Fair Work Commission

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The Fair Work Commission (FWC), formerly 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. Ms Bernadette O'Neill is its current general manager.

FWC's functions include the setting and varying of industrial award, minimum wage fixation, dispute resolution, the approval of enterprise agreements, and handling claims for unfair dismissal. It is the successor body to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, though it also performs functions previously performed by the Workplace Authority and the Australian Fair Pay Commission.


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.[4]

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. This new national body 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 deferred their powers to the Commonwealth.[5]


As of its date of conception, all of FWC's members were previously members of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. As members, it has a President (Justice Iain JK Ross AO) and 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.

FWC has members based in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

The list of members is current as of 31 March 2014.[6]


Justice Iain JK Ross AO (M)

Vice Presidents[edit]

Vice President A Hatcher (S), Vice President J Catanzariti (S).

Deputy presidents[edit]

Vice President MJ Lawler (M), Vice President GR Watson (S), Justice AJ Boulton AO, Senior Deputy President (S), - currently under investigation for misconduct. Senior Deputy President IR Watson (M), Senior Deputy President JM Acton (M), Senior Deputy President LEC Drake (S), Senior Deputy President MG O'Callaghan (A), Senior Deputy President JM Hamberger (S), Senior Deputy President PJ Richards (B), Deputy President RS Hamilton (M), Deputy President BP McCarthy (P), Deputy President PJ Sams AM (S), Deputy President G Smith (M), Deputy President A Booth (S), Deputy President I Asbury (B), Deputy President A Gooley (M), Deputy President J Lawrence (S), Deputy President V Gostencnik (M), Deputy President J Kovacic (M).


Commissioner JCW Lewin (M), Commissioner WD Blair (M), Commissioner T Cirkovic (M), Commissioner AL Cribb (M), Commissioner HM Cargill (S), Commissioner PJ Spencer (B), Commissioner MG Roberts (S), Commissioner BD Williams (P), Commissioner DS McKenna (S), Commissioner IW Cambridge (S), Commissioner DJ Cloghan (P), Commissioner JF Ryan (M), Commissioner PJ Hampton (A), Commissioner J Roe (M), Commissioner MP Bissett (M), Commissioner C Simpson (B), Commissioner T Lee (M), Commissioner S Booth (B), Commissioner B Riordan (S), Commissioner G Bull (S), Commissioner D Gregory (M), Commissioner L Johns (M), Commissioner N Wilson (M).

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Fair Work Information Statement, Fair Work Ombudsman
  5. ^ Cooper, R. and Ellem, B. (2009), 'Fair Work and the Re-regulation of Collective Bargaining', Australian Journal of Labour Law, 22 (3), pp. 284–305.
  6. ^ "FWC Members" (PDF). Retrieved 2 April 2014. 

External links[edit]