Gig Guide: New committee to drive Uni Accord response

Brandon How

Education department secretary Tony Cook will chair a new committee set up to support the implementation of reforms recommended from the Universities Accord.

Announced alongside the federal Budget on Tuesday, the 10-member advisory committee features representation from higher education, VET and policy experts to support continued engagement between the government and the tertiary education sector as the reforms are implemented.

It will undertake further consultation on the “legislative design of the proposed Australian Tertiary Education Commission, and the new Managed Growth Funding System, including needs-based funding”, according to the government.

As a part of the government’s reform process, the government will also undertake a root and branch review of Australia’s research and development system.

Mr Cook is an experienced education policy public servant having previously been the Queensland Department of Education’s director-general and former associate secretary for schools and youth in the federal Education department.

Other government officials on the committee are Jobs and Skills Australia Commissioner Barney Glover, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations secretary Natalie James and the Department of Education’s deputy secretary for the higher education, research and international group, Ben Rimmer.

Luke Sheehy, chief executive of representative group Universities Australia, said the committee “will be key to ensuring further reforms are appropriately prioritised. We can’t afford to kick the can down the road”.

Image: YouTube/ Queensland Department of Education

The full list of advisory committee members is as follows:

  • Professor David Lloyd: University of South Australia vice chancellor, Universities Australia chair
  • Professor Verity Firth: University of New South Wales vice-president societal impact, equity and engagement
  • Professor Stephen Duckett: University of Melbourne honorary enterprise professor
  • Professor Julia Horne: University of Sydney
  • Professor Tom Calma: Kungarakan Elder and 2023 Senior Australian of the Year, former chancellor of the University of Canberra.
  • Professor Barney Glover: Jobs and Skills Australia Commissioner
  • Jenny Dodd: TAFE Directors Australia chief executive
  • Natalie James (ex-officio): Department of Employment and Workplace Relations secretary
  • Ben Rimmer (ex-officio): Department of Education deputy secretary for the higher education, research and international group
  • Tony Cook (chair): Department of Education secretary

Local cloud and cybersecurity provider AUCloud has announced several senior executive appointments, including Joshua Mann as chief operating officer and David Milin as head of cybersecurity.

Mr Mann has been working as an external advisor to AUCloud since October 2023 and has previously served in roles at cyber firm Tesserent, Hostopia, and NewFold digital. Mr Milin joins AUCloud as a part of the firm’s acquisition of PCG Cyber, where he was founder and managing director.

The University of Sydney’s Net Zero Initiative has been formally established as the Net Zero Institute and will continue to be led by Professor Deanna D’Alessandro.

The institute brings together 150 researchers across the university to develop diverse technologies including green computing, extracting critical minerals from waste, and direct air capture of greenhouse gases.

South Australia-based radar system provider Silentium Defence has appointed Simon Palumbo as executive vice president for the company’s United States business, Silentium Defense Corporation.

Mr Palumbo is Silentium’s co-founder and currently serves as chief experience officer. In the US, Mr Palumbo will oversee in-country customer support, business development and recruitment.

The Queensland Department of Resources’ new head of reform and strategy delivery office is Gobind Kalsi, who moves from the state’s Department of Energy and Climate.

Mr Kalsi had only served in his previous role as director of sector plans since December 2023. Before joining the Queensland public service in 2022, Mr Kalsi spent 13 and a half years at law firm Allens.

At the office of the eSafety Commissioner, Kelly Tallon has been promoted to an executive manager position. Meanwhile, the Office of National Intelligence has appointed a new chief operating officer but withheld their name.

Earlier this month, the Australian Research Council announced $22.5 million in funding to support 50 Early Career Industry Fellowships, including support for quantum technologies.

Among the successful fellows are Silicon Quantum Computing’s quantum systems engineering lead Dr Sam Gorman and Diraq quantum computing semiconductor engineer Dr Nard Dumoulin Stuyck. Quantum clock researcher Sarah Scholten has also received funding for a fellowship with QuantX Labs.

The Financial Services Council, an industry representative body, has officially launched a digital advice expert group, a year on from its conception.

The group’s four founding members are Ignition Advice’s global head of strategy Andrew Baker, MoneyMind chief executive Jacqui Henderson, MoneyGPS chief executive George Haramis, and MoneyGPS executive adviser Jason Nyilas.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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