Adam Fennessy was appointed Secretary of the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) in April 2013. Adam leads the Department in boosting productivity in Victoria's world-class food and fibre sector, protecting Victoria's environment and managing the State's natural resources, strongly influenced by decision-making at a regional and local level.
Adam is a member of the national Agriculture Senior Officials Committee and the national Senior Officials Committee for Environment and Water. Adam leads the Loddon Mallee Regional Management Forum and is a member of the Victorian Secretaries Board. Adam was made a Victorian Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia in November 2013, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Before this, Adam was Acting Secretary of the former Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), Deputy Secretary Environment and Natural Resources within the former DSE, and Executive Director, Infrastructure and Economics in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet. Adam has also worked as a Commonwealth Government policy and legal adviser in the areas of transport, communications and the arts.
Adam is committed to public sector leadership and values and strives to achieve work-life balance, living in the Loddon Mallee region over the last five years with his wife and three young daughters.
DEPI Executive Team
Deputy Secretary - Agriculture
James has substantial experience in leadership roles in both the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments.
His previous leadership roles include Deputy Secretary at Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Chair of the Commonwealth's emergency taskforce on Live Animal Exports and First Assistant Secretary, Strategic Policy and Delivery Division, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Before joining the Public Service, James held senior roles at ANZ Bank and McKinsey & Company. He has worked and lived in Asia, Europe and the USA.
James has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science from University of Melbourne and an MBA at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in the USA.
Deputy Secretary - Corporate Services
Bruce has many years of executive experience in the public sector in Victoria and Queensland, including significant contributions to Corporate Services innovations within the former Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE).
Before his current role, Bruce was Chief Information Officer for DSE and the Director, Spatial Information Infrastructure.
Deputy Secretary - Land, Fire and Environment
Paul has broad executive experience in using partnerships to deliver results and in driving major reform in the areas of land, fire and environment.
Before acting as the Deputy Secretary for the Environment and Natural Resources group, Paul was Executive Director, Environmental Policy and Climate Change.
Paul has built successful relationships with DEPI's many environment and land portfolio partners and with Victoria's Networked Emergency Organisations. He also led the former Department of Sustainability and Environment's response to the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Social Science and a PhD in Environmental Policy.
Deputy Secretary - Regional Services
Bernie has considerable leadership experience at a state and national level, including industry-based experience in primary industries.
Previous leadership roles include his role as General Manager of Agriculture for the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, Executive Director of a livestock commodity council in National Farmers' Federation House in Canberra, and executive positions with the NSW Farmers' Association.
In his most recent role as lead Regional Director and Regional Director Loddon Mallee for the Department of Primary industries, Bernie built strong state-wide relationships with stakeholders and established a new Regional Leadership Branch, aimed at enhancing DPI's engagement in country Victoria.
Bernie studied Agricultural Science at the University of Melbourne and a Master of Public Affairs at the University of Sydney.
Acting Deputy Secretary - Regulation and Compliance
James has worked in a number of senior roles within the Department of Primary Industries, most recently as Executive Director, Game and Forestry. He also had a secondment to Parks Victoria.
Prior to working in the Victorian Public Service, James worked for various Commonwealth Government departments including the Department of Environment and Heritage and AusAID.
He has substantial experience in government and brings to this role strong leadership, decision making, policy development, government relations and stakeholder management skills.
James studied at the Australian National University and holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science (Resource and Environmental Management), Graduate Diploma in Resource and Environmental Management and Master of Forestry.
Deputy Secretary - Water
Emily has broad executive leadership experience in driving policy reform and delivering programs across the Victorian Government and has previously lead policy and program delivery in regional development, sustainable agriculture, catchment management, and industry and community engagement.
For the past seven years, Emily built and led the Rural and Resources Policy Branch at the former Department of Primary Industries and most recently was Executive Director, Agriculture Policy here at DEPI.
Emily has played a key role in leading national drought policy reform, delivering state drought support and establishing and driving the vision for the new Agriculture Productivity Group of boosting food and fibre across the state.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Social Science with first class Honours and a PhD in Rural Sociology.
The DEPI organisational structure shows each of the business areas.