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Secretary – Ms Jenny Atta PSM

Jenny Atta has been Secretary of the department since March 2019. Prior to this, Jenny was Acting Secretary from November 2018.

Jenny is directly responsible for the management of the department and for supporting the early childhood, education and training portfolio ministers in the management and administration of their portfolios.

Jenny joined the department in December 2015 as Deputy Secretary, Infrastructure and Finance Services Group. In this role, Jenny was responsible for the management and oversight of the department’s financial, procurement and information technology services, along with strategic advice and planning for State Budget processes, and infrastructure policy and delivery. This followed a range of senior roles in the VPS, including with the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) and the Department of Human Services.

Jenny holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master of Public Policy and was awarded a Public Service Medal in June 2021 for outstanding public service to strategic social policy reform and delivery in Victoria. In 2019, Jenny was inducted as an Institute of Public Administration Australia Victorian Fellow.

Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood Education – Ms Kim Little

Kim Little leads the implementation of early childhood education components of the Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan: Ready for kinder, Ready for school, Ready for life , and the delivery of universally funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Kim’s group is home to the critical work of the ECEC regulator, and the whole-of-government effort to improve information sharing to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

Prior to this appointment, Kim was the Assistant Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood Portfolio in the Early Childhood and School Education group. Kim has also worked in the Higher Education and Skills (HES) group, with a focus on tertiary education policy matters, including market design and intervention. Before joining the department, Kim was in the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), focusing on education and social policy issues.

Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Master of Arts. Kim has also worked as a philosopher at Monash University and as a corporate lawyer.

Deputy Secretary, Financial Policy and Information Services – Mr Tony Bates PSM

Tony Bates joined the department as Deputy Secretary, Financial Policy and Information Services (FPIS) in April 2019. Tony was also appointed as Associate Secretary from April to November 2020 to support the department and the Victorian Government’s COVID‑19 pandemic response.

Prior to joining the department, Tony worked at the Department of Justice and Regulation, DPC, DTF and Victoria Police. Tony has a breadth of experience in leading significant strategic reforms to public sector governance, corporate services and fiscal strategy, and in performance measurement.

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

Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills – Ms Lill Healy

Lill Healy joined the department as the Deputy Secretary, HES in April 2021. Lill has worked across the community, private and public sectors, and has held leadership positions in a diverse range of portfolios, all of which focused on greater economic and social inclusion for Victorian communities.

As Deputy Secretary, Service System Reform, DPC, Lill led a cross government team progressing new ways of tackling entrenched socioeconomic disadvantage through community-led, place-based approaches and wider service delivery reform. Previously, Lill served as Deputy Secretary, Policy, Programs, Small Business and Employment, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, where she oversaw the development of Jobs Victoria and the establishment of Victoria’s first Social Procurement Framework and Social Enterprise Strategy.

Lill holds a Bachelor of Business, Banking and Finance and a Diploma of Youth Work from Victoria University and is an Executive Fellow of ANZSOG.

Deputy Secretary, People and Executive Services – Ms Kate Rattigan

Kate Rattigan was appointed as Deputy Secretary, People and Executive Services (PES) in June 2016.

Kate has worked in various departmental capacities, providing strategic oversight over complex operational matters, and specialist and technical advice to ministers, the secretary, executives, managers, regional directors, school principals and school councils.

Kate is the department’s environmental sustainability champion, Disability Champion, LGBTIQ+ champion, and executive leader for the Charter of Human Rights. In these roles, Kate influences whole-of-government and departmental actions through the Safe and Well in Education Strategy.

Kate holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Employment and Labour Relations Law from the University of Melbourne.

Deputy Secretary, Policy, Strategy and Performance – Ms Kylie White

Kylie White joined the department as Deputy Secretary, Policy, Strategy and Performance (PSP) in May 2021.

Previously, Kylie was Deputy Secretary, Environment and Climate Change in the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and prior to that, Kylie was an Executive Director in DPC and has held senior roles in other VPS departments, including the Department of Economic Development, Jobs Transport and Resources.

In 2018, Kylie was recognised by the Institute of Public Administration Australia as a Victorian Fellow, in recognition of her outstanding contribution of public administration.

