Announcing the 2018 Top 50 Public Sector Women (VIC)

Across Victoria’s Local and State Government and Statutory Authorities, the public sector has a significant number of exceptional female leaders building high performing teams and transforming their communities.

IPAA Victoria, in partnership with Davidson, is delighted to announce the Top 50 Public Sector Women (VIC) for 2018 and to support the identification and development of exceptional female leaders across the public sector.

Emma Appleton

Emma Appleton

Manager, Urban Strategy, City of Melbourne

Emma Appleton leads the Urban Strategy branch at City of Melbourne. A registered landscape architect and urban designer, with 20-plus years’ experience in the design and development industry, Emma has held senior public agency and design consultancy roles in Australia and the UK. She has recently finished her role as President of the AILA Victoria and is a Churchill Fellow. Emma contributes to advisory boards of design courses at Melbourne universities and the Board for Urban Places for the Queensland Government. She is a passionate advocate for high-quality design and its role in shaping great places for people.

Anna Burgess

Anna Burgess

Director, Cancer, Specialty Programs, Medical Research and International Health (CMR) Department of Health and Human Services

Anna provides strategic leadership across a range of portfolios including cancer service delivery, cancer research, organ donation and transplantation, genomics and new health technology, medical research grants and infrastructure support for independent medical research institutes and delivery of the Government’s strategies on international engagement in the health sector. Anna joined the Department of Health & Human Services in 2003 where she has worked policy roles (Director Health Strategy, Director Health Service Programs), and project director roles (Project Director for the Bendigo Hospital Redevelopment and Project Director for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre). She leads a policy team of 60 staff and has mentored more than 60 women in the last 20 years, including four this year.

Karen Cain

Karen Cain

Chief Executive Officer, Latrobe Valley Authority

Karen has significant experience working across government, leading strategic innovation and developing and implementing policy in the public sector. She has held several key roles in state and regional curriculum and policy implementation, notably in the areas of Special Education, Literacy, Indigenous Education and Post Compulsory Education. Her experience in developing and delivering on issues which reflect what matters to community and government led to her appointment as CEO at the Latrobe Valley Authority. Karen is a fellow of Leadership Victoria’s Williamson Community Leadership Program and for the past 22 years, has owned and operated a commercial beef farm with her husband at Boolarra South.

Marian Chapman

Marian Chapman

Executive Director Corporate Delivery Services, Department of Treasury and Finance Victoria

Marian has a long history of working in the public service both in Australia and the UK. She joined the Department of Treasury and Finance in 2009 after two years at Places Victoria (formerly Victorian Urban Development Authority) and was appointed as General Counsel in 2012. Marian is currently Executive Director Corporate Delivery Services where focus and commitment to continuous improvement, development of staff and collaboration has improved the corporate services function of DTF and has contributed to its capacity to be an agile central agency within the Victorian Government. Her vision is a more integrated and collaborative future for government and public service value in public spend is optimised both internally and externally.

Jenny Collins

Jenny Collins

Chief Executive Officer, Mallee Catchment Management Authority

Jenny Collins is the CEO of the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) in north-west Victoria. Committed to both her community and the environment, she has a deep understanding of issues facing the Mallee. Jenny is actively involved in a number of committees and boards at the local, regional and national level and is influential well beyond the walls of her office. Under Jenny’s leadership, the Mallee CMA is leading the way in organisational culture on a platform of respect, trust, and transparency. She is a role model to women through her position as an extremely effective, highly respected leader in the environment and water sector.

Anne Congleton

Anne Congleton

Deputy Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services

Anne Congleton is the Deputy Secretary, Community Participation, Sport and Recreation, Health and Wellbeing at the Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to this role, she was the Deputy Secretary, West Division from 2012 -2015. Anne has worked across many parts of the Department in policy, program development, corporate resources and service delivery. Prior to joining the department, Anne held senior roles in the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Department of Justice and Regulation. She is passionate about driving better outcomes for clients and communities and working with people to achieve this.

