The government has appointed a new Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs – Major General (retired) Liz Cosson.
FILE PHOTO: Major General Liz Cosson (June 2008). Photo by Lance Corporal Glenn Power.
Elizabeth Cosson, born 1958, is a retired Australian Army officer – the first female to be promoted to brigadier and to major general.
Then-Brigadier Cosson copped a roasting in the media in 2006 when, after heading an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the repatriation of Private Jake Kovco from Iraq, she now-famously left a CD containing her classified-secret report in a Qantas Club computer.
She retired from the Army in 2010, taking senior roles in the departments of Veterans’ Affairs, Health, Immigration and Border Protection, and finally back to Veterans’ Affairs where she has been Deputy Secretary for the past two years.
Liz Cosson replaces Simon Lewis, who was in the role since 2013.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester published a press release* today welcoming the appointment.
* Mr Chester’s own appointment as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs was apparently not worthy of a press release“.
Mr Chester said he was looking forward to working with the new secretary to continue placing the needs of veterans and their families first.
“In my short time in the role as minister, Ms Cosson has impressed me with her professionalism, dedication and determination to care for our veterans and their families,” Mr Chester said.
“As Chief Operating Officer she has been instrumental in the reform process currently underway and I’m confident that we can continue to deliver an improved level of service.
“The focus of our efforts over the next 12 months will be engaging with younger veterans and working to ensure the transition from military service to civilian life is made easier for all concerned.
“We have made great progress but there is still work to be done and I’m confident Ms Cosson will continue to make a huge contribution to the veteran community.”
Mr Chester thanked outgoing secretary Simon Lewis for his service, saying he had made an outstanding contribution to reforming the department and placing the needs of the veterans at the forefront of everything it does.
“He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the public service and I wish him well in his retirement.”