IPAA Victoria Annual Dinner 2019

20 Nov 2019

Last night we held our 2019 Annual Dinner. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to the new Fellows!

Victorian Fellows

Victorian Fellowship is awarded in recognition of an outstanding contribution to public administration, the achievement of IPAA Victoria’s objectives, and exemplary service to the Victorian community.


Jenny Atta

Secretary, Department of Education and Training

Jenny is the Secretary of the Department of Education and Training with responsibility for the early childhood education, schools, skills and training, and higher education portfolios.

Since joining the Victorian Public Service 26 years ago, she has worked across multiple portfolios and in a diversity of roles spanning program design and development, strategic policy, budget and financial management, and review and evaluation. Highlights have included working on strategic social policy reform with the Department of Human Services and leading the Portfolio Analysis area, including contributing to public sector finance reforms, for the Department of Treasury and Finance.

Jenny joined the Department of Education and Training in 2015 as Deputy Secretary, Finance and Infrastructure where she led reform and redevelopment of the Department’s finance functions and the establishment of the Victorian School Building Authority.

Jenny has built a reputation as a trusted senior executive with extensive leadership experience. She has a strong commitment to the public sector values that underpin the work of the VPS and a passion for high-quality public administration and the difference it can make to the lives of individuals and our community in general.


Tony Bates PSM

Deputy Secretary, Financial Policy & Information Services, Department of Education and Training

Tony joined the Department of Education and Training (DET) in April 2019 as Deputy Secretary – Financial Policy and Information Services.

Prior to joining DET, Tony worked as a Special Advisor reporting to the Secretary at Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) on the Victorian Government’s response to a range of issues related to autonomous, connected and zero-emission vehicles.

In 2018 Tony was the Lead Deputy Secretary - Police, Emergency Management and Corrections in the Department of Justice.

Tony has a breadth of experience in central and line agencies, most recently at the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) and Victoria Police.

Prior to this, Tony led significant strategic reforms to business, human resource and financial services at Victoria Police and worked in DTF in a range of roles covering fiscal strategy, portfolio analysis and natural disaster recovery arrangements.

During the 1990s, Tony worked across a number of programs in the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services.

Tony holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and Master of Science degree from the University of Melbourne, is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an alumni of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government Executive Fellows program. Tony was awarded a Public Service Medal in January 2016 for outstanding public service to fiscal management in Victoria.

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Claire Ferres Miles

Chief Executive Officer, Sustainability Victoria

Claire is an optimistic leader driven by curiosity and purpose.

She has held executive roles in Local Government, Victorian Government, Transport for London and in the private sector, and is highly regarded for her collaborative leadership, authentic community engagement and innovative partnerships. In 2017 Claire was recognised as a ‘Top 50 Woman in the Victorian Public Sector’.

Claire is passionate about leading teams to achieve public value, positive impact and deliver tangible outcomes for our community, with significant achievements in affordable housing, sustainability, transport and planning - to ensure our future is one of social, economic and environmental prosperity.

She has a Master of Transport, a Master of Traffic, a Bachelor of Planning & Design with majors in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and IPAA Integrity and Ethical Leadership Program.

Claire commences as CEO Sustainability Victoria on 25 November 2019.


Colin Radford

Chief Executive, WorkSafe Victoria

Colin was recently announced as the new Chief Executive of Worksafe Victoria, the culmination of a 25-year career working in and with the Victorian public sector.

Immediately prior to taking up this role, Colin was CEO of the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, where he has overseen a major cultural and strategic transformation.

During his three and a half years as CEO, Colin has led the development and implementation of the VMIA’s new five-year strategy, while also achieving record-high client satisfaction and staff engagement.

A national finalist for the CEO Diversity Champion Award, under Colin’s leadership VMIA has: lifted the number of women on the executive team from

1 to 6; developed its first Reconciliation Action Plan; seen 70 per cent of staff utilise flexible work arrangements; introduced a dedicated Faith Room; and launched a Rainbow community support program.

Colin has previously served as an executive at WorkSafe and the TAC, and has also held senior roles in Ministerial offices, advising three Victorian Premiers and as Chief of Staff to a Cabinet Minister. He spent seven years as a Partner at Deloitte, where he led the Victorian Government practice and was the National Public Sector Leader for Financial Advisory Services.

A Graduate of Columbia Business School (New York) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Colin is a Williamson Fellow and the Chairman of Kids Under Cover.

