Speaker Spotlight: Elizabeth Milne, Asst. Secretary, Data Science & Engineering Branch, Dept of Defense

Topic: The Data & Design Science

Elizabeth MilneThis presentation outlines the creation of a data science capability within a public service organisation. It highlights the fundamental steps required to undertake a significant business change. These steps include:  creating the business case for change; stakeholder engagement; organisational design; branding and its link to recruitment and retention; and the importance of both culture and the leadership team.

Due to the core role that data plays in the organisation, the Branch is well positioned to influence the culture of the entire organisation if we are courageous enough to take on the challenge. The belief that this cultural shaping role is essential has influenced most of the activities undertaken to establish the Branch.

Six months in, this journey has a long way to go. This presentation will describe the journey to date.

Elizabeth Milne (Liz) is currently the Assistant Secretary of the Data Science and Engineering Branch within the Australian Signals Directorate (Department of Defence). Liz took on this role when the Branch was established in January 2017.

Liz joined the Australian Signals Directorate as a graduate in 1986, having graduated from the University of Melbourne with a B Sc(Hons) majoring in nuclear physics. Liz has also completed an MBA.

Most of Liz’s career has been within the Department of Defence, with about half of it in the Australian Signals Directorate. Many of Liz’s roles have (fortunately) had a technical focus. However, in the Chief Information Office Group (Defence) Liz was the responsible for the delivery of corporate services, and the establishment of the Portfolio Management Office. Prior to returning to the Australian Signals Directorate in January 2016, Liz was responsible for the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency.

Outside of work Liz likes her sport:  including cricket, Australian Rules Football (a tragic supporter of the Collingwood Football Club), and golf. Liz loves to learn, and is a serial course taker (why take one course, when you can be doing two, three or four at a time?). Liz is fortunate enough to share her home with two West Highland White Terriers (Hexi and Deca) – in reality they let Liz live in their home.

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