Media Release – New Chair appointment strengthens health and safety leadership in rural industries

Posted on June 3, 2020 in





The appointment of Associate Professor Lyn Fragar AO as the new Independent Chair of the Rural Safety and Health Alliance (RSHA) is a welcome decision by the cross-RDC alliance members and a boost to the profile of WHS in rural industries.


Following in the footsteps of previous Chair, Patrick Murphy, Lyn joins the RSHA from a very strong field of applicants from across agriculture and fishing industries, a good sign of the increasing recognition of health and safety as a key priority for the sector.


Lyn is a former Director of AgHealth Australia, a research centre of the University of Sydney and was instrumental in the establishment of the Australia-wide Farmsafe network. A public health expert, she is the Chair of the Hunter New England Local Health District Board, a Director of the Board of Directors GP Synergy Registrar Training Service and tutors Sydney University Medical Students in
Population Medicine.


In 2002, Lyn received the award of Officer of the Order of Australia for pioneering service to rural health care and farm safety in Australia.
In accepting the appointment, Lyn said that improving the health, safety and welfare of rural people has been her ongoing professional and personal passion.


“Working with producers and rural service providers is a privilege. While important improvements to the safety of Australian agriculture and fishing have been made, records show that there is more work to be done and a need use the combined expertise of rural researchers and producers to find effective solutions.”



“There is enormous potential for positive change through cross-sectoral collaboration, and the leadership demonstrated by the institution of the Rural Safety and Health Alliance makes me optimistic that we can achieve that potential.”



“Tackling the job together we can achieve so much more.”


The RSHA has developed a RD&E investment strategy and commenced delivery of research targeting practical change and adoption needed in the sector.


The renewed strategy centres on the dual objectives of reducing death, injury and illness and building capacity for better performance of the sector. Outputs are across five priority areas: risk management, adoption and behaviour change, leadership, communication and learning.



The RSHA’s suite of investments are in the areas of leadership communication, cross sectoral risk profiling, a strategic data initiative, and a pipeline of future projects on mental health, critical controls, and trialling ‘nudges’ to support adoption.


Executive Officer Andrew Barrett said that he spoke on behalf of the RDC partners in thanking outgoing Chair, Patrick Murphy, for his tenacious leadership in transitioning from the previous collaborative model and steering the establishment of the renewed Alliance.



“While big shoes to fill, the RSHA is fortunate to have such a distinguished incoming Chair to help continue the positive impact the Alliance is starting to make in addressing rural health and safety issues,” Mr Barrett said.



“Associate Professor Fragar is arguably one of the most experienced, qualified, and successful leaders in agricultural health and safety in the country. The RSHA’s independent chair role is designed to provide the RDC partners with a combination of subject matter expertise, leadership and governance.



“Lyn is well-positioned to take up this legacy and continue to drive collaborative RDC activities in addressing the serious challenge of enhanced health and safety outcomes for the sector. In fact, the appointment comes at an opportune time, as the RSHA is also collaborating closely with the recently renewed Farmsafe Australia executive committee as they grow their three year education and awareness activities with their recent grant funding from the Australian Government.”


Associate Professor Fragar was appointed to the role of Chair in May 2020, and the appointment is for a three year term.



The RSHA is jointly supported by AgriFutures Australia, Australian Eggs, Australian Pork Limited, Australian Wool Innovation, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Dairy Australia, Fisheries Research and Development Corporate, Grains Research and evelopment
Corporation and Meat & Livestock Australia.






Media Contact:
Andrew Barrett
RSHA Executive Officer
0422 403 506

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