About us

The Emerging Safety Leaders (ESL) network supports those who are developing their careers in the occupational health and safety (OHS) industry in New Zealand. It was established to provide NZISM members and non-members alike the opportunity to engage with and learn from their peers and we’re delighted to have IMPAC as our Network Partner.

The ESL is an open forum which also enables us to increase engagement with OHS practitioners outside of NZISM. For those who are just beginning their journey into OHS, either through their roles as H&S reps or through study, this network provides information on the career path for OHS practitioners with the hope of increasing the number of young people entering the profession.

The ESL network has core bases in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and the Bay of Plenty with a plan to grow future bases organically. In addition we have a national ESL Committee whose details can be found below.

Details of events at each of the ESL centres will be announced on this web page, via NZISM newsletters, social media and the NZISM events calendar found on the NZISM website.

Keep an eye out for upcoming meetings in your region and bring along a friend or colleague who may also benefit from being a part of a dynamic group of young professionals.

Keep in touch

You can always find out what's going on via this webpage - but as you won't always know when we have put something new up, we recommend you also sign up to our database and follow us on LinkedIn.

We have been known to webcast live events/webinars on Facebook live, too!

Our Strategic Pillars

Our Network Partner

Our valued network partner is IMPAC - New Zealand’s leading Health and Safety solutions provider. IMPAC shares our commitment to support, mentor and grow the industry’s up-and-coming practitioners. They contribute a wealth of practical knowledge and expertise, and are the only NZ based NEBOSH Gold Learning Partner.

IMPAC’s commitment to ESL each year provides significant professional development opportunities for emerging safety leaders, including:

  • a scholarship up to the value of $13,500 and
  • a full-time 12-24 month paid internship, each awarded to a qualifying ESL network member.

Visit IMPAC to see how you can progress your H&S career.

IMPAC intern 2023

Our congratulations to Angela Betbeder of Auckland branch who is this year's worthy recipient of the IMPAC internship.

The IMPAC ESL Internship recognises Angela's passion for improving workplace health and safety, which made her a standout amongst many quality candidates. Well done Angela. We know you'll be gaining some invaluable experience as you build your knowledge across IMPAC’s multiple health and safety products and solutions.

Webinar Recordings

Future of Safety: How to do this sh*t?!

Tue 17 May 2022 | Tue 24 May 2022 | Tue 31 May 2022

James MacPherson - Rebranding Safety (UK podcast show)

ESL teamed up with recognised safety personality, James MacPherson, who joined us from the UK, to facilitate three engaging, straight-talking online workshops for us. The online interactivity was a bonus that can't be re-produced but there is still plenty of value to be gained by watching the recordings.


Session 1 : What is a safety professional?

Session 2: Skills of a safety professional

Session 3: Trade-offs, culture & behaviour

TEStalk: Technology and Emerging Safety

Meet three leaders in their field

Chris Thomas - Disrupting Safety Training (NZ)

Within 10 years time, Virtual Reality will add US$1.5 Trillion to global GDP, which is an incomprehensibly large number. To understand how this tech will contribute what is essentially the same value as Russia's GDP in such a small space of time, take into consideration the very function it's disrupting. Traditional learning formats are ineffective. This webinar takes us through innovations from across industry, from increasing empathy and situational awareness to de-escalating violence for frontline staff.

Chris takes us through disruptions in safety training using technologies such as VR for work at heights courses and more.

Cameron Stevens – Founder of the Safety Innovation Academy (WA)

Cameron Stevens is a health and safety professional dedicated to step-changing health and safety performance with emerging technologies and is considered Australia’s leading Safety Technologist. Cameron is the ANZ Solutions Engineer for wearable technology start-up RealWear Inc. and the Founder of the Safety Innovation Academy. When not immersed in technology Cameron enjoys a cold IPA, single origin coffee and exploring the wonders of the natural world.

In this webinar Cameron considers the question “Could technology have prevented this incident from occurring?” to explore the intersection where safety and technology meet at the cutting edge.

Andrew Heinrichs – Digital H&S thought leader (VIC)

'Predictive analytics' is a term thrown around by many a tech proponent, novice and expert alike. But what does it really mean? And can we really ever use data analytics to predict health and safety incidents? Andy Heinrichs walks participants through a quick-fire lesson in predictive analytics, and how safety professionals and practitioners should think about data analytics in their roles

Decision making in uncertainty

Gareth Beck introduces the human diver, Gareth Lock

The majority of safety professionals and those operating in high-risk environments have to deal with uncertainty on a daily basis. The problem with uncertainties is that they are managed by emotion, not logic. They are managed through biases and heuristics, and make use of previous experiences and are driven by pressures, goals and rewards from the operational environment.

Our presenter, Gareth Lock, has been on a 10-year mission to take human factors and crew resource management lessons learned from his 25-year military aviation career and apply it to diving. His website The Human Diver is a great resource. In this webinar, Gareth provides an insight into his work and explains how this can help you deal with uncertainties in your own area of work.

Facilitated by Gareth Beck, ESL


Useful References:

If Only - documentary film

Debrief Guide


What organisations can learn about performance and Health & Safety from the Paratroopers

Meet ESL member, NZISM Auckland Branch Manager and ex-army paratrooper medic, Heinrich Havemann

Before moving into WHS, Heinrich served in an elite medical unit attached to the South African Special Forces. He talks about the lessons he learned whilst serving and how this translates into embedding safety into business practice.

Facilitated by Julia Mardjetko, ESL

Meet the Team

Gareth Beck (Auckland)

022 354 9709

Joshua Dorman (Wellington)

022 158 9465

Jen Dransfield (Christchurch)


Alicia Tomchuk (Bay of Plenty)