National Data Advisory Council

The Council members represent a broad cross-section of perspectives, covering government, business, academia, and community interests. Council members have an active role in the data industry and a strong understanding of the data landscape within Australia and internationally.

Current Membership

Dr Nicholas Biddle
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Associate Professor Nicholas Biddle is Associate Director of the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, and Director of the newly created Policy Experiments Lab ( He is also a Fellow of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, and a Senior Fellow in the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. He previously worked in the Methodology Division of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2001-2007) and has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University.

He is a strong advocate for the use of integrated public data to deliver economic and social benefits to Australians. He was one of the first researchers in Australia to make extensive use of the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD), and the first academic user of data from the Multi‑Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP). He has used these datasets to draw new insights into key policy areas, particularly the changing size and composition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population, as well as the distribution and determinants of income in Australia.

Ellen Broad
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Ellen Broad is an independent consultant in open data, data sharing and AI ethics, working primarily with CSIRO’s Data61. She is well-known within the Australian data community, particularly in association with federal and state government data initiatives, as a pragmatic, efficient and principled expert on the use and governance of data. She was also Head of Policy for the Open Data Institute, UK, and adviser to UK government minister Elisabeth Truss on data, and will bring an international perspective.

Paul McCarney
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Paul McCarney is Co-founder at Data Republic, a data sharing technology company. Data Republic’s secure data exchange technology has been used by various governments, ANZ, NAB, Westpac and Qantas. As an investor, advisor and founder, Mr McCarney has more than 20 years’ experience in data, technology and digital business.

He is a holder of patents relating to systems, data and identity, and is a regular industry speaker, investment advisor and blogger. He was also the co-founder of Data Governance Australia, a not-for-profit association, established to promote the responsible use of data.

Their role is to help build consumer trust through industry standards, whilst maintaining a legal environment that allows Australian businesses to thrive. He is currently founder/director of data for social good initiative, Minerva Collective, and Non-Executive Director for Trade Me (TME.AX), Cirrus Media, and previously a Non-Executive Director at iiNet (IIN.AX). 

Dr Joshua Paul Meltzer
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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.

Lauren Solomon
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Lauren Solomon is CEO of the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC), an independent, non‑profit, consumer research organisation. Lauren has a background in economics and public policy and has worked in a range of senior policy roles across the corporate, state government and not‑for-profit sectors.

A key research focus area of the CPRC is consumer data, online markets and digital transformation. In 2018, the CPRC brought together 120 policymakers, regulators, businesses, community advocates and academics at  the query:data conference to explore consumer data and implications for policy reform.

Professor Sallie Pearson

Professor Sallie Pearson heads the Medicines Policy Research Unit at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW Sydney. She 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. 

Australian Statistician
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David Kalisch was appointed the 15th Australian Statistician on 11 December 2014. As Agency Head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics he is accountable for the functions and operations of the Bureau. He has also been appointed as the non-judicial member of the Australian Electoral Commission.

Mr Kalisch is an economist with public sector experience in research and analysis, policy development and service delivery. He has an interest in labour markets, macroeconomics, retirement incomes, welfare to work strategies, and health policy. He has pursued organisational performance and renewal through recent leadership responsibilities.

Mr Kalisch was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for four years, a Commissioner at the Productivity Commission, and a Deputy Secretary in the Commonwealth Department of Health. He has had Senior Executive roles in a range of Departments since 1991,  two appointments at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, and was a member of the Australian Delegation to the OECD.

Australia’s Chief Scientist
Image of Dr Alan Finkel (AO)

Dr Alan Finkel (AO) commenced as Australia’s Chief Scientist on 25 January 2016. He is Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist. Prior to his appointment, he served as President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), and for eight years as Chancellor of Monash University.

As Chief Scientist, Dr Finkel is leading the development of the national hydrogen strategy at the request of the Council of Australian Governments. He also led the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, the 2017 Review into the National Electricity Market (“Finkel Review”) and the 2018 STEM Industry Partnership Forum report. He serves as the Deputy Chair of Innovation and Science Australia.

Dr Finkel has an extensive science background as an entrepreneur, engineer, neuroscientist and educator. Dr Finkel was the 2016 Victorian of the Year and the recipient of the Mountbatten Medal (UK), and  won the Clunies Ross Award for facilitating international neuroscience research.

Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner
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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.