Who we are
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is headed by the Australian Information Commissioner.
The Information Commissioner is supported by the Assistant Commissioner, Regulation & Strategy and the Assistant Commissioner, Dispute Resolution, and OAIC staff.
Acting Australian Information Commissioner — Timothy Pilgrim PSM
Mr Timothy Pilgrim was appointed as Acting Australian Information Commissioner from 20 July 2015. Prior to this, Timothy was Australian Privacy Commissioner (2010-2015) and Deputy Privacy Commissioner (1998-2010). Before joining the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Timothy held senior management positions in a range of Australian Government agencies, including the Small Business Program within the Australian Taxation Office and the Child Support Agency.
Timothy has made a significant contribution to the field of privacy in Australia. His achievements include involvement in developing the private sector provisions of the Privacy Act 1988, which included widespread consultation with community, business and government organisations. He also played a key role in implementing the private sector provisions, which took effect on 21 December 2001. More recently, Timothy has led the implementation of the 2014 reforms to the Privacy Act, the most significant reforms to the Act since its commencement. In doing so he worked closely with businesses, consumer groups and Australian Government agencies to build awareness of privacy rights and obligations, and ensure compliance with the new requirements.
Timothy has also worked at the international level to ensure that Australia is equipped to deal with global privacy challenges. He has played an important role in the implementation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Privacy Framework, which aims to promote a consistent approach to information privacy protection across APEC member economies. Timothy has also been closely involved in developing a framework for privacy regulators around the world to cooperate on cross-border enforcement matters.
Timothy has extensive experience in corporate management, covering fields such as human resource management, industrial relations and parliamentary liaison. More broadly, at the corporate level he has been responsible for providing high level advice on strategies for implementing large scale cultural change.
Timothy Pilgrim was awarded a Public Service Medal in the 2015 Australia Day Honours List for ‘outstanding public service in the development and implementation of major reforms to the Privacy Act 1988’.
Timothy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney.
Assistant Commissioner, Regulation & Strategy
Angelene Falk is the Assistant Commissioner of Regulation and Strategy at the OAIC.
Angelene oversees proactive privacy regulation including through Commissioner initiated investigations, assessments of both public and private sector organisations and handles data breach notifications, many of which attract significant media attention.
Angelene has oversight of the OAIC’s policy and stakeholder communication strategies. Her current focus is implementing the significant reforms to the Privacy Act that commenced in March 2014, including the enhanced Commissioner enforcement powers.
Prior to her appointment to the former Office of the Privacy Commissioner in 2007, Angelene held positions with Boards and Commissions as lawyer, educator and policy adviser in the discrimination area. Protecting and promoting rights and responsibilities is an important priority for Angelene, one which she continues in her role today.
Assistant Commissioner, Dispute Resolution
Karen Toohey has been in the role of the Assistant Commissioner, Dispute Resolution with the OAIC since August 2013.
Prior to this role she was the Chief Executive Officer with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) from 2010 and the Acting Commissioner with VEOHRC from August 2011 to August 2013.
Karen has worked in the human rights sector for the past 20 years and has formal qualifications in marketing, computing science, behavioural science and law.
After a career in marketing and IT in the private sector, Karen joined the Australian Human Rights Commission in Sydney and left her senior executive role there in early 2010 to take up the position as Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission from January 2010.
The OAIC is based in Sydney and has two branches:
- Regulation & Strategy — provides advice and guidance, examines and drafts submissions on proposed legislation, conducts audits, and comments on inquiries and proposals that may have an impact on privacy. Regulation & Strategy branch is also responsible for communications and corporate functions.
- Dispute Resolution — is responsible for case management and carries out compliance investigations. Dispute Resolution branch is also responsible for legal services and the Enquiries line.