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Our members

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 for Employment 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.

Diane Smith-Gander—Chair

Diane Smith-GanderDiane Smith-Gander is non-executive director of AGL Energy, Wesfarmers Limited, a board member of Keystart Loans, Henry Davis York, CEDA and the Chair of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council.

She has also held a wide range of non-executive roles including Chairman of Broadspectrum, Deputy Chairperson of NBNCo, non-executive director of the CBH Group, commissioner of Tourism WA and board member of the Committee for Perth.

Diane’s last executive role was Group Executive at Westpac, where she was a member of the leadership team after spending 10 years with the corporation. Before that she was a partner at McKinsey & Company in Washington and New Jersey; she became a senior advisor to McKinsey in Australia in 2016.

Diane has been active in sports administration and is herself a keen down-hill skier.

Diane has an MBA and economics degree, as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Economics from the University of Western Australia (UWA). She is a Fellow of the AICD and Governance Institute of Australia and an adjunct professor of corporate governance at UWA where she serves on the advisory board of the Business School.

New South Wales

The process for appointing a Member for New South Wales is currently underway.

Clare Amies—Chief Executive, Victoria

Clare AmiesClare was appointed Chief Executive of WorkSafe Victoria in June 2015. Before that she was the Chief Executive Officer of Western Region Health Centre and held several executive director roles at WorkSafe, which included the Insurance Business Unit and Health and Disability Strategy Group.

Clare has held senior management positions for the past 15 years in social welfare, health policy, return to work, operational management, strategy and planning.

Simon Blackwood—Queensland

Simon BlackwoodSimon is currently the Deputy Director-General for the Office of Industrial Relations within Queensland Treasury, where he is responsible for supporting improved WHS and electrical safety performance.

Simon’s previous roles included Executive Director of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and General Manager of Private Sector Industrial Relations. He has a PhD in sociology.

Dini Soulio—South Australia

Dini Soulio

Dini Soulio is the Acting Executive Director of SafeWork SA since February 2017. In addition to this, Dini is the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs and Liquor & Gambling with Consumer and Business Services since April 2014.

Dini’s background is as a solicitor in private practice working in the areas of insurance, worker’s compensation and criminal law. Dini was also the Manager, Border Enforcement, responsible for investigations and ship search teams at Australian Customs Service. Dini then joined the Australian Securities & Investments Commission where he had national responsibility for complaints, investigations and prosecutions dealing with matters ranging from scams to liquidator misconduct to director’s duties breaches to insolvent trading.

Dini has a background in law, consumer protection, corporate regulation, enforcement, change management and leadership.

Lex McCulloch—Western Australia

Lex McCullochLex McCulloch took up the position of WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner in February 2011 and has been in the Western Australian Public Sector since 1978. He has worked in a variety of locations and roles across the state including Derby, Kalgoorlie, Port Hedland and Perth.

Lex’s various roles have provided him with a range of experiences including leading restructuring processes, delivering on significant projects and leading service delivery units, all of which have aimed to improve the wellbeing of people in Western Australia.

Lex has a degree in social work.

Michael Young—ACT

Michael YoungMichael Young is a personal injury management professional with over 15 years’ experience in senior workers’ compensation and work safety regulatory roles.

He is currently the Executive Director Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, a division of the ACT Government’s Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate. In this capacity he is the senior ACT Government official responsible for the Territory’s industrial relations, workers’ compensation and work safety regulatory frameworks.


Martin Shirley—Tasmania

Martin ShirleyMartin joined WorkSafe Tasmania as Chief Executive in August 2013 after holding senior management positions for the past 20 years in industrial relations, operational management, strategy, planning and communications.

Before joining WorkSafe, Martin was Director of WorkCover Tasmania, where he was responsible for the strategic management of its operations as well as the directorate, health and safety, innovation and communications areas.

Martin is Tasmania’s Asbestos Compensation Commissioner, Secretary of WorkCover Tasmania and Tasmania’s Regulator of WHS.

Stephen Gelding—Northern Territory

Stephen GeldingStephen is currently the Executive Director of NT WorkSafe 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.

