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.
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.
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 October 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).
Rose Webb—New South Wales
Rose 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 Gamming & Racing.
Immediately before taking up her current position Rose spent three and half 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 (ACCC) 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 (ASIC).
from 1991 to 2001.
Colin was appointed to Chief Executive of WorkSafe Victoria in November 2019. WorkSafe is responsible for preventing workplace injuries, supporting injured workers and managing insurance and compensation for both workers and employers.
Over Colin’s 25 year career working with and in the Victorian Public sector, he has held many senior roles including CEO of Victorian Management Insurance Authority, where he oversaw a major cultural and strategic transformation. He has previously served as an executive at WorkSafe and the TAC, has held senior roles in Ministerial offices, advising three Victorian Premiers and as Chief of Staff to a Cabinet Minister.
He 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 a Williamson Fellow, an IPAA Victoria Fellow and the Chairman of Kids Under Cover.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Jennifer Low—Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Jennifer is the Director, Work Health & Safety and Workers’ Compensation Policy at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). Jennifer acts as a leading 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 NICNAS Strategic Consultative Committee, Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, has served on the Agency’s Strategic Issues Groups since 2016 and has previously served as a member of the Worksafe WA Commission and Ministerial Advisory Panel Resources Safety WA.
Prior to working at ACCI, her roles included people and safety consulting, WHS and WC policy advisor, drug and alcohol research academic and human factors advisor.
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—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.
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.
- Chief Executive Officer Michelle Baxter