Appointment of Joanne Farrell as Chair of Safe Work Australia

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Joanne Farrell as Chair of Safe Work Australia for a three-year term, to commence 1 February 2022.

Safe Work Australia develops national policy to improve Work Health and Safety (WHS) and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia. Ms Farrell brings to the role a wealth of experience in industry and WHS, and will ensure that Safe Work Australia continues to make an important contribution to the safety of Australian workplaces.

The current chair, Ms Diane Smith-Gander AO, has been in the role since 2016. Throughout her term, Ms Smith-Gander has been a strong advocate for WHS in Australia’s workplaces. Ms Smith-Gander has, in chairing Safe Work Australia, brought together representatives of the states, territories, employers and employees to guide Safe Work Australia in its important work. This has included the guidance on working safely during the pandemic, implementing WHS Ministers’ response to the Review of the Model Work Health and Safety Laws, and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.

I congratulate Ms Farrell on her appointment and thank Ms Smith-Gander for her service over the past 6 years.

Biography – Joanne Farrell

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) and WA Museums, 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.

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