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Our Members

During 2018–19 four new Safe Work Australia Members were appointed replacing Mark Goodsell (Australian Industry Group), Michael Borowick (Australian Council of Trade Unions), Ian Munns (Western Australia) and Justine Ross (Commonwealth). As at 30 June 2019 over a third of Safe Work Australia Members were women.

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Diane Smith-Gander AO—Chair

Diane Smith-Gander AO was appointed Chair of Safe Work Australia in February 2016 and immediately embraced the role of spokesperson and advocate for WHS. Diane was reappointed Chair in February 2019 for a further three years.

Diane has played a vocal role in supporting our vision of creating healthy, safe and productive working lives for all Australians. Diane has inspired audiences with her keynote presentations at a number of WHS conferences, including those hosted by the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) and the National Safety Council of Australia in 2017, Comcare in 2018 and the Australian Trucking Association in 2019.

Diane brings a wealth of experience to her position as Chair, with multiple non-executive roles spanning a range of industries. Diane is non-executive director of listed companies AGL Energy and Wesfarmers Limited, a board member of the WA government-owned Keystart group of companies and the North Queensland Airports group of companies. She is a member of the Norton Rose Fulbright Australia Partnership Council, Chair of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council, and the past President of Chief Executive Women. Diane is also a board member of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, and in 2019 was announced as their next Chair from November 2019.

In June 2018, Diane received the Western Australian of the Year Business Award for her contribution to gender equality and female representation in corporate leadership roles.

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Adrian Breen—Commonwealth

Adrian is Branch Manager of the Work Health and Safety Policy Branch in the Attorney-General’s Department. In this role Adrian is responsible for policy development and advice on WHS and asbestos matters in the Commonwealth jurisdiction.

Adrian has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Tasmania, and a Masters in Industrial Relations from Charles Sturt University. He is admitted as a legal practitioner in the ACT, and has expertise in workplace relations law including WHS, and workers’ compensation matters.

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Carmel Donnelly—New South Wales

Carmel Donnelly was appointed as Chief Executive of the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) in 2017. SIRA regulates and stewards the NSW workers’ compensation system, motor accidents insurance scheme and other statutory insurance in NSW.

Carmel’s previous roles include Acting Deputy Commissioner at the NSW Public Service Commission, Executive Director in SIRA, General Manager, Strategy and Performance for the Safety, Return to Work and Support agencies in NSW, General Manager and Deputy General Manager at the Motor Accidents Authority of NSW, and Director, Strategy and Planning with Fire and Rescue NSW. She has also been a Review Director in the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and an Associate Director in NSW Health.

Carmel holds an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management, a Master of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours Psychology). She is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Associate Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management.

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Clare Amies—Victoria

Clare Amies was appointed as a Safe Work Australia Member in April 2015. In her four years as a Safe Work Australia Member Clare has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about eliminating risks in the workplace and the need for businesses to put injury prevention at the top of the their agenda.

Clare is currently Chief Executive and Board member at WorkSafe Victoria and has a breadth of experience with the organisation working towards preventing workplace injuries, supporting injured workers and managing insurance and compensation for both workers and employers in Victoria.

Clare has held senior management positions for the past 20 years in social welfare health policy, return to work, operational management, strategy and planning. Prior to this Clare was CEO of the Western Region Health Centre and before that its General Manager, Primary Care Services. Clare is a Harvard Graduate from the Advanced Management Program

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Simon Blackwood—Queensland

Simon Blackwood commenced his term at Safe Work Australia in November 2012. Simon is open about the need for a targeted and responsive regulatory approach to help reduce work-related and electrical fatalities, injury and disease.

Until late 2018, Simon was the Deputy Director-General for the Office of Industrial Relations, responsible for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the Electrical Safety Office. He had regulatory responsibility for workers’ compensation matters and also the provision of policy advice on these matters. Simon was responsible for supporting a fair and productive industrial relations framework for the public sector in Queensland and providing advice to government on private sector industrial relations issues in Queensland.

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Darren Kavanagh—Western Australia

Darren is the WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner. Darren has more than 20 years’ experience in occupational safety and health across diverse high risk industries. Prior to this position, Darren worked with the Federal Department of Defence - Estate and Infrastructure Group. Over his 10 years at Defence, Darren’s roles included Risk and Compliance Manager for South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia and Work Health and Safety Manager.

In 2004, Darren served as a member of the Worksafe Commission for a period of four years and he also served on the Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Board during this time.

