Information 5th April 2017

Network Steering Committee 2017

by Peter Timmins

Following the call for nominations, a new Network Steering Committee has been formed.
As retiring Chairman Dr David Solomon told network members the incoming team represents continuity and renewal, includes a mix of CSO representatives and individual members and improves female representation from one to three.
Kat Szuminska and Nicholas Gruen continue as members of the committee. Newcomers Ken Coghill, Greg Thompson and Mark Zirnsak have been closely involved with the OGP initiative over the last fifteen months. Moira Paterson, James Horton, Beth Slatyer and Matthew Ricketson bring knowledge experience and additional expertise in important areas.
Dr Solomon on behalf of the other retiring committee members Johan Lidberg and Jon Lawrence, thanked members for their support:
“It has been a privilege to help promote the open government cause. We made a good start but much remains to be done.”
Steering Committee 2017
Dr Ken Coghill (Accountability Roundtable)

Associate Professor, Department of Management, Monash University

Ken is a founder of the Accountability Round Table.

 He is a member Interim Working Group established by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in August 2016 to assist in finalising the first OGP National Action Plan and to oversight Australia’s OGP initiative until a permanent Multi Stakeholder Forum is established. Ken attended the OGP Global Summit in Paris in December 2016.

 Ken was a member of the Victorian Parliament elected in 1979. He was Parliamentary Secretary of Cabinet in a government that was one of the first in the Commonwealth of Nations to legislate and implement freedom of information legislation, and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly (1988-1992).

 His PhD thesis addressed the key role of open government in the functioning of systems of government and good governance.

 Ken’s teaching interests include accountability, integrated governance and professional development (capacity building) for parliamentarians, in partnership with AusAID and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Dr Nicholas Gruen (Open Knowledge Foundation Australian Chapter)
Member inaugural AOGPN Steering Committee
CEO Lateral Economics.

Nicholas is Visiting Professor at Kings College London and Adjunct Professor at UTS. He chairs the Open Knowledge Foundation (Australian Chapter) and is Patron of the Australian Digital Alliance, which brings together Australia’s libraries, universities, and major providers of digital infrastructure such as Google and Yahoo. He is a member of the Council of the National Library of Australia.He was Chair of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation until 2016 and Chair of the Australian Government’s principal innovation advisory body, Innovation Australia, until 2014. In 2009, he chaired Australia’s Government 2.0 Taskforce. In 2008, he was a member of a major review into Australia’s Innovation System.

James Horton (Individual Member)
Founder Datanomics
James’ focus over the past 4 years has been on the development ethical and governance frameworks to enable new kinds of data sharing business models. He has strong background in institutional data and information management across public sector (Federal and Victorian Governments), industry (healthcare, logistics, banking), and the Asia Pacific region. James has been involved in efforts to influence governments about the need to develop more mature approaches data sharing and governance including FOI activism supported by Getup, with regards to the federal government’s former plan to “sell” ASIC registry data; submissions on behalf of Australia Post & datanomics to Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Data Availability and Use; discussion paper on data governance for City of Melbourne (pending); involvement with University of Melbourne’s Data System and Society Research Network to explore the development of new public-private-research data sharing models.
James is Deputy Chair and Treasurer for Victoria’s peak consumer mental organisation, VMIAC and a member of the Innovation Reference Group for the Victorian 10-year Mental Health Plan
Dr Moira Paterson (Individual member)

Professor, Monash University, Faculty of Law

Moira Paterson is the author of Freedom of Information and Privacy in Australia: Information Access 2.0 (LexisNexis, 2015) and FOI Editor of the Australian Administrative Law Service. Her primary research interests are in the fields of FOI, privacy, data protection law, health records law and public records law and she has been a chief on ARC-funded projects on legal and recordkeeping issues relating to electronic health records, and criminal records and access to employment. Moira is a member of the Victorian Firearms Appeals Committee and was previously a member of the former Privacy Advisory Committee to the Australian Information Commissioner and a member of Advisory Committees to the ALRC for its references in relation to the Privacy Act 1988 and Commonwealth secrecy laws and to the VLRC for its reference in relation of privacy in public places. She has completed research consultancies for a variety of governmental organisations.

 Professor Matthew Ricketson (Individual member) 

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance representative on the Australian Press Council (both members of the network).

Matthew is an academic and journalist committed to the importance and value of open government, which has grown from his practice as a journalist, especially when writing about freedom of information laws. Matthew is taking up a role as professor of communications at Deakin University in April 2017, after eight years as professor of journalism at the University of Canberra.

