NSW Ombudsman and executive team

NSW Ombudsman

Paul Miller PSM

Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Master of Laws, Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Arts (Philosophy), Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW.

Paul was appointed Ombudsman in May 2021 for a term of 7 years.

Paul joined the NSW Ombudsman's office in April 2019 as Deputy Ombudsman and Community and Disability Services Commissioner, and was acting Ombudsman from August 2020.

Executive team

Our executive team leads the office's individual business units. The Chief Deputy Ombudsman and Chief Operating Officer report directly to the Ombudsman.

Monica Wolf

Chief Deputy Ombudsman and Commissioner for Community and Disability Services

Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma Education Studies, Graduate Certificate Public Policy, Graduate Certificate Public Sector Management

Monica was appointed Chief Deputy Ombudsman in August 2021. As Chief Deputy Ombudsman Monica leads a division that fulfils the NSW Ombudsman’s core statutory functions. This includes monitoring, investigating and promoting improvements in the performance, accountability and compliance of public sector agencies and community services providers, and resolving matters in the public interest.

Monica has held a number of executive roles in the organisation. This includes Deputy Ombudsman, Projects and Systemic Reviews. In these roles, her responsibilities included leading teams responsible for reviewing child deaths, policy and systemic projects, and complaints.

Monica worked with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for 2 years, leading teams in both investigations and policy. In 2019, Monica completed the NSW Leadership Academy Leading Executives Program.

Chris Clayton

Chief Operating Officer

Bachelor of Commerce, Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting, Graduate Certificate in Internal Auditing, Chartered Accountant

Chris was appointed Chief Operating Officer in August 2021. In this role, Chris directs and coordinates the internal operational activities in accordance with policies, goals and objectives set by the Ombudsman. His priority is to support the achievement of the NSW Ombudsman’s strategic objectives. He does this through ensuring effective management frameworks, communications, governance, and corporate systems and processes.

Before joining the Ombudsman’s Office, Chris had an extensive career at the Audit Office of NSW, where he held a range of executive positions. This included supporting the Auditor-General to oversee audit quality, provide audit-related technical support, innovate audit practices, and corporate governance functions.

Leanne Townsend

Deputy Ombudsman, Aboriginal Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Master of Arts

A proud Aniwan woman from Uralla, North West NSW, Leanne was appointed Deputy Ombudsman in March 2022. She joined the Ombudsman after 9 years as Chief Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy. Prior to that, she was CEO of the NSW Reconciliation Council.  Her experience also includes Indigenous Advisor to Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, and Senior Public Affairs Officer, and Executive Officer with the Commonwealth Department of Families, Community Services & Indigenous Affairs.

As Deputy Ombudsman (Aboriginal Programs), Leanne leads the Aboriginal Programs Branch. This Branch monitors and assesses prescribed Aboriginal programs under Part 3B Ombudsman Act 1974 and engages with stakeholders to promote improvements in delivery of services and programs to Aboriginal people and communities.

Jacqueline Fredman

Deputy Ombudsman, Complaints and Resolution

Executive Master of Public Administration, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Arts

Jacqueline was appointed Deputy Ombudsman in April 2022. She was a senior executive in the Commonwealth public sector for the previous 9 years, including Chief Corporate Officer (and previously Divisional Registrar) at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She has previously worked as the Manager, Assessments at the ICAC. As a lawyer, she has worked in private practice and as a member of the NSW Bar.

As Deputy Ombudsman (Complaints & Resolution), Jacqueline leads the Complaints and Resolution Branch, responsible for handling and resolving complaints and inquiries relating to public authorities and community services.

Helen Wodak

Deputy Ombudsman, Monitoring and Review

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Law

Helen has been working with our office since 2013, when she joined as Principal Investigator in the former Community Services Division. Helen then headed our Public Interest Disclosures team, before being appointed as Acting Deputy Ombudsman (Projects & Systemic Reviews Branch) in August 2021. Prior to joining our office, Helen worked with the NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice, and with the Northern Aboriginal Justice Agency in Darwin.

As Deputy Ombudsman (Monitoring & Review), Helen leads and directs the Monitoring and Review Branch. This branch is responsible for statutory functions related to oversight of the Public Interest Disclosures scheme; review of the deaths of children and convening the NSW Child Death Review Team; and monitoring and inquiring into the delivery of community services.

Ainslee Scott

Director Corporate

Bachelor of Commerce, Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow Certified Practising Accountant

Ainslee Scott joined the Executive team of the NSW Ombudsman in June 2019. She is responsible for the Ombudsman’s Corporate Services branch. This includes financial management, human resources, ICT, procurement and other varied support functions.

Before this, Ainslee held executive and senior positions across both the public and private sectors. This includes the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), NSW Treasury, TransGrid and Colonial First State. She has a strong and diverse background in accounting, strategic and corporate planning, governance, project management and business transformational change.

Megan Smith

Legal Counsel

Bachelor of Science (Psychology) (Hons), Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW

Megan has been the Ombudsman’s Legal Counsel since February 2016. Before this, she was a solicitor at a large commercial law firm. Megan has also co-authored a textbook on equity. Megan is the principal legal adviser to the Ombudsman. She manages the provision of legal services to the office and litigation involving the Ombudsman. She also oversees the internal governance and risk unit and policy development and governance.