The Secretary

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Elizabeth (Liz) Cosson AM CSCOn 19 May 2018, Liz Cosson AM CSC was appointed as Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), President of the Repatriation Commission and Chair of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission. Prior to her appointment, Liz had been in the role of Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer at DVA since 2016.

After 31 years of distinguished military service in the Australian Army, Liz joined the Australian Public Service in 2010 as the First Assistant Secretary, Client and Commemorations Division. In this role she implemented the Anzac Centenary Board, who were responsible for laying the foundations of the Anzac Centenary National Program, which concluded with the celebration of Armistice in November 2018. 

Between 2012 and 2016 she held the positions of Deputy Secretary at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and Deputy Secretary/Chief Operating Officer at the Department of Health and led the implementation of major cultural and behavioural reform activities.

In 2016, Liz returned to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to take on the role of Deputy Secretary and was instrumental in establishing the department’s transformation program, which is using a co-design approach with veterans, families and stakeholders in the areas of policy, support, services and benefits to ensure the best possible outcomes for veterans and their families.

A key aspect of implementing this program has been acknowledging that some veterans have not had a good experience with the department, and Liz is a passionate advocate for improving services to support and enable all veterans and their families to transition from military service to civilian life.

In 2007, Liz was the first female to attain the rank of Major General in the Australian Army. Her diverse career has afforded her the opportunity to develop strengths in the areas of driving reform and modernisation, leadership, building relationships, collaboration, setting a vision, providing strategic advice and policy development.

Liz was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in 2001, and in 2011 was appointed a Member in the Military Division of the Order of Australia for her contributions to Army, and for delivering profound organisational reform. In 2014, Liz was awarded the ACT Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership.

Liz has a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies), Bachelor of Social Science (Human Resource Development) and a Diploma in Management.

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