Our structure

NOPSEMA comprises of the Office of the Chief Executive, Office of the General Counsel, a Corporate and Financial Assurance division, Environment and Decommissioning division and Safety and Integrity division; each reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This structure provides NOPSEMA with clear lines of responsibility that support sound corporate governance, stakeholder engagement and compliance efforts.

The Office of the Chief Executive provide external, legislative and regulatory affairs services; as well as advice on Regulatory Practice Improvements. 

The Office of the General Counsel provide advice on matters affecting NOPSEMA's business operations and ensure all statutory and legal obligations are met.

The Corporate and Financial Assurance division undertakes regulatory financial assurance assessments and provides provide corporate support services.

The Environment and Decommissioning division regulate the management of risks and impacts to the environment arising from offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage activities.

The Safety and Integrity division regulate the management of health and safety risks to people at or near offshore petroleum facilities.


NOPSEMA organisational chart

Stuart Smith, Chief Executive Officer

Stuart Smith was appointed NOPSEMA’s CEO in September 2014, following six years as Director General of the Department of Fisheries in Western Australia. At the Department of Fisheries, Stuart managed the sustainable use of aquatic resources in Western Australia and in adjacent Commonwealth waters. Stuart also worked as a Deputy Director General (DDG) and Acting Director General for the Department of Mines, Industry and Resources (DMIR) in Western Australia. As the DDG for State Development, he was responsible for facilitating major mining and petroleum projects, attracting investment and promoting trade and economic expansion opportunities in Western Australia. As the DDG for Resources he was responsible for promoting resources exploration in the state, regulating mining activity, managing resources sector royalties and regulating petroleum activity including onshore and offshore safety and environmental management. Prior to DMIR, Stuart spent 14 years with the Australian Public Service in Canberra, Melbourne and Perth. During this period, he held various industry development and regulatory roles including positions with the industry portfolio and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, together with a secondment to Parliament House as an Inquiry Secretary and adviser. Stuart holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia and a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the Australian National University.

Nicholas Page, Director - Office of the Chief Executive

Nicholas Page was appointed as Director, Office of the Chief Executive in May 2021 after five years as Manager, Legislative Change, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, where he was responsible for engagement activity driving regulatory reform and strengthening external relationships. Leading the Office of the Chief Executive, Nicholas oversees NOPSEMA’s communications, legislative, and regulatory improvement functions, and is principal advisor to NOPSEMA’s CEO and executive leadership team. With over 15 years’ experience in the public sector, Nicholas has a strong record for government relations and ministerial liaison, including roles representing the Australian Government overseas. Prior to joining NOPSEMA, Nicholas held communications leadership roles with the Australian Federal Police and the CrimTrac Agency (now the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission). Nicholas holds Certified Practising Marketer and Chartered Manager accreditations and is a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute. Nicholas’ qualifications include a Bachelor of Communication from Griffith University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK), and a Master of Business from the Queensland University of Technology.

Suzanne Hillier, General Counsel and Director - Legal and Risk

Suzanne Hillier was appointed NOPSEMA’s General Counsel in March 2010, following seven years at the Western Australian Department of Health (DoH). At DoH, she was responsible for managing the Legal and Legislative Services Directorate which included managing the legislative program for the Minister for Health, providing specialist advice on matters associated with the state’s health system and providing extensive support during a coronial inquiry process. 
Suzanne is responsible for managing NOPSEMA’s legal and risk functions. This includes providing legal advice on contract and commercial issues, statutory interpretation, employment law and investigation and prosecution proceedings. She also manages the risk, internal audit and assurance functions for the agency.  Suzanne regularly presents on best practice legal management at forums for government and in-house company lawyers. Suzanne is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania and a Masters of Environmental Law from the University of Sydney.

