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Awarded for service to Government
Born: 2 June 1956
Entered on roll: 2019
Jenny Gale was born in Smithton, was educated at Smithton and Burnie high schools and has served the State of Tasmania for over 41 years.
Jenny’s distinguished career evolved from her commitment to equity: to ensure every single Tasmanian has the best possible education, irrespective of their circumstances and particularly their gender.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Education, Jenny first taught mathematics at Queechy High School. She went on to teach and hold leadership positions in the north of the State, becoming Principal of Smithton Primary School in 1998.
Jenny was appointed Director of the Office for Educational Review in 2000, and subsequent leadership positions included General Manager of Learning Services South East, General Manager Strategic Policy and Performance, and Acting Secretary of the Department of Education. These roles involved leadership of regulatory and legislative change, and significant state and national policy development and reform, including cross-government leadership of our highly successful Child and Family Centres.
In 2011, Jenny took a break from paid employment but continued public service as Chair of both the Tasmanian Teacher’s Registration Board and wayraparattee Child and Family Centre Advisory Group. Jenny re-joined the workforce in 2014, and in 2016 she was the first woman to be appointed substantively as Secretary, Department of Education.
In this role, Jenny initiated the public sector’s Women Supporting Women group, which supports women’s leadership aspirations and is also now working with non-government and local government leaders to broaden networking opportunities for Tasmanian women.
Jenny has served on a number of state and national boards, including the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Netball Tasmania, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, the Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment and the University of Tasmania Council.
In 2017, Jenny was appointed Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Head of the State Service, positions that enable her to make a significant contribution to policy development and implementation that will impact our State for future decades.