Gig Guide: Interim director named at Jobs and Skills Australia

Brandon How

Jobs and Skills Australia’s interim director is Professor Peter Dawkins, who will serve in the role while the federal government consults on the final design of the newly established body.

Professor Dawkins was formerly the vice-chancellor and president of Victoria University from 2011 to the end of 2020. He was also co-responsible, with former RMIT vice-chancellor Professor Martin Bean, for the federal government commissioned Review of University-Industry Collaboration in Teaching and Learning published in December 2021.

Holding a doctorate in economics, Professor Dawkins has also spent time as the deputy secretary of the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance, followed by four years as secretary of the state’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Professor Peter Dawkins. Image: Victoria University

Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor congratulated Professor Dawkins on his appointment, describing him as “eminently qualified, knowledgeable and experienced to take on this important role”.

“He shares our passion for the power of education and training to transform lives, and I welcome his extensive knowledge of labour market economics to lead Jobs and Skills Australia,” Mr O’Connor said.

Further legislation to support the establishment of Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) is expected to be introduced into parliament in early 2023.

To help boost access to skilled workers in the manufacturing industry, the Board of Manufacturing Skills Queensland (MSQ) met for the first-time last week. The board’s chair is Michael Glover, who has spent over 20 years in executive roles at public and private sector organisations, including as the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority.

Mr Glover is joined on the board by six other directors, equally divided into employer representatives, employee representatives, and government representatives.

The remaining MSQ directors are Watkins Steel director Des Watkins, insect repellent manufacturing RID Australia director Natalene Carter, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union executive officer Ann-Marie Allan, Australian Workers’ Union Queensland branch vice president James Wilson, Queensland Department of Employment, Small Business and Training deputy director Steve Koch, and Queensland Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water deputy director general Bernadette Zerba.

Two new senior leadership positions have been created at the University of Sydney to support the deployment of its 2032 Strategy. Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Simon Ringer has been appointed pro-vice-chancellor (research infrastructure), while Professor of Clinical Psychology Louise Sharpe has been appointed pro-vice-chancellor (researcher training).

Electrolyser company Hysata has appointed former Tritium chief financial officer Michael Hipwood as its chief financial officer. It has also appointed Dr Scott Abrahamson as head of engineering and Daniel Tas Sandermann as head of Europe.

Dr Abrahamson has spent 20 years working at Apple and Western Digital, while Mr Sandermann moves from the world’s largest developer of offshore wind power Ørsted.

Michael Hipwood. Image: LinkedIn

Gelion has appointed John Wood as its chief executive. Mr Wood was formerly the chief executive of CSIRO-founded Ecoult, another battery tech company, for more than 12 years. Ecoult was acquired by United States-based East Penn Manufacturing in May 2010.

Mr Wood is replacing interim chief executive Hannah McCaughey. Over the last two years, he has also founded and has run NOAB.Ventures to “guide investments with positive impact including CleanTech investment,” according to his LinkedIn.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts has appointed a new chief digital officer. Alexander Clarke fills the role after moving from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

Department of Defence sustainment director Belinda Templeman has moved to a senior executive position at the Joint Systems Division, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.

From February 2023, Fortescue Metals Group’s new chief executive will be Fiona Hick, who was most recently Woodside Energy’s executive vice president Australian operations. Ms Hick is also the president of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia.

NetApp’s new vice president and managing director for ANZ is Matthew Hurford. Mr Hurford is being promoted from his role as vice president, solutions engineering and field chief technology officer for Asia Pacific. He has worked at NetApp since 2009.

Samsara Eco chief science officer Professor Colin Jackson has won the Australian National University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Advancing Research.

AI bushfire management tool developers Firestory have appointed former Vodafone chief digital and information officer Rob James as its managing director. Mr James was also previously Qantas group chief technology officer and William Hill’s Australian chief information officer.

University of Wollongong senior deputy vice-chancellor (innovation, enterprise, and external relations) and economics Professor Alex Frino has been appointed to the Illawarra Regional Expert Panel to advise the Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund. He joins seven other community leaders and local representatives. The fund is comprised of mining royalties set aside for regional investment.

Brisbane-based cloud hosting and web development company ATech has appointed Kirsty McCann to its inaugural board. Ms McCann is currently managing director of psychometric resources software-as-a-service provider Team Management Systems. She joins recently appointed chair Gary Linton and director Lil Bianchi.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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