Dr Lynne Coulson Barr

Dr Lynne Coulson Barr

Commissioner, Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

Lynne is Victoria's first Mental Health Complaints Commissioner and has extensive experience and specialist expertise in independent complaint and review processes. She is committed to working with consumers, families, carers and services to ensure complaints are resolved in ways that safeguard people’s rights and support their recovery, and are seen as opportunities to improve public mental health services for all Victorians. Previous roles held by Lynne include Victorian Deputy Disability Services Commissioner and President of the Victorian Intellectual Disability Review Panel. She has also served as a member of the Victorian Mental Health Review Board, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Victorian Multiple and Complex Needs Panel, and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Carina Doolan

Carina Doolan

Coordinator Building & Projects, Macedon Ranges Shire Council

An experienced and dynamic leader, Carina is responsible for the coordinated delivery of buildings and recreation capital works projects and maintenance of building assets within Macedon Ranges Shire Council. She is responsible for approximately 480 assets as well as the delivery of Council’s $15M Capital Works Budget. Carina brings a strong focus on customer-centric service delivery for improved asset management outcomes. With extensive experience across Local Government, Carina’s passion and enthusiasm to engage with various stakeholders has ensured the Council and community receive improvements and benefits to our built environment. Carina’s drive for improved diversification in the heavily male-dominated field has also reaped rewards for the organisation of Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

Fran Duiker

Fran Duiker

General Manager Customers & Community, City West Water

Fran Duiker is the General Manager Customers and Community at City West Water and is responsible for leading all customer facing elements of the business, corporate and internal communications and community relations. An experienced leader across the public and private sectors including telecommunications, consulting and contracting, Fran excels at developing high performing teams and specialises in mobilising and inspiring organisations to change the way they deliver customer services technically and through cultural transformation. With over 20 years’ experience in customer service, Fran ensures the effective delivery of high quality customer and business experiences across the areas of digital innovation, transformational change, and community engagement.

Sue Eddy

Sue Eddy

Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Building Authority

Over 15 years Sue has built a distinguished career with senior roles across several major Victorian Government departments. Sue first joined the Victorian Government in 2002 and has made an enduring contribution across several notable departments, including the Department of Human Services and the Department of Treasury and Finance. She has held senior positions inside the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. Sue has a National Certificate in Business Studies, a National Diploma of Accountancy (Manuka Technical Institute, NZ) and completed a Master of Business Administration, University of Melbourne, 2017.

Ayten Erkul

Ayten Erkul

Manager - Accessible Transport Services, Taxi Services Commission

Ayten started work with the Taxi Services Commission in a temporary role for six months in 2007, and after leaving to pursue other roles, returned 12 months later as a complaints officer (VPS3). Within a short period Ayten was promoted an Audit role (VPS4) for six months before again being promoted to the position of Team Leader of Complaints. Ayten has held her current role for the last five years as Manager of Accessible Transport Services. She had also completed many acting roles such as: Manager Accreditation and Licensing, Stakeholder and Engagement, Compliance and Fraud and as well as Acting Director.

Dr Joanna Flynn

Dr Joanna Flynn

Board Chair, Eastern Health

Joanna is the Board Chair of Eastern Health, Chair of the Medical Board of Australia, Chair of the Council of Health Service Board Chairs (Victoria) and a Board Director at Ambulance Victoria. She is a GP and educator who has spent a lifetime serving the Australian public. Joanna was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2011 for her service to medical administration and the community, particularly in the areas of practice standards, professional education and as a GP. In 1989 she was only the second women to be on the Medical Board of Victoria and in 2000 became its first female President.

Rebekah Foster

Rebekah Foster

Executive Assistant to Managing Director & Board, Central Highlands Region Water Corporation

Rebekah is a well-respected and highly skilled Senior Executive Assistant with over 14 years of experience within the Victorian public sector at both a State and Local Government level. She is Company Secretary for the Institute of Water Administration; a pivotal role which requires extensive cross-collaboration across a wide range of government and private industry sectors. As a strong and positive advocate for women within the public sector, Rebekah is founder of the Central Highlands Executive Assistants Network and past convenor of the IWA Executive Assistants Special Interest Group. Outside of work, Rebekah contributes to her community as a Board Member of Commerce Ballarat and incoming Chair of the Lumen Christi Primary School Council.

Lynn Glover

Lynn Glover

Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)

Lynn was appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) in 2007. The VRQA was established as Victoria’s peak accreditation, registration, certification and quality assurance body for education bodies. In this role, Lynn has been responsible for the establishment, development and implementation of regulation for the registration and ongoing quality assurance of education and training providers in Victoria. This includes the recent implementation of Child Safe Standards in over 2,500 education providers including schools, registered training organisations, and exchange organisations. Prior to this, Lynn held a variety of senior executive roles in the Victorian Education portfolio.

