Ms Gillian Callister (BA 1981, BSocWk(Hons) 1982)

Ms Gillian Callister

Ms Gillian Callister is Secretary for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. She manages a $12 billion budget and leads 2300 corporate staff to deliver and improve early childhood, school education, and vocational and higher education services across Victoria. She employs a further 55,000 staff in government schools.

Prior to this role, Ms Callister was the Secretary of Victoria’s Department of Human Services, leading an organisation of over 11,000 staff and an annual budget of around $4 billion and responsible for the delivery of child protection, disability, youth, housing and family violence services.

Following a 10-year stint in the community sector working with children, young people and families, Ms Callister has held a range of senior roles in the Victorian Public Service. Prior to being appointed Secretary in August 2009, Ms Callister led child protection, family services and mental health units within the Department of Human Services, and was Deputy Secretary at Skills Victoria.

Ms Callister is President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria).

Her leadership in public policy was recognised in 2013 when she was named in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence, and received a Sir James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship to attend Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Ms Callister is passionate about social justice and improving public policy and service delivery and she is a frequent public speaker on these issues. She is steadfast in her commitment to the St Kilda Football Club, adores her family and enjoys cooking, camping and fashion.