Industry Safety Leaders of the Queensland Chapter of Safer Together gathered in Brisbane in June to talk safety.  Themed ‘Safer Together:  Then.  Now.  Next?’, and with 2024 heralding the first year of Safer Together’s next planning horizon, the event kicked off a conversation about where Safer Together should be heading in 2024 and beyond.

Kicked off by our terrific MC Danielle Leray (MTTF Trials Execution Lead – Supply & Technology – Integrated Gas, Origin Energy) introducing herself and welcoming delegates before setting the scene of the Forum to come:

Then – To have a meaningful conversation about the future, we need to understand where we started.

Now – As an industry, our safety performance is not where we want it to be, and we need to focus on what we are doing to turn this around.

Next – To consider what Safer Together should be doing in 2024 and beyond.

Michelle Zaunbrecher (VP HSE and Business Transformation, Arrow Energy) and Stewart Loftus (Off-Plot Commissioning and Start-Up Lead, Arrow Energy) were first up, with a fantastic High-Value Learning Event presentation focussing on an incident from the perspective of frontline workforce's first-hand experience, and the perspective of executive leaders.

Danielle then introduced the Keynote Address, ‘Looking Back to Guide Our Way Ahead’, Trevor Brown (Managing Director, Trevor Brown Advisory).  During his time as Vice President Qld, Santos, Trevor was instrumental in working with his peers from the other major Operators in Qld to set up Safer Together and is a founding member of Safer Together's Qld Safety Leaders Group.


Trevor closed by reminding delegates the importance of building a strong and consistent Industry safety culture – “best practice is the way we do things around here” “the goal is the best possible safety outcomes, continuous vigilance and continuous improvement from the frontline throughout the entire industry”.

Steve Williams (Forum Coordinator, Safer Together) followed with an important reminder about why we work towards standardisation, and faciliting a plenary discussion about how we get better at standardising.

‘Current State of Play’, presented by Ewan Meldrum (Chief Executive Officer, Qteq and Co-Chair (Contractors) Qld Safety Leaders Group) – began with the current challenges faced by our Industry, and highlighted three key initiatives that our industry has agreed to focus on deploying to address these challenges:


In 2022, our Industry – via Safer Together – agreed to focus on (and deploy) three initiatives to address this issue:

  1. The Industry Safety Induction, a mechanism for a 'whites of the eyes' conversation with new starts coming into our industry about behavioural expectations - what the industry expects of an individual coming into the industry, and what the individual should expect from the industry in return.
  2. The sharing of High Value Learning Events (via Learning Event Bulletins and Incident Review Panels)
  3. Embedding a common, consistent approach for pre-job planning and transition to work that promotes engagement, worker interaction and discussion through Assist & Assure.

‘Making it Real’ Case Studies of the above initiatives followed with delegates attending a presentation on each:

  1. Chris Johns and Chris Allen of MPC Kinetic presented their deployment story on the benefits they received from their adoption of the Safety Culture Survey, as an interactive frontline workforce engagement tool– enabling a safety-pulse check of employees with results available in real-time.  Members-only full recording.
  2. Blair Hart (Principal Consultant, HSB Resources) and Norm Nelligan (Arrow Energy) stepped in to present a Case Study on Assist & Assure on behalf of Coho Resources.  Members-only full recording.
  3. The JPS Management & Execution team of Nathan Pike and Brian Geddes presented a Case Study on Learning Event Bulletins and how they use them in their workplace to promote safety conversations and learning from past incidents.  Members-only full recording.

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Following a break, Danielle introduced Jack Taylor (General Manager HSE, ConocoPhillips) who presented our revised Safety Culture Framework (SCF); following broad consultation, the Project Team has updated the Framework to include revised Safety Behaviours that will be the red thread running through all Safer Together Initiatives.  

Following this theme, Dan Clark (President Australia, ConocoPhillips) next presented an update on the Industry Safety Induction (ISI) Refresh project, a root and branch review of the content and structure and support framework of the ISI.

Dirk Faveere (Manager Downstream, ConocoPhillips) followed with his update on the Frontline Leadership Training project, highlighting that the intention is to run a pilot of the course before the end of 2023, and to have a full roll-out in 2024.

Michelle Zaunbrecher returned to deliver an update on the development of the Camp Guideline for Psychosocial Safety.  Something that should be on every leader’s radar across our industry.

The Camp Guideline will cover both Qld and WA/NT onshore activities; the project team envisages its launch by end Q4 2024.

‘Where to Next?  Listening to our Members’ – Danielle returned to the stage to engage delegates in a Menti Poll – responding to some key questions that will help shape and guide the planning phase of Safer Together's next Strategic Plan.

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Our newly-appointed Co-Chair (Operators) of the Safety Leaders Group, Kim Code (Senior Vice-President, East Australia, Shell) wrapped up the event with some personal reflections and the sentiment "everyone in this room is the team to make us Safer Together for many years to come".  

We couldn't have said it better ourselves, We are Stronger and Safer Together.