Kylie holds a Bachelor of Forest Science from the Australian National University and a Master of Environmental Management from the University of New England and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Deputy Secretary, School Education Programs and Support – Mr Stephen Fraser

As Deputy Secretary, School Education Programs and Support (SEPS), Stephen leads policy and program development to improve learning and wellbeing outcomes for all students, regardless of their background.

Stephen has extensive experience in education policy making and implementation. He has held a range of senior roles in the Department of Education and Training, including Regional Director for the South Western Victoria Region and Executive Director for Implementation.

Following a long history in the VPS, Stephen spent time in the UK, as Deputy Chief Executive for the Education Endowment Foundation.

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Science from Monash University.

Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services – Dr David Howes PSM

David Howes is Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services (SRS). Immediately prior to this, David was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the VCAA.

David began his career as a teacher in the western suburbs of Melbourne, where he worked for 10 years as a teacher and in a range of school leadership roles. He was awarded a Public Service Medal in the 2021 Australia Day Honours for his commitment to deliver educational equity and excellence for Victoria’s school students.

David holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Diploma of Education, Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Melbourne. David also holds an Executive Master of Public Administration from ANZSOG.

Chief Executive Officer, Victorian School Building Authority – Mr Tom Kirkland

Tom Kirkland was formally appointed as CEO of the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) in November 2021. Tom has been at the VSBA since its establishment in August 2016, and was previously Executive Director of the Delivery Division.

Tom leads the planning and delivery of the $12.8 billion investment in school and kindergarten infrastructure. Tom is committed to ensuring teachers and students have exemplary learning spaces and meeting enrolment demand across the state.

Before joining the VSBA, Tom worked in health infrastructure across Australia, including delivering the new Royal Children's Hospital in 2014.

Tom holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University, Kingston and a Master of Health Administration from the University of Ottawa.

Assistant Deputy Secretary, Budget Reform – Andrea Del Monaco

Andrea Del Monaco joined the department in August 2021 as the Assistant Deputy Secretary, Budget Reform.

Andrea has extensive public sector experience, including senior executive roles at DTF providing advice on the state’s budget outlook and fiscal strategy, financial and resource management frameworks, and government’s industrial relations policy settings. Andrea’s experience includes roles at various Victorian Government departments. Andrea has also worked in the private sector both in Australia and overseas.

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from LaTrobe University.

Assistant Deputy Secretary, Economic Recovery – Ms Meena Naidu

Meena Naidu joined the department as the Assistant Deputy Secretary, Economic Recovery in May 2021.

Meena has more than 25 years’ experience in public policy and regulation. Meena’s early career focused on policy and regulation in transport and utilities in Australia, the UK and developing countries, supporting productivity and access to services. Meena has led agriculture policy and food regulation before refocusing on safeguarding community service providers.

Prior to joining the department, Meena led the establishment of Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme in the Victorian Commission for Children and Young People at the then Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Meena has led Health and Human Services Regulation and Reform at DHHS.

Meena holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University and a Master of Science in Economic Regulation and Competition from the University of London.

Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services – Ms Lee Watts

Lee Watts joined the department as the Executive Director of Training Market Operations, HES. Lee was appointed to the role of Assistant Deputy Secretary, HES, in 2016. After leading the design and implementation of a more managed, stable and competitive training system in HES, Lee joined SRS as Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary in October 2021.

Prior to joining the department, Lee was a senior consultant at a US consulting firm. Lee has held senior teaching and research positions at several Australian universities, with a focus on workplace relations, alternative dispute resolution and change management.

Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Master of Arts from the University of Melbourne and has authored several books.

Assistant Deputy Secretary, Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Taskforce – Mr Scott Widmer

Scott Widmer commenced as Assistant Deputy Secretary, Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Taskforce in February 2021. The role is responsible for leading the development and implementation of a range of reforms that support all Victorian secondary school students to access high‑quality vocational and applied-learning pathways.

Scott has over 15 years’ experience in policy and programs in the public sector, having worked across Education, Health and Human Services, Justice, and Premier and Cabinet.

Scott started his career as a lawyer practising in intellectual property litigation, and has degrees in Law and Arts, and a Master of Public Policy and Management, from the University of Melbourne.

Reviewed 21 September 2022

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