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Staff Assistance Officers

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 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
Kate Sutherland Australian Labor Party kate.sutherland@aph.gov.au 03 5443 9055
Gai Coghlan Australian Labor Party gai.coghlan@aph.gov.au 02 9726 3988
Mia Mussett Australian Greens Mia.Mussett@aph.gov.au 03 9384 6199
Kim York                          Independents kim.york@aph.gov.au                                     08 8232 1144
Brydan Toner Australian Labor Party Brydan.toner@aph.gov.au 02 4620 0293
Simon Kelly The Nationals simon.j.kelly@aph.gov.au 07 4121 2963
Jorden Gunton Liberal Party of Australia jorden.gunton@aph.gov.au (03) 6331 8501

Last updated: 26 August 2020