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Electrical Safety Week 2023

Belinda WattonBelinda is the Executive General Manager of Yurika, responsible for leading a competitive commercial business that boasts a rapidly growing, national footprint. Offering solutions including the engineering, design, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance of significant energy and infrastructure projects, the Yurika business also offers an integrated suite of energy solutions including Telecoms, Internet of Things, Metering and Energy Material Supplies.

With a strong focus on safety, Belinda has a track record of transforming cultures and delivering organisational objectives in public, private and not for profit organisations across a range of different industries.

Having previously served as a Non-Executive Director with the Electrical Safety Board and Executive Director for Ergon Retail and Energex and Ergon Distribution Boards, Belinda is currently a Non-Executive Director at Energy Skills Queensland and HELP Enterprises.

She has a Bachelor of Commerce, Masters of Applied Law, qualifications in finance, is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of Chief Executive Women.

Melinda Williams Melinda has a diverse work background with experience in childcare before starting in the electrical industry at Ergon working several different roles from the mail room to a personal assistant.

After working in an administrative role for nine years with Ergon, Melinda started her Electrical Fitter Mechanic Apprenticeship in 2019 at the age of 40 and is now a qualified tradesperson with the Ergon Substation.

While she doesn’t see herself as a role model, during her apprenticeship she loved the fact that she somehow became one to others, getting in and doing her job and supporting others.

Simon BlackAFL football legend, Simon Black played over 300 games with the Brisbane Lions and achieved many accolades during his career. One of the game’s most celebrated players, Simon was a three-time AFL Premiership Player, three-time All Australian Team and was a vice and co-captain for the Brisbane Lions.

In 2012 Simon became the first player in league history to win a Brownlow Medal, a Norm Smith Medal and a premiership medal.

After retiring from AFL, Simon founded the Simon Black Australian Rules Academy, aimed at providing pathways for students to pursue university and fitness qualifications while training and playing AFL. He also competed in Australian Survivor where he demonstrated his leadership and physical abilities.

Sean O'ConnorIn 2017, Sean’s sister, Kerryn O’Connor, was killed by an electric shock while handling an electrical appliance with a hidden failure. Sean works to prevent others from experiencing the grief of losing a loved one in an avoidable incident. His passion is consumer protection.

Sean is the Deputy Chair of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s consultative committee for work-related fatalities and serious incidents. Representing his parents, Jim and Robyn, Sean joined the committee after experiencing the devastating impact that Kerryn’s death had on his family.

Sean has an electrical trade and experience leading staff in heavy industrial, transport and mining industries. This provides him with a practical insight into the health and safety challenges that workers face going about and doing their jobs.

Brian RichardsonBrian is the Director of the Electrical Equipment Safety and Licensing team at the Electrical Safety Office.

Starting in the electrical industry as a trainee with the State Electricity Commission of Victoria in the early 1980’s, Brian worked in the appliance testing laboratory. He worked his way up to laboratory manager, and soon gained respect throughout the industry as the authority in Australia for testing household electrical equipment.

In the late 1990’s Brian moved to Queensland, where he was able to apply his years of testing knowledge with the Electrical Safety Office, vetting applications for Certificates of Approval from manufacturers and importers bringing new equipment to market.

Brian has also been a significant presence in Standards Australia committees, writing important Australian Safety Standards used throughout the industry. Now, as Director of Equipment Safety and Licensing, Brian looks after the safety of household electrical appliances, and makes sure electrical workers and contractors are licensed appropriately.

Donna HeelanDonna is the Executive Director of the Electrical Safety Office and oversees the strategic delivery of electrical safety across Queensland. Her role involves developing and enforcing standards for electrical safety and promoting improved safety performance in the wider community.

Donna is a member of the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC), Chair of the Standing Committee of Officials, Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS), and holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management.

Keith MacKenzie Keith started his electrical career in 1986. After gaining his electrical fitter and mechanics licence he worked for a number of companies on domestic, commercial, hospital, petrochemical and industrial projects.

He has served on a range of board and committees in the area of apprentice training, construction, training competencies, workplace health and safety and Australian standards and has been a member of the Electrical Safety Board and Electrical Licensing Committee since 2011.

Prior to his role as Commissioner, Keith was the President of the Queensland and Northern Territory Electrical Trades Union branches.