Entsar Hamid

Entsar Hamid

Program Director, Service Transformation, City of Port Phillip

Entsar is an accomplished administration and governance professional with more than 10 years’ experience in building government capability, driving operational excellence, change and transformation with a central focus on improved stakeholder management. With a background in government, legal and the private sector, she brings diverse perspectives and a strong understanding of the administration and continuous improvement of risk and governance management. Entsar has a track record of innovation driven by lateral thinking to solve complex problems. She is passionate about building culture, capacity and capability, along with ensuring talent is supported to deliver excellence.

Sara Harbidge

Sara Harbidge

Director, Partnerships and Delivery, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Sara is a highly skilled strategic leader with an established track record of delivering complex policy initiatives and significant public sector reforms that have a positive impact on our community and environment. She leads a team that delivers the Metropolitan Partnerships initiative and the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution program. Metropolitan Partnerships are a key initiative of the new Suburban Development portfolio and underpin the delivery of the Government’s regional governance reform agenda. Trained originally as an environmental engineer, Sara has significant experience in the water sector. From 2015-2017, she directed the development and delivery of the new statewide policy for water, “Water for Victoria” (WFV), winning the 2017 IPAA Vic Leadership Award for Policy Development.

Allison Harle

Allison Harle

Chief Clinical Information Officer, Eastern Health

Allison is a results-driven leader with over 20 years’ experience in strategic and operational roles over a range of health service programs. She has a proven track record in overseeing large scale transformational change that improves the patient experience. This includes the $447.5 million redevelopment of Box Hill Hospital, completed ahead of schedule in 2014 and leading the implementation of the largest Electronic Medical record in Victoria at Box Hill Hospital at the end of 2017 including the successful deployment of the first Cerner Intensive Care system in Australia. Allison enjoys mentoring and developing staff and until recently had an all-female management team.

Jessie Holmes

Jessie Holmes

Director Community Development, Buloke Shire Council

Throughout her career, Jessie has achieved an enormous amount for the Buloke community. She is a transformational leader who has tested the status quo and made the Buloke community a much more liveable place by implementing so many initiatives in a short time and was largely responsible for the rebuild of the Buloke Shire Council over the past five years. Jessie is the Chair of the Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership and a member of the Planning Institute of Australia and has most recently taken on the role of CEO at Yarriambiack Shire Council. Jessie also has a Master of Public Policy. Jesse lives in Birchip in North West Victoria, and a parent of two young and wonderful girls.

Elisa Hunter

Elisa Hunter

Strategy and Policy Manager, City West Water

Elisa leads the planning, development and execution of City West Water’s strategic direction and supported strategies, a role which requires significant collaboration internally and externally across the metropolitan water industry. With over 15 years’ experience in the water industry working in engineering, policy and project management, she has been instrumental in shaping the way water businesses plan for the future, considering whole-of-life cycle approaches that benefit customers, communities and the environment. Throughout her career, Elisa has empowered women within the water sector to strive to reach their full potential, most recently Elisa kick starting the development of a “WiSTEM” committee at City West Water to encourage sector in supporting, promoting and retaining women in STEM.

Beth Jones

Beth Jones

Executive Director – Biosecurity and Agriculture Services, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

With responsibility for more than 500 staff at around 50 sites, Beth leads the state-wide delivery of biosecurity and agriculture services to grow and protect Victoria's agriculture sector and drive sustainable economic growth. With 19 years experience in the Victorian Government, including five years as an executive, she is responsible for the provision of regulation, industry development, technical advice, adoption programs and biosecurity emergency preparedness and response. Beth has previous experience in policy and program delivery, biodiversity, regulatory reform, emergency management, catchment management and industry and community engagement.

Kylie Kilgour

Kylie Kilgour

Deputy Secretary, Department of Justice and Regulation

Kylie was appointed to her current position in May 2017 and is responsible for delivering reforms that cut across criminal law, policing, crime prevention, corrections and youth justice. She leads complex projects across the criminal justice system including the Department’s response to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence and the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. Kylie has also been the Executive Director of the Office of the Secretary with the Department of Justice, Director of Courts Police, Strategic Policy and Legislation Division and roles with the Programs and Strategy Branch of the Courts and Tribunals Unit.

