The state government’s education boss, Sharyn O'Neill, has been appointed as the first ever female Public Sector Commissioner in Western Australia.
The state government’s education boss Sharyn O'Neill has been appointed as the first ever female public sector commissioner in Western Australia.
Ms O’Neill, who has served as director general of the Department of Education for more than a decade, begins her new role later this month.
She replaces Mal Wauchope, who retired this month having held the role since it was created by the Barnett government in 2008.
In taking over the role, Ms O’Neill will become one of the state’s most influential public servants.
During her time as director general of education, Ms O’Neill has implemented a number of reforms including raising the school leaving age, moving year seven to secondary school, making pre-primary the first year of compulsory schooling, and revising the model for public school funding.
In recognition of her significant contribution to public administration in Western Australia, Ms O’Neill was awarded the Institute of Public Administration (WA) Patron’s Award and made a Fellow of the Institute in 2016.
Premier Mark McGowan congratulated Ms O’Neill on the appointement.
“Her outstanding contribution to the education sector on behalf of the state government has been duly recognised,” Mr McGowan said.
“Significant reviews have already taken place by this government to make the public sector leaner and more agile.
“These aim to ensure we continue to deliver essential services and programs in a more sustainable manner.
“Ms O’Neill’s passion for the public service and her ability to lead organisational and cultural change will be instrumental in continuing this work.”
Ms O’Neill said she was looking forward to starting her new role.
“My goal is to bring about a strong common vision and narrative about WA’s public services that inspire a sense of purpose, direction and vibrancy,” she said.
“It’s about re-energising thinking and collaboration so we have a contemporary and agile approach to public services that serves the needs of all Western Australians.
“I am honoured to take on this important position of leading and supporting the governance and leadership of public services in this state.”