Gig Guide: Victoria poaches new digital chief

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

The Victorian government has poached Services Australia’s chief information officer to run its new centralised IT services entity Digital Victoria, while consulting giant Deloitte has hoovered up more high ranking ex-public servants.

On Friday Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the inaugural Digital Victoria chief executive will be Michael McNamara.

Mr McNamara is currently Services Australia group chief information officer, having joined the federal agency in 2019 when it was known as the Department of Human Services.

The Irish-born Mr McNamara had an extensive private sector career prior to joining the Australian Public Service, including senior tech roles at Hewlett Packard, the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Colonial First State, and several energy companies.

From September he will lead Digital Victoria, a Department of Premier and Cabinet group established in last year’s state budget with $196 million to centralise and simplify the government’s IT services.

Steve Wozniak and Victoria’s new digital chief Michael McNamara. Photo: Twitter

The state government has been on the hunt for someone to lead Digital Victoria since May, offering a salary up to $480,000.

“Digital Victoria will deliver the faster and simpler government services that Victorians deserve,” said Victoria’s Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson.

“Michael McNamara is an outstanding leader who brings a wealth of public, corporate and international experience to his new role leading Digital Victoria – I congratulate him on his appointment.”

The Department of Home Affairs has named Nicole Spencer as first assistant secretary and appointed Sara Vrh as assistant secretary and Susan Drennan as commander.

Last week was Ed Santow’s final one as Australian Human Rights Commissioner. Mr Santow, who took the role in 2016, had campaigned for more caution in the rollout of emerging technology like artificial intelligence, particularly in areas like compliance and law enforcement, while also promoting the importance of digital accessibility, among other rights issues.

“Over the course of his five-year tenure, Ed has challenged and changed the course of human right and technology in Australia,” Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher said.

“He leaves a significant and enduring legacy.”

Mr Santow will lead a new University of Technology Sydney responsible technology program from September, while the government is yet to commit to replacing him at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin has joined Deloitte as a Canberra based financial advisory partner in the forensic practice.

Mr Colvin, who was also the inaugural leader of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency until recently, said he looked forward to delivering “equally positive outcomes” for Deloitte clients in areas like organisational transformation, conduct, regulatory and financial crime risk.

Deloitte also hired former Service NSW chief technology and security officer Michael Cracroft as director for cyber and cloud in its risk advisory services practice. Mr Cracroft also held senior IT roles at the NSW Department of Industry and NSW Office of Water, as part of nearly two decades in government IT shops.

The multinational consultancy also added Paul Goodall as a director of data science this month. Mr Goodall has worked as a senior data scientist for the Commonwealth Bank and was most recently a principal data scientist for Telstra Purple.

Sandro Bucchianeri has been appointed as National Australia Bank’s new chief security officer, replacing Nicholas McKenzie who left the bank in April for a group security role at crowdsourced cybersecurity platform Bugcrowd.

Mr Bucchianeri has held security roles at several banks and investment firms, including the last four years as chief security officer at South African financial services group Absa.

On demand worker platform Airtasker has a new chief marketing officer, hiring Noelle Kim from Facebook. Ms Kim was head of marketing (APAC) for Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.

In her new role she will oversee the expansion and management of Airtasker’s product and growth marketing teams and will work closely with Tim Fung to grow the Airtasker brand in the US and UK markets, the company said.

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