27 September 2023

Public Servants honoured on King’s Birthday

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Members of Australian Public Services in all States and Territories of the nation were recognised for their commitment and abilities on King Charles’ Birthday Honours List for 2023.

The King’s recognition for members of the Victorian Public Sector were presented in accordance with the Order of Australia and announced on His Majesty’s behalf by his Excellency the Governor-General, General David Hurley.

“Learning about the wide-ranging service of recipients, which spans almost every field of endeavour imaginable, is uplifting and makes me enormously optimistic for our country. Collectively they speak to who we are now and who we can be in the future,” the Governor-General said.

“Notably, for the first time since the Order of Australia was established in 1975, the majority of recipients in the General Division are women. Similarly, there is gender parity or better at the three highest levels in the Order,” he said.

Current and past members of the Victorian public service honoured on the occasion, including the recipients of the Public Service Medal this year, were:


Ross David BROAD PSM

Department of Premier and Cabinet

For outstanding public service to health, mental health and drug and alcohol policy development in Victoria.

Mr Broad joined the Commonwealth Public Service in 2008 at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Following a period as a public sector consultant, Mr Broad joined the former Victorian Department of Health and Human Services in 2016, working in executive roles across the health and mental health portfolios.

Mr Broad was commended for his work overseeing significant government policy reform, including Victoria’s first medically supervised injecting room, responses to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and supporting the Victorian health workforce during the extreme pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Broad received recognition for his strength as a highly skilled problem-solver and a committed public servant who is dedicated to achieving outcomes for the community.

His leadership is exemplified by a strong desire to engage with stakeholders and team members to drive positive change.


Department of Justice and Community Safety

For outstanding public service in championing land justice for Aboriginal Traditional Owners.

Mr Cowie was instrumental in the development of the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Act).

A landmark reform that remains the only bi-partisan, comprehensive alternative to Native Title in Australia, the Act provides a more efficient, cost effective and less adversarial avenue to achieving land justice outcomes.

Mr Cowie has also played a leading role in all of Victoria’s subsequent settlements, which have provided Traditional Owners with more than $114 million in funding, rights over approximately 40 per cent of Victoria’s Crown land (3.563 million hectares), and joint management of 41 parks and reserves (totalling 1.704 million hectares).

As a respected ally of Aboriginal people, a hallmark of Mr Cowie’s career has been his unwavering commitment to work in genuine partnership and to right past wrongs through improved land justice outcomes.

This approach has contributed to improve trust between the State and Aboriginal communities and has supported Victorian Traditional Owners to realise significant economic, social and cultural gains.

Elizabeth Mary DYER PSM

For outstanding public service in engagement with community service partners in servicing vulnerable children and young people.

Ms Dyer has demonstrated outstanding public service throughout her 40-year career, particularly in supporting vulnerable children and young people who live in out-of-home care.

Her commitment and passion to improving their lives in partnership with child protection and the community services sector has impacted the lives of thousands of children, young people and their carers across the North and West metropolitan areas.

In extremely challenging and complex circumstances, Ms Dyer led key initiatives to improve the care experience for some Victorian’s most vulnerable children and young people who have suffered abuse, neglect and trauma.

Ms Dyer’s stewardship and innovation to improve the end-to-end care experience for children and young people is also notable.

Her steadfast belief that all children deserve equal opportunities to access education, in particular children with disabilities and trauma-related presentations, has seen her influence the education system to provide inclusive environments where children feel supported to achieve.

Her advocacy and devotion in only wanting the very best for children and young people is second to none.

Melissa Sue HARRIS PSM

Department of Transport and Planning

For outstanding public service to state and local government, and for transformation in the areas of geospatial, planning and land administration in Victoria.

Ms Harris is a dedicated public servant who has been instrumental in driving a range of reforms at state and local government level.

A key example is her central role in the development of the SPEAR (Surveying and Planning through Electronic Applications and Referrals) system, which has helped transform Victoria’s land registry from a paper-based system to a fully digital system.

She has also successfully led key statewide initiatives in geospatial and cadastral modernisation.

During her time working in local government, Ms Harris’ achievements included leading the implementation of a new strategic planning framework at Baw Baw Shire Council, which has shaped the development of one of Victoria’s fastest-growing municipalities. She also helped attract more than $80 million in public and private investment into the Baw Baw community.

Ms Harris is also the Victorian Government representative, and current Chair, of the Australia and New Zealand Land Information Council (ANZLIC).

