People & Events

'Inside Canberra' provides a service of important information relating to appointments (both in the Federal government and private sector), events and government service announcements and Australian diplomatic appointments. This information is not regularly reported by the mass media.

    Appointments - Federal Government

  • Phillip Hudson (Sydney Morning Herald) has been elected president of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery, following Karen Middleton (SBS), who has stepped down after four years. Jeremy Thompson (ABC) is Secretary. [04.07.08]
  • Dr. Owen Donald has been appointed chair of the nine-member Government National Housing Supply Council. It will publish an annual State of Supply report to analyse the adequacy of construction rates and land supply for the next 20 years. It will examine issues such as demographic change, migration and land zoning. [09.05.08]
  • Ms Ilsa Colson has been appointed press secretary to Penny Wong. She previously worked as press secretary to former Victorian Deputy Premier, John Thwaites, and in public affairs. Contact 0418 368 639. [02.05.08]
  • Councillor Geoff Lake (City of Monash, Vic) has been elected as the new president of The Australian Local Government Association. He replaces Councillor Paul Bell, who served the maximum allowable of two, two-year terms. [17.12.08]
  • Brigadier William Douglas Rolfe (ret), with a background in administrative and military law, has been appointed a part-time member of the Administrative Review Council. [19.10.07]
  • Professor Nadja Alexander has been appointed to the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council. [19.10.07]
  • Steve Karas has been appointed a part-time member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. He previously worked in the Attorney-General’s Department and was for many years in private practice. [05.10.07]
  • Justice Berna Collier, of the Federal court, has been appointed a part-time member of the Law Reform Commission. [05.10.07]
  • The NSW deputy public defender, Christopher Craige, is to replace the retiring Damian Bugg as Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. [24.08.07]
  • Professor Chris Baggoley has been appointed acting chief executive of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare. The Commission will recruit a new CEO following the retirement of Dr Diana Horvath. [03.08.07]
  • Four new Federal Magistrates have been appointed by Attorney-General Philip Ruddock: Paul Howard, Dale Kemp, Dr Warwick Neville and Denys Simpson. [03.08.07]
  • Andrew Phelan has been appointed Principal Registrar of the High Court. He is currently executive director, Infrastructure and Corporate Services with the Australian Crime Commission. [27.07.07].
  • Ms Olya Booyar has been appointed deputy director of the Classification Board. She was formerly with SBS. [27.07.07]
  • Ms Deirdre O’Donnell has been appointed Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman replacing John Pinnock who served for 12 years. [01.06.07]
  • Glenn Simpson has been appointed chair of the Council for Australian/Arab Relations, succeeding Pru Goward [01.06.07]
  • John Paterson (formerly with Goldman Sachs JB Were), has been appointed to the Future Fund Board of Guardians. [19.01.07]
  • Bruce Quigley has been appointed as Second Commissioner of Taxation. This followed the appointment of Michael D’Ascenzo as Commissioner of Taxation. [19.01.07]
  • John Emerson (formerly with Freehills) has been appointed to the Board of Taxation for a two year term. Eric Mayne and Curt Rendall have been reappointed for three year terms. Ms Jane Schwager’s term has ended. [19.01.07]

    Appointments - Private Sector

  • Mark Simpkin, formerly in the ABC's Washington office, is now political correspondent for ABC TV in the press gallery. [11/09/09]
  • Kerry-anne Walsh has left the Canberra press gallery after twenty-five years of senior reporting in print, radio, and TV. Her most recent position, for seven years, was as federal political correspondent with The Sun Herald, Sydney. She has set up a private consultancy, K-A Communications, advising business on getting a voice in a crowded field. Contact (02) 6156 0857. [04.09.09]
  • John Flannery has been appointed to run media for the new National Health & Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) in Canberra. For over seven years, he was formerly in charge of communications for the AMA. Contact: / Mobile 0419 494 761. [02.05.08]
  • Tim Langmead is the new Director of Marketing & Communications at the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), based in Canberra. [08.02.08]
  • Miranda Jane Taylor is the new senior safety adviser at the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), based in Perth. [08.02.08]
  • Neil Ray, chairman of the Gull group, has been elected as the first chairman of the Biofuels Association of Australia (BAA). All participants in the biofuels market in Australia are represented by BAA which is meeting the challenge of bringing higher quality ethanol and biodiesel fuels to consumers. [10.08.07]
  • Ralph Hillman has been appointed Executive Director of the Australian Coal Association, succeeding Mark O’Neil who has resigned after seven years. Hillman is a former Ambassador for the Environment and to the OECD, head of the Trade Development Division of DFAT and government relations at the Export Finance Corporation. [27.07.07]
  • Cath Sullivan is The Australian Workers Union new national media officer. She is the principal point of contact for AWU media inquiries, including those involving AWU national secretary, Bill Shorten. Mobile 0448 025 042. E-mail [25.01.07]
  • Ms Robin Banks has been appointed to the Privacy Advisory Committee as a part-time member for three years. She is CEO of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. [19.01.07]
  • Phil Bowen, Deputy Secretary in the Department of Finance and Administration, has been appointed a director of the Asian Development Bank. [19.01.07]
  • David Crawford (of Westralia Airports Corporation) has been appointed President of the National Competition Council. Dr Douglas McTaggart, Ms Virginia Hickey and Rodney Sims have been reappointed as Councillors. [19.01.07]