Karl Heiden, Head of Division - Corporate and Financial Assurance

Karl Heiden was appointed NOPSEMA’s Head of Division for Corporate and Financial Assurance in May 2021, following six years as Head of Division for Regulatory Support. Prior to these senior leadership roles, Karl spent four years as an Environment Manager assisting the inception and implementation of NOPSEMA’s regulation of environmental management. Karl has extensive experience working in Canberra, having spent 12 years in a number of senior advisory roles for various federal government departments and ministers. At the Department of Fisheries and Forestry, Karl was responsible for the administration of the $250 million Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement to enhance the protection of Tasmania’s forest environment and assist the Tasmanian forest industry to adjust to changes in forest resources. In the Office of the Minister for the Environment, he provided advice on the implementation of the EPBC Act and other EPBC-related matters. Karl also held roles in a number environmental consultancy firms primarily providing advice on large-scale oil and gas projects. As the Head of Division for Corporate and Financial Assurance, Karl is responsible for overseeing NOPSEMA’s corporate functions including human resources, finance and budget management, and information technology. He is also responsible for delivering regulatory functions including independent investigations, financial assurance, and statutory reporting. Karl holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Tasmania and a Masters in Environmental Science from Monash University.

Cameron Grebe, Head of Division - Environment and Decommissioning

Cameron Grebe was appointed NOPSEMA’s Head of Division for Environment in August 2011, and in May 2021 the Division was expanded to take on decommissioning as part of a the government’s agenda to increase focus on aging offshore infrastructure. Prior to NOPSEMA, Cameron spent 12 years as an environmental engineer, adviser and manager at Woodside Energy and Shell Global Solutions International. In these roles, he was responsible for the environmental and social impact assessment and management of largescale upstream exploration, production and liquefied natural gas projects. As the Head of Division for Environment, Cameron is responsible for leading NOPSEMA’s regulatory oversight of environmental management across all offshore petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters including oil pollution, risk management and emergency planning. Cameron led the inception and implementation of NOPSEMA’s regulation of environmental management, which involved a comprehensive stakeholder engagement and streamlining program. He continues to lead teams of environment specialists to improve environmental management outcomes and NOPSEMA’s regulatory activities, this has included substantial stakeholder engagement. Cameron represents NOPSEMA (and Australia) as a member of the International Offshore Petroleum Environment Regulators group. Cameron holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) from RMIT University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Energy Studies from Murdoch University.

Derrick O’Keeffe, Head of Division - Safety and Integrity

Derrick O’Keeffe was appointed NOPSEMA’s Head of Division for Safety and Integrity in December 2016, following a successful 34 year career in the oil and gas industry. Derrick possesses a comprehensive understanding of the objective-based regulatory regime having worked in Australia as a Country Manager for Murphy Oil, Chief Operating Officer for Strike Energy, and Business Manager for Woodside Energy. He also has significant international experience, including working in the UK, USA, Asia, and the Middle East with companies such as Blade Petroleum, British Gas, Schlumberger, and Marathon Oil. Derrick’s career has involved building multicultural cross-exploration and production teams to develop and deliver growth opportunities. His expertise includes strategy, business development, commercialisation, operations and regulatory management, governance and control, executive crisis management, and stakeholder and media relations. His goal is to assist teams to achieve outcomes they had not thought possible. Derrick holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Loughborough University of Technology and a Masters of Business Administration from Cranfield University.

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. 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.

Board members

The responsible Commonwealth Minister has appointed the following members to the Advisory Board. 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

Mr Ken Fitzpatrick - Chair

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.

Ken has been appointed Chair of the NOPSEMA Advisory Board for a three year term from 5 September 2020.

Professor Melinda Hodkiewicz FTSE

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 Fellow for Engineering for Remote Operations in 2015 and again in 2020. Her research and teaching focus areas are in maintenance, safety and reliability and the application of artificial intelligence for these applications. She is on the leadership team of the Australian Research Council (ARC) and industry funded Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Transforming Maintenance through Data Science (2019-2024) and has been part of the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Offshore Structures (2016-2020).

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.

Page last updated: August 12, 2021 3:34pm