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Keynote speaker

Keynote speaker

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Professor Tim Bentley

Director, MARS Centre, Edith Cowan University

Keynote title

Building mining sector work health and safety capabilities: Introducing the Mental Awareness Respect and Safety (MARS) Centre

Keynote synopsis

The ECU Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) Centre is a collaboration with the West Australian Government, through The Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DEMIRS)’s MARS Program. Its mission is to work collaboratively with the mining industry to create impact through the creation of mentally healthy workplaces, building a culture of safety and respect, and preparing for workplace safety in future mining. With a focus on building sector leadership capability, the MARS Centre is educating the current and incoming workforce, training future leaders, and driving research in order to help foster a culture of safety and respect in the mining sector. The presentation will explain where the MARS Centre sits within the wider MARS Program ecosystem of initiatives and overview the MARS Centre research and teaching program. The presentation will highlight the critical WHS challenges the MARS Centre is seeking to address, overviewing specific research projects underway under the banner of the MARS Digging Deeper fund, and describing how the Centre’s taught graduate and undergraduate programs are addressing the need to lift sector WHS leadership capabilities. 

Professor Tim Bentley is an experienced research leader. His research is highly engaged with industry and the professions and has influenced both policy and organisational practice within Australia and New Zealand. Tim joined the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University as Professor of Work and Wellbeing in 2019, and since late 2020 has served as Director of the Centre for Work + Wellbeing, a strategic research entity of Edith Cowan University. In July 2023, Tim took up the position of Director of the Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) Centre within the School of Business and Law. The MARS Centre was created as part of a recently announced multi-million-dollar partnership between ECU and the State Government. As both MARS Centre Director and Mining Work Health and Safety (WHS) Professorial Chair, Tim leads a program of research, teaching and engagement designed to elevate mining sector WHS capability and to move the dial on sector culture towards greater respect and safety. Prior to joining SBL, Tim’s New Zealand-based roles included Director of the New Zealand Work Research Institute and Auckland University of Technology’s Future of Work Program; Director of Massey University’s Healthy Work Group; and Director of the Centre for Human Factors and Ergonomics at Forest Research. Tim is also a former Editor-in-Chief of the Cambridge University Press publication, Journal of Management & Organization, and has served as Scientific Editor for the Elsevier publication, Applied Ergonomics. Tim’s research primarily focuses on psychosocial risk, workplace bullying, and new ways of working, and he is passionate about creating healthy work for the advancement of organisational and employee wellbeing. Tim’s research has been supported by almost AU$9M of external funding from government and industry within New Zealand and Australia, while his published research is extensive and has received considerable scholarly attention.

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