    Appointments - Diplomatic

  • Penny Williams has been appointed High Commissioner to Malaysia, replacing James Wise. Williams is currently a First Assistant Secretary in DFAT. [02.02.07]
  • Dr Alan Thomas (now Ambassador to China) has been appointed Ambassador to the European community. [19.01.07]
  • Michael Potts (recently High Commissioner in Port Moresby) has been appointed Ambassador for People Smuggling. [19.01.07]
  • James Batley (most recently special coordinator to Solomon Islands) has been appointed High Commissioner to Fiji. [19.01.07]


  • The AiG/Housing Industry Assoc performance of construction index for August is out show a 2.9% increase. Contact Heather Ridout (02) 9466 5504. [11.09.09]
  • The Australian Bankers Association latest update of Code of Banking Practice is out (02) 8298 0411. [11.09.09]
  • Annotated Standing Orders of the Australian Senate, edited by Rosemary Laing has been released by the Senate Procedure Office. To purchase a copy, ring Director of Research (02) 6277 3078. [21.08.09]
  • Power to Change: Australia's Wave Energy Future has been released by the World Wildlife Fund and the Carnegie Corporation. It reports on the need for Australia to look to the oceans for renewable energy. Contact Paula Schibeci 0406 381 137. [21.08.09]
  • The Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre has released a report showing feral pests are costing the economy over $740 million per year. Contact (02) 6201 2890. [21.08.09]
  • Food Standards Australia & New Zealand has launched an updated Food Industry Recall Protocol. Surf for details. Media contact is Lydia Buchtmann (02) 6271 2620. [27.03.09]
  • The latest Skilled Vacancy Index for November issue by Julia Gillard’s Department is now available. It is based on skilled vacancies data from major metropolitan newspapers. For info, email [17.12.08]
  • At last week’s National Aviation Press Club awards in Sydney, the efforts of Trevor J Thomas – Editor-in-Chief of Inside Canberra sister publication, Australian Defence Business Review – were recognised with his award of the ‘Defence Feature Story of 2008’ Trophy. Trevor’s piece had addressed ongoing problems of Australian Defence materiel procurement, which Joel Fitzgibbon and Greg Combet are still grappling with. A decision on David Mortimer’s controversial September 2008 report on further Defence Procurement Reform – first pitched by Combet to be delivered “before Xmas” – has now slipped back into early-2009. [05.12.08]
  • The House of Representatives Economic Committee has released its report on competition in the banking and non-banking sectors. Surf – [28.11.08]
  • The ‘Content Services Code’ – a new industry code of practice for providers of online and mobile phone content – has been released after approval by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. It’s part of the government’s $125.8 million four-year program of cyber-safety measures, such as funding for increased police detection of online child abuse. Contact Belinda Dennett (02) 6277 7480. [18.07.08]
  • The ABS will release next Wednesday the annual Australian Social Trends of 250 pages. [18.07.08]
  • The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has released a Proposed National Framework for Electricity Network Safety. ENA is the peak national body for Australia’s energy networks, and represents gas distribution and electricity network businesses on policy issues. Surf [18.07.08]
  • The Digital Television Antenna Systems Handbook has been released to assist the building and associated industries plan for digital TV switchover. Surf for details. [17.08.08]
  • The inaugural conference of the National Statistical Service – NatStates 08 – will be held at the Crown Promenade Hotel, Melbourne 19-21 November. Speakers include: Treasury head Ken Henry; OECD head of Statistics, Enrico Giovannini; and Co-convenor of the 2020 Summit, Professor Glyn Davis. Contact [11.07.08]
  • The June quarter Master Builders’ national survey of building and construction is out. Contact Peter Jones, 0403 440 838. [11.07.08]
  • The ACCC is calling for comment on the proposed acquisition by Metcash Trading of Symbion Pharmacy Services, and the proposed joint venture between Metcash and Sigma Parmaceuticals. Call ACCC Info centre on; 1300 302 502. The ACCC has released a State of Issues paper. [11.07.08]
  • A new report, Reforming our Constitution: A Roundtable Discussion, has been released by the House Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Surf for details. [04.07.08]
  • The Senate Select Committee report on housing affordability has been tabled. Contact the Secretariat (02) 6277-7111. [20.06.08]
  • The ACCC has issued an issues statement on the proposed joint venture between the manager and operator of Port Adelaide (and six South Australian regional ports) – Flinders Ports Pty Ltd and DP World (SA). The paper seeks comments on certain competition issues by 2 July. See –, or call the Infocentre on 1300 302 502. [20.06.08]
  • The House Economics Committee inquiry into competition in the banking and non-banking sectors has called for submissions by 11 July. Contact the Secretariat on (02) 6277-7111. [20.06.08]
  • The ACCC has released an issues paper on the Horticultural Code of Conduct as part of its inquiry into grocery prices. Surf [23.05.08]
  • ABARE has released its April Minerals and Energy Major Development Projects. [23.05.08]