Professor Christine Kilpatrick

Professor Christine Kilpatrick

Chief Executive, Melbourne Health

Christine has been the Chief Executive, Melbourne Health since May 2017, following previous appointments which included Chief Executive, The Royal Children’s Hospital (2008 – 2017), Executive Director Medical Services, Melbourne Health and Executive Director Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne Health. Prior to these appointments, Christine was a neurologist, specialising in epilepsy. She has held several external appointments including Chair Victorian Quality Council in Healthcare and Member of the Women’s and Children’s Health Board. She was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003, was included in the 2014 Victorian Honour Roll of Women and in 2017 received an honorary degree of Doctor of Medical Science from the University of Melbourne.

Professor Kerri-Lee Krause

Professor Kerri-Lee Krause

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice-President, La Trobe University

Kerri-Lee is recognised nationally and internationally for her contributions to higher education research and policy and practice. National roles include: Deputy Chair, Higher Education Standards Panel; Chair, Ministerial Implementation Working Group for the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions; Chair of the Universities Australia Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Group; Co-chair of the Universities Australia Executive Women’s Group; and Non-Executive Board member of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education. She has extensive experience in leading strategic organisational change to improve higher education outcomes. Kerri-Lee is a lifetime Fellow of the International Society for Research in Higher Education, and is recognised for her research on the contemporary undergraduate student experience.

Maree Lang

Maree Lang

General Manager Infrastructure & Delivery, City West Water

Maree leads high performing teams to deliver essential water and sewerage services to more than one million customers each day throughout Melbourne’s central business district, inner and western suburbs. Drawing from experiences across numerous operating environments including manufacturing and major hazard facilities, Maree brings her passion for leading in the areas of safety, digital, innovation, customer and corporate sustainability to the water industry. Her portfolio includes constructing the major new assets that are vital for future-proofing Melbourne, including upgrading the 100 year old Spencer Street Sewer in the heart of Melbourne. Combining her water sector experience with her diverse and commercially-driven background, Maree relishes leading change and transformation.

Taryn Lee

Taryn Lee

Director, Department of Premier and Cabinet

A proud Yawuru woman from Broome who has lived in Melbourne for the past 19 years, Taryn is dedicated to working in social policy to ensure that the voice and experience of Aboriginal people is central to policy development. Her current team leads the government’s reform agenda on treaty and the implementation of the principle of Aboriginal self-determination as the overarching policy approach to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people. As an Aboriginal woman and executive leader, Taryn says she feels a responsibility to give back to the Aboriginal community by advancing their voice, rights, and wellbeing.

Justine Linley

Justine Linley

Chief Executive Officer, City of Ballarat

Justine Linley has an impressive and extensive background in organisational leadership in state and local government, and the education sector. The CEO of the City of Ballarat is an expert in regional planning and economic development, and has a leadership style that fosters continued innovation in Ballarat and the wider region. Prior to joining the City of Ballarat, Justine was the CEO of Northern Grampians Shire Council.

Rachel Lowry

Rachel Lowry

Director Wildlife, Conservation & Science, Zoos Victoria

Rachel is Past-President of International Zoo Educators Association and former Chair of the Centre of Sustainability Leadership and now leads Zoos Victoria’s conservation, education and animal welfare portfolios. She is also an advisor to Australia’s Threatened Species Commissioner. Rachel has developed award winning programs tackling conservation and sustainability issues locally and globally. In 2010 Rachel was awarded Sustainability Leader of the year by WME within the Government sector and in 2012 she led a team which secured Zoos Victoria as the world’s first certified carbon neutral zoo. Rachel is currently in the final year of delivering Zoos Victoria’s $30 million Wildlife Conservation Master Plan, focused on fighting the extinction of Victoria’s most vulnerable species.

Angelique Lush

Angelique Lush

Director Development and Planning, City of Ballarat

Angelique is an industry leader with more than 20 years of professional experience in project management, planning, infrastructure development, economic development, tourism, events, communications and marketing. She has held executive management positions within the local government sector and is committed to building a vibrant and sustainable future for communities in regional Victoria. Angelique is passionate about elevating local communities through economic development. She almost single-handedly drove the pioneering $200 million Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) from inception to delivery. This project is renowned as one of the most successful economic development initiatives for regional Victoria, delivering infrastructure, investment and confidence in the future development of Ballarat by attracting new businesses and encouraging existing businesses to expand. 

