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Reappointment of Michelle Baxter as Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Media Release

I am pleased to announce the reappointment of Ms Michelle Baxter as Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia.

Over the last eight years, Ms Baxter has been a capable and diligent leader of Safe Work Australia, which leads national policy on work health and safety (WHS) and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia. One of Safe Work Australia’s key functions is to administer the model WHS laws, which have been adopted by most jurisdictions.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, National Cabinet agreed for Safe Work Australia to be the central source of WHS guidance on COVID-19 risks in the workplace. Safe Work Australia has worked extensively with its members, comprising representatives from the jurisdictions, employer groups and unions, as well as with other relevant agencies, to develop a substantial suite of guidance material for businesses and workers, tailored to 37 different industries.

Ms Baxter’s reappointment will maintain continuity in the governance of the agency to drive forward WHS issues of national importance including implementing recommendations from the Boland Review that were agreed by Commonwealth, state and territory WHS Ministers in May 2021.

I congratulate Ms Baxter on her reappointment. Ms Baxter’s new 2-year term will start on 1 November 2021.


Ms Baxter was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia in November 2013. Before her appointment, she was a senior executive in the Australian Public Service, and had managed the Asbestos Management Review, WHS and workers’ compensation matters, and the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner.

Ms Baxter is a member of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and a former member of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council and National Dust Disease Taskforce.

Ms Baxter holds Bachelors in Arts and Law from the Australian National University.