David Lavell: New Associate Director, Investigations at UQ
David Lavell: New Associate Director, Investigations at UQ
15 October 2012

The University of Queensland has appointed a former government senior manager with a substantial ethics education background to its senior role in investigations.

Mr David Lavell, who was formerly the Director, Ethical Standards Unit at the Department of Community Safety, has moved in to the Associate Director, Investigations role.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said the appointment is part of the work associated with the University’s Integrity and Accountability Reform Program.

“I am pleased to see the considerable work that has been put in place and I am looking forward to building on this foundation to have UQ become an exemplar in this important area of governance.”

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the key appointment was further evidence of the seriousness with which the University was addressing reforms.

“I’m very pleased that David is joining us; he brings an outstanding level of experience in ethical awareness and training, and fraud and misconduct prevention and control. This appointment completes senior level recruitment for the new structure.

“We have recently strengthened our assurance and risk management function by separating what was a single unit into three, focused on internal audit, risk management and investigations. An Associate Director will head each unit and each will have open and direct reporting access into the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Senate Risk Committee,” she said.

“UQ is determined to become a leader in accountability and integrity and while we acknowledge this will take time and effort, this appointment is another measure we are taking to achieve this.”

Mr Lavell’s career has spanned 15 years as a senior police officer focused on investigations, followed by seven years as a senior manager in a number of government ethics units.

Mr Lavell said conducting investigations is an everyday occurrence in any organisation.

“Staff should never be concerned if asked to participate in an investigation, as without them, we would not learn how to do things better and we would not grow as an organisation.

“The focus should be to direct resources to only those matters that really require an investigation, and use what we learn to concentrate on misconduct prevention and awareness strategies.”

The University recently published an Interim Update on its Integrity and Accountability Reform Program which may be viewed at www.uq.edu.au/reform-program

Two independent reviewers have also been appointed to review the reform process for comprehensiveness, Professor Gerard Sutton and Dr David Watson.

Biography - Mr David Lavell

Mr Lavell holds an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland and a Bachelor of Policing (Investigations) from Charles Sturt University. His most recent appointment, since 2010, was as Director of the Ethical Standards Unit, Department of Community Safety.

From 2007 to 2010, he was the Assistant Director of the Ethical Standards Unit, Department of Education and Training. Prior to this, from 2005-2007 he was the Principal lnvestigator, Ethics Unit of DETA (formerly the Department of Employment and Training).

From 2000 to 2005 he held Detective Senior Sergeant or Detective Sergeant positions with a range of government agencies and Criminal Investigation Branches of the Queensland Police. Between 1990 and 2000, he was a police officer posted to a number of Queensland stations.

He has won several awards including, in 2005, recognition for the success of his compliance operations into Asian tourism rogue traders.

Mr Lavell is a director of a company which has been engaged in the research and development of a building product prototype for 10 years.

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