Gig Guide: new ACCC deputy chair arrives in 2023

Brandon How

Deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Delia Rickard will depart the role in January 2023 after more than ten years in the role, with her replacement named as Catriona Lowe.

Ms Rickard was initially appointed to a senior executive position at the predecessor to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in 1993. She was seconded to work on the Wallis Inquiry into the Australian financial system in 1996 before joining the Australian Securities and Investment Commission in 2000.

Catriona Lowe will fill the deputy chair role on a five-year term. For the past four years she has been a director of Way Forward, an advocacy group for those who are struggling to pay back their debt. Ms Lowe has also sat on the board of the Australian Energy Regulator. She brings extensive board experience to the role, including stints at the Financial Standards and Ethics Authority, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s Office.

ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb was eager to welcome Ms Lowe to the ACCC, describing her as “exceptionally well qualified to be appointed to this position”.

“Catriona is well-known to the ACCC in her current role as a board member at the Australian Energy Regulator, as well as in her time as the co-CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre, her previous senior position with the Consumers’ Federation of Australia, her chairing of the ACCC Consumer Consultative Committee and in her period working at the ACCC,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.

Catriona Lowe. Image: Consumer Action Law Centre

From November, Geoff Mason will be Minister Counsellor for Industry, Science, and Resources for the United States and Canada. He will be based at the Australian embassy in Washington DC. Prior to his appointment, Mr Mason spent three years at the Department of Industry, Science, and Resources, after a stint working as a ministerial adviser. He is an experienced public servant having spend time at the Department of Finance, at the National Archives of Australia, and IP Australia, among others.

Current chair of the NSW Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy Board Dr Kerry Schott has been appointed chair of the Carbon Market Institute. From November 2, Dr Schott will replace Elisa de Wit, who is a partner and global head of carbon markets at law firm Norton Rose Fullbright. Across her career, Dr Schott has held a number of leadership roles including chair of the Energy Security Board between 2018 and 2021 as well as managing director and chief executive of Sydney Water from 2006 to 2011.

Following the purge of the Clean Energy Regulator’s Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee of controversial Coalition appointments in July, Ms Rowena Abbey will serve as acting chair between September 2022 and March 2023. Between September 2012 and December 2021, Ms Abbey was the Mayor of Yass Valley Council and is currently the chair of Regional Development Australia – Southern Inland. She also currently sits on the Audit and Risk Committee of the James Martin Insititute for Public Policy.

Four members were appointed to the Critical Minerals Independent Advisory Panel earlier this year for terms lasting through financial year 2022-23. The three members residing in Western Australia are law firm Gilbert and Tobin partner Justin Mannolini, professor and director of critical minerals at Curtin University Dr Alan Bye, and experienced mining company director Lynda Burnett. Each of the WA representatives is being paid at a rate of $1,166 per day or $425,590 per annum.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s principal consultant for minerals Dr Robert Gee is the only representative based in New South Wales and is not being remunerated because he is an employee of a federal government organisation.

Former Labor Senator and innovation champion Kim Carr has been made an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He served as the senator for Victoria for nearly 30 years and has held several ministerial roles, including as Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

In total, there were 27 new fellows elected this week. India-based Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences’ chair and respected agricultural scientist Dr Rajendra Paroda was made this year’s foreign fellow. Also elected as a fellow is CSIRO Future Industries executive director Kirsten Rose.

Mr Carr was also honoured by the Australian Academy of Science last week with the Academy Medal. He is the second politician to receive the medal after former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who received it in 1990.

Former Senator Kim Carr and Australian Academy of Science president Professor Chennupati Jagadish.

The new chair of the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) is Sam Mostyn as Terry Moran retires from the board after six years as chair. Treasurer Rob Partos has also retired from the board. Ms Mostyn is currently deputy chair and has sat on the board since 2017.

Ms Mostyn is also currently the chair of The Climate Council, The Foundation for Young Australians, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, and Ausfilm, as well as president of Chief Executive Women. Filling the CPD’s deputy chair role is Dr Don Russell, who has been on the board since 2018 and was the former Australian Ambassador to the United State of America. Dr Russell also currently chairs AustralianSuper.

Australian Communications and Media Authority chair Nerida O’Loughlin has been reappointed on a two-year term. Ms O’Loughlin began her new term on October 14. Ms O’Loughlin is also an associate member of the ACCC and was previously the interim chief executive officer of the Digital Transformation Agency between 2016 and 2017.

The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney has appointed Dr Miah Hammond-Errey as the new director of emerging technology. She was formerly a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre. Dr Hammond-Errey is a specialist in emerging technologies in national security and intelligence.

Advocacy body StartupWA has appointed three new members to its advisory council. These are Quokka Capital general partner Charlie Caruso, Hong Kong-based manufacturing company Waylen Allen’s chief executive officer Andrew Stead, and Brandon Capital investment analyst Helga Mikkelsen. Outgoing advisory council members are OncoRes Medical managing director and chief executive Dr Katharine Giles, startup accelerator AgriStart’s managing director and co-founder Dr Natasha Teakle, and Purpose Ventures director Derek Gerrard.

Last month, the Australian Research Council (ARC) formed a working group to help develop a ‘modern data driven approach’ for Excellence in Research Australia, which is Australia’s national research assessment. The working group consists of ARC chief executive Judi Zielke and 13 others. This includes the deputy vice chancellors for research (DVCR) at Southern Cross University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Technology Sydney, University of South Australia, and Curtin University. Group of Eight chief executive Vicki Thomson also sits on the working group.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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