Matthew’s career as a journalist included working on staff at The Australian and Time Australia among other publications. His most recent role in the news media industry was as Media Editor for The Age between 2006 and 2009. He is the author of three books – a biography of Australian author Paul Jennings, a writing textbook and a book about journalism entitled Telling True Stories – and the editor of two – an anthology of profile articles and Australian Journalism Today. In 2011 he was appointed by the then federal government to assist former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein QC in an independent inquiry into the media which reported in 2012. Matthew is the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s representative on the Australian Press Council and chairs the board of the Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma (Asia-Pacific).  He is also president of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia.
Beth Slatyer (Individual member)
Co-Founder Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy
In addition to her involvement in CAPAD, Beth is a member of the ACT Council of Social Service Board, works as a consultant for international agencies in health and development and is an Honorary Fellow at the Nossal Institute of Global Health, University of Melbourne.

In recent years Beth has been committed to improving the quality of our democracy and civic participation in government decision making. This led directly to involvement in the OGP Network and related initiatives – including input to the Action Plan,  the 2014 C20 meeting and the 2016 Australian SDG Summit.Beth brings wide knowledge about governance, transparency and accountability, and a general understanding of specific technical aspects of the OGP agenda. She has extensive experience within and outside government, gained in Australia and in developing countries in our region, especially the Pacific.  Beth is specifically interested in the institutional mechanisms required to maintain government openness, transparency and accountability.

Kat Szuminska (OpenAustralia Foundation)
Member inaugural AOGPN Steering Committee.
Co-Founder of the OpenAustralia Foundation (OAF), a charity whose vision “is to transform democracy in Australia.”
Kat is a member of the Interim Working Group established by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to oversight Australia’s OGP initiative until a permanent Multi Stakeholder Forum is established.
Kat attended OGP global summits in London in 2013 and Paris in 2016 and the Asia Pacific Regional meeting in Bali in 2015.
 The OAF creates technologies that encourage and enable people to participate directly in the political process on a local, community and national level. The Foundation currently manages five projects:
The websites provide ways to make government, the public sector and political information freely and easily available for the benefit of all Australians. 

Greg Thompson (Transparency International Australia)
 Board member of Transparency International Australia (since 1995), Australian Volunteers International (since 2008), Anglican Board of Mission(since 2015).
 Previously Executive Director TI Australia (pro bono 2008-14); CEO of AngliCORD (2001- 2008); World Vision Australia (2001 – 2008) including as Director of Education and Advocacy from 1995 and a member of the Executive Team; Development Education Officer of the Australian Council of Churches (ACC) from 1977 until 1988, founding One World Week and acting as Secretary of the Church and Society Commission.

Greg was a teacher in Victoria and Queensland prior to this and in 1974 and 1975 was a team member of the Social Education Materials Project as a member of a team developing resources for Consumer Education hosted by the Department of Education in Queensland.

Greg is currently a member of the Multi-Stakeholder Group for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Australia having served on the Multi Stakeholder Group for Australia’s Pilot of the EITI. He chaired the Governance sub -Committee of the G20 Steering Committee in 2013 and 2014. Greg served on the Executive Committee of Australian Council for International Development chairing the Advocacy and Public Policy Committee of ACFID and was Chair of ACFID’s Human Rights Working Group. He was co-Chair with Carol Kendall of the inaugural National Sorry Day Committee.

Mark Zirnsak (Justice Mission, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, Uniting Church in Australia)
Director of the Social Justice Unit of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania,
Uniting Church in Australia since 2005. This includes active membership of Transparency International Australia and Publish What You Pay Australia.
 Mark is a member of the Interim Working Group established by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in August 2016 to assist in finalising the first OGP National Action Plan and the Interim Working Group established by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to oversight Australia’s OGP initiative until a permanent Multi Stakeholder Forum is established.

He has been involved in campaigns that seek more transparent and open government that include
more public transparency on stolen assets recovered that have been shifted to Australia
from overseas (to a level consistent with the US Department of Justice); increased  publication of corporate tax data (which resulted in legislation requiring the ATO to publish tax data of most businesses in Australia with revenue over $100 million a year); more public access to customs data (as is the case in places like the US and India); introduction of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Australia ( now a government commitment)); and disclosure of the beneficial ownership of businesses registered in Australia ( a commitment in the national action plan and the subject of a public consultation by Treasury).

Mark has been on a number of government working groups that have required collaboration towards developing legislation, regulation and government plans including the working group for developing the regulations for the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act under the Department of Agriculture; the Supply Chain Working Group for the Attorney General’s National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery; the Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling Reform under the Gillard Government; the Victorian Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council; and the Victorian Government advisory group for the Child Employment Act.