Gig Guide: New chief executive at Export Finance Australia

Brandon How

Export Finance Australia (EFA) has appointed John Hopkins as managing director and chief executive officer, moving from his position as chief risk officer. Prior to joining EFA in January 2012, Mr Hopkins held senior leadership roles in Sydney, London, and New York with Westpac, commercial property firm Goodman Group, and National Australia Bank.

Mr Hopkins replaces Swati Daw, who served in the roles for five years. Ms Daw is not immediately taking up another role. She is currently deputy chair of the Asia Society think tank.

John Hopkins. Image: Export Finance Australia

The chair of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) Wayne Byres will step down on October 30. Mr Byres has held roles at APRA since 1998 and was previously secretary general of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision before becoming APRA chair on July 1, 2014. The Treasury department said that “an open and transparent process to select the next APRA chair” will now be undertaken.

Australia Space Agency head Enrico Palermo has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Western Australia (UWA) in recognition of his contributions to space innovation. Mr Palermo graduated from UWA in 2002 with a Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Science. Before heading up the Australian Space Agency last year, he was chief operating officer at Virgin Galactic for a year, and president of the Spaceship Company for more than 11 years.

The chief executive of Blockchain Australia Steve Vallas stepped down on Friday after two years in the role. He is currently also the deputy chair of the National Blockchain Roadmap Steering Committee at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the vice-chair of the ASEAN Blockchain Consortium, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s Digital Finance Advisory Panel.

Sustainable design and engineering advisory firm Aurecon has appointed Adjunct Professor Justine Jarvinen to its newly-created role managing principal, sustainability, and climate change. The role will oversee carbon markets, decarbonisation, physical risk and resilience, transition strategy and ESG strategy.

Professor Jarvinen was chief executive officer of the University of New South Wales Energy Institute between January 2019 and June 2022. She has also held senior positions at Ampol and AGL Energy. She is currently the chair of Wattwatchers, and energy efficiency tech platform, and is on the board of Climate-KIC Australia, and the Port Authority of New South Wales.

Adjunct Professor Justine Jarvinen.

Among the appointees to the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce is Australian Digital Health Agency chief executive officer Amanda Cattermole.

Brad Williams is Australia’s new counsel-general and senior trade and investment commissioner New Zealand and the Pacific. He joins the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) from his role as Chief Executive Officer at Australian Logistics Council. Mr Williams as also on the NSW Freight Transport Advisory Council and the Queensland Ministerial Freight Council.

Former CSIRO relationship manager for the Western Australia State government and Universities Dr Genevieve Simpson is now the RACE for Everyone program leader at RACE for 2030. RACE 2030 is a research centre for energy and carbon transition established in July 2020 with $68.5 million of support from the Commonwealth. Dr Simpson is also currently the vice chair of the Perth branch of the Australian Institute of Energy, is an honorary research fellow at the University of Western Australia and sits on the Geography Advisory Board.

Australian Space Agency head Enrico Palermo.

Online marketplace Catch has appointed Brendan Sweeney as managing director. He moves from his role as eCommerce and Loyalty for the Cotton On Group, where he has been since 2015. He also  previously led the strategy function at Coles Group as well as being commercial director at United Kingdom department store John Lewis.

FinTech Tyro appoints Paul Keen as chief technology officer. He will replace Dave Coombes in August. Mr Keen moves from his role as global vice-president of engineering at intelligence software firm Nuix.

At the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Penelope Morton has been promoted to assistant secretary, while Rhona MacPherson has been promoted to national manager at Services Australia.

At the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Owen Freestone has been appointed as assistant secretary (chief economist), economic policy branch. Mr Freestone moves from his role as director, budget projects at the Commonwealth Treasury.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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