Gig Guide: Industry dept appoints new manufacturing lead

Brandon How

The Industry department has a new head of division for manufacturing and industry in Tara Oliver, who moves over from her role as general manager of the research and development tax incentive branch.

Ms Oliver has overseen the R&D tax incentive branch since August 2022 and has previously served as the managing director of the government’s Behavioural Economics Team within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C).

A career public servant, Ms Oliver began her work for the Commonwealth at the Treasury and has held several roles at PM&C. She has also worked at the former Department of Environment and as director for regulatory reform for the former Council of Australian Governments.

Outgoing Department of Industry, Science, and Resources (DISR) head of manufacturing and industry Deborah Anton leaves after a year in the role. Ms Anton was also the former interim national data commissioner between August 2018 and December 2021.

A DISR spokesperson confirmed that Ms Oliver will begin in the role on January 22, with Elizabeth Minogue to take over as general manager for the research and development tax incentive branch in the interim.

Tara Oliver sharing insights on Behavioural Economics in 2018. Image: X

The Queensland Department of Energy and Climate’s new deputy director-general for hydrogen and future fuels is Alana Barlow, who moves from her role as Sumitomo Australia’s national hydrogen commercialisation manager.

Before joining the Queensland government, the former lawyer was also a director of Sumitomo subsidiary Summit Hydrogen Gladstone and industry body, the Australian Hydrogen Council.

Several appointments have been made at Fleet Space Technologies, including Dr Jack Muir as the new head of machine learning and Lisa Johnson as head of systems engineering.

Dr Muir completed his PhD in Geophysics and Seismology at Caltech and moves to Fleet from his research fellow position at Oxford University. Lisa Johnson moves from their role as head of systems engineering and mission planning at California-based satellite imagery business Planet Labs.

Western Australia-based BioTech firm Orthocell has appointed former Labor minister and ambassador to the United States, Kim Beazley, to its board. Mr Beazley sits on several other boards, including as chair of the Perth US Asia Centre at the University of Western Australia and the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

IT services firm AVEC has strengthened its presence in the Australian Capital Territory by appointing Sarah Martin as general manager. Ms Martin has years of experience working with the Department of Defence through technology companies Fujitsu Australia, DXC Technology and NCS Group.

Two appointments have been made to the federal government’s First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group. Dr Heron Loban was formerly a senior lecturer of law at Griffith University, while Jerome Cubillo is the chief executive of the Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network.

The Digital Inclusion Expert Panel, which supports the advisory group, has also had two additional appointments. Cheryl Bailey is the founder and managing director of IT firm Indigenous Technology and Dan Lloyd is general counsel and chief of corporate affairs at Uniti Group. Mr Lloyd was a senior adviser to Communications minister Michelle Rowland between July 2022 and August 2023.

University of Canberra (UC) vice-chancellor and president Professor Paddy Nixon has stepped down for personal reasons and will be taking a career break. Professor Nixon took UC’s top job in April 2020, moving from his role as vice-chancellor and president at Ulster University in Northern Ireland.

The interim UC vice-chancellor will be deputy vice-chancellor research and enterprise Professor Lucy Johnston as a recruitment process is undertaken.

David Hazlehurst began as the chief executive of Services Australia this week. Mr Hazlehurst was appointed in December after he finished leading a review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. He was responsible for the establishment of the Digital Transformation Office as interim chief executive in 2015.

The chief scientist of Australia’s former chief of staff Melanie O’Byrne is now the Department of Defence’s director for strategic policy outreach within the Strategy, Policy and Industry Group.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s new general manager for the National Security and Space Program is Kristen Reeson, while the new general manager for Aviation, Land and Maritime Transport Program is James Lannan.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

Leave a Comment

Related stories