Ministers and key staff: Department of Education

Profile information about the ministers and key staff responsible for the Department of Education.

The Hon. Ben Carroll MP

Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Minister for Medical Research

Ben Carroll was born and raised in Airport West where his family have lived for over 40 years. Ben has over 20 years’ worth of experience in public service, including as a lawyer for the Victorian Government, and adviser to former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks.

First elected as the Member for Niddrie on 24 March 2012, Ben was appointed the Minister for Industry and Employment in October 2017. In this role he oversaw the implementation of Australia’s first-ever local jobs-first legislation and the country’s first Social Procurement Framework.

Following the 2018 Victorian State Election, Ben was appointed the Minister for Crime Prevention, Corrections, Youth Justice and Victim Support.

In June 2020, Ben was appointed the Minister for Public Transport, Roads and Road Safety.

In July 2022, Ben added the portfolios of Minister for Industry Support and Recovery and Business Precincts to his existing portfolio responsibilities of Public Transport, Roads and Road Safety. In these roles, Ben focused on ensuring Victoria’s transport network and industry policies provided access to opportunity, supported the transition to net zero emissions, and contributed towards a fairer society.

Following the 2022 Victorian State Election, Ben added the portfolios of Minister for Industry and Innovation, Manufacturing Sovereignty and Employment to his existing portfolio responsibility of Public Transport.

In October 2023, Ben became the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Medical Research.

Contact: Ben Carroll MP - Member for Niddrie

Hon Lizzie Blandthorn MP

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, Minister for Children and Minister for Disability

Minister Blandthorn was elected to the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Assembly as the Member for Pascoe Vale in 2014. She was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council representing the Western Metropolitan Region in November 2022. Minister Blandthorn has been the Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council and Minister for Disability since December 2022, and has been the Minister for Children since October 2023.

The Minister for Children oversees Victoria’s early childhood education and care system and the delivery of the nation-leading Best Start, Best Life reforms, including universally funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and Pre-Prep. Access to quality early childhood education for all Victorian children is critical, including for children with disability or developmental delay. The Minister is also responsible for driving improvements to Victoria’s child protection and family services system, and the maternal and child healthcare system, providing a whole-of-government focus on child development and wellbeing.

Contact: Lizzie Blandthorn MP - Member for Western Metropolitan Region

Secretary, 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 Secretaries

The 8 Deputy Secretaries and CEO of the Victorian School Building Authority are directly responsible for each group within our departmental structure.

  • Acting Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood Education - Ms Bronwen FitzGerald
  • Deputy Secretary, Financial Policy and Information Services - Mr Tony Bates
  • Deputy Secretary, People and Executive Services - Ms Kate Rattigan
  • Deputy Secretary, Policy, Strategy and Performance - Ms Kylie White
  • Deputy Secretary, School Education Programs and Support - Mr Stephen Fraser
  • Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services - Dr David Howes
  • Deputy Secretary, Schools Workforce - Ms Andrea Del Monaco
  • Chief Executive Officer, Victorian School Building Authority - Mr Tom Kirkland