Fair Work Commission

The Fair Work Commission (FWC), until 2013 known as Fair Work Australia (FWA),[1] is the Australian industrial relations tribunal created by the Fair Work Act 2009 as part of the Rudd Government's reforms to industrial relations in Australia.[2][3] Operations commenced on 1 July 2009. It is the successor of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and also performs functions previously performed by the Workplace Authority and the Australian Fair Pay Commission. Since March 2012, Iain JK Ross has been the President of FWC, and Bernadette O'Neill is its current General Manager. As of 29 May 2019, it operates under the portfolio of the Australian Attorney-General, the Hon. Christian Porter MP.[4]

Fair Work Commission
MottoAustralia's national workplace relations tribunal
Composition methodAppointed by the Governor-General of Australia on the recommendation of the Australian Government
Authorized byFair Work Act 2009
CurrentlyJustice Iain JK Ross AO
Jurist term endsUntil the age of 65
Vice Presidents
CurrentlyAdam Hatcher;
Joe Catanzariti AM
Jurist term endsUntil the age of 65
Lead position endsUntil the age of 65

FWC's functions include the setting and varying industrial awards, minimum wage fixation, dispute resolution, the approval of enterprise agreements, and handling claims for unfair dismissal.


FWC is an independent body with the power and authority to regulate and enforce provisions relating to minimum wages and employment conditions, enterprise bargaining, industrial action, dispute resolution, and termination of employment.[5]

The Fair Work Act is an attempt to create a more national system for regulating industrial relations in Australia. Each state has the discretion to hand over some or all of their industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth, and should a state decide to refer their powers to a centralized and national industrial relations system, all the employees of that state would effectively be covered by the national Fair Work Act. The FWC has taken over the roles of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) in matters of workplace disputes and industrial actions. It is also involved in the process of determining national industrial relations policies, including setting minimum wages and regulating the award system. Since the introduction of the Fair Work Act, all states except Western Australia have referred their powers to the Commonwealth.[6]


As of its date of conception, all FWC members were previously members of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The FWC has a President (Justice Iain JK Ross AO), a number of Deputy Presidents and Commissioners. The General Manager reports to the President and is responsible for administration. This position replaced the Industrial Registrar. The inaugural President was Justice Giudice. He retired from this position in February 2012, and was succeeded by former Victorian Supreme Court judge, now Federal Court judge Iain Ross.[7]

FWC has members based in Melbourne (M), Sydney (S), Brisbane (B), Perth (P) and Adelaide (A). The members of the FWC, as at 18 February 2019 are:[8]


Vice Presidents

  • Vice President A Hatcher (S)
  • Vice President J Catanzariti (S)

Deputy presidents

  • Senior Deputy President JM Hamberger (S)
  • Deputy President RS Hamilton (M)
  • Deputy President PJ Sams AM (S)
  • Deputy President A Booth (S)
  • Deputy President I Asbury (B)
  • Deputy President V Gostencnik (M)
  • Deputy President J Kovacic (C)
  • Deputy President G Bull (S)
  • Deputy President M Binet (P)
  • Deputy President WR Clancy (M)
  • Deputy President LE Dean (S)
  • Deputy President PC Anderson (A)
  • Deputy President AC Colman (M)
  • Deputy President I Masson (M)
  • Deputy President A Beaumont (P)
  • Deputy President A Millhouse (M)
  • Deputy President T Saunders (S/N)
  • Deputy President N Lake (B)
  • Deputy President G Boyce (S)
  • Deputy President B Cross (S)
  • Deputy President A Mansini (M)


  • Commissioner PJ Spencer (B)
  • Commissioner BD Williams (P)
  • Commissioner DS McKenna (S)
  • Commissioner IW Cambridge (S)
  • Commissioner PJ Hampton (A)
  • Commissioner MP Bissett (M)
  • Commissioner C Simpson (B)
  • Commissioner T Lee (M)
  • Commissioner S Booth (B)
  • Commissioner B Riordan (S)
  • Commissioner D Gregory (M)
  • Commissioner L Johns (S)
  • Commissioner N Wilson (M)
  • Commissioner T Cirkovic (M)
  • Commissioner C Platt (A)
  • Commissioner K Harper-Greenwell (M)
  • Commissioner J Hunt (B)
  • Commissioner S McKinnon (M)
  • Commissioner L Yilmaz (M)

See also


  1. "About Amendment Act". Fair Work Commission. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  2. Taylor, Jeremy (1 July 2009). "Unions welcome new Fair Work Act". The 7:30 Report. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  3. Fair Work Act 2009
  4. "Administrative Order Arrangements" (PDF). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 29 May 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. Fair Work Information Statement, Fair Work Ombudsman
  6. Cooper, R; Ellem, B (2009). "Fair Work and the Re-regulation of Collective Bargaining". Australian Journal of Labour Law. 22 (3): 284–305.
  7. Hannan, Ewin (25 February 2012). "All sides approve of Fair Work appointees". The Australian. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  8. "FWC Members". Fair Work Commission. Retrieved 18 February 2019.

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