Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Appointment of further six DGs welcomed by Premier

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Friday, July 17, 2015

    Appointment of further six DGs welcomed by Premier

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has endorsed the recommendation of the independent recruitment panel on the appointment of a further six Directors-General.

    “My government committed to an independent public service that places merit above and beyond partisan connections and personal relationships,” she said.

    “It’s pleasing to see the independent recruitment panel have made significant progress, with only two Directors-General roles still to be filled.”

    The Directors-General appointed:
    • Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships: Clare O’Connor
    • Department of State Development: Michael Schaumburg
    • Department of Agriculture and Fisheries: Beth Woods
    • Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing: Tamara O’Shea
    • Department of Natural Resources and Mines: James Purtill
    • Department of Environment and Heritage Protection: Jon Black

    The Premier said further to these appointments, David Edwards has been offered and accepted a role leading the government’s Integrated Resort Development projects.

    “David’s appointment to the role of Projects Chief Executive recognises the priority this government gives to delivering on these significant projects, which include Queen’s Wharf Brisbane,” she said.

    “We are committed to seeing these projects get off the ground to boost tourism and deliver economic development.

    Ms Palaszczuk also acknowledged Jack Noye’s intention to retire from the role of Director-General, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

    “Jack Noye and Dr Woods will take the next six-months to transition to the new arrangements, with Dr Woods officially commencing in the Director-General role from 1 January 2016," she said.

    “I’m confident we have a mix of significant experience, skills and leadership in our Directors-General following today’s appointments.

    The Premier said that it was also great to see that through the recruitment process, women are strongly represented at this chief executive level.

    “We are committed to diversity within the public service, and it’s encouraging to see through the merit-based selection process, that more women are being appointed to senior government positions.

    “The new Directors-General will work closely with their respective Ministers to deliver on the priorities outlined in their portfolio charter letter and our commitments outlined in the Budget, to ensure we deliver for Queenslanders.”

    Ms Palaszczuk said the independent process had allowed a fresh approach to ensure a dynamic and flexible public service could deliver the Government’s priorities.

    “The recruitment of the Directors-General for Departments of Science, Information Technology and Innovation and Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning is continuing," she said.

    “Our recruitment search will be extended farther and wider to ensure we have the skills to match our priorities and for these two remaining and pivotal senior government roles.

    “I’m steadfast in returning to a Westminster-style system where bureaucracy is enabled to provide independent, high quality advice.”

    The independent panel was chaired by the Public Service Commission’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Robert Setter and also included Ms Lynelle Briggs AO, Chairperson of the NSW Planning Assessment Commission and Mr Jim Hallion AM, Coordinator-General, South Australia.


    Media contact: Premier’s Office 3719 7000

    Directors-General – brief biography

    Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships: Ms Clare O’Connor. Ms O’Connor has significant senior executive public sector experience at the state and federal levels. Clare has committed herself to serving Queensland communities for the past 13 years of her 29 year career. She has led the Policy and Performance divisions of five Queensland Government agencies during periods of major reform. She has extensive experience in designing and delivering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy and services, as well as child safety and disability services. Ms O’Connor has worked closely on Queensland’s implementation of ‘Closing the Gap’ under national partnership agreements and whole-of-government policy in the areas of land, economics, justice and culture. She has played a policy and leadership role in Queensland’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, working closely with the National Disability Insurance Agency, State Government departments and the Federal Government. She currently holds a senior executive position with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. Ms O’Connor has a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts Public Sector Leadership (Policy).

    Department of State Development: Mr Michael Schaumburg. Michael is a senior executive with 30 years’ experience in the infrastructure and resources industries. For the last two decades he has had senior executive experience in the Queensland Government and Government Owned Corporations. He is currently in the role of Project Director for the Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project. Mr Schaumburg is a former Deputy Coordinator-General in the Department of State Development and Engineering Manager of the Ports Corporation Queensland. At a senior executive level, he has been involved in the planning and development of major resource and infrastructure projects that include the Fisherman’s Landing LNG Project and the proposed Yarwun Coal Export Terminal at Gladstone. Michael’s private sector experience includes roles for engineering consultants, a large construction contractor and an ASX listed resources infrastructure development company. His academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), an Associate Diploma in Civil Engineering and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, is a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland and is a Chartered Professional Engineer, Institute of Engineers Australia.

    Department of Natural Resources and Mines: Mr James Purtill. James is currently Director-General for the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, a role he has held since 2013. James is a highly regarded senior executive with significant private and public sector experience. A scientist and business administrator by profession, he brings more than 30 years’ national and international experience to the role. His career highlights include being a delegate to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and the awarding of the Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal. He was formerly Director-General of the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency and Commissioner of the Queensland Public Service. His private sector experience includes a senior role with a large multi-national Engineering, Procurement and Contract Management firm, and he served as Managing Director for an environmental rehabilitation company. As General Manager Sustainability for an ASX top 20 resources company, he led the community and environmental programs for an $18B project. James holds a Science degree with Honours from the University of New South Wales, an MBA from the University of Queensland, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    Department of Agriculture and Fisheries: Dr Elizabeth (Beth) Woods. Dr Woods is a well-respected senior executive with experience in the areas of governance, policy development and program delivery roles at industry, state, national and international levels. Dr Woods’ distinguished career highlights include being Queensland’s first female Rhodes Scholar and recognised with an Order of Australia Medal for services to Primary Industries. She is currently Deputy Director-General in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Her former roles include Chief Scientific Officer in the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation. Earlier this year, Dr Woods was appointed Chair of the WorldFish Board of Trustees, an internationally respected organisation that makes a positive impact on the poorest communities in the world by funding research into aquaculture technologies and nutrition. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with First Class Honours from the University of Queensland and a Doctorate from Oxford University.

    Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing: Ms Tamara O’Shea. Ms O’Shea has significant public sector experience with more than 30 years’ experience at state and federal levels across program delivery, policy development and governance. She has worked in senior executive roles with departments of Environment and Resource Management, Local Government, Sport and Recreation, Social Security and Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. Ms O’Shea has also held senior positions in Queensland’s Environmental Protection Agency and played a key role in reforms of the waste industry that was underpinned by stakeholder engagement, industry partnership and community engagement for sustainable outcomes. Ms O’Shea is currently in the role of Deputy Director-General for the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. She is an advocate for emerging and aspiring females across all industries, including government and has been a key speaker at leadership events including at last year’s Women in Leadership Summit. Ms O’Shea holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in political science and environmental geography.

    Department of Environment and Heritage Protection: Mr Jon Black. Mr Black continues as Director-General, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, a role he has held since September 2013. Prior to this, Jon led the Department of Energy and Water Supply and also held senior executive roles in complex and diverse organisations, including UnityWater and SEQ Distribution Entity. Mr Black has a distinguished 25-year military career serving as Commanding Officer of the Royal Military College and Military Assistance (Chief of Staff) to the Chief of Army. Mr Black’s academic qualifications include a Masters of Military Studies, a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) and he is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jon is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland.