Awards Finalists

  • AWARD 1: Australian WHS Champion (CEO) of the Year
    • Less than 1,000 employees
    • Greater than or equal to 1,000 employees
  • AWARD 2: Australian WHS Leader of the Year
    • Less than 1,000 employees
    • Greater than or equal to 1,000 employees
  • AWARD 3: Australian WHS Emerging Leader of the Year
  • AWARD 4: Australian HSR of the Year


  • AWARD 6: Australian WHS Team of the Year
  • AWARD 7: Best WHS Health & Wellbeing Program
  • AWARD 8: Best WHS Learning & Professional Development Program
  • AWARD 9: Best WHS Technology Initiative

Award 1: Australian WHS Champion (CEO) of the Year

The Australian WHS Champion (CEO) of the Year Award recognises CEOs who have made an outstanding contribution to building workplace health & safety as a priority within their organisation – both role modelling excellence in workplace health & safety and championing workplace health & safety initiatives and programs in their organisations

CEO, Managing Director, Executive Director, or equivalent who hold the most senior role in their organisation.
There are two awards for this category:

  1. Australian WHS Champion (CEO) of the Year - Less than 1,000 employees
  2. Australian WHS Champion (CEO) of the Year - Greater than or equal to 1,000 employees

Less than 1,000 employees

Andriy Kotykhov 


Andriy Kotykhov has been CEO since March 2020. Andriy is an Electrical and Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years of industry experience in the mining, oil and gas sector. Andriy has extensive experience in condition monitoring and the management of condition based maintenance regimes.

Andriy has been with machinemonitor® since 2012, Andriy has held the position of Regional Manager for the Queensland region, moving into Chief Operations Officer (COO), building and leading a strong engineering team before being appointed CEO.

Implementing a strong safety culture which is embedded in every activity undertaken by machinemonitor®.

Caleb Leeming

BlueScope Steel

Operations Manager at the ‘Hub’ is part of BlueScope Distribution Business which is part of BlueScope Steel - Australian Steel Products. Through Caleb’s guidance & 'lead by example' style of leadership, the new team has developed the culture that produces a team that hasn't had any MTI's/LTI's or any serious incidents. Caleb's employment strategy deliberately included a diverse workforce with no exposure to the steel industry. This also included inbuilt culture of excellent 'near miss' reporting & a 'looking out for each other' family attitude.

Greater than 1,000 employees

Rod Henderson


Rod recognised the need for a significant step change, Ampcontrols HSEQ performance had plateaued. EY were engaged to conduct a baseline assessment and identified that Ampcontrol had ‘basic’ or ‘developing’ maturity levels across the business. Rod sponsored and supported to need to uplift the organisations cultural maturity and engaged EY to co-design and deliver a leading behavior change program to drive a progression in maturity. This was coupled with a number of internal initiatives to support employees and embed program learnings, which have all contributed to the success of the program to date.

Fiona Notley

Curtin University

Fiona is a Senior Tertiary Sector Executive with 20 years’ experience in diverse roles. She has a profound understanding of university academic, research and administrative mechanisms, policies and constraints. Fiona has an established record as a leader and change agent who collaborates with all levels within an organisation to transform and simplify processes while delivering bottom line measurable benefits. An inspirational leader with a passion for safety and people development, she has a track record of recruiting and retaining great staff and a demonstrated ability to motivate teams to produce exceptional results and work in a highly complex environment.

Award 2: Australian WHS Leader of the Year

The Australian WHS Leader of the Year Award recognises WHS leaders who actively demonstrate exceptional WHS competencies and behaviours through their commitment to the profession and achievement of WHS outcomes that are effectively aligned to strategic outcomes.


