My word is FRIENDSHIP.
I came from the UK and arrived at Merici (Braddon Catholic HIgh School for Girls) in 1975. I was put into a class with girls a bit older than me. I forged friendships with several girls who are still close friends of mine and I rejoice in these friendships and the education I was lucky to receive at school. It provided a fantastic foundation for my university studies and my career, which has been fulfilling. I look back on my days at Merici with great fondness, gratitude and pride.
I am Victoria’s first Commissioner for Better Regulation (appointed by the Victorian Government in 2015) and was also appointed as Red Tape Commissioner in 2018. I have considerable experience in economic and social policy development, process review and management, much of it gained from my work at senior levels in Federal and State governments. I graduated from the ANU’s Economics Faculty, majoring in economics, econometrics and statistics and pure maths. After graduating, I worked as an economist in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics and what is now the Productivity Commission. I have been closely involved in policy development for 25 years in both Federal and State spheres. I was the Chief Executive Officer at the National Farmers’ Federation for five years, which involved me in many aspects of Federal policy impacting on the farm sector, including trade, environment and communications issues. I have been Chief of Staff to two Victorian Premiers and worked in the Western Australian Government as the senior bureaucrat responsible for managing the approvals of some of the world’s largest iron ore and oil and gas projects. I was also responsible for Western Australia’s overseas office network .I was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal in 2001 for my services to rural leadership. I have also held a number of government and not for profit board appointments including on the boards of Rural Skills Australia, the Rural Industries Training Council and the Australian Landcare Council. I currently sit on the Advisory Board of the Melbourne School of Government, chaired by the Hon John Brumby. In my current role, I lead regulatory reform in Victoria and have undertaken a number of important reviews of key regulators and regulatory systems including the Earth Resources Regulator and Victoria’s planning system. I am also currently chairing an Expert Panel reviewing Victoria’s entire building system – including legislation, regulations and regulators. I also convene and chair Victoria’s Regulators’ Forum.