In Politics

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan

New Public Sector Commissioner Announced

Victor P Taffa

  • Sharyn O’Neill appointed as the new Public Sector Commissioner
  • First female Public Sector Commissioner to be appointed in Western Australia
  • New Commissioner to commence role in the statutory office on Monday July 30, 2018

Premier Mark McGowan has welcomed the appointment of Sharyn O’Neill as the new Public Sector Commissioner.

“Ms. O’Neill’s passion for the public service and her ability to lead organisational and cultural change will be instrumental in continuing this work.”

“I congratulate Ms. O’Neill on her appointment as Public Sector Commissioner. Her outstanding contribution to the education sector on behalf of the State Government has been duly recognised.” Premier Mark McGowan said.

“My Government is committed to public sector reform. Significant reviews have already taken place by this Government to make the public sector leaner and more agile. These aim to ensure we continue to deliver essential services and programs in a more sustainable manner.”

Ms. O’Neill assumes her new role as Public Sector Commissioner on Monday July 30, 2018.

With a strong focus on delivering government objectives and services in a more efficient and effective way, Ms. O’Neill will be tasked with leading the Western Australia public sector and overseeing the role of the independent authority in ensuring the sector performs to the highest standards.

In her current role as Director General of the Department of Education, Ms. O’Neill spearheads the largest Western Australia public sector agency and is responsible for both public and non-government school services.

Ms. O’Neill has served in the role for more than 10 years and has led transformational change in the education sector. Her Classroom First strategy of 2007 with student success at its centre still serves as the foundation for decisions and actions of the public education system and its 800 schools.

Ms. O’Neill has led the development and implementation of a strong performance culture across public schools, resulting in improved outcomes for students.

Ms. O’Neill has implemented major reforms including raising the school leaving age, moving Year 7 to secondary, making pre-primary the first year of compulsory schooling, increasing school-level decision-making and revising the model for public school funding.

Ms. O’Neill has also managed significant investment in building and improving Western Australia public schools to ensure students are learning in modern school facilities. This has been done at a time of huge growth in public school student numbers.

More recently, Ms. O’Neill has implemented a suite of additional support for students including science labs in primary schools, delivery of student mental health programs with additional support teachers, and extra education assistants and Aboriginal and Islander education officers.

More support has been provided in regional Western Australia through Independent Learning Coordinators and Regional Learning Specialists.

In recognition of her significant contribution to public administration in Western Australia, Ms. O’Neill was awarded the Institute of Public Administration (WA) Patron’s Award and made a Fellow of the Institute in 2016. Across Australia she is the longest serving head of an education government agency.

Acting arrangements will be in place for the position of Director General of the Department of Education until it is filled substantively.



WA                 Western Australia


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