In early August, the Safer Together team packed their bags for our Queensland Industry Safety Forum, the first of our Forums to be held in the LNG hub of Australia’s east coast, in Gladstone.  With three world-class LNG plants on Curtis Island that will be in operation for decades to come, Gladstone is key to our industry’s success.

The Event kicked off not with a bang but with a boat tour for our delegates, with Forum attendees separated into three groups early on Wednesday morning, one group visiting Shell QGC’s LNG Plant on Curtis Island, another visiting Santos’s GLNG Plant on Curtis Island and the third group conducting a vessel-based tour of the Port of Gladstone Harbour and the 3 LNG plants on the harbour.

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We would like to acknowledge the team at Shell QGC, Robyn, Krishna, Marilyn, Melissa and the rest of the team for arranging and hosting a visit to your LNG Plant, and Kylie, Akash, Rob, and Richard at Santos GLNG for arranging and hosting a visit to your LNG Plant. 

Delegates who were fortunate enough to grab one of the coveted seats for the above tours were treated to an exclusive and intimate look at a working LNG plant.

Thanks also go to Rob and the team at ConocoPhillips for providing informative commentary and excellent support materials for the Port of Gladstone barge tour.

And then to the Forum proper – with our 118 in-person attendees, (with even more streaming online) representing 36 Member Companies, and 8 non-member organisations, warmly welcomed by the polished and professional emcee Michelle Zaunbrecher (Vice President HSE and Business Transformation, Arrow Energy), who started by happily recognising that this was the first face-to-face regional Forum for our industry senior leaders in more than 3 years – making all in attendance more appreciative of the Event to come.


A welcome to country was delivered by Michael Eggmolesse. Michael is an Elder of the Bailai People representing the Port Curtis Coral Coast Native Title holders.

We then moved on to the meat and potatoes of the Forum, our presentations; first up with Godson Njoku (Senior Vice President East, Shell Australia) with his fabulous presentation ‘Turbulent Times Call for Collaborative Safety Leadership).  Godson’s timely presentation walked us through the traumatic events of the recent past – Covid and border closures amplifying skills shortages and weather events devastating communities, demonstrating the need for collaboration and strong leadership when it comes to safety industry-wide.

Following was Jamie McIntyre (Operations Manager, UGL) with his presentation: ‘Our People Are the Lifeblood of our Industry).  Our industry manages a mobile workforce, with this mobility defined not just by geographic mobility, but mobility between roles, companies and jobsites.  Jamie reminded us that by working together to improve safety for all, if we collaborate to develop and use common safety tools and consistent language, we stand a much better chance of embedding a strong safety culture across the entire industry – and we all benefit from that.  This allows us to consolidate, embed and continuously improve safety outcomes together.

Next up was our keynote speaker, Mr Richard Scaife (The Keil Centre) – who stepped us through the history and context of work of The Keil Centre, and reminding us all of the challenges we all face when it comes to safety.

Richard then dove deeper into the development process of The Keil Centres’ ‘Safety Behaviour Standards’ – including a Case Study of Woodside, who have implemented use of a behavioural standard as their basis for the improvement of safety culture in their company and demonstrated how using that standard showed a direct correlation with reduction in TRCF, the measurable outcomes evidenced via data.

Richard then took us on another deep dive; this time into the realm of Psychological Safety and trust - something we are rapidly becoming more aware of in our industry.  Richard took us through the ‘old’ and ‘new’ ways of determining Psychological Safety and behaviours that build trust.  Truly, a fascinating and informative presentation.

Following a short break, Dirk Faveere (Manager Downstream Operations APLNG, ConocoPhillips) came to the stage for his presentation ‘Strengthening Safety Culture by Embracing a Unified Approach’.  In Q1 0f 2022, the Safety Leaders Group (SLG) in both WA-NT and QLD endorsed The Keil Centre ‘Safety Culture Framework’ for use by Safer Together Members and agreed to develop Safer Together material to support its’ uptake across the Australian Oil and Gas Industry, and to incorporate it into various initiatives.

