Appointments to Foreign Investment Review Board

Australian Treasury

The Albanese Government has appointed Linda Apelt, Kellie Benda and Sarah Pearson to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) each for a five‑year term.

These appointments bring the right mix of experience and fresh thinking to ensure the board continues to provide effective advice on the operation of Australia’s Foreign Investment Policy and the administration of the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975.

Ms Apelt recently served as Agent‑General for Queensland in the United Kingdom and the Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner, Europe, from 2017 until 2021. She is a former Director General of Department of Communities and Department of Housing with the Queensland Government.

Ms Benda has experience across a broad range of industries including mining and resources, energy, utilities, infrastructure, technology, health services, agriculture, insurance, and professional services. She has held senior executive positions with AGL Limited, Origin Energy Limited, Emeco Holdings Limited and Aurizon Limited.

Dr Pearson has significant experience in public and private science and innovation roles, including in relation to technology and data, medical and biotechnology, food science, consumer goods, financial services, social impact, venture capital and startups. She has served as Chief Scientist and Chief Innovation Officer at DFAT and as a director of various entities including ANSTO Nuclear Medicine.

The appointments mean five of the nine FIRB board members are women. Today’s announcement continues the Government’s strong record of identifying capable women for senior public sector roles.

The FIRB is a non‑statutory body established in 1976 to examine proposed investments that are subject to the foreign investment framework and to make recommendations to the Government on these proposals.

The Albanese Government is committed to renewing, refocusing and renovating Australia’s economic institutions and ensuring they have the right objectives, people and processes in place.

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