National Data Advisory Council

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National Data Advisory Council

National Data Advisory Council

The Data Availability and Transparency Act 2022 establishes the National Data Advisory Council. Its role is to advise the National Data Commissioner on data sharing including on ethics, balancing data availability with privacy protection, trust and transparency, technical best practice, as well as industry and international developments.

The Council comprises the National Data Commissioner, the Australian Statistician, the Information Commissioner, Australia's Chief Scientist and at least 5 and no more than 8 other members appointed by the National Data Commissioner. 

Current Council Members:

Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM commenced as Australia’s ninth Chief Scientist in January 2021.

Dr Foley was appointed to the role after a lengthy career at Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO; she was appointed as the agency’s Chief Scientist in August 2018, the second woman to hold that role. At CSIRO, she led the development of a Quantum Technology Roadmap for Australia in 2020, championed emerging areas of scientific research, and has been a high-profile commentator on the opportunities presented by science and technology for Australia’s economic recovery and future resilience.

Dr Foley’s scientific excellence and influential leadership have been recognised with numerous awards and fellowships, including being elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of Science in 2020, along with the award of an Order of Australia for service to research science and to the advancement of women in physics. She was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering in 2008 and was elected as an honorary Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics in 2019.

Dr Foley is an inspiration to women in STEM across the globe and is committed to tackling gender equality and diversity in the science sector. Throughout her career she has strived to create an environment that embraces the full human potential of both men and women for wellbeing and economic benefit and for equality.

Ms Angelene Falk was appointed Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner in August 2018. She leads the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in fulfilling its functions across privacy, freedom of information and government information management.

Ms Falk has held senior positions in the OAIC since 2012. She served as Deputy Commissioner from 2016 and acting Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner from March 2018.

Over the past decade Ms Falk has worked extensively with Australian Government agencies, across the private sector and internationally, at the forefront of addressing regulatory challenges and opportunities presented by rapidly evolving technology and potential uses of data. Ms Falk’s experience extends across industries and subject matter, including data breach prevention and management, data sharing, credit reporting, digital health and access to information.

Dr David Gruen AO was appointed Australian Statistician on 11 December 2019. As Agency Head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, he is accountable for the functions and operations of the Bureau.

David was previously the Deputy Secretary, Economic and Australia’s G20 Sherpa at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Before joining the Department in September 2014, he was Executive Director of the Macroeconomic Group at the Australian Treasury.

David joined the Treasury in January 2003, before which he was the Head of the Economic Research Department at the Reserve Bank of Australia from 1998 to 2002.

Before joining the Reserve Bank, David worked as a research scientist in the Research School of Physical Sciences at the Australian National University.

With financial support from a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship, David was visiting lecturer in the Economics Department and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University from August 1991 to June 1993.  He holds PhD degrees in physiology from Cambridge University, England and in economics from the Australian National University.

David was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (General Division) in 2022 for distinguished service to public administration, to economic research, to business, and to education.

Kalinda is a Yawuru woman of Broome, born and living in Darwin. Her family name is Corpus. She is the incoming Director at the Poche SA+NT and Research and Education Lead at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. She is an adjunct at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at UNSW and has honorary fellowships at Menzies School of Health Research and the University of Melbourne.

She is an epidemiologist who has worked in the research sector in a number of roles for over 25 years. Her interest is in empirically addressing complex health disparities in populations through existing data. Her research currently addresses issues of quality and the utilisation of data pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her areas of focus include the measurement of health disparities, with a particular focus on cancer, Indigenous Data Governance and building capabilities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Associate Professor Griffiths is a chief investigator on several nationally competitive grants.  She has been recognised with the following awards: 2020 - Health Promotion Association of Australia, Thinker in Residence; 2019 - Lowitja Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Emerging Researcher Award; 2018 - Science and Technology Australia, 2019-2020 Superstar of STEM.

Greg Kaplan is a Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, Editor of the Journal of Political Economy, Lead Editor of the Journal of Political Economy Macroeconomics, and Co-Founder and Non-Executive Director of the non-partisan Australian think-tank, e61 Institute. He has held faculty positions at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania and appointments at the United States Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis and Chicago and the Reserve Bank of Australia. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in the United States and a Fellow of the Econometric Society, an international society of economists.