By doing this, the SLG recognises that a strong safety culture means better work practices, and better health and safety outcomes.  The SLG also adopted the framework in recognition that many smaller Member Companies don’t have the resources to develop their own safety culture frameworks, and the tools and training required from scratch – they can now access these resources via their Safer Together membership.

Hannah McConnell (Group Business Support Manager, Pro-Test Well Services) was next up with her presentation ‘Listening to our Workforce – a Case Study’.  Beginning with a case study of Pro-Test Well Services deployment of the Safety Culture Survey (SCS).  With around 50 employees, in 2021, Pro-Test used the SCS to do a safety ‘pulse check’ of their organisation.  On completion of the survey, Pro-Test realised the richness of the data they had captured could offer an insight into their most pressing need for improving safety outcomes – the need for training in how to have better safety conversations.

They logged in to the Safer Together website, and a brief search identified the best tool for the job – Safer Together ‘Effective Safety Conversations’ (ESC) training course.  The solution to the identified problem was already there; Pro-Test was able to engage their team and implement the ESC training across their workforce – a fantastic example of the SCS identifying a need, and the Safer Together website directing our Member Company to the tool that best suits that need.

‘Active Engagement – Making it Real’ was the title of the presentation of Duane Oxford (General Manager Maintenance and Industrial Services Eastern Region, Monadelphous).  Following on from Hannah’s presentation on the SCS, Duane walked us through the ‘puzzle’ of a mutually supportive safety framework, leading us onto the next segment of the Forum, our Deployment Case Study Sessions - with four different Member Companies’ walking attendees through their journey of deploying four different Safer Together tools.

  • At Booth A, Monadelphous walked members through their journey of deploying the Standardisation initiative, the Industry Safety Induction;
  • Booth B was UGL walking attendees through their deployment journey of Assist and Assure
  • Downer presented at Booth C, talked us through their experiences deploying the Major Sharing initiative Learning Event Bulletins, something enabling everyone in our industry to learn from each other;
  • Veolia presented our final Booth D, with their experiences deploying the Helping Hands Sharing initiative, helping instigate a broader discussion aimed at reducing the incidence of hand and finger injuries.


Closing out the day was Ewan Meldrum (Chief Executive Officer, Qteq and Contractor Co-chair of Safer Togethers’ Qld Safety Leaders Group).

Ewan walked attendees through the highlights of Safer Together for the first half of 2022, with the launch of the Fitness to Work Medical Assessment Guideline in WA/NT, the launch of the WA/NT Packaging, Handling and Movement of Material Specification, the establishment of a new project team focussing on Offshore Cranes and Lifting and the release of the updated Common Industry Competencies Specification.

Ewan then reminded attendees of the number of workshops, incident review panels and lunch and learn sessions Safer Together conducted in the first half of 2022 and pointed them in the direction of the live recording for these events available to Member companies on the Safer Together website.

Ewan, (with a little help from Jamie McIntyre) then reminded us why we were gathered in Gladstone: “one of the biggest things we can do as leaders is work to develop a culture in our industry that engages our people, keeps them here and keeps them safe” – we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

And with that, the formal portion of the Forum was completed, with attendees off for an informal social gathering at the Gladstone Yacht Club post-event.

We would like to acknowledge our Guest attendees at August’s forum:

We would also like to thank the small army of people who helped prepare the materials for, and deliver the Deployment Case Study booth sessions:

  • Monadelphous – Damian, David, and Tara 
  • UGL – Cory and Dan
  • Downer – David, Jack, and Jim
  • Veolia – Clint, Kyle, and David

 Thank you also to the fourteen SLG members (you know who you are!) who devoted a significant chunk of their working week to joining us in person in Gladstone, and in doing so leading by example in demonstrating senior line leadership commitment and visibility. 

We would also like to acknowledge Peter Masters (General Manager, Gladstone Engineering Alliance) and the team from the Gladstone Engineering Alliance for providing a base and logistical support for the Safer Together support team in the lead up to the forum.

To watch a full recording of the Industry Safety Forum click here.