Alex O'Mara is the Group Deputy Secretary of Place, Design and Public Spaces Group within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Alex is tasked with leading two NSW Premier’s Priorities: Greening Our City and Greener Public Spaces. She also leads work to re-orient the planning system around people, places and communities, with a continued focus on greater upfront strategic planning, excellence in design, local neighbourhood character, and public spaces.
Prior to that, Alex was the Deputy Secretary for Create NSW, leading the delivery of the largest investment in cultural infrastructure in NSW since the Opera House was built and the development of the NSW Cultural Infrastructure Plan.
Alex is an experienced senior executive who has worked across a range of sectors, including the planning, industry, infrastructure, water, environmental, building, creative, and cultural sectors. Alex has led the delivery of multi-dimensional projects and programs, driving significant policy, reform, and infrastructure projects and leading complex stakeholder engagement. Examples include overseeing the Accelerated Infrastructure Fund, which cut red tape and fast-tracked planning processes to keep people in jobs and the construction industry moving through the COVID-19 crisis, the delivery of coastal management reforms including the Coastal Management Act, the Local Land Services Act, and the Marine Estate Management Act, a new framework for wind energy development, the first social impact assessment guidelines for resources projects, and a new design-led framework for delivery of schools.
Alex began her career as a private sector lawyer after graduating second in order of merit from the University of Sydney with first class honours. Alex has a degree in Arts, majoring in English and Australian literature, and a Master of Administrative Law and Policy. Alex has been a member of multiple boards, including the Australian Building Codes Board, and is a member of the Placemaking NSW Advisory Committee. Alex has also completed the AICD Company Directors course, and is passionate about diversity and inclusion and values-led leadership.