We have established an Advisory Panel as a non‑statutory forum whose main role is to support us in providing leadership and good governance of the office. It also has in place the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, which oversees our governance, risk management, the control environment and the integrity of financial statements and the annual report.
We sought to recruit new members to these governance roles in November last year. Reflecting the recognised challenges and opportunities facing the office and the public sector in Wales, we were especially interested in applications from individuals with experience in health services, cybersecurity, ICT and digital, as well as promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion. The four successful applicants bring in the wealth of experience across those priority areas, together with exceptional understanding of the Welsh public sector.
“I am delighted to make these appointments which will widen the experience, knowledge and diversity that our Advisory Panel and ARAC will bring to the work of PSOW. In particular these appointments will help improve how we deliver services across diverse communities and ensure our services are accessible for everyone. I am looking forward to working with our new and existing members over the years ahead and in delivering the strategic aims that will be set out in our new strategic plan.”
Bernie is a TEDx Speaker, Bestselling Author, Diversity and Entrepreneurship Leader, with a previous legal career in property. She is Past Chair of the Neath Chamber of Trade, Board member for Black History Wales and Fio Arts Charity, Ambassador for the Commonwealth Entrepreneurs Club, Business Wales and Equal Power Equal Voice Mentor, Welsh Government Excelerator Coach and Founder of Bernie Davies Global. Bernie supports entrepreneurship programmes with a focus on diversity, for major banks, universities and government agencies. On United Nations Human Rights Day, 2022, Bernie was awarded the prestigious title of Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation for her work in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Bernie has been and continues to be a regular BBC Radio Wales contributor and BBC and ITV media expert.
Bernie said, “I had the privilege of speaking at PSOW in Black History Month and was so impressed with the organisation and its genuine commitment to fairness and diversity. When the opportunity arose to join, in this capacity, I did not hesitate and I am so humbled to be appointed to serve for the next 3 years.”
Sue has worked in the voluntary sector in England and Wales for over 40 years. Moving to Wales in 1986, she worked at Mencap before taking time out to raise two daughters. Sue began work with the Alzheimer’s Society in 1995 as an administrator following the death of her grandfather who had Alzheimer’s disease and held a number of service development, management and leadership roles before becoming Country Director for Wales in September 2017. Working alongside people affected by dementia, with their voice at the heart, she campaigned for and championed the rights of everyone with dementia and those who care for them, promoting the need for investment in research to give hope for the future. Sue was delighted to be awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2017 for services to dementia in Wales. Keen on sport, Sue has been an Independent Director on the Cricket Wales Board since 2018 and serves as Chair of the EDI Sub-Committee and a member of the Finance Sub-Committee.
Sue said, “I am delighted to have been appointed to the Advisory Panel and bring an enthusiasm and willingness to support the delivery of the ambitions laid out in the Ombudsman’s strategic plan. With justice being one of the qualities I value most, I see this as an opportunity to play a part in bringing about systemic improvement in our public services for those who suffer injustice, feel let down or in any way marginalised or excluded.”
Nia has worked in several roles across the public and private sector, most recently as Head of Research and Innovation Engagement at the Welsh Government. She is a European Patent Attorney, a Chartered Physicist and a Member of the Institute of Physics. Originally from Anglesey, Nia is a Welsh speaker and lives in Llandudno, North Wales. Nia has served in a number of non-executive roles including as a member of the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Strategic Advisory Network, a member of the Institute of Physics Wales Committee and previously as a Chair of Governors of a primary school.
Nia said, “In these difficult times it’s more important than ever that our public services in Wales are the best they can be and I’m really excited to be joining the team working to make sure that happens.”
Dave was Director of Resources for the Senedd Commission until he retired in January 2022. Dave spent 10 years at the Senedd and prior to this he has worked in Local Government, the Aerospace Industry and served for 12 years as a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Air Force. Dave’s professional background is in ICT. Since retirement, Dave has taken up a part-time role as a leadership training and development consultant. Dave also sits as a Magistrate.
Dave said, “I’m delighted to be joining my new colleagues on the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee of the Office of Ombudsman for Wales. The Ombudsman provides an invaluable service for the People of Wales and I am proud to be able, in a small way, to provide my support.”