First female chief commissioner for NSW IRC

In other appointments

  • Monitor takes charge at sacked council
  • Berejiklian chief returns to DPC as senior bureaucrat
  • Retail industry honcho to lead Destination NSW


First female chief commissioner at NSW IRC

Nichola Constant has been permanently appointed as the first female head of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

Nichola Constant

Former Chief Commissioner Peter Kite announced his retirement at the end of 2019, and Ms Constant had been acting in the role.

She was previously a commissioner at the IRC and has close to 20 years’ experience in workplace relations, in both the private and public sector.

Prior to joining the IRC, she was a director in the NSW Crown Solicitors Office.

“I am delighted with the appointment of Ms Constant as the new Chief Commissioner of the IRC. She brings excellent credentials and experience to this role,” Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations Don Harwin said.

Ms Constant will begin her role as chief commissioner on March 2.


Administrator appointed to Casey City Council

Noelene Duff

Noelene Duff has been appointed as the Interim Administrator for Melbourne’s Casey City Council.

Council was sacked by the state government this month a municipal monitor found evidence of failures of governance.

Monitor Laurinda Gardner found that councillors had failed to manage conflicts of interest, prioritised their reputations ahead of the interests of the council and failed to hold each other to account for their conduct.

Ms Duff will remain until elections are held in October 2024.

Ms Duff was Chief Executive Officer at Whitehorse City Council for 19 years until August last year and is a past President of LGPro and International Vice President of ICMA.

“Ms Duff will work with the CEO to ensure that the Council is focused on governing in the best interests of the local community and providing first class services,” Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek said.


New members for Qld Councillor Conduct Tribunal

June Anstee has appointed to head the independent body charged with handling complaints of misconduct by Queensland councilors.

Ms Anstee takes on the role of Tribunal president after acting in it since December.

Ms Anstee will be joined by Jane Bishop, Jane Stuckey, Brendan Walker-Munro, Timothy Ryan, Peter Black and Sally Robb.

Existing casual members Avelina Tarrago and David Gill will remain on the Tribunal.

“These new members include practising lawyers and barristers and bring to the table legal experience that has covered international tribunals, United Nations experience in post-war Kosovo, Australian Taxation Office investigations, human rights and discrimination law, criminal law and administrative law,” Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.


Gladys’s chief of staff leaves for role in DPC

Sarah Cruickshank has quit her role as Chief of Staff in the Premier’s Office to take up deputy secretary at DPC.

Sarah Cruickshank

Ms Cruickshank was appointed Chief of Staff in 2017 after being seconded from the DPC when Ms Berejiklian became premier.

However her overseas holidays at sometimes importune times had previously raised eyebrows among Liberal MPs and staff.

Ms Berejiklian said she was disappointed at Ms Cruickshank’s departure but understood her desire to resume her public service career.

Neil Harley will replace her as chief of staff.


Qld gets first female coordinator-general

Toni Power will be responsible for assessing economic development, environmental sustainability and social impacts of large-scale projects as Queensland’s new Coordinator-General.

Ms Power has 25 years’ experience in the public sector at both state and Commonwealth levels, having worked as Deputy Director-General in Queensland’s Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, and the Department of Housing and Public Works.

Former coordinator-general Barry Broe left the role suddenly in August, just a few months shy of his term expiring in November.


World trauma expert to assist with NSW bushfire recovery

Professor Alexander McFarlane

A post-traumatic stress expert will help communities recover in the aftermath of the NSW bushfires.

Professor Alexander McFarlane has been guiding bushfire recovery efforts for decades, having worked with survivors of the 1983 Ash Wednesday and 2009 Black Saturday fires, as well as international disasters.

He is the Director of The University of Adelaide’s Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies with expertise in the psychological impact of disasters.

“The mental health of the people in fire ravaged communities is incredibly important, we want to make sure that as people rebuild their lives, they also rebuild their sense of wellbeing,” mental health minister Bronnie Taylor said.




Former Dymocks MD to head Destination NSW

Steve Cox

Former retail industry figure Steve Cox will head Destination NSW as the tourism body’s new CEO.

Tourism minister Stuart Ayres said Mr Cox’s appointment would provide Destination NSW with fresh impetus.

He has previously been the managing director at Dymocks Retail as well as working with David Jones.

Mr Cox will officially commence work at DNSW in May. Acting CEO Stephen Mahoney will remain in the role until then.


NT tourism chief departs

Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture and Tourism NT CEO, Simonne Shepherd, has announced she will be leave her role as CEO of the Department on 20 March for family reasons.

She will also be leaving the Northern Terrirtory.

During her time with the Department Ms Shepherd oversaw the delivery of the Territory’s 2030 tourism industry strategy and  a range of initiatives including the opening of the new George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens visitor and events centre.

Interim arrangements will be in place, with Andrew Hopper initially act in her role.


Australia Post Executive to lead ABC Advisory Council

Nicole Sheffield

Australia Post’s executive general manager of community and consumer Nicole Sheffield has been appointed to lead the ABC Advisory Council. She will chair the council in a part-time capacity.

In her role at Australia Post Ms Sheffield is accountable for delivering key customer channels, including a network of over 4,300 post offices, the customer contact centre and digital channels.

She was also previously  chief digital officer for News Corp Australia.

ABC chair Buttrose thanked the outgoing chair Andrea Hull for her contribution to the council as well as that of retiring members Fiona Duggan and Sam Almaliki. The Council will convene for its first meeting of 2020 in March.



New director to reform Vic energy safety regulator

Marnie Williams has been appointed as the new executive leader of Energy Safe Victoria where she’ll be tasked with overseeing state government’s move to boosting its capacity and powers.

Ms Williams has a background in regulation and community safety and helped to transform both the Taxi Services Commission and WorkSafe Victoria.

In her new role, Ms Williams will act as the Chair Delegate to oversee the establishment of the three-person ESV Commission recommended by Grimes Review.

She takes up the role in March, replacing retired director Paul Fearon.


WA government architect finishes term

Geoff Warn is finishing up as the West Australian Government Architect after seven years in the role, during which he helped establish the State Design Review Panel.

Planning minister Rita Saffioti described Mr Warne as a passionate advocate for urban design who  provided expert guidance on landmark projects including Optus Stadium, Albany’s National ANZAC Centre and the new WA Museum.

“The Office of the Government Architect under Mr Warn’s leadership has successfully collaborated with other Government agencies to develop and promote inspiring design policies, guidelines or objectives,” she said.

WA Planning Commission Chairman David Caddy will serve as the interim Chair of the design review panel.


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