Release type: Media Release


New Safe Work Australia Chief Executive Officer


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts

Ms Marie Boland has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia.

Ms Boland brings significant experience to the role, having completed the National Review of Australia’s model work health and safety laws in December 2018 – known as the Boland Review.

Prior to this Ms Boland was Executive Director of SafeWork SA from 2015 to 2017. 

Ms Boland’s considerable skills, knowledge and experience make her the perfect person to lead Safe Work Australia.

Her five-year term will begin on 1 November 2023.

The Albanese Labor Government is committed to safe workplaces for all Australians.

Safe Work Australia needs to be strong, trusted and independent. Ms Boland’s appointment will ensure that.

Safe Work Australia is the national policy setting body for matters relating to work health and safety and workers compensation. 

This includes developing, evaluating and – if necessary – revising national policies and supporting strategies to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia.

The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for Safe Work Australia’s day-to-day operations and overall management of the organisation including governance, financial accountability and reporting requirements. 

My thanks to Ms Michelle Baxter for her work and professionalism as Chief Executive Officer since 2015. Her term will end on 31 October 2023.


Ms Boland is currently conducting a review of the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner. 

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

Her previous experience includes:

  • Completed the 2022 Review of the Conduct of Work Health and Safety Prosecutions in the Australian Capital Territory.
  • The 2021 Inaugural Thinker in Residence at the University of South Australia's Psychosocial Safety Climate Global Observatory.
  • Completed an independent review of the South Australian local government sector's One System WHS Management System in December 2020.
  • Completed the National Review of the model work health and safety laws in December 2018 (Boland Review).

Ms Boland has previously held numerous executive roles at SafeWork SA, including Executive Director (2015–2017), Policy and Community Engagement Director (2010–2015), and Chief Policy Officer (2007–2010).

Before joining SafeWork SA, Ms Boland was an industrial officer with the Australian Services Union (2004–2005).

Ms Boland holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Master of Arts from University College, Dublin, and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Adelaide.