Biographies of senior staff

David Elder, Clerk of the House of Representatives

 David Elder, Deputy Clerk

Role and Responsibilities
David Elder is the Clerk of the House of Representatives and has held the position since 1 January 2014. David was previously the Deputy Clerk of the House and has also been Serjeant-at-Arms and Clerk Assistant in the Table Office and Committees.

 The office of Clerk of the House involves leading approximately 150 officers who provide administrative and procedural advice to the House, its committees and its international and domestic liaison services.

Biography
David has an MA from the Australian National University. He has worked in the Parliament since 1981, having joined the Australian Public Service in 1979. David is married with two children.

Contact information
Department of the House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone (02) 6277 4111
Fax (02) 6277 2006
E-mail Clerk.Reps@aph.gov.au

Claressa Surtees, Deputy Clerk

 Claressa Surtees, Clerk Assistant

Role and Responsibilities
Claressa Surtees is the Deputy Clerk of the House. The Deputy Clerk is the second most senior official of the Department of the House of Representatives is responsible for advising and assisting Members, their staff and officers on matters of parliamentary practice and law, and drafting private members bills and amendments. The Deputy assists the Clerk in the management of the department and during the Clerk’s absence performs the duties of Clerk.

Biography
Claressa has degrees in law and economics. She has worked in the Parliament since 1993, having previously worked in the Australian Public Service. Claressa has previously been Clerk Assistant (Committees), Clerk Assistant (Table) and Serjeant-at-Arms. Claressa is married with two children.

Contact information
Department of the House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone (02) 6277 4222
Fax (02) 6277 2006
E-mail DepClerk.Reps@aph.gov.au

Robyn McClelland, Serjeant-at-Arms

 Robyn McClelland, Serjeant-at-Arms

Role and Responsibilities
Robyn McClelland is the Serjeant-at-Arms in the Department of the House of Representatives and is responsible for providing advice, services and support for members of the House of Representatives.

The Serjeant-at-Arms is also the corporate manager for the department.

Biography
Robyn has a M Admin. Studies and B Sc (Hons) from the Australian National University and a Grad Dip Edn from the University of Canberra. She has worked in the Parliament since 1991, having joined the Australian Public Service in 1977. Robyn is married with three adult daughters. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Contact information
Department of the House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone (02) 6277 4444
Fax (02) 6277 2006
E-mail Robyn.McClelland.Reps@aph.gov.au

Joanne Towner, Clerk Assistant (Table)

 Joanne Towner, Clerk Assistant

Role and Responsibilities
Joanne Towner is the Clerk Assistant (Table). She is responsible for those areas of the department which provide programming, procedural, legislative and research support to the Chamber and Main Committee of the House, and which promote community understanding of and interaction with the work of the House and the Parliament. She acts as Clerk-at-the-Table of the House of Representatives.

Biography
Joanne has worked in the Department of the House of Representatives in many positions including the Table Office, the Chamber Research Office, and as a Committee Secretary. She was previously Clerk Assistant (Committees). Joanne has a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and a Dip Ed from the State College of Victoria.

Contact information
Department of the House of Representatives
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone (02) 6277 4777
Fax (02) 6277 4517
E-mail Joanne.Towner.Reps@aph.gov.au

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