Vanessa Holben, Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs – Australian Border Force
Vanessa Holben has been with the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force (ABF) since October 2015. In March this year she was appointed to the role of Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs. Vanessa is also the Group Manager of Customs Group, which is responsible for ensuring Australia’s customs and border policy settings allow for the unimpeded movement of legitimate goods across the border, and preventing prohibited goods from entering Australia.
Her team also leads Australia’s whole-of-government response to modern slavery and human trafficking, including in respect of supply chains and criminal justice. Prior to returning to the ABF, Vanessa led the National Coordination Mechanism within the Department of Home Affairs, which looked after the national (non-health-related) measures in response to COVID-19. This required significant engagement with Federal, State and Territory governments, industry and the private sector. Vanessa has also held the role of First Assistant Secretary for the Aviation and Maritime Security Division within the Department of Home Affairs —the security regulator for the aviation, maritime and offshore oil and gas sectors. In this role, Vanessa was responsible for providing advice and assurance to Government on transport security policy, regulation, compliance and practice. Vanessa is committed to working closely with industry stakeholders to deliver outcomes that promote economic prosperity as well as ensuring community protection.