He is also the Work Health Authority, the Electricity Safety Regulator the Electricity Safety Regulator and the Chief Inspector under the Radioactive Ores and Concentrates (Packaging and Transport) Act.

Stephen is a member of the Workers’ Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council, as well as being the Chair of the NT Workers’ Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme Monitoring Committee, and a member of the Territory’s Inter-Agency Asbestos Management Working Group.

Justine Ross—Commonwealth

Justine RossJustine Ross is Manager of the WHS Policy Branch in the Department of Employment. Here she is responsible for policy development and advice on Commonwealth WHS, maritime workers’ compensation as well as WHS matters for Seacare, asbestos matters and workplace relations issues concerning the building industry.

Justine has held senior positions within the Australian Public Service, including as a Senior Executive Lawyer in the Workplace Relations Legal Group at the Department of Employment, where she advised on WHS, workers’ compensation, workplace relations in the building industry, the Coal Mining Long Service Leave scheme and Fair Work Commission Institution.

As manager of the then Harmonisation and Legal Services Branch at SWA, she led the harmonisation of WHS laws.

Justine is a deputy commissioner of the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.

Michael Borowick—Australian Council Trade Union

Michael BorowickMichael was elected ACTU Assistant Secretary in November 2010, where he had carriage of Occupational Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation policy.

He represents the ACTU as a member of the National Workplace Relations Consultative Council, SWA, Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Defence Reserves Support Council and the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council.

Before his current position, Michael was an official of the Australian Workers’ Union for 20 years, where he was the Victorian Branch Assistant Secretary and a member of the National Executive.

Michael started his working life as an electrician having started his apprenticeship in the building and construction industry.

Andrew Dettmer—Australian Council Trade Unions

Andrew DettmerAndrew Dettmer is National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, and before this was State Secretary of the Queensland/Northern Territory Branch from 2003–12. He has been an official of the union—at both national and state levels—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. 

He is currently on the board of Carbon Nexus, the Australia Institute and Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad—the ACTU’s overseas aid arm. 

James Pearson—Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

James PearsonJames was appointed to lead the business advocacy group the Australian Chamber in April 2016, after holding senior roles in the private and public sectors, including Shell Australia and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Western Australia.

As a diplomat, James represented Australia in Africa, the Pacific and China. He has also represented the petroleum industry in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

James has an MBA from Victoria’s Deakin University, an Honours Degree in Science from the University of Western Australia and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mark Goodsell—Australian Industry Group

Mark GoodsellSince 1999, Mark Goodsell has been Director of the Australian Industry Group in NSW. Before that he was an industrial relations adviser to industry. He holds degrees in economics and law.

Michelle Baxter—Chief Executive Officer, Safe Work Australia

Michelle BaxterMichelle was appointed Chief Executive Officer 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 SWA 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 Australian Public Service 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, COAG Taskforce with DEEWR.

Michelle has degrees in arts and law and is admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in the ACT.

Our agency

SWA is an Australian government statutory body established in 2008 to develop national policy relating to WHS and workers’ compensation.

We are jointly funded by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments through an Intergovernmental Agreement.

We are an inclusive, tripartite body—we work in partnership with governments, employers and employees—to drive national policy development on WHS and workers’ compensation matters. We work to:

  • coordinate and develop national policy and strategies
  • assist with the implementation of model WHS legislation and reform the legislative framework
  • carry out and publish research
  • collect, analyse and report data.

As a national policy body, we do not regulate WHS laws. The Commonwealth, states and territories retain responsibility for regulating and enforcing WHS laws in their jurisdictions.

A visual representation of the SWA organisation. SWA is split into 4 groups under the CEO supported by the Deputy CEO. 1st Performance and Culture. 2nd Hazards Branch, Occupational Hygiene Policy, Chemicals Policy and Technical Policy. 3rd Strategic Policy Branch, General WHS and Compensation Policy, Review and Evidence. 4th Enabling Services, Corporate, Communication and Engagement and Legal.

This site is undergoing constant refinement. If you have noticed something that needs attention or have ideas for the site please let us know.

Last modified on Tuesday 16 May 2017 [1586|50611]