Streamline WA Steering Committee

What the Streamline WA Steering Committee is and does.

The Streamline WA Steering Committee brings together government and private sector experience and expertise, ensuring reform proposals are considered from a range of perspectives.

Steering Committee members

Photo of the five Streamline WA Steering Committee members
Steering Committee members. (Left to right) Mike Rowe, David Smith, Vanessa Torres, Chris Rodwell and Joanne Abbiss.

Steering Committee meeting communiques 

View the communiques to stay up to date with the outcomes of each Steering Committee meeting.

Steering Committee member biographies 


David Smith, Director General, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

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David Smith is a Co-Chair of the Streamline WA Steering Committee.

David has led the way in amalgamating the former Department of Mines and Petroleum and Department of Commerce to establish the new department.

Previously, David was appointed Acting Director General at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) in August 2016, where he had been the Deputy Director General since August 2008. Before his work at the DPC, David was a member of the Corporate Executive of the former Department of Treasury, with responsibility for economic policy.

David has more than 20 years of experience in the Commonwealth public service, including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and an overseas posting with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Mike Rowe, Director General, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

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Mike Rowe is a Co-Chair of the Streamline WA Steering Committee.

Mike is the Director General of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, which was established on 1 July 2017. He moved into the new role following three years as the Director General of the former Department of Water.  

Mike has worked with the Western Australian Government in a variety of leadership, policy, advisory and delivery roles since 1993. His experience spans a number of natural resources management portfolios such as agriculture, environment and water, as well as Aboriginal affairs and central agencies including the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. 

Mike is on the board of Leadership WA and is Vice President of the WA Council of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. He has a Bachelor of Environmental Science and holds postgraduate qualifications in social research and program evaluation and public sector management.

Joanne Abbiss, Chief Executive Officer, City of Armadale

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Joanne commenced as CEO of the City of Armadale in September 2019.

Joanne has extensive experience in local government and has been CEO of some of Australia’s fastest growing local governments, planning and developing entire communities housing tens of thousands of people.

Joanne has held Ministerial appointments to the Women in Local Government Advisory Committee and Peel Development Commission Board. Joanne holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Notre Dame and Bachelor of Science (Distinction) in Environmental Health from Curtin University. In 2015, Joanne was named State Winner at the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards for Government and Academia and received international recognition at the United Nations backed Liveable Communities Awards in 2011 for excellence in integrated strategic planning.

Chris Rodwell, Chief Executive Officer, CCI WA

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Chris Rodwell commenced as Chief Executive Officer of CCIWA in February 2018.

Chris has many years of experience in senior trade and investment roles, including his recent role of Australia’s Trade Commissioner to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Prior to this, Chris was the Queensland State Government’s Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Americas, and the Director of Australian Industry Group in Queensland. Chris has played a significant role in advancing major reforms in Australia in areas such as education & training, innovation, and public asset divestment.

Chris is also a Board Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Vanessa Torres, Chief Technology Officer, South 32

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Vanessa Torres commenced as Chief Technology Officer for South 32 in August 2018.

Prior to this she was Vice President of Operational Infrastructure for BHP. She has over 26 years of global mining experience across both operational and commercial roles, and has held various senior roles at BHP and Vale in strategy, projects, business development, and operations.

Vanessa holds a Doctorate in Minerals Engineering from the University of Sao Paulo, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Federal University of Minas Gerais. Vanessa was named Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources for 2017. 

Page reviewed 4 March 2020