Associate Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries


Information on Associate Secretary and Deputy Secretaries at the Department of Education.

Associate Secretaries

Tony Cook

Tony Cook – Early Childhood, Schools and Youth

Tony Cook is the Associate Secretary - Early Childhood, Schools and Youth, in the Australian Government Department of Education.

Before joining the Department in October 2011, Tony was Deputy Secretary, Government and Corporate with the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Tony has held a number of senior executive education positions including those of Deputy Secretary, Office for Children and Portfolio Coordination, Deputy Secretary, Office for Planning, Strategy and Coordination and General Manager, Student Learning within the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Tony began his education career with Education Queensland.

Tony is a registered primary school teacher with a major in early childhood education and has been a deputy principal and taught in schools and preschools in Queensland and the United Kingdom. Tony holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the Queensland University of Technology. In October 2013 Tony was made an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Council for Education Leaders and in January 2014 he was awarded a Public Service Medal for outstanding public service, especially in driving schools policy and funding reform in Australia.

Robert Griew

Robert Griew – Higher Education, Research and International

Robert Griew is the Associate Secretary, Higher Education, Research and International. Robert has a distinguished career spanning the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Robert spent the first 28 years of his career focused on health and community services, including four years as Secretary of the Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services, and senior positions in New South Wales and Victoria. He spent more than 10 years managing Commonwealth health and community services, including running the Commonwealth aged care and Aboriginal health programmes. He has run his own consulting business doing both technical and organisational development work and held senior positions in the community health sector.

Robert moved to the education sector in 2008 and, prior to joining the department as part of the 2013 Machinery of Government changes, has been responsible for labour market strategy, tertiary education and Indigenous employment programmes.

He has previously chaired ministerial advisory councils including the National Public Health Partnership, and most recently the National Senior Officials’ Committee supporting tertiary education ministers. Past directorships include the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research, the National Health Advisory Council, the New South Wales Legal Aid Commission and Australian Hearing.

Robert has a bachelor’s degree in health science and education, a master’s degree in public health and a graduate economics degree from the Australian National University.

Deputy Secretaries

Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson – Early Childhood Education and Care

Jackie Wilson is the Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood Education and Care, in the Australian Government Department of Education.  She also has responsibility for the State and Territory Network, as well as leading the department’s deregulation agenda.

Prior to joining the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) in August 2013, Jackie jointly led the Schools Funding Taskforce with DEEWR for twelve months in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

From 2009 to 2011 Jackie worked in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and was the Deputy Secretary responsible for Business Services (2011), including responsibility for finance and IT, and Detention and Community Services (2009 - 2010) during a very busy time for the department.

Jackie has also worked in a number of senior positions in a range of Commonwealth portfolios, including the Department of Finance in Budget Group with responsibility for the social welfare areas of the budget and on the overall coordination of the budget.

In the Commonwealth health and family and community services portfolios Jackie has worked extensively on policy and program management including management of a range of income support payments.

Jessie Borthwick

Jessie Borthwick – Acting Deputy Secretary, Higher Education, Research and International

Jessie Borthwick is Acting Deputy Secretary for Higher Education, Research and International in the Department of Education. Previously she was Head of Tertiary Quality and Participation Division in the former Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, having returned to the Department in 2011 from the Australian National University where she worked as Executive Director, Strategy for the Australian National Institute for Public Policy.

Before that Jessie was Division Head for Science and Research in the former Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research. She has also been Group Manager, Science and Group Manager, Strategic Analysis and Evaluation in the former Department of Education Science and Training. Jessie has extensive experience at senior levels in state and Commonwealth agencies across tertiary education including in the NSW TAFE Commission, the Employment and Skills Formation Council, the Australian National Training Authority and the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.