NOPSEMA Advisory Board

The NOPSEMA Advisory Board (the Board) provides advice and makes recommendations to the responsible Commonwealth Minister, state and Northern Territory ministers and the body known as the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council on NOPSEMA's performance of its functions and policy and strategic matters relating to:

  • occupational health and safety of persons engaged in offshore petroleum operations

  • structural integrity of facilities, wells or well-related equipment in NOPSEMA waters

  • offshore petroleum environmental management.

Under the provisions of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGS Act), the Board is established as a separate entity to NOPSEMA and does not have a role in decision-making matters, nor may it direct the operations or individual decisions of NOPSEMA. Those wishing to raise matters relating to a particular activity should raise them directly with NOPSEMA in writing by email to

The Board may provide advice and recommendations to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NOPSEMA about operational policies and strategies to which the CEO must have regard.

NOPSEMA Advisory Board members

The responsible Commonwealth Minister has appointed the following members to the NOPSEMA Advisory Board. Secretariat services to the Board are provided by NOPSEMA.

The Board members have been appointed for terms of up to three years, as recommended by the COAG Energy Council.

Should you wish to contact any of the Board members please email the Board Secretariat

Ms Erica Smyth FTSE; FAICD (Chair)

Erica Smyth has over 40 years experience in the mineral and petroleum industries, initially as a minerals exploration geologist and later in government approvals, corporate affairs and community interactions for BHP and Woodside. She worked for 10 years in the oil and gas industry managing government and environmental approvals for offshore facilities, LNG and methanol facilities in Australia.

She is now a full time company director – including the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), the Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Operations and National (RFDS), the National Energy Resources Australia Growth Centre (NERA) and Pty Ltd. Previously she held roles as Chairman of Diabetes Research WA, Toro Energy Ltd; Ochre Energy Ltd and the Pilbara Development Commission; Deputy Chairman at Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and non-executive director roles at Emeco Holdings Ltd and Deep Exploration Technologies CRC.

Erica has helped develop the modern approach to community consultation, social impact assessment and environmental approvals for titanium minerals, petroleum and uranium projects in Australia. Her personal focus on risk management is reflected in her current and past roles chairing Audit and Risk Committees at ANSTO, RFDS WO, Toro Energy Ltd, and the UWA Senate.

Erica is also co-founder and Chairman of networking group Mega Data Cluster WA.

Dr Jim Limerick, PSM

Dr Limerick has 30 years' experience in private and public organisations in the resources sector in Australia. He is presently the Chairman of Fremantle Ports in Western Australia and chairs the industry group, Ports WA. He also consults on public policy and administration and advises Australian and international aid agencies on resource sector governance regimes for developing countries.  He was a member of the Independent Advisory Committee to the board of PPTEP as the company undertook the Montara Action Plan under a Deed of Agreement with the Australian Government.

During the period 2001-2008 he was Director General of the Department of Industry & Resources, which had regulatory responsibility (including safety and environment) for the resources sector in Western Australia, and he was directly involved in the establishment of NOPSA. From 1986-2001 he was at the government-company interface during the establishment of many major resource projects in W.A., as Executive Director and later CEO of the Department of Resources Development.  With qualifications in metallurgy, he had previously worked for ten years in the nickel industry. He was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal in 2008.

Ms Trish Kerin

Ms Kerin was appointed as the director of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Safety Centre in January 2014.

After graduating from RMIT University with honours in mechanical engineering, Ms Kerin spent several years working in design, project management, operational, safety and executive roles for the oil, gas and chemical industries. Ms Kerin’s passion for process safety saw her take on several advisory committee roles. This includes representing the Plastics and Chemical Industries Association (PACIA) on drafting the 2007 OHS regulations for major hazards in Victoria – Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007. 

She has also represented the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on the Safe Work Australia temporary advisory group for drafting the major hazard facility model law. Trish has also represented PACIA to the WorkSafe Victoria Major Hazards Advisory Committee and been an invited speaker for various local and international conferences. She currently is a member of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center steering committee.