Mark PocockMark is a lead inspector in the compliance team at the Electrical Safety Office.

He is a passionate subject-matter expert when it comes to electrical risk management having worked in domestic, commercial and industrial electrical industry sectors.

Mark began his trade journey in 1999, starting with entry level pre-vocational trade training and progressing through each level of the electrical industry - apprentice, electrical worker, electrical supervisor and now an electrical inspector for the last seven years.

Through his involvement in community sport and taking on leadership roles, Mark’s experience provide a thorough perspective on workplace and team culture, and risk management strategies that can not only help individuals but help businesses achieve greater success.

Johnathan ThurstonQueensland rugby league champion Johnathan Thurston has played more than 300 NRL matches over his career, including 37 State of Origin matches for Queensland and 35 undefeated Tests for Australia.

His long list of awards and accolades includes four-time Dally M Medal winner, the Deadlys Indigenous NRL Player of the year 2013, Clive Churchill Medal winner and Arthur Beetson Medal winner in 2017.

Johnathan is a positive influence and role model with a passion for our nation’s youth and his Indigenous culture. In 2018 he set up the Johnathan Thurston Academy which provides training programs and employment opportunities to young Australians.

Garrick CrippsGarrick has been with Arnolds Electrical for over 35 years where he commenced as a second year apprentice. He progressively worked his way through his apprenticeship to tradesperson, foreperson, project manager and estimator. Garrick is now the General Manger and also a shareholder in the company.

Cassandra TommasiCassandra is a valued worker for Stowe Australia, one of the leading contractors in the electrical industry. Cassandra has worked for Stowe Australia for over 10 years and has been a crucial part of both large-scale construction projects, and the Southern Queensland service division. Cassandra holds an Electrical Fitter Mechanic licence as well as holding licences in high risk works. Cassandra has always held a firm stance on fair and safe work practices.

Anton Guinea Anton Guinea was 21 years old when he was involved in a workplace accident as an electrician. Anton received second degree burns to 15 per cent of his body after using a steel ruler to measure something in a switchboard.

Anton is now an international speaker, author and had a degree in psychology. He understands the risks of working under pressure and is committed to helping leaders build psychologically safe and high-performing teams.

Josh Waddington

Josh Waddington is a licenced carpenter, his background ranges from on the tools, to supervisory, and management roles before transitioning into education and vocational training.

Josh has worked with young people at risk, disability, in schools, and within the Australian Apprenticeships system at a registered training organization (RTO). He is proud to be working with MATES as their Apprentice Resilience Program coordinator.

Mark Halverson Mark Halverson commenced as a firefighter in 1986 and worked at numerous Brisbane northside fire stations for 26 years before transitioning into functional building fire safety roles at Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).

This included five years as QFES State Compliance and Prosecution Manager, working to ensure building owners and occupiers fulfilled their fire safety obligations.

Mark has been in his current position as Executive Manager, State Fire Safety Section since June 2020. As part of this role, Mark has been heavily involved in promoting community education about Queensland’s domestic smoke alarm legislation and more recently, promoting community safety messaging due to an increased number of fires attributed to rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

Alison PriceAlison Price is the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland (WRIQ). WRIQ represents waste, resource recovery and circular economy businesses providing essential services for the community and the environment.

Alison has a long association with the waste industry, first as a founder and Managing Director of her own innovative recycling business in 2009, and later as a Board Member for WRIQ from 2015 to 2022.

Alison is also a Director of Austmine, EnviroMETS (Qld) Ltd and a former Director of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council.

Carl PorrittCarl Porritt is the current Manager Equipment Safety with the Electrical Safety Office (ESO). Carl began his career in the electrical industry in 1986 when he began as a trainee Technical Officer with the State Electrical Commission of Victoria. This provided the solid foundation upon which his career developed. Moving to Queensland in 1995, Carl found a calling to join the Queensland Police Service, reaching the rank of Acting Sergeant. Having served the community directly, Carl found the need to continue serving, joining ESO in 2007, in the Equipment Safety Unit.

Carl has brought his technical experience and a large dose of common sense to the role, and now an integral part of a team committed to protecting the community from the potential harm arising from electrical equipment, particularly household appliances. Today, technology advances introduce new risks requiring Carl’s team to monitor and find new ways to minimise those risks.