Our executive

The department is led by an Executive team that works closely with all areas of the department, including the department’s Indigenous Leader, Kevin Brahim, to deliver our business.

Executive team as at 30 June 2014. Standing clockwise from top left: Robert Griew, Tony Cook, Martin Hehir, Jackie Wilson, Lisa Paul and Jessie Borthwick.

Executive team as at 30 June 2014. Standing clockwise from top left: Robert Griew, Tony Cook, Martin Hehir, Jackie Wilson, Lisa Paul and Jessie Borthwick.

Lisa Paul AO PSM

Lisa Paul

Secretary for Education

Lisa Paul AO PSM is the Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Education.

Lisa has been a Chief Executive for 10 years across three different Secretary roles:

  • Secretary of the Department of Education, Science and Training—2004–2007
  • Secretary of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations—2007–2013
  • Secretary of the Department of Education—current.

In 2011, Lisa was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public sector leadership in key policy and programme implementation. Also in 2011, Lisa received the Australia Chartered Accountants’ Federal Government Leader of the Year Award.

In 2003, Lisa was awarded a Public Service Medal for leading the Australian Government’s domestic response to the Bali bombings.

As Secretary of the department, Lisa has a particular interest in organisational leadership and the links between productivity and leadership inside workplaces.

Lisa is currently a non-executive director of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, Social Ventures Australia, the Advisory Council of the Australian National University Crawford School of Public Policy, the Advisory Board to the Strategic Centre for Leadership Learning and Development, the Centre for Workplace Leadership and the National Security College Advisory Board.

Lisa has been a director of the Education Investment Fund, the Australian National Institute of Public Policy Advisory Board, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Australian Research Council, the Higher Education Endowment Fund, the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and a single women’s refuge.

Lisa is a national fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, a fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, an Australian National University public policy fellow, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of Chief Executive Women.

Tony Cook PSM

Tony Cook

Associate Secretary, Early Childhood, Schools and Youth.

Before joining the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ( DEEWR) in October 2011, Tony was the Deputy Secretary Government and Corporate with the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Tony has held a number of senior executive education positions including:

  • Deputy Secretary, Office for Children and Portfolio Coordination, Victoria
  • Deputy Secretary, Office for Planning, Strategy and Coordination, Victoria
  • General Manager, Student Learning, Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Tony began his education career with Education Queensland.

Tony is a registered primary school teacher with a major in early childhood education and has been a deputy principal and taught in schools and preschools in Queensland and the United Kingdom. Tony holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the Queensland University of Technology.

In October 2013, Tony was made an honorary fellow of the Australian Council for Education Leaders, and in January 2014 he was awarded a Public Service Medal for outstanding public service, especially in driving schools policy and funding reform in Australia.

Robert Griew Associate Secretary

Robert Griew

Associate Secretary, Higher Education, Research and International.

Robert has a distinguished career spanning the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Robert spent the first 28 years of his career focused on health and community services, including four years as Secretary of the Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services, and senior positions in New South Wales and Victoria. He spent more than 10 years managing Commonwealth health and community services, including running the Commonwealth aged care and Aboriginal health programmes. He has run his own consulting business doing both technical and organisational development work and held senior positions in the community health sector.

Robert moved to the education sector in 2008 and, prior to joining the department as part of the 2013 Machinery of Government changes, has been responsible for labour market strategy, tertiary education and Indigenous employment programmes.

He has previously chaired ministerial advisory councils including the National Public Health Partnership and most recently the National Senior Officials’ Committee, which supported tertiary education ministers. Past directorships include the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research, the National eHealth Advisory Council, the New South Wales Legal Aid Commission and Australian Hearing.

Robert has a bachelor’s degree in health science and education, a master’s degree in public health and a graduate economics degree from the Australian National University.

Jackie Wilson Deputy Secretary

Jackie Wilson

Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood Education and Care.

Jackie also has responsibility for the department’s state and territory network, as well as leading the department’s deregulation agenda.

Prior to joining the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ( DEEWR) in August 2013, Jackie jointly led the Schools Funding Taskforce with DEEWR for 12 months in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

From 2009 to 2011, Jackie worked in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and was the deputy secretary responsible for business services, including responsibility for finance and information technology and detention and community services during a very busy time for the department.

Jackie has also worked in a number of senior positions in a range of Commonwealth portfolios, including the Department of Finance’s Budget Group with responsibility for the social welfare areas of the budget and the overall coordination of the budget.

In the Commonwealth health and family and community services portfolios, Jackie has worked extensively on policy and programme management including management of a range of income support payments.

Martin Hehir Deputy Secretary

Martin Hehir

Deputy Secretary, Schools and Youth.

Martin has held this responsibility since April 2012. Prior to this role, he was Director-General of the Community Services Directorate, Australian Capital Territory ( ACT) Government.

Martin held a number of senior positions in other ACT Government agencies and worked as an advisor to a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly. He has played a key role in a number of ministerial advisory councils and supported ministers at ministerial council meetings covering housing, community and disability services; immigration and multicultural affairs; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs; and employment, education, early childhood, training and youth affairs.

Martin holds an economics degree from the Australian National University and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment.

Jessie Borthwick Acting Deputy Secretary Higher Education Reform and Support.

Jessie Borthwick

Acting Deputy Secretary Higher Education Reform and Support.

Previously Jessie was head of the Tertiary Quality and Participation Division in the former Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, having returned to the department in 2011 from the Australian National University, where she worked as Executive Director, Strategy for the Australian National Institute for Public Policy.

Before working at the Australian National University, Jessie was Division Head for Science and Research in the former Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research. She was also Group Manager, Science and Group Manager, Strategic Analysis and Evaluation in the former Department of Education, Science and Training. Jessie has extensive experience at senior levels in state and Commonwealth agencies across tertiary education including in the New South Wales Technical and Further Education Commission, the Employment and Skills Formation Council, the Australian National Training Authority and the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.