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Leadership reflections : Biographies

Ms Kerren Crosthwaite

Group Manager, Employment Policy
Australian Public Service Commission

Kerren Crosthwaite is the Group Manager of Employment Policy at the Australian Public Service Commission. In this role, she is responsible for diversity, recruitment and integrity policy for the Australian Public Service.

After moving to Canberra from Perth as a graduate in 2003, Kerren has worked on implementing major workplace relations reforms including Workchoices and the Fair Work Act.

Kerren held management roles in a number of APS agencies in Canberra and Perth, including the Department of Finance, the Department of Employment and the Fair Work Ombudsman.

As a parent, an ultramarathon runner and President of a women’s triathlon club, Kerren is passionate about modelling work-life balance.


Mr Cameron Gifford

First Assistant Secretary, Civil Justice Policy and Programmes Division
Attorney-General’s Department

Cameron Gifford is currently the First Assistant Secretary, Civil Justice Policy and Programmes Division (CJPPD) of the Attorney-General’s Department, responsible for family law; legal assistance; courts, tribunals and administrative law; Commonwealth legal services; and Commonwealth engagement with the Royal Commissions.

Cameron commenced as a graduate in the Australian Public Service in 2002 with the Department of the Treasury and has since worked in a variety of national security policy and legal and roles in AGD and the intelligence community, as well as ministerial adviser and policy roles relating to housing policy in the Social Services portfolio.


Ms Rona Mellor PSM

In July 2015 Rona Mellor was appointed Deputy Auditor-General of the Australian National Audit Office.

From February 2010 till her appointment as Deputy Auditor-General, Ms Mellor was Deputy Secretary with the Department of Agriculture with a responsibility for biosecurity. Rona was also responsible for the department’s HR/people, IT service delivery, regulatory reform and compliance approach.

Rona was appointed as a deputy secretary in 2006 in the Department of Human Services (DHS).  She led the development of integrated service delivery approaches and as Deputy Chief Executive of Medicare Australia from late 2007 transformed Medicare’s service delivery capability by implementing electronic claiming.

Prior to joining DHS, Rona spent 20 years with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)—13 as a member of the senior executive, culminating in the position of First Assistant Commissioner of the Policy Management Division. Over this time Rona’s responsibilities included leading significant change, the design and implementation of major business process reforms and implementation of administrative design in the new policy processes.

Rona has qualifications in law (LLB, University of Queensland) and experience in large-scale, operational environments. Rona is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Policy at the ANU and Executive Fellow of ANSZOG.

Rona was awarded the PSM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2013 for outstanding public service in the development and implementation of biosecurity, taxation and health system policies and projects.


Mr Damian Tobin (Facilitator)

Director - Canberra Design and Practice Management
Department of Human Services

Damian is a leader in design thinking and facilitation with a focus on people-centred design in government. With a background of over 15 years in research and service design, Damian plays a key role in inspiring and enabling teams to collaborate effectively to transform government and how it delivers services.

Damian’s strength is in facilitating strategic design conversations with senior leaders across government to influence their collective development and improvement of policy and service delivery from the perspective of users. In his current role, Damian works to the Department of Human Services’ Chief Citizen Experience Officer, as the Director of Canberra Service Design where he leads, inspires and mentors a team of passionate designers.