Gig Guide: Health dept exec joins robodebt taskforce

Brandon How

Federal Health department deputy secretary Penny Shakespeare has been appointed to support the taskforce inquiring into potential breaches of the public service code in the wake of the Robodebt Royal Commission.

As a supplementary reviewer, Ms Shakespeare will make inquiries into the conduct of former agency heads. The taskforce is led by retired senior public servant Stephen Sedgwick.

16 individuals have been referred to the Australian Public Service Commission for potential breaches of the APS code of conduct for their roles in robodebt, which raised $1.5 billion in unlawful debts from welfare recipients.

The individuals include those referred by the Royal Commission, former APS employees referred by their most recent agency head, and former agency heads referred by Public Service minister Katy Gallagher, informed by advice from the secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Penny Shakespeare. Image: LinkedIn

Home Affairs minister Clare O’Neil has appointed former Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Dennis Richardson to lead a review of integrity and governance in the administration of regional processing arrangements. Mr Richardson was also previously the secretary of the Department of Defence and the Director-General of Security.

The appointment follows revelations that the Department of Home Affairs awarded an offshore detention contract to Radiance International in 2018 while its director Sydney-based businessman Mozammil Bhojani was under investigation for corruption by the Australian Federal Police, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Australia’s new Future Fund chief investment officer is Ben Samild, who is being promoted from deputy chief investment officer after serving in the role since 2021. Mr Samild has been at the sovereign wealth fund for a decade and, before that, spent more than four years as head of investment strategy at LUCRF Super, which last year merged with Australian Super.

Salesforce ANZ and ASEAN chief executive Pip Marlow is set to leave at the end of this month, as reported by iTnews. Ms Marlow joined the firm in 2019 and has served in the ANZ chief executive role since August 2019, gaining responsibility for the ASEAN region in October 2020.

Prior to her time at Salesforce, Ms Marlow spent two and a half years as a chief executive of Suncorp Group and more than 21 years at Microsoft, including six years as managing director.

The chief executive of Infrastructure Australia Adam Copp has been confirmed in the role for a three-year term after acting in the role since the start of August 2022. He has served at the agency since the end of 2014. Overall, he has worked across the Australian government for 15 years.

Commissioner of the Australian Tax Office Chris Jordan will not seek reappointment when his second five-year term comes to a close at the end of February 2024. Since joining the ATO at the beginning of 2013, Mr Jordan has overseen the introduction of several successful digital initiatives.

Chris Jordan

Lithium-Sulphur battery firm Li-S Energy has appointed Bob Galyen and Isobel Sheldon to its global advisory panel. Mr Gaylen previously served as the chief technology officer for Chinese lithium battery firm CATL, while Ms Sheldon was the former Britishvolt chief strategy officer between June 2020 and April 2023. Britishvolt filed for administration in January and was then acquired by troubled battery firm Recharge Industries.

The chair of the Western Australian government’s $1.6 billion Future Health Research and Innovation Fund John Van Der Wielen has been appointed chair of local BioTech firm Orthocell. He is also the current chair of Crown Resorts and the former chief executive of health insurer HBF.

Former Digital Victoria chief strategy and operations officer Suzanne Aitken has been appointed group owner for IT strategy and transformation at Telstra, while former AWS director for customer engineering in Asia Pacific and Japan, Cheryl Davis, was appointed group owner for sales and commerce engineering.

The new interim associate deputy vice-chancellor research at Curtin University is Professor Gretchen Benedix. She was formerly deputy head of the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences and is also a board member of the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory in Perth.

Fortescue Energy, formerly Fortescue Future Industries, has appointed Deborah Caudle as chief financial officer. She moves from BHP where she is currently finance executive. Ms Caudle was the acting chief financial officer of OZ Minerals before it was acquired by BHP in May 2023.

The new chief technology officer of Commonwealth Bank, Rodrigo Castillo, began in the role last week. He previously served 15 years at HSBC, with the last two years spent as the chief information officer for HSBC’s Americas region.

The founder of peak industry body the Australian Sports Technology Network, James Demetriou, has retired from its board while becoming chair of the Australian Sports Innovation Centre of Excellence Advisory Council. Etrainu vice president for sales and revenue Cameron O’Riordan has also left the board. Queensland University of Technology manager of industry engagement for data sciences Angela Dahlke has joined the board.

In June, the executive director of Lithium Australia’s cathode materials subsidiary VSPC, Andrew Skalski, moved to become the parent company’s general manager for safety, risk, and integration.

Siobahn Campbell has moved from her executive level two role at the Department of Industry, Science, and Resources to become the Department of Social Services branch manager for quality and safeguards policy.

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