Julia Waddington-Powell, RN MIPH MHM, became the Chief Executive of the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM) in September 2021 – the first female to hold such a position in the history of the state’s emergency services sector. As an executive member of the South Australian Emergency Services Sector, Julia is responsible for collaborating with partner emergency services agencies (CFS, MFS and SES) and coordinating the strategic and policy frameworks that govern the emergency services sector.
With over 30 years’ experience in the South Australian Public Sector, Julia has successfully overseen public policy development, project management, program implementation, strategic and operational leadership and organisational governance in public service agencies. Commencing as Chief Executive of SAFECOM in August 2021, Julia brings significant leadership expertise across the state’s health, emergency management, fire safety and public safety sectors.
Prior to joining SAFECOM, Julia held senior leadership positions at the SA Ambulance Service where she coordinated and delivered the organisation’s Rural Health Workforce Plan to ensure the delivery of high-quality and accessible services for the state’s regional and remote communities. Later Julia was appointed Executive Director of Operations for the SA Ambulance Service’s Country, Rescue Retrieval and Aviation Service, MedSTAR, which provides South Australia’s only state of the art emergency medical retrieval service for critical care neonatal, paediatric and adult medical operations.
Julia’s career as a Registered Nurse saw her working across a number of South Australian rural and metro health care settings, where she developed her passion for caring for others, particularly in remote settings. Following on from her clinical roles, Julia moved into education and management in the state’s health care sector and was subsequently appointed to lead state-wide operations and emergency management coordination activities in the fire safety, security and emergency management sectors.
Julia is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been awarded a Graduate Diploma of Project Management, a Masters in International Public Health and a Masters in Health Management from the University of New South Wales. Julia is passionate about fostering greater diversity across the emergency services sector and is committed to empowering inclusive leadership at the highest levels via robust professional development opportunities and supporting diversity amongst early stage and emerging leaders.