She is the first woman to Chair ANZLIC and is a role model to other women working, or aspiring to work, in the spatial and surveying professions.

Victoria Frances HUDSON PSM

Department of Premier and Cabinet

For outstanding public service, particularly in the area of economic reform.

Ms Hudson has made a significant contribution to a wide array of complex economic and public sector reforms in Victoria. Her work on competition policy and budget efficiency led to real benefits for the Victorian economy.

She also led improvements to government services which have assisted vulnerable Victorians, and public sector reforms which have increased government accountability and the representation of diverse communities.

Ms Hudson is a trusted and sought-after source of advice throughout the Victorian Public Service on reform, governance and administration.

She is recognised as a leader with integrity, sound judgement, commitment, humour and a genuine care for her colleagues and staff.

James William McCANN PSM

Department of Justice and Community Safety

For outstanding public service in leading and managing Victoria’s Youth Justice Centres and driving their recovery and redevelopment.

Throughout his 23-year service in Victoria’s Youth Justice Centres, Mr McCann has ensured that young people in these centres are provided with every opportunity to be rehabilitated and lead positive lives in the community.

As the Executive Director of Custodial Operations, he has overseen a significant decline in the number of serious incidents and workplace injuries in youth justice centres making them safer for young people and all professionals who work in them.

Mr McCann has contributed to key reforms that have provided young people in custody with access to specialist mental health services and forensic treatment programs, and allowed them to take advantage of opportunities offered through Parkville College and bespoke vocational programs.

Careful transitional planning on parole has also supported young people to successfully integrate back into their community.

He has fostered collaborative working relationships with staff in the centres and service providers such as Orygen Youth Health and the Department of Education and Training.

His work with the CPSU, as well as regulatory agencies such as WorkSafe, Victorian Ombudsman, Human Rights Law Centre and the Commission for Children and Young People, means the young people and staff are treated with dignity and respect and their rights are upheld.

Gerard Vincent MANSOUR PSM

Commissioner for Senior Victorians

For outstanding public service in elevating the voice and experience of senior Victorians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his role as the Commissioner for Senior Victorians over the past decade, Mr Mansour has made an important contribution to policy planning across the Victorian Government and driven significant benefits for seniors both within Victoria and nationally.

Mr Mansour’s exceptional ability to traverse between government and the community has enabled him to engage directly with senior Victorians and to represent and elevate their voices and experiences across a range of policy issues, including the prevention of elder abuse and the impacts of COVID-19.

His significant contributions have raised the profile of senior Victorians, had an influential impact on Government policy and decision making and resulted in improvements to services that especially target seniors.


Business Victoria

For outstanding public service through leadership in delivering grants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, Mr Satyan led the delivery of 17 economic support programs including the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021, the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund and the Business Costs Assistance Program, which is the largest grant program by value in Victoria’s history.

These three programs alone supported more than 200,000 businesses to stay afloat through the protracted lockdowns in Victoria and they were the cornerstone of the Victorian Government’s economic response to COVID-19.

Mr Satyan also led the delivery of the Test Isolation Payment Program, which was the largest grant program in Victoria’s history by application numbers.

The Test Isolation Payment Program supported more than 1 million Victorians to isolate while waiting for COVID-19 test results, thus limiting the spread of COVID-19.

In 2022, the focus shifted to economic recovery and stimulus and Mr Satyan delivered programs such as the COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Program, travel vouchers and ventilation rebates and grants.

Mark Anthony STRACEY PSM

Department of Families, Fairness and Housing

For outstanding public service to the community during the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Mr Stracey demonstrates strong and effective leadership with a focus on impacting and realising client and community aspirations.

His recent leadership role on the Paving the Way Forward program across the North Melbourne and Flemington public housing estates is part of a true partnership between government and residents through co-design, client voice and implementation of key initiatives that will make these estates better and safer places to live.

Mr Stracey’s real strength lies in his commitment to highlighting the voices of client and community to ensure that policy development and program implementation is informed by local knowledge and aspirations.


Department of Education and Training

For outstanding public service to education in Victoria.

Ms Watts has provided exemplary service to education and training in Victoria through leading significant reform in the vocational education and training sector and providing exemplary operational management in the school sector.

Her ability to design and lead the implementation of reforms to the training sector has delivered improved outcomes for thousands of students and delivered significant benefit to industry.

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