Bill's Media Releases

Ann Sherry new Chair of Safe Work Australia

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten today congratulated Ann Sherry AO on her appointment as the new Chair of Safe Work Australia.

 Currently the Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Australia, the largest cruise ship operator in Australasia, Ms Sherry has been appointed to this part time position for three years.

 “Ms Sherry brings a wealth of experience to work health and safety and workers’ compensation through many years as a leader in Australian business,” Mr Shorten said.

 “In 2004 Ms Sherry was awarded an Order of Australia for her contribution to the Australian community through corporate management policies and practices that embrace gender equity, social justice and work and family partnerships – a great achievement.”

 She will replace outgoing Safe Work Australia Chair Mr Tom Phillips AM, who oversaw the establishment of SWA and development of the model work health and safety laws.

 “I’d like to thank Tom Phillips AM for his contribution at such a critical stage of implementing model work health and safety laws,” Mr Shorten said.

 “Years of hard work by Safe Work Australia have resulted in work health and safety laws that reduce red tape and deliver safer workplaces, complemented by nationally consistent compliance and enforcement policy.”

“These arrangements have now been adopted in the Commonwealth and almost every Australian state or territory.”

 “For the first time in Australia’s history, almost two-thirds of Australian workers are now receiving the benefits afforded by harmonised work health and safety laws.”

 Ms Sherry will help drive the implementation and review of the model work health and safety laws, particularly by providing guidance for business in general and small business.

 She will also work with other Safe Work Australia Members to implement the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 and improve workers’ compensation arrangements.

 Safe Work Australia is the national body leading the development of policy to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia.

 It is made up of an independent Chair, 13 members (nine members representing the Commonwealth and each state and territory, two representing the interests of workers, two representing the interests of employers) and the Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia.

 Ms Sherry’s appointment is effective immediately.

 Further information on Safe Work Australia and a biography on Ms Sherry are available at

 Mr Shorten’s Media Contact: Sam Casey — 0421 697 660