Australia endures lockdowns and social restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic


Innes Willox is appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for "significant service to business, particularly to industry, and to the community".


In June, Ai Group’s Head of Victoria, Tim Piper, is appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to industry and manufacturing, to skills training, and to multicultural youth”.


Ai Group plays a pivotal role in shaping legislative reforms aimed at creating more respectful workplaces.

Ai Group Apprentice & Trainee Centre is formed.


Ai Group is appointed to — and remains a core member of — the Australian Government’s Respect@Work Council, whose job it is to oversee the implementation of the Respect@Work report.


In April, Ai Group Centre for Education and Training - a new research and advocacy body established to better connect skills development with the needs of industry and the community - is formed. The centre is led by Executive Director Megan Lilly.


In June, Ai Group’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Tony Melville, is appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to corporate and government communications”.


In August, following the Federal Court of Australia’s problematic 2018 casual employment decision in the WorkPac v Skene case, which exposed employers to cost risks of an estimated $39billion, Ai Group works hard to restore fairness and certainty. This was ultimately achieved in early 2021 through amendments to the Fair Work Act which define a “casual employee” in a workable and fair manner, giving employees robust conversion rights. In August, the High Court clarifies the meaning of a “casual employee’ in the WorkPac v Rossato case. Ai Group’s chief economist gives evidence in the case about the huge costs that would have resulted if the Federal Court’s interpretation of the law had prevailed.


’Coming Together’, a painting representing the journey of Ai Group over the past 150 years, is commissioned as part of our Reconciliation Action Plan.

“The map of Australia represents the country within which we operate, while paying homage to the beautifully diverse traditional lands of Australia's First Nations people. Two separate elements are seen to merge within the map — symbolising the associations that combined to create today’s Ai Group — meeting at the centre to highlight the connection of cultures.

The background depicts the journeys, conversations and networks that have led to forging collaborative and cooperative relationships which empower growth and success in industry and the community.

The overall design highlights the ‘Coming Together’ of all parties — employers, employees, apprentices, trainees and the community — to share in the reconciliation journey.

Artist Kamilya Lowana White, who is of Kija Bardi heritage, was born, raised and is still based in Naarm (Melbourne).”


Ai Group establishes a base in North Queensland in a major vote of confidence in the growing importance of the region. Dean Deighton is appointed Regional Manager — North Queensland.


Energy expert Tennant Reed is included in The Australian newspaper’s list of the country’s top 100 Green Power Players.

“It’s his reach across both climate and energy along with manufacturing and innovation that gives him an influential position helping shape the public debate and offering up solutions to cut through a mass of policy and regulatory complexity.”


Brent Ferguson is appointed Head of National Workplace Relations Policy.

Brent succeeds Stephen Smith in this important role leading Ai Group’s team of workplace relations policy and advocacy professionals in representing Ai Group members in workplace relations policy matters. This includes representations to Government and Opposition parties, submissions to numerous inquiries, major cases in the FWC and Courts and influencing the public debate.

Ai Group’s “IR Roadshow” — a national series of face-to-face Workplace Relations Member Briefings — helps demystify changes to IR legislation introduced this year and next.


Ai Group represents its members in an era of significant workplace relations change – the volume of which has not been seen since the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Ai Group advocates for industry, community and the economy in relation to the Secure Jobs Better Pay Amendment Act and the Protecting Worker Entitlement Amendment Act and continues its advocacy around a third tranche of workplace relations reforms.

We cannot do this work without our members.


Business a member for 110+ years

Businesses members for 75+ years

Businesses members for 105+ years

Businesses members for 50+ years

Businesses members for 100+ years