This award is designed for WHS professionals who hold the most senior WHS position in the organisation or the most senior WHS position in a unit/division

There are two awards for this category:

  1. Australian WHS Leader of the Year - Less than 1,000 employee
  2. Australian WHS Leader - Greater than or equal to 1,000 employees

Less than 1,000 employees

Samantha Boarder


The Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Manager (Samantha Boarder) has in her first 2 years;

  • created, wrote and established a safety management system
  • implemented document controls
  • brought face to face and online training into business
  • created monthly safety reports with lead indicators
  • simplified safety reporting and communications
  • reduced TRIFR and LTIFR to zero, first time in company history
  • developed in house training for community VET students to help them learn key safety skills to become more employable
  • championed women roles in safety for manufacturing and won the State Woman of Excellence in Manufacturing Award in 2022

Ellie Bowden


Ellie is recognized by all, not only the immediate team but also the client, as a crucial and pivotal member of project processes. When discussing with client representatives from Transport for New South Wales, it can be understood the scale of Ellie’s outstanding contribution is visible across all aspects of project delivery. “Ellie has, and continues to, play a critical role not just with the day to day activities but more importantly the ad hoc situations where someone needs to step up and be relied upon. “ – Matt Swanson (Health and Safety Partner, TfNSW).

Lex Hanegraaf

Built Environs

My role as Health & Safety, Environment and Quality Manager, Built Environs, extends well into the wider industry as I have been the Chairperson for the SA Construction Safety Alliance since 2018, a member since 2016, and also a member of the Victoria Construction Safety Alliance since 2020.


As the corporate H&S lead for Built Environs, my role is to set the H&S strategy withing the organisation in consultation with the H&S professional who I support.

Tony Karamatic

ALBEM Operations 

As a safety Manager for over 10 years, Tony has a strong passion for safety, and this has been seen particularly in the area of training and development. Due to this commitment his efforts have resulted in formal recognition receiving the Civil Contractors Federation “Outstanding Commitment to Training” award for 2023 & Tony was also recognised by Department of Small Business & education as the state winner of the prestigious Bob Marshman Trainee of the year and a finalist at the National level.

Mel Pollock

Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure

Mel Pollock is Abergeldie's General Manager Health & Safety. Since joining Abergeldie in late 2021, she has raised the bar of HSE expectation and delivery, challenged and supported our operational teams to be better, reeducated the business on contemporary safety practices, developed effective relationships with our clients, developed our first Safety Strategy; and supported the HSE team to develop and grow rapidly in line with successfully delivering on the new strategy.

Greater than 1,000 employees

Wade DeManiel


Wade DeManiel has dedicated his career to safety. Working for Australia’s two largest supermarket chains, Wade established himself as a dedicated and passionate safety professional.

Moving from retail to transport three years ago, CouriersPlease recruited Wade as a compliance officer. In 2022, he was promoted to the WHS management role, tasked with honing and rolling out new safety programs. He is currently completing a Diploma in Health and Safety with Occupational Health Services Austra

Chanel Nesci


Over the last three years, Chanel has built a cohesive and dedicated central Wellbeing Health and Safety team, and developed them to be a highly efficient, innovative team that are multi-disciplinary in nature. This combined with her background in psychology has enabled her to lead the team through several changes, structuring a best practice method to support our people, and excel, particularly in psychological health and safety. Her leadership has facilitated the establishment of several market-leading pieces of work, such as Bupa’s Suicide Prevention Strategy, and the organisational approach to managing psychosocial risks.

Tanya Pelja


Tanya Pelja is a Health and Safety professional with close to 20 years of expertise in the management of large teams in Government and Private sector organisations. Through vision and innovation, Tanya has led industry best practice in her workplace and stayed abreast of the latest thought leadership in Health and Safety. Tanya has introduced enterprise-wide safety programs and culture, achieved strong safety outcomes for her colleagues, and she has contributed to her peers through industry presentations. Stakeholder engagement is a key strength of Tanya's, whereby she brings together employees, management, clients and vendors for the goal of staying safe.

Mike Verheyen

Mondiale VGL

Mike is an experienced WHSEW professional with 20 years of experience in petroleum, food processing, building manufacturing, warehousing and freight forwarding industries.

Mike has a Post Graduate Diploma in OHSE Management. His career achievements include implementing behavioural change, and accountability of leaders with a key focus on risk management within WHSE systems. Mike is passionate about safety, and this is demonstrated in his approach to implementing change within an organisation, placing ‘people’ at the centre of developed and implemented strategies to meet key Organisational objectives. In Mike’s personal life, he is committed to his family and enjoys travelling and camping.

Award 3: Australian WHS Emerging Leader of the Year

The Australian WHS Emerging leader of the Year Award recognises WHS professionals who strive to demonstrate exceptional WHS competencies and behaviours through their commitment to the profession and achievement of WHS outcomes that are effectively aligned to business needs.

