Gig Guide: Mrdak appointed to NBN board

Brandon How

Former Department of Infrastructure secretary and author of an unreleased report on the government’s cybersecurity response capability, Mike Mrdak, has been appointed to the board of the NBN corporation.

Mr Mrdak served as departmental secretary for more than a decade, leaving the role in January 2020. He has also worked stints as deputy secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the former Department of Transport and Regional Development.

In the wake of the Optus and Medibank hacks last October, Mr Mrdak was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s office to undertake a report on the Public Service’s cybersecurity response capability. A report that made recommendations to improve coordination was handed to the government at the end of November last year, but it has not been made public.

He is also the executive chair of NEC Australia, the chair of NSW EnergyCo, and the New South Wales Regional Growth Corporation. Mr Mrdak is also on the advisory board of LEK Consulting.

NBN chief executive Stephen Rue has also been reappointed as an executive director. He has been chief executive since September 2018.

Mike Mrdak. Image: NEC Australia

Nicola Roxon has been appointed as the new chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. She is currently the chair of VicHealth and health and community services superannuation fund HESTA. Ms Roxon was the federal Attorney General between 2011 and 2013 and has also served as minister for health and ageing and for emergency management.

The University of Adelaide has named energy expert Professor Christian Doonan as its Future Industry Making Fellow, a role that sits within the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Resources. One third of the funding for the role has been committed by the South Australian state government.

Professor Doonan is the research director for the Scaling Green Hydrogen CRC bid and chief investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Green Electrochemical Transformation of Carbon Dioxide.

The new chair of the Productivity Commission is Grattan Institute chief executive Danielle Wood, as reported by Ms Wood was appointed to an expert panel to support a two year competition policy review led by a new Treasury Competition Taskforce last month. It is not clear if she will remain on the panel.

To support the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water’s review of policy options to address the risk of carbon leakage, the government has engaged Australian National University Professor Frank Jotzo to provide expert input. The final advice will be presented to the government by September 30, 2024.

Outgoing Productivity Commission chair Michael Brennan will be the inaugural chief executive of the e61 Institute an economic think tank. Earlier this year Mr Brennan announced he would not seek reappointment at the conclusion of his five-year term.

Michael Brennan

The Queensland government’s next under treasurer will be Michael Carey who is currently associate director-general of the Cabinet Office. He also previously served as deputy under treasurer, investment commercial and industry between 2020 and 2021.

The new full-time chair of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee, responsible for ensuring the integrity of Australia’s carbon credit scheme, is Professor Karen Hussey. Professor Hussey has been the Queensland Department of Environment and Science’s deputy director general for the last three and a half years. She will commence on October 9.

Main Sequence Ventures’ new head of people is Erika Enberg, who last served as chief people officer at Berlin-based digital energy company Tibber between April 2021 and September 2022. Ms Enberg has nearly 20 years working in human resources and is also a mentor on LaunchVic’s 30X30 scaleup accelerator program and the Techstars accelerator program.

Main Sequence also appointed Emerald Scofield as an associate, Alex Romero as an analyst, and Ben Hansky as a legal counsel. BioTech expert Dr Jason Whitfield has also been confirmed as an associate after previously being on secondment from the University of New South Wales.

Nasdaq-listed software firm Bentley Systems has appointed Robert Malkin as senior regional director of Australia and New Zealand to support the Enterprise ANZ sales team. Mr Malkin moves from software firm Mural where he was the vice president, Asia-Pacific and Japan. He fills the vacancy left by Fergus Dunn who is now senior director, business development.

Accenture and Microsoft’s IT consulting and services joint venture Avanade has appointed Florin Rotar as its chief AI officer. He moves from the chief technology officer role which will be filled by the current head of emerging technologies Aaron Reich.

Isuzu Australia’s new chief of corporate services is Ashwin Iyer who will nor oversee the company’s IT department as well as people and culture, and financial control. He replaces Paul Evans who will become a director and chief risk officer.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to refer to Mr Rue as the current NBN chief executive rather than former chief executive.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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