Safe Work Month

In Australia, October is National Safe Work Month — a time to make your commitment to improving safety and health in your workplace. 

While the health, safety and wellness of staff and students should always be front of mind in “how we do what we do” at UQ, October is a great time to collectively focus on the health, safety and wellness of our staff and students, and ourselves. Mental Health Week is also celebrated annually in October, promoting the importance of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. 

This year's theme for National Safe Work Month is 'Know Safety, Work Safely'. This theme promotes identifying risks and planning and implementing work health and safety procedures. 

There are a number of events and activities during October, both at UQ and across Queensland, to mark Safe Work Month. 

HSW Safe Work Month Forum 2022


Date: Wednesday 19 October 2022
Time: 8.45am for 9am–12pm
The HSW Forum will be recorded and streamed online, however some presenters have asked UQ not to record their presentations. 


Session 1:

Jim Carmichael, Director, HSW Division, UQ, and
Professor Deborah Terry AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, UQ

First address
Dr Robyn Littlewood, Chief Executive Officer, Health and Wellbeing Queensland

Second address
Robyn Neilson, Safety Ambassador, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

Morning tea and light refreshments are provided
Session 2:

Third address
Dr Kelly Johnstone, Senior Lecturer, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, UQ

Fourth address
Dave Whitefield, Director, Semiosphere

Attendees are encouraged to register for the the student-organised BE-WELL Safe Work Month event, scheduled in the afternoon.

Speaker information

Dr Robyn LittlewoodChief Executive Officer, Health and Wellbeing Queensland
Dr Robyn Littlewood is the Chief Executive, Health and Wellbeing Queensland and a leading advocate for health promotion. Dr Littlewood is the Director, Health Services Research, Queensland Children's Hospital, Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Co-Chair, Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network, Clinical Excellence Queensland and Member, Queensland Networks Executive Committee, Department of Health. Dr Littlewood was previously a Board Director with the Dietitians Association of Australia.
Professor Deborah Terry AOVice-Chancellor and President, UQ
Professor Deborah Terry AO is a highly experienced leader in the Australian university sector – and an internationally recognised scholar in psychology. Since August 2020, Professor Terry has served as Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland (UQ). Prior to this, she was Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University in Western Australia, from 2014 to 2020. Professor Terry was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) in June 2015, in recognition of her distinguished service to education in the tertiary sector.
Dr Kelly JohnstoneSenior Lecturer, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences UQ
Dr Kelly Johnstone is both an occupational hygienist and occupational health and safety (OHS) generalist with a focus on the protection of worker health. She is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, within the Faculty of Science at the University of Queensland. Kelly has experience in a range of industries, including education, the energy and resource sectors, construction, transport, and agriculture. She plays an active role within both the Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS) and the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH). 
Robyn NeilsonSafety Advocate
Robyn Neilson is a trained nurse and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Safety Advocate. She was the first responder to her neighbour who suffered critical injuries after being caught in a post-hole digger on a remote cattle property. After the traumatic incident, Robyn was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dave WhitefieldDirector, Semiosphere
Dave helps organisations tackle safety and risk culture. This work is based on more than 27 years of experience in safety and risk across a wide variety of roles and industries, as well as tertiary qualifications in behavioural science, occupational health and safety, and psychology. Dave applies evidence-based strategies and models developed from within a social psychological framework that help to build cultural maturity through a focus on leadership and engagement.
Jim CarmichaelDirector, HSW Division, UQ
Jim commenced with The University of Queensland in March 2013 as Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Division. Prior to joining the University he was in a senior executive role within the Queensland work health and safety regulator for the previous 13 years overseeing the operational and service delivery functions of that organisation. He has a strong professional background in the ergonomics discipline and has previously been elected as national President of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia.

UQ Safe Work Month calendar of events

Date and timeUQ EventsRegister
7 Oct
Indoor air quality assessment at UQ during 2022
Dr Peter McGarry
Join Dr Peter McGarry for a discussion and presentation on indoor air quality monitoring at UQ. Peter has been working with the UQ Safety Network to evaluate the performance of the mechanical air conditioning and ventilation across UQ, in his role as Senior Manager, Occupational Hygiene and Specialist Services, drawing from his 20 plus years’ experience previous experience working as an occupational hygienist. Peter is a full Member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists, and a practising Certified Occupational Hygienist.

