The Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (Cth) establishes Safe Work Australia and sets out how our tripartite Members are appointed.
There are 15 Safe Work Australia Members:
one independent Chair
one Member representing the Commonwealth
8 Members representing each state and territory
2 Members representing the interests of workers
2 Members representing the interests of employers, and
the CEO of Safe Work Australia.
Commonwealth, state and territory Members are nominated by and report to their respective WHS ministers. Members representing the interests of workers and employers are nominated by their corresponding authorised body. All nominated Members are appointed in writing by the Minister for Industrial Relations for a maximum term of 3 years.
The Safe Work Australia Act outlines the authority and voting arrangements of Members. Matters not relating to the model WHS legislation or model Codes of Practice are decided by a two-thirds majority of the votes of the voting Members present and voting. For matters relating to the model WHS legislation or model Codes of Practice, a decision is made by a two-thirds majority of the votes of the voting Members present and voting and a majority of the votes of all the voting Members who represent the Commonwealth, states and territories.
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 3 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 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 National Chairman of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia; a director of AGL Energy, Wesfarmers Limited and HBF Health Limited; a board member of the WA government-owned Keystart group of companies and the North Queensland Airports group of companies; and past president of Chief Executive Women.
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.
Jody Anderson – Commonwealth
Jody Anderson is a First Assistant Secretary at the Attorney-General’s Department within the Industrial Relations Group, and is also the Commonwealth representative of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.
Jody commenced these roles in 2018. Prior to this role, she held a number of senior executive positions within the portfolio, leading strategic policy and implementation.
Jody has over 20 years of industrial relations experience in the public service, including extensive international policy and representational experience, leading Australia’s engagement with the International Labour Organization for a number of years. She has also worked as an industrial relations practitioner in the Commonwealth and the ACT Public Service.
Jody has a Bachelor of Arts (Administration) (University of Canberra) and a Graduate Diploma in Employment Relations (University of Canberra).
Rose Webb – New South Wales
Rose Webb is the Deputy Secretary of the Better Regulation Division in the NSW Department of Customer Service. In this role she is NSW Fair Trading Commissioner and is also responsible for a number of other regulatory functions including SafeWork and Liquor and Gaming NSW.
Immediately before taking up her current position Rose spent 3½ years at the Hong Kong Competition Commission, where she was first Senior Executive Director and then CEO.
Between 2001 and 2008, and again between 2011 and 2014, Rose worked for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission including as NSW Regional Director and Executive General Manager for Mergers and Adjudication.
Rose has also worked in environmental regulation at the Commonwealth level and was at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission from 1991 to 2001.
Colin Radford – Victoria
Colin Radford was appointed Chief Executive of WorkSafe Victoria in November 2019. WorkSafe is Victoria’s occupational health and safety regulator and workplace injury insurer.
In a 30-year career working in and with the Victorian public sector, Colin has held many senior roles including most recently as CEO of the Victorian Management Insurance Authority, where he oversaw a major cultural and strategic transformation. He has previously served as an executive at WorkSafe and the Transport Accident Commission and has held senior roles in ministerial offices, advising 3 Victorian premiers and as Chief of Staff to a Cabinet minister.
He spent 7 years as a Partner at Deloitte, where he led the Victorian Government practice and was the National Public Sector Leader for Financial Advisory Services.
A graduate of Columbia Business School (New York) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Colin is also a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration and the Williamson Community Leadership Program. In 2019, Colin was recognised as Australia’s CEO Diversity Champion by the Australian Human Resources Institute.
Craig Allen – Queensland
Craig Allen is responsible for improving work health and safety and electrical safety performance through the regulatory framework and provision of services; regulatory responsibility and provision of policy advice on workers’ compensation matters; and supporting a productive industrial relations framework for the public sector in Queensland.
Craig has held senior management positions for more than 22 years in a government career spanning over 39 years. His previous roles include Commissioner for Public Employment for the Northern Territory Government; Assistant Director-General with the Department of Education, Training and Employment; and Executive Director for Corporate Services with the Department of Corrective Services in the Queensland Government.
Craig has a strong commitment to leading strategy that improves employee engagement, organisational performance and service delivery. In his current role he has a strong commitment to ensuring the work health and safety of all Queensland workers through the implementation of the Best Practice Review recommendations.
Darren Kavanagh – Western Australia
Darren Kavanagh is the WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner. He has more than 20 years’ experience in occupational safety and health across diverse high-risk industries. Prior to his current position he worked with the Estate and Infrastructure Group of the federal Department of Defence. In 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.
Darren previously served as a member of the WorkSafe Commission for a period of 4 years. He also served on the Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Board during this time.
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 Fellow and Chartered OHS Professional with the Safety Institute of Australia.
Mark Cocker – Tasmania
Mark Cocker was the Chief Executive of WorkSafe Tasmania and WHS Regulator, Asbestos Compensation Commissioner and Competent Authority for Dangerous Goods.
He has held senior positions in the Tasmanian Department of Justice for the past 30 years in operational management, strategy, planning and regulatory roles.
From March 2020, Tasmania was represented at meetings by Robyn Pearce, Acting Chief Executive of WorkSafe Tasmania.
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 in the health and community services sector of the Northern Territory Public Service.
Stephen is currently the Director Occupational Licensing and Policy at Licensing NT and retains Safe Work Australia Membership to ensure Northern Territory interests continue to be represented.
During the year, the Northern Territory was represented by Mel Garde as the Acting Executive Director of NT WorkSafe.
Michael Young – ACT
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 is a personal injury management professional with over 15 years’ experience in senior workers’ compensation and work safety regulatory roles. He plays an important role in delivering effective return to work and injury management services for the ACT Government.
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 to 2012. Andrew has been campaigning for safe and healthy workplaces at both a national and a state level since 1988.
Andrew has held a number of board positions, including with QMI Solutions, the Queensland Training and Employment Recognition Council, and Construction Skills Queensland. He was also Chair of Manufacturing Skills Queensland and an Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) nominee to the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency. Andrew is a board member of TAFE Queensland, The Australia Institute, and Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad – the ACTU’s overseas aid arm.
Sophie Ismail – Australian Council of Trade Unions
Sophie Ismail is a Legal and Industrial Officer for the ACTU. She 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 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.
Jennifer Low – Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Jennifer was appointed Director, Work Health & Safety and Workers’ Compensation Policy at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in 2017. She acts as an advocate for employers in the design, implementation and operation of Australia’s national and state legislative frameworks governing WHS and workers’ compensation.
Jennifer represents employers on a number of national committees including the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme Strategic Consultative Committee, the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance and Safe Work Australia’s Strategic Issues Groups for WHS and workers’ compensation. She has previously served as a member of the WorkSafe WA Commission and Ministerial Advisory Panel Resources Safety WA.
With primary qualifications in psychology and safety, prior to joining the ACCI, Jennifer worked as a people and safety consultant, WHS and workers’ compensation policy adviser, drug and alcohol research academic, and human factors adviser in the oil and gas sector. She is an Associate Member of the Australian Psychological Society.
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 in the manufacturing sector in human resources, WHS and workers’ compensation. She has a Bachelor of Business (Personnel Management), a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hazard Management, and a Master of Applied Science in Occupational Health and Safety.
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.
Michelle Baxter – Chief Executive Officer, Safe Work Australia
Michelle Baxter was appointed CEO of Safe Work Australia on 1 November 2015 for a 5-year term. She had held the role for the previous 2 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 as 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.