Greg has extensive experience working with microeconomic data from administrative sources in multiple countries. His research spans macroeconomics, labour economics and applied microeconomics, with a focus on the distributional consequences of economic policies and economic forces. He has published extensively on the topics of inequality, risk sharing, unemployment, household formation, migration, fiscal policy and monetary policy in academic journals.

Peter Leonard is a Sydney based data and technology business consultant and lawyer and principal of Data Synergies. Many of his clients are data analytics services providers and businesses developing and implementing AI and advanced data analytics projects and applications across many industry sectors.

He is also a part-time Professor of Practice, across the Schools of Management and Governance, and Information Systems & Technology Management, at UNSW Sydney Business School.

Peter also serves on the Australian Treasury’s Data Standards Advisory Committee, the NSW Government AI Review Committee, which reviews major applications of automated decision making and AI by NSW government agencies, the NSW statutory Information and Privacy Advisory Committee and the Certification Panel for the National Farmers Federation’s Farm Data Code.

Peter also serves on a number of corporate boards, including as chair of Dynamic Crowd Measurement and a director of Iridium Satellite Australia, Bodd and Elker.

He chairs the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA)'s Regulatory & Advocacy Working Group and the Australian Data and Insights Association (ADIA)’s Privacy Compliance Committee.

In his capacity as immediate past chair of the Australian Computer Society’s AI Ethics Committee, he was actively involved in the ACS’ development of AI governance and assurance and multiparty data sharing frameworks and methodologies.

Dr Joshua Paul Meltzer is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. where he leads the Digital Economy and Trade Project. He also teaches digital trade law at the University of Melbourne, and teaches emerging technologies, data flows and the law at Monash University.

He has had appointments as an adjunct professor at John Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and Georgetown University Law School. He is a former diplomat (Australian Embassy in Washington D.C.) and trade negotiator for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. At Brookings, Dr Meltzer’s focuses on international trade, and on the significance of the internet and cross-border data flows for international trade.

This includes development of national regulation aimed at maximizing opportunities of data for economic growth and trade, and developing international trade rules and norms to support cross-border data flows. He authored the report Digital Australia: An Economic and Trade Agenda, which included an analysis of the importance of data sharing and use in Australia. He has also worked extensively on the impact of privacy laws on cross-border data flows, including a recent World Bank Research Paper on International Data Flows and Privacy: the Conflict and its Resolution.

Sallie Pearson is the Professor of Health Systems at the School of Population Health, UNSW Sydney. She is also the Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Medicines Intelligence. Sallie is a leading authority in the conduct of population-based research using routinely collected data, pertaining particularly to quality use of medicines. Sallie has led national and international studies leveraging ‘big health data’ to generate real-world evidence on the use, benefits and safety of prescribed medicines.

Sallie is long-standing advocate for the safe and productive use of data to benefit the health of the Australian community. She has published widely on maximising the value data for decision-making in health and as an active member of a number of peak medicines policy and health data linkage committees and advisory groups. As Chair/Deputy Chair of the NSW Population Health Service Research Ethics Committee (2006-2017), Sallie has shaped policy around the ethics and governance of health data linkage for research.

Rod Sims AO is a Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra. He is also the Chair of the Competition Research Policy Network at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, Paris and Chair of Opera Australia, Australia’s largest performing arts company. 

Rod Sims was also the Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission from 2011 - March 2022 where, among many other things, he worked extensively on digital platform and data issues. Prior to that he had a range of senior corporate positions, including advising many major Australian companies on corporate strategy.  

He has also worked in the Australian Public Service including as the Deputy Secretary in charge of all domestic policy in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, one of three positions working to the Head of that Department.

From 1988-1990 he was the Principal Economic Adviser to Australia’s Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Dr Kendra Vant is a product & tech exec with experience across industry (Xero, SEEK, Telstra, Deloitte, Commonwealth Bank) and research (MIT, Los Alamos National Laboratory). She is an industry leader in driving development of data and AI products that change people’s lives for the better.

Kendra is deeply committed to creating environments of continual learning and development for her teams and increasing AI and data literacy for the general public. She provides an expert voice to investors, analysts, media, and founders on AI product strategy, ethical AI, and current and emerging market and regulatory landscape. Kendra advises a number of Australian and New Zealand startups and is a member of CSIRO’s National AI Centre Industry Forum.

Learn more about what the National Data Advisory Council have discussed in their meetings.