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Dr Cathy Wilkinson

Chief Executive Officer, Environment Protection Authority

Cathy is a leader with over 20 years transformation experience in the environment, water and planning sectors driving major policy, organisational and operational change. In the Victorian public sector, she has led long term integrated land use-transport and water planning to guide multi-billion dollars of infrastructure investment. This included the development and implementation of ‘Melbourne 2030 - planning for sustainable growth’.

Cathy became CEO of the Environment Protection Authority Victoria in September 2018 and is leading a whole of organisational transformation underpinned by comprehensive new preventative environmental protection legislation that commences 1 July 2020.

Between 2006-2013 Cathy was based in Luleå, Sweden, just south of the Arctic Circle. Whilst based in Scandinavia, Cathy led international science-policy projects on resilience and innovation with the Rockefeller Foundation, Arctic Council, African Centre for Cities and the Conference of Parties to the UNEP Convention for Biological Diversity. Cathy has a PhD from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, is an internationally recognised expert on urban resilience and strategic planning and has multiple publications.

Her approach to leading people to sustain high performance has been significantly influenced by her experience playing ice hockey for the Australian Women’s Ice Hockey team.

National Fellows

National Fellowship is awarded by IPAA National to acknowledge outstanding and distinguished contributions to the advancement and practice of public administration in Australia.

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Dr Gillian Sparks

Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability

Dr Gillian Sparkes was appointed as Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability in July 2014. Dr Sparkes has a long career working with industry, community and government to care for and protect our environment.

Dr Sparkes has held senior roles in the Victorian government environment portfolio including as Chair of the Board of Sustainability Victoria and Deputy Secretary Corporate and Business Services for the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Dr Sparkes also served two terms as a Director of South Gippsland Water and Chair of the Board Environment Committee and was the CEO of the Australian Sustainable Industry Research Centre at Monash University.

Dr Sparkes holds a PhD in Applied Science (Chemistry), a Masters of Business Administration, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Institute for Public Administration Australia (Victoria), a member of the Environment Institute of Australia and NZ and a member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.

Dr Sparkes is Chair of the Western Port Integrated Water Management Forum, a Member of the MSDI Advisory Council and holds a portfolio of board positions including the Country Fire Authority; The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation; the Industry Capability Network and Chair Frontier SI (formerly the CRC for Spatial Information).

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Dean Yates

Partner Financial Accounting Advisory Services, EY

Dean worked in the Victorian, Commonwealth & Tasmanian public sectors for over 30 years.

In 1996 Dean moved to Melbourne when he joined the Department of Treasury and Finance. Dean was appointed Deputy Secretary, Budget and Financial Management Division at the Victorian Department of Treasury Finance starting this position on Monday 9 February 2009. Given this was two days after Black Saturday, it proved to be an intensive introduction to the role. As Deputy Secretary, Dean was responsible for assisting the Treasurer and Government in achieving its fiscal policy objectives, including delivery of the State Budget and Annual Financial Report.

Dean was Secretary of the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning & Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) with responsibility for transport, local government; sport and recreation; planning policy; building commission; metropolitan planning authority and Places Victoria.

Dean held a number of senior roles in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, including Special Advisor.

Dean joined EY in October 2015 as a Partner in Advisory and at the start of 2016 was appointed the Leader of EY’s Victorian Government and Public Sector practice. In that capacity he has undertaken a number of major reviews within the Victorian Public Service.

Dean has been an active supporter of IPAA Victoria for many years assisting to raise the capability of the public sector in Victoria. He has contributed to the Victorian Division in a number of ways; through participating and presenting at events, seminars, training and conferences including the Young Professionals, breakfast seminar Financing Government and IPAA Victoria's annual State Budget Briefing Breakfast.

Honorary Life Member 2019

The highest award presented by IPAA Victoria, Honorary Life Member is bestowed on individuals whose careers have made a profound contribution to the IPAA Victoria and the Victorian public sector over a number of years.


Gill Callister PSM

Associate Dean, The Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)

Gill Callister, Associate Dean at ANZSOG and 2019 Public Service Medal recipient, has dedicated her career to improving public policy and service delivery.

From 2015-2018, Gill served as Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET).

Prior to joining DET, she was the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Human Services (2009 -2014), where she led policy, legislative and service delivery reform. This followed a range of senior roles in the Victorian Public Service and a ten-year stint in the community sector working with children, young people and families.

Gill is the most recent past President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) (Victoria). Her leadership in public policy was recognised in 2013 when she was named in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence, and received a Sir James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship to attend Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In October 2014, Gill was awarded the IPAA National Fellowship award and a Monash University Fellowship and in 2017 was named as one of the top 50 women in the Victorian public service.

Gill holds Bachelor degrees in Social Work (with Honours) and Arts.