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Sharyn O’Neill

WA Public Sector Commissioner

Western Australia Public Sector Commission

Faculty: Expert contributors



Sharyn O’Neill headshot

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Sharyn O’Neill commenced as Public Sector Commissioner in July 2018. She brings to the position of Commissioner incredible leadership and reform experience following 12 years as Director General of the Department of Education where she was the driving force behind the biggest reform of public education in Western Australia.

Lauded for her ability to “make things happen”, hallmarks of her leadership during her time as Director General included improvements to student academic standards, unprecedented autonomy for public schools, halting the drift of students to private schools and an unparalleled reform of public school funding.

Ms O’Neill began her career as a teacher and deputy principal in country schools, before moving into policy, governance and system leaderships positions in education.

She has a Master of Education (Education Administration and Policy). In 2016 she was awarded the Institute of Public Administration Australia (WA) Patron’s Award and was also made a Fellow of the Institute in recognition of her contribution to public administration in Western Australia.

Ms O’Neill is also the State Recovery Controller, appointed by the WA Government in April 2020, with responsibilities for developing, coordinating and overseeing WA’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.