Digital Transformation Agency appoints former NAB exec as new CEO

The Australian government has announced appointing former NAB executive Gavin Slater as CEO of the Digital Transformation Agency, with the DTA also launching its spatial datasets platform Link.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

Left to right: DTA interim CEO Nerida O'Loughlin, new DTA CEO Gavin Slater, and Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor

(Image: Digital Transformation Office)

Former National Australia Bank (NAB) executive Gavin Slater has been appointed as the new CEO of the Australian government's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor announced on Wednesday.

Slater held numerous roles in his decade-long tenure at NAB, including CFO, COO, and group executive across a range of business areas. He was a primary driver of the bank's Oracle-based core banking system transformation.

Taylor said Slater's experience in progressing the bank's digital transformation agenda, as well as his understanding of the challenges faced by government agencies seeking to transform their services, will be "invaluable".

Slater will start his new role at the DTA on May 1, taking over from interim CEO Nerida O'Loughlin, who was on loan from her role as deputy secretary at the Department of Communications and the Arts.

A spokesperson at the DTA told ZDNet that O'Laughlin will remain at the DTA for an unspecified period to help with the leadership transition.

The news of the appointment comes more than four months after Paul Shetler resigned from the position of chief digital officer. Shetler was the inaugural CEO of the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), from which the DTA spun off in November last year.

Also announced by the DTA on Wednesday was the launch of Link, a nation-wide location information knowledge platform which makes spatial datasets more accessible and easier to discover.

Where previously extensive searches across Australia's nine jurisdictions needed to be carried out, the Link platform allows users to access location information and learn more about the governance and history of the data in a centralised location.

"Government entities hold a significant amount of location information, which is a strategic national resource," Taylor said. "Accurate location information is a key influencer of productivity, and will pave the way for new and innovative applications that increase efficiencies."

Taylor said sectors such insurance, emergency response, transport, and agriculture require access to location data for effective and safe business operations.

For example, Insurance Australia Group has used the openly available Geo-coded National Address File (G-NAF), in conjunction with its Flood Risk Dataset, to inform home owners of flood risk and choices for insurance.

"Having access to consistent and accurate position and road network data enables cooperative intelligent transport systems such as vehicle charging, and freight, logistics and container management." Taylor said. "This allows for faster and more efficient supply of goods to market which is critical for the future of our smart cities and regional networks."

Link is being delivered under the Foundation Spatial Data Framework, a national program aimed at improving the delivery of location data to the broader economy.

Coinciding with the launch of Link was the launch of PSMA Australia's location intelligence tool Geoscape, which combines satellite imagery, crowdsourcing, and machine learning to capture attributes of the built environment and link each building to a geocoded address.

The government-owned provider of location datasets opened its Adelaide, South Australia, and Canberra, Australian Capital Territory datasets late last year, but decided to hold onto its official launch to coincide with the release of its Sydney dataset on Wednesday morning.

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