SWA has 15 members including:
an independent Chair
nine members representing the Commonwealth and each state and territory
two members representing the interests of workers
two members representing the interests of employers
the Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia.
Members are nominated by their respective Minister or organisation and appointed by the Commonwealth Minister with responsibility for work health and safety matters for a three-year period. Safe Work Australia Members must meet at least three times each financial year and fulfil their functions as set out in the Safe Work Australia Act 2008.
Joanne Farrell – Chair
Ms Joanne Farrell joins Safe Work Australia after a 40 year career in the mining industry. Ms Farrell’s most recent role was Managing Director Australia and Group Executive, Health, Safety and Environment at Rio Tinto.
Ms Farrell is currently a non-executive director at the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Western Operations), WA Museums, the QEII Medical Trust and a member of the Senate of the University of Western Australia.
Ms Farrell holds a Bachelor degree in Science (Psychology and Economics) from the University of Western Australia. Ms Farrell also holds a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Curtin University and has senior management qualifications from the Australian Graduate School of Management and the London Business School.
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, Jody 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 (ILO) 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).
Natasha Mann—New South Wales
Natasha is the Deputy Secretary of the Better Regulation Division in the NSW Department of Customer Service and is also the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner.
In this role, Natasha is responsible for an extensive portfolio of regulatory functions in place to protect and support businesses and communities in NSW. This includes NSW Fair Trading, SafeWork NSW, Liquor & Gaming NSW, Office of Racing, Office of the Registrar General, Professional Standards Authority, Long Service Corporation and Subsidence Advisory NSW.
Natasha is an experienced regulator and public policy advisor with over 18 years’ experience leading significant regulatory and public policy reform in the NSW public sector. She has held various senior leadership roles across the government sector in the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, the NSW Department of Premier & Cabinet, NSW Health and the NSW Privacy Commission.
Natasha holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney.
Colin 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, has held senior roles in Ministerial offices, advising three Victorian Premiers and as Chief of Staff to a Cabinet Minister.
Colin spent seven 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 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 with 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 within 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. Darren 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 Federal Department of Defence – Estate and Infrastructure Group. With his ten 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 four 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.
Robyn Pearce has been the Executive Director at WorkSafe Tasmania since March 2020. Prior to taking up this role, she was Director Industry Safety at WorkSafe Tasmania from June 2018, responsible for advisory, licensing, compliance and enforcement services.
Robyn’s pathway to WorkSafe Tasmania was through strategic human resource management and industrial relations in the public sector, with a focus on electricity supply and emergency services. Robyn led the introduction of strategic work health and safety frameworks in Tasmania Fire Service and chaired the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Work Health and Safety Group. Robyn was the industry lead end user for the occupational health and safety research program for the inaugural Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre.
Robyn’s particular interest and passion lies in leveraging organisational behaviour to achieve safer workplaces for industry and workers through positive and collaborative working relationships.
Bill Esteves—Northern Territory
Bill Esteves commenced as the Executive Director of NT WorkSafe in June 2020 and was appointed a Member of Safe Work Australia in November 2020. Bill is the Northern Territory Work Health Authority and is responsible for the regulation and administration of work health and safety, dangerous goods, electrical safety, and workers’ rehabilitation and compensation laws.
Prior to taking on this role, Bill worked for nearly two decades gaining valuable experience in areas related to regulatory compliance, such as prosecutions, litigation, inquiries, change and performance management, policy development, and health and safety. He has held various executive roles and led many milestone projects such as Queensland’s Greyhound Commission of Inquiry, and Queensland’s Independent Review of the Taxi Industry in response to disruption from Uber. He was the Head of Investigations for the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and chaired a national investigation and safety group.
With significant experience in best practice duties based legislation, Bill is committed to improving workplace safety, and is well-placed to represent the Northern Territory as a Member. Bill has a Diploma in Public Safety, Graduate Certificate in Management, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Masters in Leadership, Masters in Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws degree.
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.
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 an ACTU nominee to the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency. Andrew is a board member of TAFE Queensland, The Australia Institute and of Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad—the ACTU’s overseas aid arm.
Deborah Vallance —Australian Council of Trade Unions
Deborah Vallance is the Senior WHS Policy Officer at the ACTU, after having previously worked for many years at the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union in a similar role. She has represented the Australian union movement on health and safety at state, national and international levels. She also has experience in government, research and health settings.
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. Jennifer 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 committee’s including the AICIS Strategic Consultative Committee, Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance and SWA’s Strategic Issues Groups for WHS and WC. 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 ACCI, Jennifer worked as a people and safety consultant, WHS and WC policy advisor, drug and alcohol research academic and as a human factors advisor in the oil and gas sector. Jennifer 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 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.
Michelle Baxter PSM—Chief Executive Officer, Safe Work Australia
Michelle Baxter PSM has been the CEO of Safe Work Australia since 2015. Michelle brings more than 30 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 a member of the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities, Heads of Workers’ Compensation Authorities, National Dust Disease Taskforce, Respect@Work Council, and G20 Occupational Safety and Health Expert Network.
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.
Michelle received a Public Service Medal (Federal) at the 2022 Australia Day honours, for outstanding public service to the health and safety of Australian workplaces and the community, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.