This award recognises that leaders influence others, commit to their own and others’ personal development, have strong ‘people building’ skills and see possibilities through the introduction of innovative practices.


This award is designed for WHS professionals who have a minimum of 5 years’ experience.

Aaron Boyes

Altius Group

Aaron, a visionary in the health and safety industry, spearheaded the launch of WHS Consultancy Services in 2018. In just a few years, Altius Group has partnered over 200 organisations, assisting them in creating safer and healthier workplaces.

Recently, Aaron led the integration of WHS Specialists and Organisational Psychologists, elevating Altius Group's services to new heights. With a combined skill set and holistic approach, the team can provide evidence-based solutions to mitigate psychosocial risks effectively.

Dr. Tristan Casey

Queensland University of Technology

Dr Tristan Casey works at the nexus of theory and practice, working nationally and internationally to advance the status and knowledge base supporting the WHS profession. Dr Casey is a seasoned 'pracademic' who is growing in reputation and impact through an applied program of safety research

Ally Orr

Endeavour Energy

Ally has been nominated for this award not due to a single achievement (although there are many) but for the way in which Ally goes about everything that she does. Ally is engaging, caring, innovative, brave, driven, and supportive in all the interactions and work that is undertaken. Ally is a leader in her craft.

Ally has worked across the business in the Health & Safety team, HSE Analytics and Innovation, Psychosocial and Physical Wellness fields.

Award 4: Australian HSR of the Year

The Australian HSR of the Year Award recognises HSRs who have made a positive contribution through consultation and communication and who can demonstrate an ongoing commitment to workplace health & safety.


To be eligible for this award the applicant must be working/volunteering in a HSR role for an organisation/community association and be able to demonstrate how WHS is a part of their role and how they have worked at improving WHS. The applicant must have undertaken a legislative HSR qualification for the jurisdiction.

Joe Cox 

Townsville City Council

HSR has raised the hazard of needing to enter a confined space to remove blockages in the inlet ducting inside the hopper of street sweeper trucks. The organisation has achieved a retro-fit ducting design which eliminates the chance of blockage and consequently the need for the vehicle to be taken out of service and the safety hazards associated with performing confined space entry work.

Tristan McSwain

Keolis Downer, proud operator of Yarra Trams

Tristan McSwain is a HSR for Yarra Trams representing the Tram Driver workgroup at the Tram Hub Depot. He plays a proactive role as an employee representative for workplace safety, along with large involvement in project work and innovation safety improvements.

Desmond Thompson

Keolis Downer, proud operator of Yarra Trams

Desmond Thompson is an HSR for Yarra Trams, representing the Customer Service Experience (CSE) workgroup. He plays an active role not only as an employee representative for workplace safety but is also leading work that strives to make the Yarra Trams’ workplace a more inclusive environment for employees and passengers.

Award 6: Australian WHS Team of the Year

The Australian WHS Team of the Year award recognises excellence in developing and implementing an innovative WHS Program that has improved/built a strong Health & Safety culture and has resulted in improvements in your organisation.

This award is designed for WHS Teams that demonstrate a collegial and synergistic approach to excellence in initiatives and strategies that facilitate positive change.

Airservices Australia 

Work Health & Safety Assessments Team

The Airservices Australia Work Health and Safety Assessments Team has provided exceptional safety leadership through an unprecedented period of organizational transformation. This small team of four has ensured that the safety impacts of over 200 projects have been considered and minimised through design and implementation addressed. The challenges include aging infrastructure, new construction in sensitive operational environment, asbestos, eliminating the need for high-risk work, electrical hazards, and many more in a 24/7/365 aviation business.

Ampcontrol Ltd.

Live & Work Better 

Live Work Better is the most exciting and significant program ever undertaken in our collective cultural transformation to become a better, safer Ampcontrol. The psychology-based program challenges how we think and act and provides new concepts and tools to shift toward a culture of shared responsibility, ownership, and positive Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality (HSEQ) outcomes. From 2019 to date we have seen significant improvement in H&S performance, and our maturity assessment scores.