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Martyn Campbell—South Australia

Martyn Campbell joined Safe Work Australia representing South Australia in November 2017. He is the Executive Director of SafeWork SA and brings to the board more than 30 years’ experience working in compliance, investigation and risk management at executive and senior executive levels in Australia and internationally. Martyn is passionate about providing guidance and support to businesses and workers to help them move beyond minimum regulatory compliance.

Martyn is a Certified Compliance Professional of the Government Risk and Compliance Institute and a Chartered OHS Professional with the Safety Institute of Australia.

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Mark Cocker—Tasmania

Mark Cocker is the Chief Executive of WorkSafe Tasmania and WHS Regulator, Asbestos Compensation Commissioner and Competent Authority for Dangerous Goods.

He has held senior positions within the Tasmanian Department of Justice for the past 30 years in operational management, strategy, planning and regulatory roles.

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Stephen Gelding—Northern Territory

Stephen Gelding was appointed as the Northern Territory Member of Safe Work Australia in September 2014. He held the position of Executive Director of NT WorkSafe and the Northern Territory Work Health Authority from August 2014 to February 2019 and has over 35 years’ experience as a clinician and senior manager within the health and community services sector of the Northern Territory public service.

Stephen is currently the Director Occupational Licensing and Policy within Licensing NT and retains Safe Work Australia Membership to ensure Northern Territory interests continue to be represented.

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Michael Young—Australian Capital Territory

Michael Young was appointed as a Safe Work Australia Member in May 2015. He is the Executive Group Manager of the ACT Government Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations office, where he is responsible for the Territory’s industrial relations, workers’ compensation and work safety regulatory frameworks.

Michael Young is a personal injury management professional with over 15 years’ experience in senior workers’ compensation and work safety regulatory roles. Michael plays an important role in delivering effective return to work and injury management services for the ACT Government.

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Andrew Dettmer—Australian Council of Trade Unions

Andrew Dettmer became a Safe Work Australia Member in November 2012. He is National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, and before this was State Secretary of the Queensland/Northern Territory Branch from 2003–12. Andrew has been campaigning for safe and healthy workplaces at both a national and state level since 1988.

Andrew has held a number of board positions, including QMI Solutions, the Queensland Training and Employment Recognition Council, and Construction Skills Queensland. He was also Chair of Manufacturing Skills Queensland, and a nominee of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency. Andrew is a board member of the Australia Institute, Industry Capability Network Limited, TAFE Queensland and of Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad—the ACTU’s overseas aid arm.

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Sophie Ismail—Australian Council of Trade Unions

Sophie Ismail is a Legal and Industrial Officer for the ACTU. Sophie has experience in a range of roles providing legal and policy advice and representation to unions, workers and governments on employment, governance, discrimination and workplace health and safety matters.

Sophie has a Bachelor of Arts/Law from the University of Queensland and is completing a Master of Employment and Labour Relations Law from the University of Melbourne. Prior to working at the ACTU, her roles included Principal Lawyer at the Victorian Department of Education, a Senior Associate at Holding Redlich Lawyers and Senior Legal Officer at the Attorney-General’s Department.

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James Pearson—Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

James Pearson has served as a Safe Work Australia Member since November 2016. He leads Australia’s largest and most representative business network and has held senior roles in federal and state governments, led corporate affairs for large public companies, and supported his partner in their small family business.

James has served as a diplomat and trade negotiator, representing Australia in Africa, the Pacific and China. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

James wants to make our country the best place in the world to do business, so that Australians have the jobs and opportunities to which they aspire.

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Tracey Browne—Australian Industry Group

Tracey Browne is Manager, National Safety and Workers’ Compensation Policy and Membership Services for the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group). Tracey commenced her tenure as a Member in 2018 but has represented Ai Group on all of the agency’s Strategic Issues Groups since their inception.

Before joining Ai Group Tracey held senior positions within the manufacturing sector in Human Resources, WHS and workers’ compensation. Tracey holds a Bachelor of Business (Personnel Management), Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hazard Management, and a Master of Applied Science in OHS.

In her role with Ai Group Tracey provides advice and training to employers in WHS and workers’ compensation, across all Australian jurisdictions, and brings her broad range of practical knowledge to her representation role at a national and jurisdictional level.

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Michelle Baxter—Chief Executive Officer, Safe Work Australia

Michelle was appointed CEO of Safe Work Australia on 1 November 2015 for a five-year term. She had held the role for the previous two years.

Michelle brings more than 20 years of public sector experience to her positions as a Member of Safe Work Australia and its subsidiary committees, as a Commissioner of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and the Commonwealth member on the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council.

She has worked in many senior roles across the APS including as Group Manager in the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), Group Manager responsible for agency change with the Fair Work Ombudsman and Group Manager, Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Taskforce with DEEWR.