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 retired in early 2020 after a 40 year career in the mining industry holding executive roles in health, safety and environment along with communities and human resources.
Ms Farrell is currently a non-executive director at the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Western Operations) and the WA Museums, Deputy Chair of the QEII Medical Trust, Chair of Brightwater Care Group, 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 Department of Employment and Workplace Relations within the Workplace 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, the Head of SafeWork NSW and 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, 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 20 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.
Chief Executive Officer, WorkSafe Victoria
Colin was appointed CEO 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 executive and director roles across the government, for-purpose and private sectors. Immediately prior to becoming WorkSafe Chief Executive, Colin was CEO of the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, where he oversaw a major cultural and strategic transformation. His private sector leadership experience includes 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.
Recent board roles include as a non-executive director of the Transport Accident Commission, and as Chair of Kids of Under and the Defence Reserves Support Council.
A Graduate of Columbia Business School (New York) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Colin is 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.
Andrea Fox’s career has spanned the public sector in Queensland, as well as working for a non-government organisation and teaching in the university sector. Andrea is genuinely committed to the principles of collaborative policy design, knowing that enduring and effective policy solutions are only devised when crafted with those affected by them. She has policy making experience working with a diverse range of industries including WHS, industrial relations, vocational training, transport, energy, natural resources, and child protection reform.
Since 2017, Andrea has focused on WHS. She is the Queensland Member of Safe Work Australia and the Strategic Issues Group of Safe Work Australia, where she contributes to the national development of WHS policy. Andrea has also chaired a number of tripartite steering groups for collaborative policy development and regulation setting across construction, agriculture and psychosocial hazards.
Andrea is an advocate for reconstructing growth economics away from GDP and towards the reconciliation of economics with ecology. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Economics, as well as a Masters in Social Science (Economics) from the University of Queensland.
Glenn Farrell—South Australia
Glenn Farrell is the Executive Director at SafeWork SA.
His career began in mechanical engineering within the aerospace industry in England where he spent 15 years working for Rolls Royce, a manufacturer of industrial, commercial and defence jet aircraft engines.
Glenn’s move to Australia secured him a role at SafeWork SA and for the past 20 years has worked across all areas of the Regulator, developing and implementing successful processes and delivering successful enforcement outcomes.
His extensive experience in world class processes in the UK and operating in a regulatory environment, has enabled him to provide compliance, investigative, technical and educational support services to a variety of stakeholders and become the State’s WHS Regulator.
Glenn is South Australia’s representative at the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities and Safe Work Australia.
Robyn Pearce has been the Executive Director at WorkSafe Tasmania since March 2020.
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.
Peggy Cheong—Northern Territory
Peggy Cheong is the Executive Director of NT WorkSafe and is responsible for the regulation and administration of WHS, dangerous goods, electrical safety, and workers’ compensation and rehabilitation laws in the Northern Territory.
Peggy is an experienced litigation lawyer and accredited mediator, with nearly 30 years of substantial experience mostly in the areas of regulatory compliance, WHS, workers’ compensation, and employment law. She has held various roles within the Northern Territory legal sector, including as a long-time member and current president of the Council of the Law Society of the Northern Territory, a board member of the Darwin Community Legal Services Inc., and a volunteer at the Top End Women’s Legal Service. Prior to joining NT WorkSafe, she was the Deputy Chair of the NT Workers’ Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Committee.
Peggy holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Western Australia and a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Queensland. With her extensive experience and strong community focus, Peggy is pivotal in guiding the WHS systems in the Northern Territory.
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.
Liam O'Brien—Australian Council of Trade Unions
Liam O’Brien was re-elected as Assistant Secretary at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Congress in July 2021.
Before joining the ACTU Liam was the Victorian Assistant Secretary and National Vice-President of the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU). It was there where he fought for the rights of workers across the diverse range of industries that the AWU represents. As a national official he led the AWU’s work in the aluminium, aviation, glass and construction sectors.
As ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam is responsible for leading the movements policy, industrial and campaigning work on WHS and workers’ compensation matters. Liam is passionate about the rights of all workers to have safe, healthy and decent work, and is a Member of Safe Work Australia and the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council.
Liam is also responsible for the skills and VET portfolio at the ACTU and is a member of the Jobs and Skills Australia Consultative Forum.
He also holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics, with a major in Economics.
He is the proud father of 2 kids and lives in Melbourne’s west.
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 is Director, Health, Safety, Resilience & Digital Policy at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and has been employed by ACCI since 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 and international committee’s including: the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance; ASEA Non-governmental advisory committee; Business at OECD Health Committee; Standards Australia; the AICIS Strategic Consultative Committee and SWA’s Strategic Issues Groups for WHS and WC. She is also a member of Worksafe WA’s Commission for Occupational Safety and Health and an adviser on the 23rd World Congress National Advisory Committee and National Silicosis Prevention Strategy Expert Steering Committee.
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 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.