2021 National Forests Industries Awards

“Safety does not start or stop at the gate and we must have a collective responsibility for the safety of self and others- both at work, and at home!” – a philosophy which has led AKD’s National Health and Safety Manager, Toni Kirkup, to win the 2021 National Forests industries Innovation Health and Safety Award. The commendation reflects not only her passion for safety, but also her unrelenting drive to move AKD towards a zero-harm workplace.

The award recognises a person who has demonstrated excellence in their development of industry initiatives and contributions towards health, safety and wellbeing within the Australian forest industry.

Toni’s efforts over recent years in changing AKD’s Culture around safety have done just that, resulting in a 20% reduction in our LTIFR in FY20, which only got better in FY21 with a further reduction of 40%. Her creation of safe work posters which can be seen throughout all our sites made safety a personal matter for us all. Toni changed the way that we, as a community, view our own safety and the safety of others as not only important to ourselves, but how important it is for our loved ones.

Toni’s continuous hard work and dedication to the safety of AKD employees has only been heightened throughout the COVID 19 crisis. When COVID hit Colac, Toni went above and beyond to protect not only the AKD team, but also the Colac community as a whole. Toni put in hours upon hours of work leading and educating our teams. The “Keep Colac Safe” Campaign was one of the products of these hours of work. Toni challenged Shane with the belief that it was pointless to try and keep employees safe at work if they were only going to be exposed to the virus in the community, driving the start-up of the campaign. This was a community effort which was recognised on a national and worldwide stage.

Toni is a pivotal member of the AKD Community, and nothing sums up just how important she is to AKD better then these words from Shane: “AKD is incredibly proud of both Toni and what she has achieved for AKD through her perseverance and persistence. Quite simply, Toni made safety personal and engrained in our behaviours and culture. Toni achieved this through driving a consistent message of its not compliance, it’s our collective responsibility to ourselves and our families.

The real strength of what Toni has achieved is a system or a set of behaviours, that are sustainable and owned by all employees, not requiring Toni’s constant reinforcement. Toni has made AKD a safer place to work, and for that we are incredibly grateful.”

Congratulations Toni on this very well deserved achievement!