The Fair Work Ombudsman

Natalie James is Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman. She was appointed to the position by the Governor-General for a 5 year term starting on 15 July 2013.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, the Fair Work Ombudsman is responsible for promoting harmonious, productive and cooperative workplace relations and ensuring compliance with Commonwealth workplace laws.

Prior to her appointment as Fair Work Ombudsman, Ms James was the State Manager of the Victorian State Office of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). In this role she oversaw a range of programs and activities in Victoria for DEEWR, including early childhood, employment services, indigenous employment, education and youth. She held this position for 3 years.

Ms James had previously worked for 10 years in Government in Workplace Relations, including in senior roles at FWO and as Chief Counsel for Workplace Relations in DEEWR. During this time, she led the drafting of the Fair Work legislation.

Earlier, Ms James worked in a number of roles in the Australian government, including in the Department of House of Representatives and at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Ms James graduated from James Cook University with an Arts Law degree. Natalie began to develop a curiosity about workplace relations while working in retail and hospitality while studying. When she was accepted as a graduate in Canberra at the then Department of Employment, Education, Science and Technology in 1996, she immediately enrolled in a Masters in Industrial Law at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Previous Fair Work Ombudsman

Nicholas Wilson previously held the position of Fair Work Ombudsman from 1 July 2009 until 28 April 2013.

Michael Campbell was Acting Fair Work Ombudsman from 29 April 2013 to 14 July 2013.

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Page last updated: 14 Oct 2013