Communities at Work 

WHS team

Our program has cemented knowledge, support and strength across a 600 + person organisation. Lead by by the WHS manager and supported by the Risk and compliance co ordinator the team have built and implemented a WHS internal regulatory framework audit to lift compliance, harmonise work areas and built a safe and strong workforce.

Hansen Yuncken

WHS Team

The successful delivery of our Roadmap to Greater Success 3-year HSEQ Strategy has been the result of the dedication of 39 highly capable Safety Professionals spanning five States of operation. The company-wide shift in thinking and innovative ways of managing safety has shown benefit not only within our broader business but into the industry.

Mitchell Services

Human and Organisational Resilience and Critical Risk Management: A Sustainable Strategy for Improving Workplace Safety"

Mitchell Services faced challenges managing various systems while managing high-risk activities. The team implemented H.O.P. philosophies and a critical risk management system, collaborated with its HSE software provider, and adopted new technologies to immerse leaders in operational areas. The initiative resulted in better critical risk controls, improved standardisation, and a focus on adaptions at work. Shared globally, this sustainable change became a key strategy resulting in a reduction in injuries and improved psychological safety.

Water Group | Water Infrastructure NSW

WHS team

The Water Infrastructure division was established in 2020 and its was quickly recognised that the systems available were not fit for purpose due to the high-risk nature of developing and delivering major water infrastructure projects. With minimal resources and while prioritising the development and implementation of suitable safety management system - the team was also asked to assist in addressing findings of the 2022 People Matters Employee Survey (PMES) in relation to psychosocial safety.

Award 7: Best WHS Health & Wellbeing Program

This Award recognises outstanding strategies and initiatives that promote and embed good health and wellbeing of the workforce.

These organisations can demonstrate their commitment to workforce health and wellbeing showing how they make it an organisational priority, and embed health and wellbeing in the organisational plans, policies and processes. They are also able to show the direct impact on the organisation and its business objectives and on the health and wellbeing of its employees.


'Viva Healthier and Happier' - Bupa Asia Pacific’s Integrated Safety and Wellbeing program

Bupa Asia Pacific launched two key initiatives aimed at promoting employee safety and wellbeing. These included a WHS Framework that aligns Bupa's practices with global standards, and a multi-million dollar investment towards enhancing employee health and wellbeing. These measures were implemented to minimise harm to employees and demonstrate Bupa's commitment to creating a healthy work culture.

Endeavour Engery

Designing Out Musculoskeletal Risk in Overhead Switching 

The Overhead Switching group originally established in 2018 was tasked with reducing the long term musculoskeletal impact of using Link Sticks on the Electrical Network. Significant risk reduction was achieved as part of this work including complex network design modifications. Phase 2 commenced in 2023 and has been tasked with utilizing newer technology, expanding the working group to other Distribution Network Service Providers, and targeting three defined areas; Network Design, Work Practice, and Human Resilience.


2022 Victorian Flood Recovery Program

The Flood Recovery Program was designed to provide individual and organisational strategies to support the psychological health and safety of members post October 2022. The outcome was able to provide on the ground wellbeing support and reward and recognition to members who participated in the flood response, improve mental health literacy through training and psychological health and safety across the organisation, while expanding current supports in a sustainable and future focused way.


Wellbeing at Xero- Time Well Spent

Xero developed an intervention that benefited worker wellbeing and productivity, and helped meet legislative responsibilities.

What was equally impressive about this program was the fact it was fun, being the most engaging program ever rolled out internally.

Award 8: Best WHS Learning & Professional Development Program

This Award recognises outstanding WHS learning and professional development initiatives, programs and or strategies that have been implemented by the organisation to develop its current and future WHS employees and to effectively equip them to achieve the organisations WHS objectives.

These organisations can demonstrate how the development of their WHS team effectively builds WHS capability, drives business performance and prepares both the WHS employees and the organisation for the future.

Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure

ACI HSW Team Learning and Development Program

Through the WHS L&D Program we have been able to achieve a refocused and reeducated HSE team to deliver on the newly created/implemented Safety Strategy. From high level resistance to having a strategy, to one year later being the owners/defenders of the strategy has been substantial and rapid change.

