holding stints as the chair of Universities Australia and subsequently the Group of Eight Universities. She was the first woman to lead Monash University when appointed in 2014.

On Tuesday, social media management tool provider Linktree’s co-founder and chief executive Alex Zaccaria said the company would cut 27 per cent of its workforce, particularly affecting Australia and New Zealand-based workers. The objective is to refocus on the firm’s expansion in the United States.

Australian innovation ecosystem veteran Professor Roy Green has been appointed a non-executive director at the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre. He is currently an emeritus professor at the University of Technology Sydney, and is the chair of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Hub, Food Innovation Australia, and the Port of Newcastle.

Former Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes is reportedly being promoted to lead big four accounting firm KPMG’s consulting arm. He is currently KPMG Australia national managing partner enterprise and has been at the firm since 2014.

Former Liberal MP, and innovation advocate Dave Sharma has joined SWG Capital to provide corporate advisory services to startups. Elected in 2019, Mr Sharma lost the seat of Wentworth at the 2022 election. Prior to this, Mr Sharma served as Australia’s ambassador to Israel between 2013 and 2017.

Dave Sharma
Dave Sharma.

SA Water’s new chief information security officer is Kim Valois, who entered the role in May. Her preceding role was as Flinders University’s chief information security officer for more than three and a half years.

NEC Australia has apponted Ayala Domani as vice president of technology and innovation. Ms Domani has held senior innovation and business roles across several large Australian companies such as Office works, AGL Energy, and Telstra. She has also been an angel investor through startup support networks Startmate and Flying Fox Ventures.

At the Department of Industry, Science, and Resources (DISR), Natalie Weddell has been appointed a general manager for science policy and governance, moving from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts.

The incumbent general managers for science policy and governance, Michele Graham and Siobhan Campbell have been moved to other positions, according to a DISR spokesperson, although these positions were not disclosed.

Charlotte East has been promoted to assistant secretary at the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, moving from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In May, Professor Helene Marsh passed the vice presidency of the Australian Academy of Science’s executive committee of council to Professor Bob Graham, the founding executive director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

Queensland University of Technology physicist Distinguished Professor Lidia Morawska has been awarded the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award, acknowledging her work in leading a warning to the World Health Organisation on the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19. She was previously named in the 2021 TIME100 most influential people.

Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority deputy chair Helen Rowell will step away from the regulator when her term expires this month. Ms Rowell has spent 10 years in the role, and 21 years of service with the regulator.

The Carbon Market Institute has appointed CommBank Business and Institutional associate director of Indigenous carbon Clark Donovan to its board. He is the first Indigenous board member.

Fortescue has announced the resignation of non-executive director Jennifer Morris who has been in the role since 2016. Elizabeth Gaines has transitioned to become an executive director given the demands of her Global Ambassador role.

The chief executive of biopharmaceutical company Starpharma Dr Jackie Fairley will retire in 2024. She has spent more than 16 years as chief executive.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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