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 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.
Carmel Donnelly—New South Wales
Carmel Donnelly became the Acting Chief Executive of the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) in March 2017.
Carmel's previous roles include 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 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.
Clare Amies—Chief Executive, Victoria
Clare 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 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.
Appointment of the South Australian Member is currently underway.
Lex McCulloch—Western Australia
Lex 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 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.
Mark Cocker is the Acting Chief Executive of WorkSafe Tasmania. He has held senior management positions for the past 15 years in operational management, strategy, planning and regulatory roles. Mark joined WorkSafe Tasmania in 2015 as the Director of Industry Safety.
Prior to joining WorkSafe, Mark headed up the Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading and prior to this the Monetary Penalties and Enforcement Service, both within the Department of Justice. Mark is Tasmania’s Asbestos Compensation Commissioner, Secretary of WorkCover Tasmania Board and Tasmania’s Regulator of WHS.
Stephen Gelding—Northern Territory
Stephen 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 is Acting Group Manager of the WHS Policy Group in the Department of Employment. In her current role Justine is responsible for policy development and advice on Commonwealth WHS and workers’ compensation, maritime workers’ compensation and WHS matters (for the Commonwealth’s Seacare scheme), asbestos matters and workplace relations issues concerning the building industry (including on the reestablishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and Building Code).
Justine has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University and is currently undertaking a Master in OHS at the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation at Turin University. She is admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor in the ACT.
Justine has expertise in workplace relations law including WHS and workers’ compensation matters. Justine is deputy member of the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and the chair of SIG-Explosives.
Michael Borowick—Australian Council of Trade Unions
Michael 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 of Trade Unions
Andrew 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 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
Since 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 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.
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.