  • The Australian Communications and Media Authority has released its cyber-smart initiative to teach children how to be responsible cyber-citizens – Contact Tim Marshall 0408 258 457. 23.05.08]
  • Patricia Faulkner (KPMG) is chair of the Government’s Australian Social Inclusion Board which had its initial meeting this week – Contact Kimberley Gardiner 0434 159 842 (Julia Gillard’s media adviser). [23.05.08]
  • The Board of Taxation has released its issues paper on possible reforms to Australian’s foreign source income anti-tax-deferral regimes. Surf [23.05.08]
  • An Energy Savings measurement guide to assist companies to estimate, measure, and evaluate and track energy savings from energy efficiency measures has been released by Resources & Energy Ministers, Martin Ferguson. Surf [16.05.08]
  • The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission has published its report, Beyond the Blame Game: Accountability and performance benchmarks for the next Australian Health Care Agreement. The report calls for a new policy framework for future health agreements between Australian governments covering scope, funding and accountability. [09.05.08]
  • The Australia India Business Council has announced senior minsters, business leaders and trade officials from the two countries will meet in Melbourne 20 May. The aim is to deepen business and trade connections. Contact Brian Hayes 0419 852 880. [09.05.08]
  • The ACCC has called for submissions on an issues paper on the development of water market rules, which form a key component of the Water Act 2007, which itself creates new institutional & governance arrangements for management of water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin. Submissions are required by 2 May (see – [02.05.08]
  • The Australian Energy Regualtor has issued a report on high electricity spot market prices in South Australia. This followed a jump in half-hourly spot market prices to $5000/MWh (see – for the report). [02.05.08]
  • Professor Roy Green, has called for submissions to his review of the textile, clothing and footwear industries. In addition to receiving submissions, the review will undertake a round of public consultations in capital cities. Further info: [11.04.08]
  • The Federal government has commenced an advertising program to recruit both a full-time Chief Scientist to replace Dr Jim Peacock, as well as a world-wide search to identify a new Chief Defence Scientist, to replace Dr Roger Lough. [04.04.08]
  • The Council of ‘Australian Governments (COAG) review of hazardous materials has been released for public comment ( The report examines regulation, reporting and security surrounding the illegal or unauthorised use of chemicals by terrorists. The point of the draft report was to prevent dangerous chemicals falling into the wrong hands. [15.02.08]
  • The Fair Pay Commission will be taking submissions on the review of pay and classification scales and the review of junior and training wages from 26 September to 14 December this year. An issues paper on both will be available from 26 September. Submissions on the next minimum wage case open 7 December, and close 14 March with a decision announced in July. [17.08.07]
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand invites comment on proposed changes to the Aust/NZ Food Standards Code. Among the changes being contemplated are the deletion of two antibiotics from the Code, the use of steviol glycosides and cyclamates as sugar substitutes, a generically modified corn variety and a food additive for wine. Surf [15.06.07]
  • Board of Taxation Chair, Dick Warburton, has released a discussion paper on reforms to foreign source income anti-tax-deferral regimes. Surf [01.06.07]
  • Revenue Minister, Peter Dutton, has announced new regulations to implement a number of Simplified Superannuation reforms. The regs provide new and simplified minimum standards for pensions. The standards, he claims, will provide maximum flexibility and choice for individuals while maintaining the integrity of pension rules. A copy of the regs can be found on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments - [05.04.07]
  • The House of Reps Economic Committee has launched an inquiry into the CSIRO engagement with manufacturing industry, including applied research for industry problem-solving. Contact Secretariat (02)6277 4587. [23.03.07]
  • The Defence Department has released a report on the outcome of the North West Shelf unmanned aerial system trial. Northrop Grumman conducted a simulation exercise using a virtual Global Hawke. Contact Jimmy Hafesjee 0404 042 457. [23.03.07]
  • The Australian Fair Pay Commission has a new on-line form for those wanting to make submissions on the minimum wage. Surf [09.03.07]
  • Nominations for the 2007 Prime Minister’s awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships have opened. Nominations close 27 April. Surf [09.03.07]
  • The Wheat Export Authority (WEA) has a new website: It will soon give information on services agreements between AWB Ltd and AWB (International); the wheat industry benchmark and remuneration and the out-performance incentives. [02.02.07]
  • A new guide for consumers, Know how to complain, has been issued by the ACCC. The guide sets out the main rights and protections that consumers have under the Trade Practices Act. Surf [19.01.07]
  • The WorkChoices Employer Advisor Program has been extended to December 2007. Surf A panel of advisors will be established to continue the service until December. Service providers who wish to tender for the work surf [19.01.07]