Ali Martin

Ali Martin

Volunteer Sustainability Manager, Country Fire Authority

Ali has been involved in the field of volunteerism for over 25 years, as a volunteer and in a paid capacity managing volunteers in local government and the emergency services sector. She started her career in local government, taking on various roles over a 10-year period including outreach programs, youth leadership and youth suicide prevention programs. Ali joined CFA in 1999 and worked as part of an Incident Management Team during Victoria’s Great Divide Fires of 2006/07 at Swifts Creek. She was also based at Whittlesea and Kinglake during the Black Saturday fires. Ali leads a large geographically dispersed team of 50 staff.

Merrin Mason

Merrin Mason

Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Law Reform Commission

Merrin has held her current role since May 2010. Prior to joining the Commission, Merrin worked as a senior legal policy and research officer with the Department of Justice and was previously the Executive Officer of the Victorian Parliamentary Law Reform Committee. She has practiced law in positions with community legal centres in NSW and Victoria, the Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia, and as an Australian volunteer with the Vanuatu Women’s Centre. Merrin has Arts and Law degrees from the Australian National University and is admitted to practice law in a number of Australian states and the Republic of Vanuatu.

Corri McKenzie

Corri McKenzie

Executive Director, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Corri has worked in social policy design, development and delivery for the last 15 years in the community, government and public sectors where she has focused on disability rights and reform and gender equality. Her public sector roles include working as an Executive Director in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet where she was responsible for justice and systems transformation. Corri has also been the CEO of the Office of Prevention & Women’s Equality. She has participated in the development and implementation of the scheme design ad legislative framework for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Corri has broad experience and expertise in leadership, management, stakeholder engagement and collaborative design across social policy areas.

Rebecca McKenzie

Rebecca McKenzie

Chief Executive Officer, Glen Eira City Council

Rebecca is an accomplished leader with a successful career at executive level across three countries and three sectors. CEO at City of Glen Eira since February 2016 and current President of LGPro, Rebecca’s prior roles have included CEO at Mitchell Shire Council and Director of Corporate Services for Yarra Ranges Council. Rebecca held Director level roles at Swindon Borough Council in the UK and National University of Ireland in Dublin before returning to Australia in 2009. She is passionate about local government’s role in creating resilient communities with a sense of pride. A values-based leader, Rebecca builds strong relationships at all levels, and acts as a mentor and coach for emerging leaders in the sector.

Susan Middleditch

Susan Middleditch

Executive Director, Corporate Services Division, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Susan was appointed to her first Chief Finance Officer role at the age of 25 for the Commonwealth Department of Employment Education and Training in Canberra. She has held senior executive positions in the NFP and state government sectors, driving change and transformation in high performing organisations. Susan joined Victoria’s Department of Premier and Cabinet in August 2016 where she leads the delivery of corporate services to the department and 18 other government entities and is a member of the department’s board of management. Prior to this role, she held a number of senior roles within Queensland Health including Deputy Director-General of Corporate Services Division and Chief Executive at Health Support Queensland.

Brigid Mongale

Brigid Mongale

Executive Director, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Brigid has worked as Executive Director at the Department of Premier and Cabinet since May 2017, leading advice in the areas of Aboriginal Affairs Policy, including Treaty and self determination, health policy and reform and inter-governmental strategy. Brigid was previously the Director of Education and Justice Branch with the Department of Premier and Cabinet and spent some years working at the Treasury in New Zealand including helping to establish the government’s “Investment Approach” to improving welfare and employment outcomes. She has also spent some time working in the private sector on project coordination roles.

Helen Morrissey

Helen Morrissey

Chief Executive Officer, Brimbank City Council

With more than 35 years’ experience in local government, Helen joined Brimbank City Council in November 2010, having previously been General Manager of Corporate Services at Maribyrnong City Council. Prior to that, Helen held a variety of management roles in community services and corporate areas at Darebin City Council and Preston City Council. She is a strong community advocate and has overseen the delivery of a range of service delivery and infrastructure improvements to improve communication, customer service and engagement, driving cost and business efficiencies while also delivering best value to the communities she has served.

Keryn Negri

Keryn Negri

Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

Over a 20 year career in the Victorian Public Service, Keryn has worked to improve social policy outcomes across aged care, employment, indigenous affairs, consumer affairs and dispute resolution. She has extensive management experience and a passion for driving public sector excellence, leadership and reform. Keryn is leading an agenda to transform VCAT into a modern, accessible Tribunal, securing a sustainable funding model and championing a customer-centric approach to VCAT’s service design and delivery. She is an effective leader and highly respected for her compassion and ability to build strong relationships and networks across government and community groups.

