Gig Guide: Kathryn Campbell heads AUKUS office

Brandon How

Kathryn Campbell, the former head of the Department of Human Services when the robodebt scheme was devised and deployed, is reportedly leading the AUKUS Joint Program Office at the Department of Defence.

Ms Campbell was moved to the Department of Defence after being replaced as secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade when the Albanese government came to power. It was previously reported that she would head the new Advanced Strategic Research Agency, however the agency has yet to be established.

Ms Campbell served as the head of the Department of Human Services between 2011 and 2017. She testified before the Royal Commission into robodebt last week and sought to distance herself from any misleading advice about the lawfulness of the scheme that was delivered to the federal government. She argued that the responsibility lay with the Department of Social Services (DSS).

She previously held senior administrative roles at the Department of Finance and the former Department of Administrative Services, and held the rank of Major General in the Army Reserves. sought confirmation on Ms Campbell’s role from the Department of Defence but has not received a response.

Kathryn Campbell. Image: Asia Society Australia

Elsewhere, a new chair of the national board has been appointed at industry body Australian Information Industry Association. Angela Fox is replacing Rob Hillard who has been in the role over the last three years.

Ms Fox has been an advocate of diversity and inclusion in the tech sector, particularly through sponsorship of Dell’s external Women in IT Executive Mentoring (WITEM) program and is also Global Executive Co-Chair of Dell’s Women in Action (WIA) employee resource group. The group intends to announce other board appointments in the new year.

Australian National University vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt is the new chair of the Group of Eight universities, moving from his current role as deputy chair. Mr Schmidt is replacing outgoing chair Monash University vice chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner. University of Sydney vice-chancellor Professor Mark Scott will fill the deputy chair role, with both appointments commencing next February.

Kerri Hartland is the new director-general of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. Ms Hartland was previously the deputy director-general of the Australia Security Intelligence Office betweeen 2011 and 2017. She has also previously served as Australian Federal Police chair, the former Department of Employment, Small and Family Business secretary, and Department of Human Services deputy secretary.

The president and chief information officer of Silicon Quantum Computing is Ian Hill, who has sat on the board of the company since October 2018. Before taking on the executive role in August, Mr Hill was Standard Chartered Bank’s global chief operating officer of transformation. He has also held senior digital capability roles at Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, and Microsoft.

Former National Retail Association chief executive Dominique Lamb is Queensland’s new Small Business Commissioner. The position and office became a permanent role in May after first being introduced in May 2020. Outgoing commissioner Maree Adshead served as the Queensland government’s Small Business Champion from 2017 before the institution of the commissioner role.

Ms Lamb left the National Retail Association in September after more than six years in the role and currently serves as the acting chief of communications at Airservices Australia. She takes on the commissioner role from December 23.

Also in Queensland, the new Right to Information Commissioner is Stephanie Winson. Ms Winson has served as New Zealand’s assistant ombudsman systemic and monitoring for the last two years. She previously spent more than 13 years at Maritime New Zealand as well as more than three years as the chief executive and secretary of the National Assembly for the Parliament of Namibia.

Former Labor shadow minister for the environment and water Terri Butler has joined the board of the Smart Energy Council and the board of Griffith University’s Climate Ready Intiative. Since failing to get re-elected in this year’s federal election, Ms Butler has also been appointed chair of circular economy advocacy group Circular Australia.

Terri Butler. Image: LinkedIn

The new chief executive of startup of community Fishburners is Martin Karafilis, the co-founder and former chief operating officer of product recognition AI company Tiliter. Mr Karafilis replaced interim chief executive Alan Jones, who filled the role since June 2022 and will return his focus to venture capital and angel investing activity.

Western Australia’s Innovator of the Year is MedTech startup Neurotologix for its work on a remote patient monitoring device for dizziness and vertigo. Seven other companies were named across five other categories. This included BioTech firm Lixa, which has developed a scalable antibiofilm technologies to treat antimicrobial resistance.

The interim director of Sydney Nano is Associate Professor Alice Motion, who has three years of experience as the institute’s deputy director (external engagement and academic development).

Associate Professor Motion is a chemist and science communicator who received the Eureka Prize in 2020 for promoting understanding of science and  engaging new and underrepresented audiences. She replaces Ben Eggleton who has become the university’s pro-vice-chancellor (research).

Telstra has appointed chartered accountant and serial company director Ming Long to its board. Ms Long is the current chair of Diversity Council Australia, and QBE Insurance’s audit committee. She stepped down as chair of AMP Capital this year after around four years in the role. Some of her current board and committee appointments are at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

The George Institute for Health has found a new chief executive in Professor Anushka Patel, who is a professor of medicine at the University of New South Wales. Professor Patel has previously worked with the institute for around 14 and a half years and will begin in the new role in January. She is replacing co-founders Professor Robyn Norton and Professor Stephen MacMahon.

The Australian Energy Regulator has appointed EnergyX Solutions co-founders David Garwoli and Philip Sheppard to its Retailer Reliability Obligation auditors panel.


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