Our purpose

The Victorian Asbestos Eradication Agency (VAEA) was established in 2016 by an Order in Council to:

  • prioritise and plan for the removal of 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 to eradicate 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.

Our structure

We are an independent state body reporting to the Minister for Workplace Safety. We are also a subsidiary of WorkSafe Victoria(opens in a new window), the state workplace health and safety regulator. The VAEA's report of operations and financial statements are consolidated within WorkSafe Victoria's annual reports:

Our Board

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 the VAEA, she is a Board member of the Royal Women's Hospital and the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service. She is the former Co-Chair of 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 often 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 the VAEA and supporting its vital role in planning for the removal of asbestos from government buildings in Victoria.

Simone Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer

Simone Stevenson head shot

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 risk-based asbestos removal.

Gifts, benefits and hospitality

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.

VAEA gifts benefits and hospitality policy
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Gifts Benefits and Hospitality flow chart
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VAEA gifts benefits and hospitality register 2020-2021 financial year
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VAEA gifts benefits and hospitality register 2021-2022 financial year
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