Alison O’Brien

Alison O’Brien

Assistant Victorian Government Solicitor, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office

Alison leads a group of about 30 lawyers responsible for providing a wide range of legal services to Government clients. She has a proven willingness to provide quick, comprehensive and context-sensitive advice, in what are often novel legal situations. Alison has substantial experience across all areas of public law including representing the Attorney-General and other State parties in public law litigation, particularly in the High Court; providing advice on complex and sensitive intergovernmental and constitutional issues; providing advice on the establishment of, and responses to, public inquiries; and advising on novel and difficult questions of law and legislative development. She has participated in Whole of Government steering committees responding to major litigation, public inquiries or other emerging issues.

Judy O’Connell

Judy O’Connell

Victorian Small Business Commissioner, Victorian Small Business Commission

Judy has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in national and international roles with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Australian Taxation Office, as Assistant Commissioner for Small Business. She is an accomplished small business engagement leader with a proven track record of achievement across the public sector. Since starting as the Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) in December 2016, she has led the creation of the new Victorian Small Business Commission including restructuring the office for the new role of advocating on issues affecting small business. A career highlight was being Head of Unit at the OECD in Paris where she was accountable for development of the International Tax Dialogue website.

Gayle Porthouse

Gayle Porthouse

Deputy Secretary, Corporate and Government Services Division, Department of Treasury and Finance Victoria

Gayle has more than 30 years of experience in the public service in Victoria across several government departments, including the Department of Premier and Cabinet. She is responsible for the management of the whole of Victorian Government services provided to departments and agencies. Gayle has led significant reform activities across the VPS including the establishment of the Knowledge Management Centre and the first government call centre. Her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion across the public service and the wider Victorian community is evident through her active participation in many whole of government steering committees including VPS Sexual Harassment Working Group, Human Rights Charter Leaders Group, Aboriginal Employment Working Group as well as Chairing DTF’s own People Committee.

Fiona Prowse

Fiona Prowse

Director, Department of Premier and Cabinet

An expert in strategic thinking and leadership, Fiona has a wealth of experience in designing fit-for-purpose governance and project management to drive change and reform. She has worked across a diverse range of policy areas including transport, infrastructure, education and now disability policy. As Director of the National Disability Insurance Branch, Fiona is committed to supporting staff to reach their full potential and provide high quality advice to the government. She is motivated to drive outcomes for people through innovative thinking and a fearless attitude for breaking the status quo.

Kate Rattigan

Kate Rattigan

Deputy Secretary, People and Executive Services Group, Department of Education and Training

Kate was appointed to her position in June 2016 after acting in the role since October 2015. She drives a complex agenda encompassing legal services, human resources, people and culture, communications, change strategy, integrity reform, cabinet, ministerial support, information strategy and audit and assurance. Kate has worked in the Department of Education and Training providing strategic oversight on complex matters, including technical and specialist advice to ministers, the Secretary, executives, managers, regional directors, school principals and school councils. She is the Chairperson of the Department's Procurement and Probity Committee, OHS Consultative Committee, the Student Support Service Officer OHS Committee, the Principal and School Staff Health and Wellbeing Strategy Reference Group, and the Principal Health and Wellbeing Strategy Steering Group.

Tammi Rose

Tammi Rose

Director Corporate Services, Hobsons Bay City Council

A proven leader passionate about organisational excellence, Tammi has held executive and senior roles in Local Government, the private, public and not-for-profit sectors for the past 18 years. She is a contemporary, inclusive and values-based leader who inspires organisations and individuals to be the best version of themselves. Tammi helps organisations remain relevant by co-designing frameworks and reform programs focused on innovation and continuous improvement. A CPA by trade, Tammi has a passion for financial sustainability and has delivered leading best practice long term financial, rating and resource planning initiatives using new models of deliberative community engagement.

Gönül Serbest

Gönül Serbest

A/g Deputy Secretary, Trade, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR)

Gönül leads a team that drives economic growth in Victoria by facilitating exports through the development of trade strategies to key international markets. She has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the largest Super Trade Missions to leave Australia and the largest inbound trade delegations to visit Victoria. Gönül was charged with developing dedicated Trade Engagement Programs, which have resulted in several significant collaborations between Victorian and global companies. She was previously Executive Director, International Coordination Office overseeing the Government’s network of international offices and served as Senior Adviser to departmental Secretaries. Gönül serves on the Advisory Board of RMIT University’s European Union Centre.