Additional appointments have included positions as a director and vice president for a not-for-profit community radio station. Ms Kerin is a Chartered Engineer, a registered Professional Process Safety Engineer and Fellow of IChemE. She also holds a diploma of OHS and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). In 2015 Ms Kerin was awarded the John A Brodie Medal by Engineers Australia for her paper on Process Safety Competency and in 2018 she received the Trevor Kletz Merit Award from the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center for her work in improving process safety internationally.

Mr Ken Fitzpatrick

Ken Fitzpatrick brings over 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry in Australia and overseas, holding a range of senior positions responsible for drilling, development and production. Ken is currently Chair of the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Ken was CEO of PTTEP Australasia from 2011 to 2014 and has worked in senior positions in Ampolex, Mobil, Nexen and Woodside. He is a past WA State Chairman for Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) and was a member of the APPEA Montara/Macondo task force steering committee.

Professor Melinda Hodkiewicz

Professor Hodkiewicz has over 25 years’ experience in maintenance and asset management. She was Australia’s nominated representative on the ISO 55000 AM Management System Standard Committee (2012-2015) and held a national role as the Chair of the Standards Australia MB19 Committee on Asset Management.

Professor Hodkiewicz has worked at the University of Western Australia since 1998 and was appointed the BHP Billiton fellow for engineering for remote operations in 2015. Her research and teaching focus areas are in maintenance, safety and reliability. In 2016 she joined the METS Ignited Advisory Council, a federally-funded industry growth centre for the mining sector. She is also a registered chartered engineer with the Engineering Council in the United Kingdom.

Professor Andrew Hopkins 

Andrew Hopkins is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Australian National University in Canberra. Prior experience includes being an expert witness at the Australian Royal Commission in 1998 for the Exxon gas plant explosion near Melbourne; a consultant with the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) with its investigation into the BP Texas City Refinery disaster of 2005; and a consultant to the CSB in its investigation into the BP Gulf oil spill in 2010.

Professor Hopkins has a BSc and an MA from the Australian National University, a PhD from the University of Connecticut and has written books about the accidents noted above, and others. More than 100,000 copies of his books have been sold.

He has been involved in various government reviews of Work Health and Safety regulation and regulators, and has undertaken consultancy work for major companies in the mining, petroleum, chemical and electrical industries, as well as for Defence. He speaks regularly to audiences around the world about the human and organisational causes of major accidents.

Professor Hopkins has been awarded multiple honours throughout his career, including the 2008 European Process Safety Centre safety award, the first time it was awarded to someone outside Europe; an honorary fellowship of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in recognition of “outstanding contributions to process safety and to the analysis of process safety related incidents”; and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of his “distinguished service to industrial safety and accident analysis”.

Ms Anthea Tinney

Anthea Tinney has over 30 years’ experience in the Australian public service. Ms Tinney was a former deputy secretary of the Federal environment portfolio and occupied a number of other roles within the portfolio. It was here where she had oversight responsibility for the operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Ms Tinney also spent many years in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Federal Treasury and at the head of the cabinet office. Ms Tinney was awarded a Public Service Medal in 1995 for services to the Australian Cabinet System.

Ms Tinney, has served on a number of boards and advisory committees and has extensive experience in public policy advising. Ms Tinney is currently Chair of the Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel (NSW) and a non-executive director of the CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE). Ms Tinney was previously the Chair of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, the Australian National Commission for UNESCO and Land and Water Australia.

Ms Tinney is an experienced international and government negotiator and has led several reviews for the government, including independent reviews of the Port of Gladstone.

Mr Christopher Blackmore

Christopher Blackmore has over 25 years’ experience in a variety of senior management roles in the offshore oil and gas industry. Christopher entered the maritime industry in 1968 as a cadet marine engineer, and since then has worked on a number of vessels in the Australasian region. He has an advanced diploma in marine engineering and a Class 1 Unlimited Chief Engineers Motor Certificate of Competency from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

In addition to this, Christopher has served as the branch secretary, the federal vice president and the federal council member for the West Australian branch of the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers. Mr Blackmore was also part of the major project to tow the world’s first FLNG facility (Prelude) from South Korea to Australia’s north west shelf, including positioning the Prelude on the seabed. Mr Blackmore is still actively involved in the marine industry.