Release type: Media Release


New appointments to Fair Work Commission


The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten today announced the appointment of eight new members to the Fair Work Commission.

The Fair Work Commission is Australia’s independent workplace relations tribunal.

The appointments include two Vice Presidents, four Deputy Presidents and two Commissioners.

"I am very pleased to announce that Mr Joe Catanzariti and Mr Adam Hatcher SC have been appointed as Vice Presidents of the Fair Work Commission,” Mr Shorten said.

"Mr Catanzariti and Mr Hatcher are both highly distinguished and experienced members of the legal profession, with particular expertise in workplace relations law.

"They will both bring valuable high-level experience and skills to assist the President in the management of the Commission and resolution of the complex legal matters that often come before it.

"The new members of the Commission all bring diverse and broad experience to their roles.

"I am confident these appointments will further enhance the experience, integrity and balance of the Commission.”

Mr Catanzariti has been the National Human Resources Partner and Head of Workplace Relations and Employment Law at Clayton Utz for 25 years. He is also President of the Law Council of Australia and an Adjunct Professor, Work and Organisational Studies, at Sydney University’s Business School.

Mr Hatcher was called to the Bar in 1997 and appointed Senior Counsel in 2010. He specialises in industrial relations and employment law, occupational health and safety, anti-discrimination and administrative law.

The four Deputy Presidents appointed are Ms Ingrid Asbury, Ms Anne Gooley, Mr Val Gostencnik and Mr Jeff Lawrence.

Ms Asbury has been a Commissioner of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and Fair Work Australia since 2000. Ms Asbury is also a member of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. She was concurrently appointed as a Commissioner of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) until 2012, when she accepted a primary appointment to the Fair Work Commission. Prior to her appointment to the QIRC, Ms Asbury was National Industry Group Manager for the Australian Industry Group.

Ms Gooley has been a Commissioner of the Fair Work Commission since 2012. Prior to her appointment she was a Public Interest Litigation Principal for Maurice Blackburn Lawyers where she also worked as a solicitor from 1998 to 2007.

"I am pleased to announce the internal promotions of two Fair Work Commissioners," Mr Shorten said. "These internal appointments reflect the high quality of current Fair Work Commission members."

Mr Gostencnik is a highly experienced workplace relations lawyer. He has been a Partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth since 2001 and was earlier a Partner at Ryan Carlisle Thomas. He leads the Workplace Relations practice group at Corrs as its National Practice Group Leader and has also been the National Pro Bono Partner since 2003.

Mr Lawrence is the former Secretary of the ACTU, a role he held for five years until 2012. Mr Lawrence was also National Secretary of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (now United Voice). He commenced as National Secretary of the LHMU in 1992 after being the General Secretary of the Federated Miscellaneous Workers' Union of Australia.

Mr Nick Wilson, currently the Fair Work Ombudsman, and Mr Leigh Johns, currently the Chief Executive of Fair Work Building & Construction, have been appointed as Fair Work Commissioners.

Mr Wilson has been the Fair Work Ombudsman since 2009 and also the Workplace Ombudsman. Prior to his appointments, Mr Wilson was the inaugural Director of the Office of Workplace Services. He was also the Industrial Registrar and Chief Executive Officer for the Australian Industrial Registry.

Mr Johns has been the Chief Executive of Fair Work Building & Construction since its inception in June 2012 and was previously the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner. Prior to his appointments, Mr Johns was the Deputy Australian Building and Construction Commissioner for Operations. He has also worked as Chief Counsel at the FWO, Director of PWC Legal in Melbourne, and as a legal practitioner with Mallesons Stephen Jaques in their Workplace Relations Group.

The appointments follow an independent, merit-based selection process conducted by senior representatives of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Australian Public Service Commission in consultation with the Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations and the States and Territories.

Mr Shorten’s Media Contact: Sam Casey—0421 697 660