University of New South Wales Professor Sallie Pearson has joined the National Data Advisory Council, the group which guides Australia’s National Data Commissioner on best data sharing practice in the public sector.

Professor Pearson, a health services researcher and behavioural scientist, will fill the vacancy left by retiring Professor Fiona Stanley AC.

The council, which met for the first time in March this year, consists of private and public sector data leaders, including Australia’s chief scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, and Australia’s privacy commissioner, Angelene Falk.

The group’s primary purpose is to advise its chair, the National Data Commissioner, currently Deborah Anton, on the ethical data use, community expectations, technical best practice, and industry and international developments. 

Professor Sallie Pearson. Source: UNSW.

Anton, who currently holds the position in an interim role, spearheads public sector data reform.

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and Government Services, Stuart Robert announced the appointment of Professor Pearsons at National Data Advisory Council meeting today in Melbourne.

“I would like to thank Professor Stanley for her contribution to the National Data Advisory Council and congratulate Professor Sallie Pearson on her appointment,” Robert said in a statement. 

“Professor Pearson has a strong background in health research and brings a unique perspective to the group.

“As Head of the Medicines Policy Research Unit at the UNSW Centre for Big Data Research, Professor Pearson is well placed to advise the National Data Commissioner on the opportunities for government data to deliver better health outcomes for all Australians.”

Robert said the work of the National Data Advisory Council will underpin the government’s vision for Service Australia, the rebranded Department of Human Services.

“When Australians reach out for government services, they rightly expect a simple and seamless interaction and the ability to have a single view of the government. Better use of data across Government will provide a foundation for meeting this expectation.”

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