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, industry and international developments and community expectations.

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 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.

Lauren Solomon has worked in a range of senior policy roles across the corporate, state government and not‑for-profit sectors, including establishing and leading the Consumer Policy Research Centre from 2017 - 2021.

Lauren has produced leading consumer research, policy and regulatory advice for Australian governments and regulators in the areas of consumer data, online markets and digital transformation.

Lauren is passionate about human-centred and evidence-based policy development, applying formal training in resource economics and postgraduate qualifications in psychology.

Lauren is a graduate of the Stanford Business Executive Program for Non-profit Leaders.

Lauren is currently a Board Member of Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria, member of the Australian Government Digital Experts Panel, and member of the Victorian Government Building Reform Expert Panel.

Ellen is an Associate Professor with the School of Cybernetics, founded by Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell at the Australian National University, where she focuses on designing responsible, ethical and sustainable AI.

Ellen has spent more than a decade working in the technology sector in Australia, the UK and Europe, in leadership roles spanning engineering, data standards development and policy for organisations including CSIRO’s Data61, the Open Data Institute in the UK and as an adviser to UK Cabinet Minister Elizabeth Truss.

She has written for publications including The Guardian, New Scientist, Harper’s Bazaar and Griffith Review and is a regular keynote speaker and commentator on technology issues. She is the author of Made by Humans: the AI Condition (Melbourne University Publishing, 2018) and co-designer of a board game about open data, alongside ODI Vice President Jeni Tennison, called Datopolis that is being played in 19 countries.

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.

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, Cirrus Media, and previously a Non-Executive Director at iiNet.

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.

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.

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