More details

Register (ICS, 6.7 KB)

1113 OctUQ's Wellbeing Festival
St Lucia, Gatton, and Herston
Engage in a plethora of self-care and learning opportunities in an atmosphere of fun and celebration! In addition to a raft of stallholders and marketplace kiosks, UQ staff can join together with UQ Students to participate in wellbeing-related workshops, demonstrations, classes, and live entertainment. 
More details
19 Oct
HSW Safe Work Forum
See details above
19 Oct
EVNT7501 Student Group
In this student-run event, refresh your physical and mental wellness with activities, presentations and give-aways. Staff and students are welcome. 
Coming soon
20 Oct
UQ Safety Seminar Series: Biosafety / Biosecurity Update
HSW Division Biosafety team
The purpose of this session is to inform UQ Researchers and safety leaders of any legislative changes, audit findings and other Biosafety/Biosecurity related activities.

More details

Register (ICS, 1.8 KB)

24 Oct
SARS-CoV-2, Where Are We Now?
Associate Professor Kirsty Short
Hear from Associate Professor Kirsty Short, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, as she as she unpacks the major lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic so far, including how it has involved and affected our community. She will then present the major lessons that we will need to consider and address over the next few years – particularly, how we can apply this latest research to pandemic preparedness. 

More details

Register (ICS, 2.5 KB)

26 Oct
Wellbeing Wednesday Webinar 
Active & Thriving
Join the Active & Thriving team for an end of month wellbeing refresh - say hello to Wellbeing Wednesday, hosted on the last Wednesday of the month.
27 Oct
Health, Safety and Wellness Appreciation BBQ Lunch 
HSW Network
HSW Division is hosting a BBQ Lunch for Safety Leads, WHSCs, HSRs, and Wellness Ambassadors are invited to a BBQ lunch to celebrate Safe Work Month and the important contributions that our network makes to the health, safety and wellbeing of our large and vibrant UQ community.
Contact HSW

Queensland Safe Work Month and Mental Health Week events

Date and timeEvent
10 Oct
Mental Health Day Breakfast
The World Mental Health Day breakfast panel event is right around the corner and offers a unique opportunity to unpack a complex psychosocial case, and hear from our new Mental Health Ambassador Hayley Lewis.
10 Oct
The Art of Zen
'The Art of Zen' seminar provides an introduction to the notion of mindfulness, with guidance on how to live in the moment, and train your mind to have a rest occasionally. Simple meditation exercises are explained and tips for staying focused and relaxed are provided.
11 Oct
Regulating mentally healthy workplaces livestream
Join us as we discuss what compliance looks like, event based and cumulative hazards and the application of reasonably practicable.
12 Oct
Imagining a Workplace Without Burnout: New findings and a roadmap to prevention
This free livestream tackles this complex and multifaceted issue, exploring the importance of structure and cultural causes – rather than individual wellness initiatives – to addressing workplace burnout.
13 Oct
Suicide prevention for at-risk industries livestream
Join us for this free live panel session on breaking down stigma of mental health - and suicide prevention for at-risk industries.
13 Oct
Global Leadership Series: Navigating family mental health
Families are at the front line when it comes to navigating the mental health and substance abuse issues that impact so many young people. The next instalment in UQ’s Global Leadership Series will assemble a panel of family health experts to share insights into their research and answer your questions.
14 Oct
Diversity and inclusion for mentally healthy workplaces livestream
Dr Fisher provides practical tips on reframing how we define accomplishment beyond the performance appraisal and builds your understanding of the importance of belongingness and accomplishment as mental health fundamentals - and the role it plays in mentally healthy workplaces.
18 Oct
How effective workplace consultation, representation and participation can improve health and safety outcomes
How effective workplace consultation, representation and participation can improve your health and safety outcomes – A panel conversation with industry speakers.
24 Oct
All day
Work Well Conference
The Brisbane Work Well Conference (previously the Injury Prevention and Return to Work Conference) returns 24 October.
25 Oct
Rehabilitation and return to work plans for psychological injuries
Julia Bunn, Queensland President of the Australian Rehabilitation Providers’ Association (ARPA), will consider practical strategies to assist insurers to develop effective rehabilitation and return to work (RRTW) plans for primary and secondary psychological claims.

Check out UQ's Mental Health WeekMental Health Initiatives and BLOOM Festival for more information and events.