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Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards

Recognising and rewarding excellence in workplace health and safety.


Congratulations to our Comcare Awards winners for 2023

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards. Awardees across the categories of Prevention, Recovery at and Return to Work, and Individual Contribution, have shown outstanding commitment to workplace health and safety while successfully eliminating and reducing risks and hazards in their workplaces.

Watch the video to learn about our winners and finalists.

Category 1.A Preventing psychological harm

Recognising excellence in work undertaken to ensure workplaces provide a healthy and safe environment for employees by addressing psychological risk factors to prevent an incident from occurring.

Winner

John Holland and CPB Contractors Joint Venture for The Rozelle Interchange Project

The Rozelle Interchange and Western Harbour Tunnel – Southern Tunnel Works Project is a $4.6 billion dollar infrastructure project in Sydney that has had more than 20,000 people inducted on site. The John Holland and CPB Contractors Joint Venture has developed a mental health program that aims to address the known increased risk of mental ill-health and suicide of workers in the construction industry.

The mental health program takes a holistic approach and is available to all workers on the project, including subcontractors. The program involves onsite mental health counselling that can be booked confidentially through a QR accessible portal, increased in training of Mental Health First Aiders and ongoing awareness campaigns.

The program has resulted in lower-than-expected incidence of workers’ compensation claims, psychological injuries and reported incidents, and worker feedback showing a positive impact on the safety culture. The program demonstrated that it could be scalable across other projects and the construction industry more broadly.

High commendation

Department of Defence for Defence Response Unit

Category 1.B Preventing physical harm

Recognising excellence in work undertaken to ensure workplaces provide a healthy and safe environment for employees by addressing physical risk factors to prevent an incident from occurring.

Winner

Australian War Memorial for Design of Safe Frame Support Stands for V2 Rocket Restoration

The V2 Rocket Conservation Project Team was tasked with the restoration of a World War II era 14-metre-tall ballistic missile.

Work of this nature would usually require extended periods of working from height to complete the project. Recognising the risks in the situation, two conservators who were working on the project formulated a solution – a rotating steel support stand which enabled access to the rocket from the ground.

The team had received the support and funding by senior leadership by demonstrating the impact and benefits of safely restoring the rocket. They also demonstrated the value, sustainability and longevity of the project and were able to complete it four months ahead of time.

This innovation facilitated increased accessibility, which made the work more efficient and meant that the maximum amount of original material was able to be preserved for research and display.

High commendation

  • Access Canberra, ACT Government for Putting People First. Reducing and Managing Occupational Violence in the Workplace
  • Department of Defence for RAAF Human Performance Optimisation

Commendation

Department of Defence for Special Operations Forces Musculoskeletal Complaints Study

Category 2 Recovery at and Return to Work

Recognising excellence in providing proactive early support to employees with an injury or illness to enable their recovery at and/or return to work.

Winner

Telstra for Work Transition Program

The Work Transition Program is a bespoke workplace rehabilitation service that provides the complex support people need to return to suitable employment following an injury or illness. This has resulted in a significant increase and improvement in successful rehabilitation outcomes for many people, some of whom had been out of the workforce for extended periods of time.

The program is innovative and reflects better practice, with its holistic approach to covering all aspects of job seeker wellbeing, and supporting them to become the most employable candidate they can be.

Having consulted at all stages of the program with workers, business stakeholders, external service providers, unions and many others, the program has seen dramatic improvement in human outcomes and a corresponding reduction in Telstra’s total forward liabilities. The program’s people-first approach to rehabilitation and job seeking supports sustainable return to work and return to health outcomes.

Finalist

Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation and EML for Exercise Rehabilitation for Whole-being Health Early Intervention

Category 3.A Individual Contribution - Leadership Excellence

Recognising individuals at the Senior levels whose leadership has made an exceptional difference to their workplace, exceeding their normal work duties.

Winner

Nancy Abdelnour, Telstra

Over the past five years, Nancy has redesigned Telstra’s health, rehabilitation and case management operating model including the introduction of an early intervention model, and an end-to-end case management approach.

Nancy’s genuine passion for people, her background as a psychologist and her significant experience in managing the human and financial outcomes of unsafe behaviours has given her a people-centred approach and a wealth of practical and strategic knowledge.

She has established work practices and standards that incorporate evidence-based decision making, outcomes focused case management, and a continuous improvement approach. This work has resulted in year-on-year improvement in Return to Work and Return to Health outcomes together with a measurable reduction in the human and financial impact of illness and injury.

Nancy has presented the approach and findings with other licensees, enabling a positive impact across the Comcare scheme through sharing of better practice.

Category 3.B Individual Contribution - Operational Champion

Recognising individuals at the Operational levels whose contributions have made an exceptional difference to their workplace, exceeding their normal work duties.

Winner

Jessica Bobbinmarsilio, Konekt

Jessica is an Occupational Therapist with rehabilitation provider Konekt in regional Queensland, supporting their most complex Comcare claims.

Jessica’s approach showcases the benefits of implementing a psychosocial management framework that is designed to deliver sustainable outcomes building client resilience and independence beyond compensation.

Her motivation and drive are evident in her taking initiative and managing difficult situations outside her usual scope of work, offering unique and bespoke service solutions, and developing case studies to support and coach her colleagues on how to deliver best practice interventions. Through these work practices, Jessica has demonstrated that she is both an operational champion and a great leader.

Jessica’s persistence and innovation are demonstrated through her ability to join people, services and communities together, even with the additional challenges of operating in a regional environment with limited resources.

High commendation

Tim Saunders, Telstra

Commendation

Sarah Jefferies, Kinnect

Finalist

Wayne Crichton, Department of Defence

Greg Vines at lectern giving a speech standing in front of a screen with writing ‘Greg Vines. Chief Executive Officer. Comcare’.John Paul Janke at lectern smiling against a screen with event detailsJessica Bobbinmarsilio standing at lectern giving a speech with two people standing behind them, one holding a trophy.

People eating lunch at the 2023 Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards.

Tim Saunders standing at lectern giving a speech with trophy in hand standing in front of a screen with writing ‘Recovery at and Return to Work Award. Telstra. Work Transition Program. Winner’.Winners of the 2023 Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards pose for a picture holding trophies.

Enquiries

Enquiries about the 2023 Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards should be directed to awards@comcare.gov.au

Page last reviewed: 17 November 2023

Comcare
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 19 May 2024

https://www.comcare.gov.au/about/news-events/events/whs-awards