Former DFAT bureaucrat joins cybersecurity firm

In other news:

  • New High Commissioner to South Africa
  • Chair appointed at SmartSat CRC

Former DFAT bureaucrat Anthony Sheehan has been appointed to the board of government cybersecurity services provider Tesserent following his departure from the public sector last June.

Anthony Sheehan

Mr Sheehan has had a 32-year career in government with senior roles in counter-terrorism, security intelligence and international security.

Tesserent, Australia’s largest listed dedicated cybersecurity firm, hopes his appointment will place the company well as the government moves to overhaul its ten-year cyber security strategy.

Mr Sheehan is the former Deputy Secretary responsible for International Security, Humanitarian, Consular, Middle East and Africa and Legal Divisions at The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Prior to this held the positions of Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and Chair of the Australia-New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee. 
Earlier roles included ASIO Deputy Director-General, Deputy Secretary and COO in the Attorney-General’s Department, and First Assistant Secretary Homeland and Border Security in DPMC.

 He also had postings to Taipei, Beijing and Jakarta and then held a number of Senior Executive Service positions in Canberra with responsibilities for counter terrorism and people smuggling.

Tesserent chairman Geoff Lord said Mr Sheehan’s expertise in protecting Australian assets would bolster the company’s sovereign capabilities in Australia’s cyber defence and offensive activities.

“Mr Sheehan’s appointment is of strategic importance, following recent news that the Albanese Government plans to overhaul the $1.7 billion 10-year cyber security strategy,” he said.

Mr Sheehan, who launched a private consultancy after leaving the government sector, said he was delighted to join the board.

“I am delighted to join Tesserent’s board and contribute to the strategic expansion, uplift capability of the business and protection of Australian and New Zealand’s assets and defences,” he said in a statement.

Tesserent is the largest provider of cybersecurity service to the federal government, contracted by more than 100 Australian and New Zealand state and federal agencies.

New High Commissioner to South Africa

Foreign affairs minister Penny Wong on Monday announced the appointment of Tegan Brink as Australia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, taking over from Gita Kamath.

Tegan Brink

Ms Brink is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Assistant Secretary, Strategic Investment Branch.

She has previously served overseas in New York as Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Permanent Mission to the UN, and Chef de Cabinet to the President of the UN General Assembly.

Ms Brink has also served in the Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the Advisory Centre on WTO Law in Geneva.

Michele Allan to chair Space Research Centre

Michele Allan will replace Peter Woodgate as chair of Australia’s leading space research centre.

Michele Allan

Dr Woodgate, inaugural chair of the SmartSat CRC, died suddenly in December.

Dr Allan said she was honoured to carry on Dr Woodgate’s legacy.

“He was an inspiring leader, and I look forward to working with the SmartSat CRC team to pursue our goals for advancing Australia’s space and spatial industries,” she said in a statement.

 Dr Allan is currently the Chair of the Boards of Charles Sturt University, the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre (FIAL), Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence CRC, and Wine Australia. She is also a non-executive director of the CSIRO, the Food Agility CRC, and Dairy Food Safety Victoria.

She has previously served as Chair of Meat and Livestock Australia and the William Angliss Institute and has served as a non-executive director of Grain Growers Limited, Tasmanian Irrigation, Innovation and Science Australia, Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, Callaghan Innovation (New Zealand), Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, and Forest and Wood Products Australia.

She has also held executive roles in the private sector including Amcor, Kraft Foods, Johnson and Johnson, and Nestle in various executive roles.

The SmartSat CRC is working closely with the Australian Space Agency & Defence as the government aims to triple the size of the space sector by 2030.

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