Gig Guide: Fresh CEO for research translation venture BioCurate

Brandon How

The new chief executive of the University of Melbourne and Monash University’s research translation joint venture BioCurate is Dr Kathy Nielsen, who moves from her role leading Monash’s commercialisation team.

Dr Nielsen has more than 25 years’ of experience in life sciences, of which six and a half years was spent as Monash’s director of commercialisation for life sciences and which in the last year has included a stint as the university’s senior director for commercialisation, leading Monash Innovation.

She has also been a senior investment manager at the state-owned Queensland Investment Corporation, which investments in more than 20 BioTech/life science companies across Australia and the United States and has held 17 different directorships.

BioCurate chair John Brumby said he was delighted to have Dr Nielsen in the role and thanked interim chief Henry Jones for his efforts.

“Aside from her stellar track record as a team leader, she has a rare combination of governance, technical, IP and commercialisation capabilities, along with industry connections that will be incredibly valuable to our mission,” Mr Brumby said.

Monash’s chief commercial officer Dr Alastair Hick has also joined the board of BioCurate.

Dr Kathy Nielsen. Image: LinkedIn

On Tuesday, the federal government announced it would undertake an inquiry into last month’s Optus network outage specifically focused on failures related to emergency calls, customer communications, and complaints handling.

The inquiry is to be led by Richard Bean, who was deputy chair at the Australian Communications and Media Authority for more than seven years, a period that included a stint as acting chair. A report is expected to be handed to government by the end of February next year.

The federal government has appointed Elizabeth Tydd as national Freedom of Information Commissioner and Carly Kind as Privacy Commissioner at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, as reported by This means the regulator will have standalone commissioners for privacy and information for the first time since 2015.

Following the sacking of Mike Pezzullo, who served in the role between 2017 and 2023, senior public servant Stephanie Foster has been formerly appointed in the role for a five-year term. She has been acting as secretary since Mr Pezzullo was stood aside on September 25.

Ms Foster, who was appointed associate secretary for immigration in October 2022, has previously served as deputy secretary at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet where she oversaw operations of the executive branch of government, management of cabinet, and advanced the government’s legislative program.

The South Australian Film Corporation has appointed video game industry veteran Clara Reeves to its board. Ms Reeves has been the chief executive of digital game studio Hipster Whale since July 2016, and has been on the board of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association since August 2019.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s new deputy governor is Andrew Hauser who moves from the Bank of England after 30 years at the United Kingdom’s central bank. He fills the deputy role that was made vacant when Michelle Bullock became governor in September.

Mr Hauser is currently serving as the executive director for markets at the Bank of England and has held senior roles across most of the bank’s other functions including leading its Inflation Report, its international economic analysis and its regional agencies’ intelligence gathering.

Western Australia’s minister for Energy, for Hydrogen, for Petroleum and Mines, and Prisons Bill Johnston has stepped down from cabinet and says he will not contest the next state election, which is expected by January 2025.

Mr Johnston has represented the state electorate of Cannington for 15 years. In a statement, Mr Johnston said he had first informed then-Premier Mark McGowan of his decision to step down from cabinet before Christmas 2021 following the state election in 2021.

At Austrade’s Australian Export Awards 2023, announced on Thursday evening, warming devices and equipment for surgery patients manufacturer Care Essentials was awarded exporter of the year and the award for regional exporter.

The Advanced Technologies category was jointly awarded to AV software firm Audinate and software firm Prophecy International. The manufacturing and advanced materials award was won by REDARC Electronics.

The chief executive of Telstra subsidiary Digicel PNG, Colin Stone, has stepped down after five years in the role due to family health reasons. He has been at Digicel Pacific for nine years and will stay on as an advisor. The new interim chief executive is Digicel PNG chief financial officer Ketan Mehta.

Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads has confirmed that its new director-general is Sally Stannard, who has been acting in the role since June 2023. The formal appointment comes a month after the Department officially launched its digital driver’s licence, after five years of development.

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