Joanne Farrell new Chair of Safe Work Australia

Safe Work Australia

Thursday, 17 February, 2022

Joanne Farrell new Chair of Safe Work Australia

Joanne Farrell has commenced as Chair of Safe Work Australia for a three-year term.

She joins Safe Work Australia after a 40-year career in the mining industry. Farrell’s most recent role was Managing Director Australia and Group Executive, Health, Safety and Environment at Rio Tinto.

She 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.

Farrell holds a Bachelor degree in Science (Psychology and Economics) from the University of Western Australia. She 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.

Previous Safe Work Australia Chair Diane Smith-Gander AO had been in the role since 2016. Throughout her term, Smith-Gander was a strong advocate for WHS in Australia’s workplaces. She 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’ responses to the Review of the Model Work Health and Safety Laws, and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.

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