Next Victorian Ombudsman Appointed

27 February 2024

The Victorian Government has announced the appointment of Marlo Baragwanath as the next Victorian Ombudsman (VO).

Ms Baragwanath brings more than 25 years of legal, integrity and public sector experience to the leadership of the VO. She is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) and before that was the Victorian Government Solicitor.

At IBAC, Ms Baragwanath supported the Commissioner and led the entity’s staff to deliver major integrity investigations and reports. She also undertook a significant review of IBAC’s approach to witness welfare and developed a strategic plan to ensure IBAC delivered on its mandate.

As Victorian Government Solicitor, Ms Baragwanath led a period of reform and capacity building while providing strategic legal advice and services to the Victorian public sector.

Prior to those roles, she held senior positions in the Office of the Chief Executive at the Victorian Building Authority and as General Counsel at WorkSafe.

Ms Baragwanath is returning to the Ombudsman’s office, as her first Victorian public sector appointment was as a policy officer at the VO in 2001-2002 following her time as a legal officer at the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry in the United Kingdom, set up in 1998 to investigate the deaths of infants following paediatric cardiac surgery.

After graduating from law at Monash University, Ms Baragwanath spent time in private legal practice before commencing work in the public sector.

Ms Baragwanath’s appointment follows a thorough and competitive recruitment process. She was recommended to the Premier by a selection panel. The Premier supported that recommendation and her appointment was endorsed by Cabinet before being approved by the Governor-in-Council.

Ms Baragwanath will commence her legislated 10-year appointment on 30 March 2024 at the immediate conclusion of the term of Ms Deborah Glass OBE, who has been the Victorian Ombudsman since 2014.

Quotes attributable to Premier Jacinta Allan

“I congratulate Ms Baragwanath on her appointment – with her background in legal and integrity roles across the Victorian public sector, she is well-prepared to take on the responsibilities of the Victorian Ombudsman.”

“I am confident that she will lead an organisation that continues to focus on improving public administration and ensuring fairness for Victorians in their dealings with the public sector.”

“I would also like to acknowledge the service of Deborah Glass over the past decade - leading the organisation as it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 and during the period of IBAC’s establishment, which refocused the VO’s efforts on fairness, while IBAC focused on corruption matters.”

Reviewed 27 February 2024

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