The department is headed by an Executive team that provides strategic leadership and engagement with the education and training sector and leads the department in strategic policy development supporting access to quality education and teaching in Australia.
Secretary for Education and Training
Lisa Paul is the Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training.
Lisa has been a Chief Executive for 10 years across four different Secretary roles:
- Secretary Department of Education, Science and Training 2004–2007
- Secretary Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 2007–2013
- Secretary of the Department of Education 2013–2014
- Secretary of the Department of Education and Training 2014–current.
In 2011, Lisa was made an Offi cer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public sector leadership in key policy and programme implementation and received the Chartered Accountants Australia Federal Government Leader of the Year award. In 2003 Lisa was awarded a Public Service Medal for leading the Australian Government’s domestic response to the Bali bombings.
Lisa is a national fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, a fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, an Australian National University Public Policy fellow, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of Chief Executive Women.
Tony Cook PSM
Associate Secretary, Schools and Youth
Tony Cook is the Associate Secretary for Schools and Youth.
Before joining the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations in October 2011, Tony Cook was the Deputy Secretary, Government and Corporate, with the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet. Tony has held a number of senior executive education positions within the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development including:
- Deputy Secretary, Offi ce for Children and Portfolio Coordination
- Deputy Secretary, Offi ce for Planning, Strategy and Coordination
- General Manager, Student Learning.
Tony began his education career with Education Queensland.
Tony is a registered primary school teacher with a major in early childhood education and has been a deputy principal and taught in schools and preschools in Queensland and the United Kingdom. Tony holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the Queensland University of Technology.
In October 2013 Tony was made an honorary fellow of the Australian Council for Education Leaders and in January 2014 he was awarded a Public Service Medal for outstanding public service, especially in driving schools policy and funding reform in Australia.
Associate Secretary, Higher Education, Research and International
Robert spent the first 28 years of his career focused on health and community services, including four years as Secretary of the Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services, and senior positions in New South Wales and Victoria. He spent more than 10 years managing Commonwealth health and community services, including running the Commonwealth aged care and Aboriginal health programmes. He has run his own consulting business doing both technical and organisational development work and held senior positions in the community health sector.
Robert moved to the education sector in 2008 and, prior to joining the department as part of the 2013 machinery of government changes, has been responsible for labour market strategy, tertiary education and Indigenous employment programmes.
Robert has a bachelor’s degree in health science and education, a master’s degree in public health and a graduate economics degree from the Australian National University.
Robert left the department on 3 July 2015.
Dr Subho Banerjee
Deputy Secretary, Skills and Training
Dr Subho Banerjee assumed responsibility for oversight of skills and training in September 2013. These functions were transferred from the Department of Industry to the Department of Education and Training in December 2014.
Subho has previously served in senior executive roles in a range of departments in the Australian public service, providing advice across economic, social and environmental policy.
Subho has also worked as a management consultant in the private sector and for an Indigenous policy think-tank.
Subho has a Bachelor of Science and a PhD in physics from the Australian National University. He also completed masters studies in environmental policy and economic and social history at the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes scholar.
Acting Deputy Secretary, Higher Education, Research and International
Jessie Borthwick is acting Deputy Secretary for Higher Education, Research and International, a position she has occupied since June 2015.
Prior to this, Jesse was acting Deputy Secretary, Higher Education Reform and Support, from April 2014.
Earlier to this, Jessie was Group Manager, Higher Education in the Department of Education and Training and earlier, head of the Tertiary Quality and Participation Division in the former Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, having returned to the department in 2011 from the Australian National University, where she worked as Executive Director, Strategy for the Australian National Institute for Public Policy.
Before working at the Australian National University, Jessie was Division Head for Science and Research in the former Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research. She was also Group Manager, Science and Group Manager, Strategic Analysis and Evaluation, in the former Department of Education, Science and Training.
Jessie has extensive experience at senior levels in state and Commonwealth agencies across tertiary education including in the New South Wales Technical and Further Education Commission, the Employment and Skills Formation Council, the Australian National Training Authority and the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.