Staff Assistance Officers

Last updated
28 June 2021

Staff Assistance Officers (SAOs) are employees trained to provide information and support regarding bullying and harassment in the workplace.

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

SAO responsibilities

In the context of MOP(S) Act employment, the responsibilities of an SAO may include:

  • providing an initial point of contact for any MOP(S) Act employees within the SAO’s work group who are affected by workplace bullying and harassment
  • providing impartial and (where appropriate) confidential assistance, and information about bullying and harassment matters
  • discussing any concerns about bullying and harassment with the affected employee 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 (see related resources)
  • 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 Employee Assistance Program (EAP) where appropriate
  • raising awareness of bullying and harassment issues within their work group
  • assisting with training and education on matters relating to the prevention of bullying and harassment.

SAOs are not:

  • responsible for managing, resolving or making a complaint
  • investigators or decision-makers
  • counsellors or mediators.

SAOs may be expected to:

  • maintain confidentiality (where appropriate)
  • assess whether a matter is sufficiently serious that the allegation should be reported to Finance, Comcare or another entity
  • exercise their judgement in determining the most appropriate course of action in relation to any complaints they receive.

Contacting an SAO

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





Helen Lewis

Liberal Party of Australia

Office of the Hon Stuart Robert MP

07 5500 5919


Jorden Gunton

Liberal Party of Australia

Office of Senator Wendy Askew

03 6331 8501

Rosemary Little

Liberal Party of Australia

Office of the Hon Peter Dutton MP

07 3205 9977

Gai Coghlan

Australian Labor Party

Office of Chris Hayes MP

02 9726 3988

Kate Sutherland

Australian Labor Party

Office of Ms Lisa Chesters MP

03 5443 9055

Brydan Toner

Australian Labor Party

Office of Dr Mike Freelander MP

02 4620 0293

Simon Kelly

The Nationals

Office of Mr Llew O’Brien MP

07 4121 2936

David Mejia-Canales

Australian Greens

Office of Senator Lidia Thorpe

03 9232 8140

Kim York

Independent parliamentarians

Office of Senator Rex Patrick

08 8232 1144

Mark Briers

Liberal Party of Australia

Office of Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

0428 965 189

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