Carbon price introduced by Gillard Government AND Carbon price dropped by Abbott Government


On December 6 and after 33 years at MTIA/Ai Group, Heather Ridout announces her resignation as Chief Executive after eight years in this role. She remains in the position until April 2012.

“It is an extraordinary organisation full of wonderful people, supported by great representatives of Australian business and industry and underpinned by an immensely loyal membership. I have no doubt that the organisation has a great future and I have every confidence it will go from success to success.” — former Ai Group CEO Heather Ridout upon her resignation

“Heather has made an outstanding contribution on behalf of her members to debates about the policies that are required to lift Australia’s productivity and maintain business competitiveness. Under her leadership, The Australian Industry Group has been a welcome partner of the Business Council of Australia in highlighting the important contribution of business to the economy in creating wealth that is shared by the community.” — BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott.


Prime Minister Julia Gillard opens Ai Group’s new Adelaide premises in February.


CEO Innes Willox is appointed Chief Executive of Ai Group, effective from May 1.

“Mr Willox is a highly regarded member of Ai Group's leadership team and has had a key role in the organisation's policy development and advocacy work. We have great confidence in his ability to continue to grow the organisation in the years ahead.” — Ai Group National President Lucio Di Bartolomeo (pictured right)


Heather Ridout is made an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

Fair Work Act appeal cases

In the first few years following the introduction of the Fair Work Act in 2009, Ai Group represented employers in many appeal cases before the Fair Work Commission (FWC) relating to the enterprise bargaining and industrial action provisions in the Act. The employers were successful in nearly all of these cases, and many important principles and interpretations under the Act were established.


Ai Group plays a leading role in representing employers throughout the FWC’s 4-Yearly Review of Awards, which continues for several years. Ai Group focuses on preserving a flexible operating environment for businesses with much success. During the review, major ‘common issues’ cases are conducted on many topics including casual employment, annual leave, award flexibility and paid domestic violence leave. In addition, Ai Group is involved in extensive FWC proceedings relating to many individual awards.


Ai Group supports Baytech in defending a claim by CoINVEST (the administrator of the Victorian construction industry portable long service leave scheme) that a group of Baytech’s employees involved in assembling switchboards in a factory are covered by the scheme. The Victorian Court of Appeal ultimately rules the employees are not covered by the scheme. The decision protects manufacturers in Victoria against CoINVEST claims.


Ai Group creates its Diversity & Inclusion Member Network to drive industry capability to build inclusive and thriving workplaces. The D&I network remains one of Ai Group’s most popular business networks as it continues to focus on Respect@Work, business engagement with First Nations communities and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.


The international #MeToo movement prompts the Australian Government to commission a nation-changing National Inquiry into Workplace Sexual Harassment.

Ai Group is appointed to the reference group to facilitate direct member engagement with then Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins AO, who led the inquiry.

Ai Group ensures the industry voice is heard in important reforms to create more respectful workplaces free from sexual harassment.


Ai Group is appointed to the Australian Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Modern Slavery and continues to support industry capacity to combat modern slavery.

Ai Group Workplace Lawyers successfully represent Mondelez in an important High Court case which held that employees who work 38 ordinary hours per week are entitled to 76 hours’ personal/carer’s leave. The case relates to a group of employees working 12-hour shifts. If the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union’s (AMWU) arguments had prevailed, the employees would have been entitled to 120 hours’ personal/carer’s leave each year, with huge cost implications for employers in numerous industries.