Level Crossing Removal Project

Removing Barrier to Knowledge Development and Retention for Migrant Workers Using 7taps Microlearning

On behalf of the Victorian Government, the Level Crossing Removal Project is removing 110 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne by 2030. The Western Program Alliance (WPA) comprises McConnell Dowell, Arup, Mott MacDonald, Metro Trains Melbourne and V/Line.

Language barriers and time constraints in business-as-usual activities hinder critical learning of safe work processes. The 7taps Microlearning platform delivers training sessions without overwhelming the learner and empowers workers to retain knowledge critical to their safety.

Major Road Projects Victoria 

The MRPV Civil Construction Safety Cadetship Program 

The Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) Civil Construction Safety Cadetship program is a paid employment and training program within the Victorian Government’s Major Transport Infrastructure Authority’s (MTIA) Big Build infrastructure projects that are delivered by numerous leading global construction companies. This program is an accelerated, non-traditional, entry-level pathway to becoming a safety practitioner.

Sydney Trains 

SEQR Service Delivery Masterclass Program

The SEQR Masterclass Program has fostered an environment conducive to workplace engagement, creativity, and productivity. Through the program, participants have learned and developed skills that foster better stakeholder relationships, communication channels, accountability, and self-development, enabling them to take ownership of their workplace interactions and promoting greater productivity.


Safe Way Everyday Program

The Safe Way Every Day Program is a ground-breaking initiative that is a first for the mining sector across Australia. It looks at safety through the lens of combining human psychology, robust governance, and high reliability principles to change behaviour and culture across our operations. This initiative has the commitment from our Owners, Board, Senior Leadership and all employees. This initiative has empowered our workforce to make critical decisions in relation to workplace health & safety.

Award 9: Best WHS Technology Initiative

The Best WHS Technology Initiative Award recognises the outstanding use of technology solutions to connect and empower employees to address WHS challenges and achieve positive outcomes.

The award focusses on the ways in which organisations use technology to solve WHS problems and connect and empower key stakeholder groups.

This award enables organisations and their WHS technology providers to partner in submitting an application in this category.


Using Technology to Measure and Impact Safety Leadership and Culture at Amazon

Unvarnished feedback about safety from employees and front-line managers alike is crucial to continuous improvement. We invented the Safety Leadership Index in 2018 to measure employee and leader perceptions of safety and maintain a pulse on those closest to our safety practices. In 2022, through the Safety Leadership Index, we engaged over 1.4 million operations employees across over 3,300 sites in 34 countries. Globally, 87% of employees reported feeling they worked in a safe workplace.

Endeavour Energy

Small Wearables with Big Impact

Wearable technology, AI, and machine learning have transformed operations at Endeavour Energy. Real-time data and non-invasive biofeedback from wearables provide our workforce with the tools to empower them to prioritize self-care and prevent injury. In collaboration with Soter Analytics, we implemented manual handling wearable devices, promoting safe movements and enhancing overall work quality.


Precision Reactionless Bolting System

The TopTorqueTM Precision Reactionless Bolting System uses reaction-tip bolts and counterrotating drivers to internally react the torque applied to a nut and bolt. This increases the safety and efficiency of using powered torque wrenches by removing the requirement for a reaction arm, providing a safer and much more accurate alternative to impact wrenches. Neither the operator nor the surrounding structure is exposed to the forces and torques required to install and/or remove the bolted assembly.

Enviroculture Maintenance Services

Enviroculture Maintenance Services has been providing grounds and landscape maintenance in Newcastle, Central Coast, and Hunter Valley regions since 1999. Our experienced team offers efficient, quality, and cost-effective services, tailored to meet clients' needs. Our HSEQ systems are certified to comply with ISO45001, ISO9001, and ISO14001, ensuring the safety of our people and the environment while delivering high-quality service. This initiative has propelled us as industry leaders with the edge to meet all customer needs.

Global Safety Index (GSI)

Established in 2013, GSI was the world’s first integrated measurement and benchmarking tool for organisations to measure their Safety Culture, Safety Leadership and Mental Health Literacy. The tool is now in use by organisations globally and in multiple languages.

University of Newcastle – College of Engineering, Science and Environment

NU Isolator

The NU Isolator is a cost-effective, scalable and modular system to manage access to equipment at the University of Newcastle, which has been developed in response to the challenges posed by the number of staff students and equipment used on campus.