Chapter 2—Agency overview

Governance framework


On 1 July 2008, Old Parliament House was established as an executive agency under the Public Service Act 1999, within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio. On 14 December 2011, Old Parliament House became part of the newly established Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio.


The Hon Simon Crean MP, Minister for the Arts

The Hon Simon Crean MP, Minister for the Arts.

Photo: Auspic

The Hon Simon Crean MP is the minister responsible for Old Parliament House, in his capacity as Minister for the Arts.

Executive Management Group

The Executive Management Group provides strategic and operational leadership. The group consists of:

  • Ms Jenny Anderson, Director—Ms Anderson has been Director since the agency was established on 1 July 2008. Her responsibilities, as set out in s. 66 of the Public Service Act 1999, include:
    • managing the agency
    • ensuring accountability to the government, parliament and public
    • assisting the minister in fulfilling accountability obligations to provide factual information, as required by the parliament, in relation to the agency’s operation and administration
    • overseeing corporate governance and determining strategic priorities in consultation with the two Deputy Directors and senior managers.
  • Mr Andrew Harper, Deputy Director, Corporate and Heritage—Mr Harper’s responsibilities include:
    • human resources management
    • finance services and procurement
    • corporate governance policies and operational procedures in areas such as work health and safety, internal audit, business continuity, fraud control and risk management
    • information and communication technology, including website management
    • heritage management, including meeting obligations under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and managing the heritage collection
    • the conservation, security and upkeep of the building, including capital works
    • tenant liaison and contracts
    • support for the Advisory Council
    • management of records management services.
  • Mr Steven Fox, Deputy Director, Interpretation and Programs—Mr Fox commenced duties in the position in March 2012, following the retirement in December 2011 of Ms Kate Cowie. His responsibilities include:
    • provision of visitor services, schools and community education programs, and online programs and content
    • development and delivery of exhibitions, including travelling exhibits, public programs and events
    • interpretation of the heritage values of Old Parliament House
    • operation of the Australian Prime Ministers Centre and associated scholarship programs
    • collection development
    • marketing, public affairs and evaluation
    • the volunteer program.

The Executive Management Group, Jenny Anderson, Andrew Harper and Steven Fox

The Executive Management Group. (L-R) Andrew Harper, Steven Fox, Jenny Anderson.

Photo: Jennie Groom

Advisory Council

The Advisory Council provides expert advice to the minister and the Executive Management Group on the agency’s role, functions and activities.

The council met three times during the reporting period, and council members:

  • provided expert input and advice on a wide range of issues relating to the museum’s development, programs and management
  • participated in advisory groups on particular subjects, such as disability access
  • represented the museum in a range of activities and forums, including awareness-raising activities such as the Indigenous community activities associated with the Marnti warajanga—a walk together travelling exhibition.

Advisory Council members are drawn from a range of relevant backgrounds and areas of expertise, and are appointed by the minister. During the year:

  • one member of the council, Dr Dawn Casey, resigned
  • one new member, Dr Janette Griffin, was appointed
  • two former members, the Hon Paul Calvert and the Hon Susan Ryan (Deputy Chair), were reappointed for three years
  • Mr William McInnes (Chair) was reappointed until February 2013.

At 30 June 2012, the Old Parliament House Advisory Council had eight members and two vacancies. Table 1 provides details of the council’s membership.

A representative of the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport acts as an official observer of the council. That role was filled by Ms Sally Basser throughout 2011–12.

Table 1 Old Parliament House Advisory Council members, 30 June 2012
Role Name Background Current term
Chair Mr William McInnes Writer and actor 16 February 2012 to 15 February 2013
Deputy Chair The Hon Susan Ryan Former senator and minister 29 August 2011 to 28 August 2014
Member The Hon Paul Calvert Former President of the Senate 29 August 2011 to 28 August 2014
Member Associate Professor Philip Chubb Academic 22 February 2011 to 21 February 2014
Member Professor Kate Darian-Smith Academic 26 October 2009 to 25 October 2012
Member Ms Sue Mackay Former senator 22 February 2011 to 21 February 2014
Member Ms Natasha Stott Despoja Former senator 22 February 2011 to 21 February 2014
Member Dr Janette Griffin Academic and educationalist 29 August 2011 to 28 August 2014

The Advisory Council 2011-12. Professor Kate Darian-Smith, Dr Janette Griffin, Ms Susan Ryan, Mr William McInnes, Associate Professor Philip Chubb, Ms Sue Mackay, Ms Sally Basser, Ms Natasha Stott Despoja. Absent from the photo is Mr Paul Calvert.

Advisory Council 2011–12. Professor Kate Darian-Smith; Dr Janette Griffin, Ms Susan Ryan, Mr William McInnes, Associate Professor Philip Chubb, Ms Sue Mackay, Ms Sally Basser, Ms Natasha Stott Despoja (Absent – Mr Paul Calvert).

Photo: OPH Collection

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