Q&A with Anthea Raven

Anthea Raven

Anthea Raven, Acting Branch Manager, Evidence and Compensation at Safe Work Australia, offers an insight into her upcoming presentation at the Injury & Disability Schemes Seminar (IDSS) in November.

Why are you launching Safe Work Australia's National Return to Work Strategy at IDSS?

The 2019 IDSS is an opportunity to promote the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030 to the Strategy’s target audience.

The Strategy is aimed at those who influence work and workplaces including policy makers, workers’ compensation authorities, employer, union and industry groups, insurers and claims management organisations, treating health practitioners, workplace rehabilitation providers, and other worker advocates.

"IDSS brings many of these stakeholders together, offering two days of networking, learning and sharing experiences to better support workers."

SafeWork Australia Return To Work Stragey 2020-30

What are the key takeaways from your session at IDSS?

Supporting workers to have a timely, safe and durable return to work is a national priority. The Strategy was developed in partnership with governments, employer and industry groups, and unions and this partnership will continue through the life of the Strategy. Everyone has a role to play in improving return to work outcomes.

"If there is only one thing that seminar delegates could take away from our session, it’s that they can make a difference and don’t need to wait for national action under the Strategy – it’s an evidence-based framework that offers stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on their own policies and practices."

How do you hope the strategy will affect workers in the long term?

Workers are at the heart of the Strategy. Over the next 10 years, national action will aim to better support workers in their recovery and return to work, and to help other stakeholders to do the same.

"We know that the worker’s relationship with their employer is critical to a positive outcome, and that other return to work stakeholders can also be influential."

The Strategy will be successful if we see an increase in workers staying in or returning to good work following a work-related injury or illness, and if they have a more positive experience throughout the process.

What are you looking forward to most at IDSS?

The Strategy has been in development since early 2018, with various research and consultation activities undertaken to better understand the current and emerging policy issues, and identify opportunities for national action to address them.

Having recently gained endorsement of the Strategy from Safe Work Australia Members and work health and safety ministers, we are really looking forward to promoting the Strategy and moving to implementation from 2020!

Anthea's presentation will take place at 1.40pm, Monday 11 November as part of Concurrent 3.