Gig Guide: Renee Leon is the new IPAA chief

Brandon How

The new national president of the Institute of Public Administration Australia is Professor Renée Leon, the current vice-chancellor and president of Charles Sturt University. Professor Renée joined the university in 2021 following a successful public sector career. She replaces Dr Gordon de Brouwer who is now the secretary for Public Sector Reform.

Professor Leon has previously served as the chief executive officer at the federal Department of Human Services from 2017-2020, at the federal Department of Employment from 2013-2017, and the chief operating officer at the Attorney-General’s department and the Department of Premier and Cabinet from 2009-2013.

Professor Leon said that she is “honoured to have this opportunity to continue the fine work of the IPAA, and to support the vital role the public service performs for governments and communities”.

Professor Renée Leon. Image: Institute of Public Administration Australia

The new executive dean of science, engineering, and built environment at Deakin University is Professor Nick Birbilis from October 2022. Professor Birbilis will replace Dr David Halliwell, who has been acting in the role since January.

Professor Birbilis spent four years at the Australian National University and has been the interim dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science since October 2021. He has also been the deputy dean of the college since 2018. Prior to this, he was head of department in materials, science, and engineering at Monash University between 2013 and 2018.

Deakin vice-chancellor Professor Iain Martin said that Professor Birbilis would help maintain the world-class standard for research at the faculty of science, engineering, and the built environment.

“Professor Birbilis is a world-renowned materials engineer and is recognised for contributions in microstructure-corrosion relationships, including in the area of light alloys and additively manufactured alloys as well as 3D printing, with more than 20 associated patents,” Professor Martin said.

Former executive group manager for digital, data, and technology solutions at the ACT Government Anthony Stinziani has become the chief information officer at the City of Gold Coast. Mr Stinziani he leaves the ACT after just under a year and a half in the role. He was also previously the chief information officer at the Department of Parliamentary Services between 2017 and 2021. Before that he spent almost seven years as chief information officer at Geoscience Australia.

Skye Richmond has been appointed technical director of the Boeing program at CSIRO. The research program runs until the end of 2026 and is worth $41 million. Ms Richmond was previously the head of business development and commercialisation at CSIRO’s Data61 between 2019-2022. Prior to that, she spent more than 15 and a half years at Meat and Livestock Australia.

Professor Andrew Turpin. Image: Curtin University

Professor Andrew Turpin is the inaugural Lions Curtin chair in Ophthalmic Big Data at Curtin University. He will begin the role in November after leaving his role as the director of the Melbourne Data Analytics Platform and senior academic convenor of the Petascale Campus Initiative at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Bill Morgan, managing director of ophthalmology specialist Lions Eye Institute said that Professor Turpin would bring “deep expertise that will further develop the Institute’s and Curtin’s work in artificial intelligence, image analysis, Indigenous, rural and remote eye health, and data linkage”.

The chief executive of The Private Infrastructure Development Group Company InfraCo Asia has joined Fortescue Future Industries (FFI). Allard Nooy will be FFI’s president for South-East Asia and will be based in Singapore. He leaves InfraCo after nine years.

The new chief of staff for the Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor is Julie Ligeti. Ms Ligeti was previously the director for global public advocacy at Cochlear before entering the role. She has also left the Monash University Council and the steering committee at the World Health Organisation’s World Hearing Forum. Ms Ligeti has previously held chief of staff roles federal and New South Wales state ministers.

The winner of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award during this year’s edition of Universities Australia’s ‘Pitch it Clever!’ research communication competition is Kazi Yasin Islam from Edith Cowan University. Mr Islam won for his idea to develop underwater wireless technology.

Dr Kristyn Sommer from Griffith University won the Universities Australia award for explaining her research on how robot design and programming affects children’s learning. Nirmal Madhavanpillai Sajeevkumar from Swinburne University won the People’s Choice Award for his pitch on sustainable oxygen steel making by increasing the use of scrap steel.

Queensland state-owned energy company CS Energy has appointed two new executives. Emma Roberts has been appointed the Executive General Manager of Future Energy while Barry Millar has been appointed Executive General Manager Asset Management and moves from AGL.

The new chief data and analytics officer of customer experience management company Merkle Australia is Dr Catherine Lopes. Dr Lopes is also on the Advisory Board of the Australian National University School of Computing and on the Governing Board of the Environmental Protection Authority Victoria. She has held senior data science roles at ANZ, PwC, and AGL.

Four people at the Australian National Audit Office have been promoted to executive director. These are Bradley Medina, Marie-Christine Chalmers, Mark Vial, and Xiaoyan Lu. At the Australian Tax Office, Anita Challen has been promoted to assistant commissioner for risk and strategy.

Services Australia has also made a number of promotions to fill national manager roles in Newcastle, Perth, and Toowoomba with two appointed in Canberra. These are Jason Kallus, Nerissa Doverty, Michelle Guerin, and Melissa Ann Haines and Javier Ribalta respectively.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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