The IPC bids farewell to NSW Privacy Commissioner, Samantha Gavel


After six years of service, the NSW Privacy Commissioner, Samantha Gavel bids farewell with her term concluding on 4 September 2023.

During her time as Privacy Commissioner, Ms Gavel has seen remarkable changes to the privacy landscape in NSW and more broadly, in Australia.

In 2018, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) implemented Australia’s first Notifiable Data Breach Scheme. In 2022 following several years of work here in NSW, the Privacy and Personal Information Amendment Bill 2022 was passed by the NSW Parliament and is set to come into effect later this year. Ms Gavel’s efforts and input into the development of draft legislation, consultation and engagement with stakeholders, and strategy and implementation of new guidance for the Scheme have set the Scheme up for success.

In 2020, the significant impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic accelerated the use of digital technology and data and the IPC worked tirelessly to provide advice to assist agencies to understand their privacy obligations during the pandemic. As Privacy Commissioner, Ms Gavel provided input in mitigating privacy risks during the development of the COVIDSafe app and the QR code check-in tool, and participated in the COVID-19 Privacy Team, a collective of Privacy Commissioners around Australia.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), cyber security threats, privacy breaches and other cyber incidents are just some of the issues that arose during Ms Gavel’s time of service. Her oversight and guidance assisted the IPC to deliver quality, timely and effective services and continually improve citizen and agency understanding of their privacy rights and obligations now and into the future.

Her longstanding support of the annual Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) campaigns has always been valued, with her involvement in various events such as the IPC NSW Public Sector Leaders Events in 2021 and 2022, the PAW Public Sector Forum in 2020, various meet-and-greets with citizens, panel events, the Privacy in the Digital Age Forum in 2018 and this year, the IPC PAW webinar on Privacy, Data and Digital Technology.

Ms Gavel’s dedicated service and wealth of industry knowledge has led the IPC to the reputation and high regard it holds today with her drive to promote public awareness and understanding of privacy rights in NSW.

On behalf of NSW public sector agencies and citizens, the IPC thanks Ms Gavel for her hard work, commitment, and dedication.

The IPC congratulates and welcomes Ms Sonia Minutillo, who commences in the role of Acting Privacy Commissioner until the appointment of the new Commissioner over the coming months.