OHS Honour missed but well-deserved

Following the SafetyAtWorkBlog article about the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours, a reader has brought a well-deserved OHS recipient to our attention that we, and many others, missed.

Ian Ewart received the medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to his local community in Traralgon however I knew Ian through his involvement with the Gippsland OHS Network, a safety group in a regional part of Victoria renown for its electricity generation.  His creation of that network was an important part of his nomination.

Very little more information has appeared in the official Honours websites and notifications but a colleague of Ian’s has provided the extract from his nomination:

“Ian’s employment in the safety industry began in 1979 when he was appointed as a training officer by the National Safety Council of Australia. Various safety roles followed until his retirement from full-time employment in June 2009. Not content to retire, Ian then established an OH&S consultancy business to continue to service those who wished to retain his expertise.

In 1994, Ian was a co-founder of the Gippsland OHS Network, a not-for-profit group of OH&S professionals who formed a network to provide safety related information to the local community. The ‘mission’ of the network is “to provide information and resources to Gippsland employers, employees and the wider community that will assist them to comply with and raise awareness in relation to OH&S Acts, Regulations, other Legislation and relevant Technical documents such as Codes of Practice, Australian Standards etc”. The network presents three or four seminars per year at no cost to attendees. Ian has retained the network coordinator’s role for the last 16 years, and also assisted other professionals through his leadership of a focus group for those new to the industry. [hyperlink added]

In late 2004, the Safety Institute of Australia Victoria Division was keen to establish a branch in Gippsland. A meeting of a number of the key safety professionals was held at which the branch was formed with Ian Ewart as the founding Vice President. Ian held this position for five years, until in December 2009 he was elected President on the ‘retirement’ of the founding president.

As one of the ‘key’ safety professionals in Gippsland, Ian has been instrumental in mentoring a number of newer professionals, including the author of this nomination…..”

Several times, at safety awards evenings, I have had the pleasure of Ian Ewart’s company. Congratulations, Ian, on well-deserved recognition.

Kevin Jones

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