The Victorian Asbestos Eradication Agency (VAEA) was established in 2016 by an Order in Council to:
prioritise and plan for the removal of the asbestos from government owned buildings
develop a risk based schedule for the prioritised removal of asbestos from government owned buildings
report on the ongoing progress of asbestos removal from government owned buildings
By working toward the eradication of asbestos from Victorian government buildings, we will help prevent asbestos exposure, reduce the risk of asbestos related diseases and make Victorian workplaces and communities safer.
We are an independent state body reporting to the Minister for Workplace Safety. We are also a subsidiary of WorkSafe the state workplace health and safety regulator. The VAEA's report of operations and financial statements are consolidated within WorkSafe Victoria's annual reports:
We have three board members:
Helga Svendsen, Chair
Helga is a connector - ideas to strategy; strategy to action and people to each other. She revels in assisting individuals, organisations and communities to engage effectively and gain clarity on their role in making the world a better place.
Helga specialises in strategy and planning, governance and stakeholder engagement. Alongside her role as Chair of VAEA, she is a Board member of the Royal Women's Hospital and the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service. She is the former Co-Chair at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and former Board member of YWCA Victoria, Social Housing Victoria and the Community Services and Health Industry Training Advisory Board. Initially trained and practising as a lawyer, her previous roles include Chief Executive Officer of Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project, Assistant Secretary of the Australian Services Union and Facilitator at Sustainability Victoria.
She is also the host of the Take on Board podcast and has founded two group programs for women - Board KickStarter and Board Accelerator to encourage women into, and on, Boards.
Helga is also a keen bushwalker - although not as regular as she would like. She’s hiked Kokoda, Machu Picchu, Mount Kinabalu, the Overland and has completed Oxfam Trailwalker. She has also taught dance and competed at a national level in modern jive.
Having started her career as a personal injuries lawyer, including ensuring clients with asbestosis and mesothelioma were compensated, she is proud to be Chair of VAEA and supporting the vital role of VAEA in planning for the removal of asbestos from government buildings.
Jane Brockington Non-executive WorkSafe Director
Jane was appointed to the VAEA Board in April 2020. Jane is the Principal of Bridging Policy and Practice where her work encompasses regulatory practice, governance and strategy.
Jane is also a non-executive Director on the board of WorkSafe Victoria, TRY Australia and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). She is a member of governance committees for several other public sector and not-for-profit organisations. Previously Jane held leadership roles in the Victorian and Commonwealth public sectors.
Simone Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer
Simone Stevenson was appointed the inaugural Executive Director of the Victorian Asbestos Eradication Agency in December 2016. Ms Stevenson has an extensive background in policy development, program implementation and stakeholder engagement in government, not-for-profit and private sectors.
Simone’s wide experience covers the fields of occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation, workplace relations, health and international development policy. She provided advice on the establishment of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency and the development of the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness.
Our team works collaboratively with Victorian government departments, agencies and public sector bodies to develop a best practice plan for the risk based asbestos removal.
The VAEA Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Register and the VAEA Gifts Benefits and Hospitality Policy are published in accordance with the requirements of the Victorian Public Sector Commission.
Reviewed 03 October 2022