24 October 2023

Marie Boland appointed next CEO of Safe Work Australia

| Travis Radford
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Marie Boland AO will be the next Safe Work Australia CEO. Photo: Marie Boland.

Marie Boland AO has been appointed as the next CEO of national work health and safety and workers’ compensation policy-setting body, Safe Work Australia.

Ms Boland, who has conducted numerous reviews and held various executive positions over a career spanning decades, will begin her five-year term as CEO on Wednesday, 1 November.

She is currently conducting a review of the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner and has helmed several others, including the 2018 national review of Australia’s model work health and safety laws, the 2022 review of the conduct of ACT work health and safety prosecutions, and the 2020 independent review of the South Australian local government sector’s work health and safety management system.

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Ms Boland is also currently the presiding officer of the Construction Industry Long Service Leave Board and offers independent workplace relations consultancy services.

In 2021, she was named the inaugural Thinker in Residence at the University of South Australia’s world-first observatory, which measures the psychosocial safety climate of workplaces.

She also brings extensive executive experience to her new role, having spent more than a decade as the senior executive of SafeWork South Australia, including two years as its executive director.

Before joining SafeWork SA, Ms Boland was an industrial officer with the Australian Services Union. Her alma maters are the University College, Dublin, and the University of Adelaide.

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Federal Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke said Ms Boland’s considerable skills, knowledge and experience made her the perfect person to lead Safe Work Australia.

He said the Federal Government was committed to safe workplaces for all Australians and that Ms Boland’s appointment would ensure Safe Work Australia remained strong, trusted and independent.

The organisation is responsible for developing, evaluating and – if necessary – revising national policies and supporting strategies to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia.

As CEO, Ms Boland will be responsible for day-to-day operations and overall management of the organisation, including governance, financial accountability and reporting requirements.

Mr Burke thanked current Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter for her work and professionalism since taking up the role in 2015. Her term will end on Tuesday, 31 October.

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