Staff Assistance Officers

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The Staff Assistance Officers are employees trained to provide other employees with information and support regarding bullying and harassment in their workplace.

For MOP(S) Act employees, the role of Staff Assistance Officers are is generally undertaken by each work group’s Health and Safety Representatives.

What are the responsibilities of a Staff Assistance Officer?

In the context of MOP(S) Act employment, the responsibilities of a Staff Assistance Officer may include:

  • providing an optional initial point of contact for any MOP(S) Act employees within the Staff Assistance Officer’s own work group who are affected by workplace bullying and harassment;
  • providing impartial and confidential (where appropriate) assistance and information about bullying and harassment matters;
  • discussing with the affected employee any concerns about bullying and harassment and managing their expectations about the complaints process and possible outcomes;
  • providing information and answering questions about the options available to an affected employee, including the informal and formal processes under the Workplace Bullying and Harassment Policy and Procedure for MOP(S) Act Employees;
  • assisting an affected employee to access these options, where requested and appropriate;
  • acting as a support person, where requested, by being present with the affected employee while issues are discussed with the person involved and/or their employer;
  • reminding the affected employee of the availability of the EAP where appropriate;
  • raising awareness within their work group of bullying and harassment issues; and
  • assisting with training and education on matters relating to the prevention of bullying and harassment.
Staff Assistance Officers are not:
  • responsible for managing, resolving or making a complaint;
  • investigators or decision-makers; or
  • counsellors or mediators.
Staff Assistance Officers may be expected to:
  • maintain confidentiality (apart from in circumstances where the serious nature of an allegation makes reporting appropriate);
  • make an assessment as to whether a matter is sufficiently serious that the Staff Assistance Officer should report the allegation to Finance, Comcare or another entity; or
  • exercise their judgement in determining the most appropriate course of action in relation to any complaints they receive.

Contacting a Staff Assistance Officer

The following employees have completed Staff Assistance Officer training. As the program progresses and more employees are trained they will be added to this schedule.

Name Party Contact Email Contact Telephone
Helen Lewis Liberal Party of Australia Helen.Lewis@aph.gov.au 07 5500 5919
Melanie Beaumont Liberal Party of Australia Melanie.Beaumont@treasury.gov.au 02 6277 7340
Josh Manuatu Liberal Party of Australia Josh.Manuatu@aph.gov.au 02 6277 3019
Susanne Heath Australian Labor Party Susanne.Heath@aph.gov.au 03 9890 7022
Emma Harding Australian Labor Party Emma.Harding@aph.gov.au 03 5338 8123
Ellie Whiteaker Australian Labor Party Ellie.Whiteaker@aph.gov.au 08 9277 1502
Christine Field Australian Labor Party Christine.Field@aph.gov.au 02 4947 9546
Miranda Broekman The Nationals Miranda.Broekman@agriculture.gov.au 02 6761 3080