Wayne Schwass, Mental Health Advocate and PukaUp CEO

Event information

Health and Safety Month Ambassador Cameron Ling is the official MC at the Geelong event.

Breakfast and light lunch provided.


7:00am - 7:20am: Registration

7:20am - 7:40am: Breakfast

7:40am - 8:50am: Tradies Breakfast Session

If you're a tradie, WorkSafe invites you to the Tradies Health & Safety Month Breakfast, where you can learn the latest about:

  • Crystalline silica - why it's so dangerous, if you're at risk, and free health screening
  • Working with electricity - why you should always isolate power sources prior to conducting work on or near electrical installations
  • Working at heights - why a lanyard and harness system are not acceptable for installing solar panel systems
  • Working in trenches - why are people dying whilst working in trenches
  • Powered mobile plant - what you need to do when working on or near powered mobile plant

9:00am - 10:10am: Mental Health and Wellbeing - presented by leading Mental Health Advocate and PukaUp CEO, Wayne Schwass

Since retiring from a successful 282 game AFL career, Wayne Schwass has become a respected AFL broadcaster and for the past 13 years Wayne has also become one of Australia's leading mental health advocates and suicide prevention crusaders

Wayne’s willingness to be vulnerable and authentic coupled with his skills and experience allow him to engage audiences in conversation about mental health and emotional wellbeing. The environment Wayne creates with audiences invites attendees into these important conversations in a safe and supportive manner.

The key themes/ topics Wayne covers during his presentations are:

  • Health isn't just physical, its mental health too, but most people don't make that connection
  • Prioritising your mental health is your responsibility
  • Fear prevents us from seeking help and stops us from talking to others
  • Why do we judge men for being emotional
  • Safe topics
  • Emotions & why crying is a valuable emotion
  • Mental health conditions don't discriminate
  • Creating safe, supportive and non-judgmental environments that foster authentic conversations 
  • Stigma is discrimination and is unacceptable
  • You can recover, you can heal and life can be great again

10:20am - 11:20am: The wicked problems of workplace safety: stress and bullying

Identifying stress and bullying is an ongoing challenge for organisations of all sizes. Employers need to identify the areas of psychological risk in their organisation, assess those risks, consult with employees in developing a plan to minimise the risk, and then monitor and revise the controls to make sure they are effective. This involves more than merely having a bullying policy. Organisations need to address issues like workload, supervisor support, role clarity, and relationship management. This session will use real life case studies to demonstrate how you can address stress and bullying in your organisation.

11:30am - 12:30pm: Enforceable undertaking - A case study

In March 2016, a contractor working for the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) fell through a skylight on the roof of a Community Centre whilst carrying out works, suffering an injury. The resulting investigation found CoGG had breached sections of the OH&S Act 2004. This session will take you through:

  • the incident
  • negotiated Enforceable Undertaking and its implementation
  • lessons learnt and
  • long term benefits.

12:30pm - 1:00pm: Lunch