New appointment to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

12 March 2015

Today I announce the appointment of Ms Sian Leathem as the Registrar of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Ms Leathem takes up her position at a significant moment in its history. In May 2014, the Abbott Government announced its intention to reform Australia’s external merits review system.

From 1 July 2015, the AAT, Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal, and Social Security Appeals Tribunal will amalgamate, thereby removing unnecessary layers of bureaucracy and delivering an improved and simplified merits review system for all Australians.

Ms Leathem has over ten years’ experience in tribunal management at both state and federal level. She has unique experience in leading the project team responsible for merging twenty-two existing tribunals into the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) and performing the role of Principal Registrar of that amalgamated tribunal.

Prior to her role at NCAT, Ms Leathem was the Registrar of the Workers Compensation Commission of NSW for five years. She also has relevant experience of the Commonwealth administrative review system and governance, finance, staffing and administrative arrangements, gained in her role as Assistant Registrar of the AAT over three years.

Ms Leathem also has a wealth of legal policy experience that she gained with the Office of the Legal Service Commissioner in NSW, where she served in several different roles including Acting Assistant Commissioner and Acting Deputy Commissioner.

In 2002 and 2014, Ms Leathem was awarded the Excellence in Government Legal Service Award by the Law Society of New South Wales. She was also awarded the Young Public Sector Leader Award by the Institute of Public Administration Australia in 2011.

I congratulate Ms Leathem on her appointment, which commences on 7 April 2015 for a period of five years.

I also thank Mr Philip Kellow for his strong leadership of the AAT as Registrar over the past five years.