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About the Seacare Authority

For: Claimants Employers and managers Service providers Advocates Information seekers

The Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (Seacare Authority) oversees a national scheme of occupational health and safety (OHS) and workers’ compensation arrangements for defined seafarers. In the case of OHS, the scheme is for defined third parties also.

Our role and strategic priorities

The Seacare Authority is established under the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 (Seafarers Act).

Under the Seafarers Act and the Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act 1992 (OHS(MI) Act) we work to:

  1. promote healthy and safe workplaces in the Seacare scheme
  2. promote appropriate and timely compensation and rehabilitation for injured workers covered by the Seacare scheme
  3. maintain a scheme safety net that meets its liabilities.


The Seacare Authority is comprised of seven members.

Along with a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, there are two employer representatives, two employee representatives and the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

Members are appointed by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations.

Current members

Current members of the Seacare Authority are:


  • Mr Barry Sherriff

Deputy Chairperson

  • Mr Greg Vines, Chief Executive Officer, Comcare

Employer representatives

  • Ms Sarah Cerche, Director, Workplace Relations, Governance and Policy at Maritime Industry Australia Limited
  • Ms Saskia Verity, Manager, Workplace Relations at the Australian Resources and Energy Employer Association

Employee representatives

  • Dr Penny Howard, National Research Officer, Maritime Union of Australia
  • Mr Nathan Niven, Senior National Organiser, Australian Institute of Marine Power Engineers


  • Mr Mick Kinley, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)


The Seacare Authority perform functions under two key pieces of legislation.

Under the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 (the Seafarers Act), we:

  • monitor the operation of the Seafarers Act
  • promote high operational standards of claims management and effective rehabilitation procedures by employers
  • co-operate with other bodies and people, aiming to reduce the incidence of injuries to employees
  • publish material relating to our functions
  • advise the relevant Minister regarding our functions and powers, and other matters relating to the compensation and rehabilitation of employees.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act 1993 (OHS(MI) Act), we:

  • work to ensure that the obligations imposed by the OHS(MI) Act and associated regulations are complied with
  • advise operators, employers and contractors on occupational health and safety matters.
  • collect, interpret and report information relating to occupational health and safety
  • formulate policies and strategies relating to the occupational health and safety of employees
  • accredit OHS training courses for the purposes of section 47 of the OHS(MI) Act
  • liaise with other bodies concerned with occupational health and safety
  • advise the relevant Minister on the performance of the above functions.

We oversee the operation of a range of legislation and administer Regulations made under scheme legislation.

Support provided to the Seacare Authority

Inspection function

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) performs the inspectorate function of the scheme for OHS matters.

We have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with AMSA (PDF, 132.9 KB) to cover the strategic, administrative and operational relationship we have with AMSA. This is in regards to exercising our respective roles under the Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act 1993 (OH&S(MI) Act) and OH&S(MI) regulations.

Seacare Secretariat

The Seacare Authority does not have its own staff. Comcare makes staff available to support the Seacare Authority.

Operating as the Seacare Secretariat, staff undertake the day-to-day regulatory functions of the Seacare Authority and provide policy, administrative and secretariat support.

The Seacare Secretariat, under the direction of the Seacare Authority, is responsible for:

  • providing secretariat, policy and strategic support to the Seacare Authority
  • implementing decisions of the Seacare Authority
  • administering Seacare scheme legislation and monitoring how it operates
  • managing the annual appropriation to support the Seacare function
  • monitoring, and reporting on, Seacare scheme performance
  • preparing a corporate plan and an annual report to Parliament
  • reporting to the Minister
  • liaising and communicating with scheme stakeholders and other regulators
  • promoting the objectives of the Seacare scheme.

The Seacare Secretariat also has access to Comcare legal services, financial management services, communication services and corporate support to assist it to carry out its work.

Page last reviewed: 17 April 2023
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Date printed 21 May 2024