Business Sydney | Lysander | ABLA

EXCLUSIVE Breakfast with the Hon. Sophie Cotsis MP

NSW Minister for Industrial Relations | NSW Minister for Work Health and Safety

Friday, 27 October 2023

7:45 AM - 10:00 AM






Business Sydney Members & Guests

At this breakfast, the Hon Sophie Cotsis MP, NSW Minister for Industrial Relations, and Minister for Work Health and Safety updated guests on her work and priorities within her portfolios, including SafeWork NSW and its Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work.

After her address, Minister Cotsis sat down to a Q&A to further explore the issues around businesses obligations to manage the risk of psychosocial hazards with Luis Izzo, Managing Director – Sydney, Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors (ABLA) and Jessica Furolo, Chief People Officer, Merivale, facilitated by Ellie Brown, Strategic Consultant, Lysander.

Kerrie Adaway, CEO of Lysander gave the vote of thanks and spoke about Lysander's services.

Event PartnerS

Lysander Lysander


Event Collages for web (1200 x 848 px) - 9

Special GuestS


NSW Minister for Industrial Relations, NSW Minister for Work Health and Safety 

The Hon. Sophie Cotsis MP is the State Member for Canterbury, Minister for Industrial Relations, and Minister for Work Health and Safety.

Minister Cotsis became a Member of the NSW Legislative Council in 2010, and she was elected as the Member for Canterbury in 2016.

Before entering Parliament, Minister Cotsis held a number of roles in the private and public sectors, including working as a hospitality worker at Sydney Airport, with the NSW Labor Council and the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union.

Since entering Parliament, Minister Cotsis was the Opposition Spokesperson for Industrial Relations for over three years – from 2011 to 12, and then from 2021 till her appointment as Minister for Industrial Relations. She was also the Opposition Spokesperson for Work Health and Safety until her appointment as the Minister for the portfolio.

In Opposition, Minister Cotsis secured two reviews in SafeWork NSW as well sought key changes to dust diseases legislation.

As a Senior Minister of the Minns NSW Government, Minister Cotsis continues to focus on workers across NSW, ensuring working conditions and safety measures at workplaces are protect workers.



Strategic Consultant | Melbourne, Lysander

Ellie Brown is an experienced and skilled consultant in culture, leadership, employee engagement, and the creation of healthy workplaces.   

With a career of over 25 years in leadership in both business and community, Ellie Brown brings a pragmatic and hands-on approach to developing leaders in today’s ever-changing and challenging workplace environments. A large part of Ellie’s career has been spent as the owner operator of multi-site and multi-discipline businesses, Ellie has been recognised as an Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence and as the Orange (NSW) Electorate, Woman of the Year for leadership within the business community, leadership education and regional Australia advocacy. 

Ellie has vast experience in corporate organisations, mentoring & coaching c-suite and up and coming managers in leadership development.  Ellie has held several non-executive directorships, including her current tenure as a board member of  Business NSW and Business Australia.  In this role, Ellie has participated and chaired committees, and worked with senior management in development of strategic priorities, risk management, people and culture strategic development.



Managing Director - Sydney Workplace, Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors (ABLA)

Luis oversees ABLA's Sydney Workplace Relations practice and has over 15 years' experience practicing as a specialist employment and industrial relations lawyer acting for a broad range of employers across both the private and public sector.

His advocacy experience in State and Federal Courts and Tribunals is extensive. In addition to achieving successful outcomes for clients as an advocate in numerous unfair dismissal and industrial dispute arbitrations, he acted as one of the lead employer advocates in the 2014/2015 Fair Work Commission Annual Leave Test Case as well as the highly publicised 2016/2017 Penalty Rates Test Case. Following heavily contested hearings in both proceedings, Luis ultimately succeeded in securing a raft of amendments to modern awards in respect of both annual leave and weekend penalty rates.

Luis is the trusted advisor to a number of organisations when it comes to large scale industrial bargaining. In the public sector, he has been the principal advisor on department-wide enterprise agreement negotiations, covering tens of thousands of public sector employees. In the private sector, he has advised on enterprise bargaining for the transport, education, aviation, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. This experience has also extended to obtaining orders preventing unlawful industrial action and successfully resisting good faith bargaining claims and scope order applications filed by union parties.

He has conducted numerous investigations for clients in relation to internal employment disputes and bullying and harassment matters and continues to be a lead litigator in the developing General Protections and bullying jurisdictions.

In addition to working in private practice, Luis has been seconded to the Australian Federal Police and the Fair Work Ombudsman, working on a variety of employment related litigation and prosecutions and is a member of the Law Society of NSW’s Employment Law Committee.



Chief Human Resources Officer, Merivale

Equally fascinated by the employee and customer experience, Jess began her career in retail operations before a natural evolution into the world of HR.

Following 10+ years in senior HR leadership roles across fashion, speciality retail and financial services, Jess joined Merivale as Chief People Officer (CPO), in 2019.

Enhancing career progression of front-line teams across the organisation drives Jess’ delivery of people programs that focus simultaneously on  leadership development and tangible outcomes for the customer.

Jess enjoys coaching senior leaders in fast-paced, reactive environments and is at her best steering people strategies periods of challenges and change.

Enjoying good company, wine and food in her spare time, Jess is right at home with the Merivale team!





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