Services Australia's data chief becomes CISO

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Services Australia's data chief becomes CISO

Former cyber security boss moves sideways.

Services Australia’s inaugural chief data officer Maria Milosavljevic is moving into the agency's chief information security officer role.

Milosavljevic, who has spent the past two years heading up the agency’s data and analytics division, revealed her new position over the weekend.

“I’m very excited to say that I will be assuming the role of CISO for Services Australia,” she said in a LinkedIn post.

“I will once again combine my passions for security, intelligence, risk and data. Especially looking forward to reconnecting with many of my colleagues in this space.”

Milosavljevic replaces cyber security general manager Tim Spackman, who joined Services Australia from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade just six months ago.

A spokesperson told iTnews that Spackman had shifted into an emerging projects general manager role in the transformation projects group led by deputy secretary Charles McHardie.

That group is leading the agency's billion dollar-plus welfare payments infrastructure transformation (WPIT) program, as well as the myGov overhaul.

“The [emerging projects] role assists the implementation of new initiatives,” the spokesperson said, adding that senior executives “routinely move within Services Australia to help achieve business needs”.

Milosavljevic comes to the CISO role with significant experience, having spent two years as the NSW government’s first ever CISO prior to joining Services Australia in 2017.

She also spent two years as AUSTRAC’s chief innovation officer and CISO and five years as chief information officer and CISO at the then Australian Crime Commission before that.

Milosavljevic added that Garrett McDonald, who has spent the past year as experience and data services general manager, would move into the chief data officer role she has vacated.

McDonald has worked in the technology services group since 2004, with 16 years of this spent as as architecture and innovation general manager.

Milosavljevic used her parting note to highlight the importance of Services Australia's data and analytics division during the catastrophic Black Summer bushfires in 2019-20.

“After two-and-a-quarter years as the inaugural chief data officer for Services Australia, I am really pleased to say that the (not so new) data and analytics division is set up and has been running for quite some time,” she said.

“We rapidly iterated our operating model several times both before and during the bushfire and pandemic and I could not be more proud of my staff for how well they supported the most important decisions our agency has needed to make during these times.

“I am also very grateful to many of my amazing colleagues both within the agency and outside who have help us to achieve so much over this time.

“With this all in place, I am placing the reigns into the hands of the very capable Garrett McDonald.”

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