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Award recipients to focus on rural safety, cobots and multilingual workers

Media Release
31 August 2018

A campaign to improve safety in rural industries, the multilingual translation of fact sheets about worker’s compensation and mental health injuries, and a project to work with ‘cobots’ on workplace safety will share $45,000 funding as recipients of this year’s Augusta Zadow Awards.

The annual awards were presented today by His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, at Government House.

Each year, SafeWork SA funds projects that will improve the work health and safety of working women. In 2018, the scope was expanded to include young workers too, and SafeWork SA received a record 25 applications

The 2018 Augusta Zadow Award recipients:

Alex Thomas - $20,000. The 2018 AgriFutures Rural Woman of the year will launch the #PlantASeedForSafety social media campaign to celebrate the role of rural women and to amplify what’s being done well in relation to the management of risks associated with rural properties and communities. Alex will use the funding to promote practical tools for safety in rural industries, which has among the highest number of injuries and fatalities of any industry. She will also profile 100 rural women online who have improved safety on their property or in their communities, to engage and inspire others to find meaningful ways to improve work health and safety. Alex Thomas says: “I’m hoping to engage and empower rural woman to take the lead in inspiring rural men to make safer choices.”

Jaspreet Kaur and Anne Purdy, Working Women’s Centre - $10,000. This project will develop and translate multilingual fact sheets to support women to better understand the worker’s compensation scheme and navigate the options for psychological work injury claims. This project is targeted at the community and health services sector, which has a culturally diverse workforce. Jaspreet and Anne both said: “We are thrilled to have received this award and the impact this will have on the women to navigate the workers compensation scheme. It’s a real privilege to work to assist others.”

Sara Howard, Flinders University - $15,000. This project will use “cobots” – collaborative robots – to learn how technology and safety can intersect to improve conditions for young workers. Cobots are entering the workforce to help reduce lifting strains on workers, for example. The project will work with VET students to assess the implications of cobots and safety and will explore whether TAFE modules need to be tailored to provide more support in transitioning young people to workplaces of the future. Sara describes her project as “examining the increasing role of Industry 4.0 technologies in the workplace – so think collaborative robots and think the Jetsons, and how young people are likely to respond to these technologies and how this may influence career decisions and workplace injuries.”


The awards commemorate Augusta Zadow, who was an advocate for women’s rights in the workplace – particularly in clothing factories – and became South Australia’s “First Lady Inspector of Factories” in 1895.

SafeWork SA awards grants annually to projects that address a work health and safety issue faced by women at work or seek to significantly improve health and safety for women at work through research or education.

Quotes attributable to Glenn Farrell, Director Workplace Education & Business Services

We received an incredible response to the awards this year and are pleased to be able to fund such innovative and thoughtful projects to help women and young people in the workplace.

Women and young workers work in a diverse range of workplaces and can have unique health and safety issues. This year’s award recipients recognise those challenges and have developed practical, hands-on projects.

I congratulate all of the winners and look forward to seeing their projects completed and put to use in helping to improve the work health and safety of working women and young workers.