Tracey Slatter

Tracey Slatter

Managing Director, Barwon Water

Tracey has more than 20 years of diverse leadership experience in the public sector holding Managing Director and CEO roles with statutory authorities, local government and as a Victorian Government Senior Executive. She focuses on values, behaviours and measurement to build high performance and achieve organisational transformation. She leads by example and is collaborative and inclusive in her approach. Tracey enjoys using commercial disciplines to deliver the best possible community outcomes. She has a strong track record in solving complex problems and achieving financial and customer improvements, by putting the needs of the community at the heart of the organisation and re-designing processes accordingly.

Melissa Stephens

Melissa Stephens

General Manager People and Safety, Barwon Water

In a career spanning 25 years, Melissa has extensive senior management experience in strategic management, human resources, change management, leadership, stakeholder engagement, finance, customer management and health, safety and wellbeing. She has spent most of her career at Barwon Water, seeing the organisation through significant cultural changes. An advocate for creating diverse workplaces, Melissa changed the average age of the workforce, helped place senior women in leadership roles and developed enterprise-wide change programs. She was appointed to her current role in May 2017 and is responsible for leading the organisations high performance strategy, underpinned by a safety first, values driven and inclusive culture.

Kerry Stubbings

Kerry Stubbings

Director Community Services, Knox City Council

Kerry has an excellent track record working in Local Government, State Government and the community sector. Since 2007, she has led the Community Services Directorate at Knox City Council. In this role, Kerry sets the strategic direction for Council’s largest Directorate with over 560 staff and annual budgets of more than $43 million. Kerry applies her values of integrity, social justice and collaboration in her role and supports others to develop and to make a positive difference in the community. Kerry provides inspiration to her colleagues and encourages all Council staff to take pride in the contribution they make to the community.

Associate Professor Ruth Vine

Associate Professor Ruth Vine

Executive Director NorthWestern Mental Health, Melbourne Health

Ruth previously worked at the Department of Health and was the Director of Mental Health from 2003 – 2008 and the Chief Psychiatrist for Victoria from 2009 – 2012. She has also worked as a consultant psychiatrist in forensic mental health, community health and in an advisory role with the Australian Government. She holds both medical and law degrees, and has contributed to the development of legislation and policy in areas including mental health, disability, and the management of mentally ill offenders. Ruth is actively involved in psychiatry trainee teaching and in teaching to mental health service staff, particularly in the areas of leadership, mental health legislation, risk assessment and forensic psychiatry.

Joanne Wandel

Joanne Wandel

Program Director QVM, City of Melbourne

With more than 20 years’ experience in the public sector, traversing local and state governments (Mildura Rural City Council, Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, Department of Human Servicers and more recently Melbourne City Council), Joanne has purposely identified opportunities for strengthening the economic and social base of those communities she has represented. She has a proven track record delivering large infrastructure projects and in 2015 joined City of Melbourne to lead the $250 million Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal Program. Previously Joanne worked as GM at at Places Victoria where she was responsible for the delivery of more than $2 billion worth of urban renewal projects across Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Katherine Whetton

Katherine Whetton

Deputy Secretary, National Education Reform Project, Department of Education and Training

In March 2017, Katherine was appointed Deputy Secretary, Strategy and Performance Group (SPG) after acting in the role since April 2016. The group provides an integrated approach to strategy, governance, planning and performance, enabling the Department to make evidence-informed decisions that improve outcomes for all Victorians. Katherine was the Executive Director, Education State Policy and Design, where she was responsible for leading development and policy coherence of the overarching Education State agenda across the Department’s three portfolios—early childhood development, schools, and training and skills. She has worked at the Department of Premier and Cabinet for more than 10 years.

Sue Wilkinson

Sue Wilkinson

Chief Executive Officer, City of Darebin

Sue has extensive senior leadership experience in state and local government having been CEO at Colac Otway Shire, and holding senior roles at City of Monash, the City of Port Phillip and the Department of Planning and Community Development. Sue has a significant record of delivering effective, integrated outcomes in complicated environments and leading progressive community engagement processes. While at City of Darebin, she oversaw significant organisational change, building a strong organisation to support the vision of a leading, modern and open Council which is green, bold and connected. In 2017, Sue was awarded the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association Paul Jerome Award in recognition of her major contribution to public service and planning in the State of Victoria.