Brendan Sheehan

Brendan Sheehan has experience in government that is both broad and deep.

He served for three years (1987-1990) as a private secretary to Prime Minister Bob Hawke and subsequently as chief of staff to two Commonwealth Cabinet Ministers (John Dawkins – 1990 -1993 – and Bob McMullan – 1993 -1996) across four portfolios (Employment, Education and Training; Treasury; Arts and Administrative Services; and Trade).

Prior to these appointments, Brendan had been a Director in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Brendan left the Australian Public Service in 1996 and for 5 years operated a small business.

He rejoined the public service in August 2001, serving as a director in the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training (2001-2003), variously responsible for developing national research priorities, establishing the Collaboration and Structural Reform Fund and conducting a major review of veterinary science education provision.

Over the period November 2003 to November 2006, Brendan served as Chief of Staff to the then Victorian Minister for Education and Training and was instrumental in assisting to secure a number of key initiatives, such as reform of the funding model for government and non-government schools, the development and passage of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and a program to regenerate Government school building stock.

From April 2007 until January 2010, Brendan was the Executive Director/Director of Higher Education in Skills Victoria. Among other things, he co-ordianted the Victorian Government's extensive contributions to the Review of Australian Higher Education and the remaking of the foundation legislation of Victoria's 8 public universities.

Both his Public Service and ministerial staff appointments have directly involved Brendan, at the highest strategic levels, in the planning, development and implementation of policies and programs of varying degrees of complexity and sensitivity, across a wide spectrum of areas and interests.

Brendan has extensive experience as a representative, negotiator and advocate on behalf of organisations and individuals, in a variety of contexts and across all sectors of the community.

Brendan is a commentator on topical issues in high education matters for several media outlets.