Associate Professor Sharron O'Neill


Room 205, Building 27
School of Business
University of NSW (Canberra)
Northcott Drive,
Campbell ACT 2612


Dr Sharron O'Neill is an Associate Professor in the Canberra School of Business at the University of NSW. She holds academic [BCom, MCom] and professional [CPA] accounting qualifications, as well as a PhD in corporate accountability for work health and safety (WHS).

Sharron's academic research builds on industry experience gained as a former accountant in manufacturing, transport and healthcare sectors. Her research examines the design, measurement and reporting of performance measures for organisational governance and accountability. She has particular expertise in non-financial indicators of work health and safety (WHS) performance and advises government, investors and industry (executives and Boards) on WHS performance measurement and reporting. Sharron leads collaborative research projects that bring the accounting and safety professions together with industry, government and academia. 

Sharron chaired the Global Reporting Initiative's international GRI403 project working group to develop a revised global OHS reporting standard (launched September 2018). She currently serves on the evaluation working group of the National Mental Health Commission's National Workplace Initiative and served a three year term as Ministerial appointee on the ACT Government's advisory Work Safety Council (2017-2019). Sharron is a member of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), and the Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS).

Expertise:  developing performance indicators to support WHS due diligence; performance management, governance and assurance of WHS and other employment relations issues.

Research Area

Journal articles

Thornthwaite L; O'Neill S, 2019, 'Mobilising evidence in public policy: The contribution of the evidence provider', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 78, pp. 137 - 154,

Long JC; Debono D; Williams R; Salisbury E; O'Neill S; Eykman E; Butler J; Rawson R; Phan-Thien KC; Thompson SR; Braithwaite J; Chin M; Taylor N, 2018, 'Using behaviour change and implementation science to address low referral rates in oncology 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1117 Public Health and Health Services', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 18, pp. 904,

Taylor N; Long JC; Debono D; Williams R; Salisbury E; O'Neill S; Eykman E; Braithwaite J; Chin M, 2016, 'Achieving behaviour change for detection of Lynch syndrome using the Theoretical Domains Framework Implementation (TDFI) approach: A study protocol', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 16,

O'Neill S; Flanagan J; Clarke K, 2016, 'Safewash! Risk attenuation and the (Mis)reporting of corporate safety performance to investors', Safety Science, vol. 83, pp. 114 - 130,

Markey R; Ferris S; McIvor J; Thornthwaite L; Wright CF; Muhidin S; O'Neill S; Parr N, 2016, 'Extending employment entitlements to non-standard workers: Alternative models for long service leave portability', Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 58, pp. 46 - 68,

Holley S; Thornthwaite L; O’Neill S; Markey R, 2015, 'Reforming a complex system: the case of NSW workers’ compensation and return to work', Labour & Industry: a journal of the social and economic relations of work, vol. 25, pp. 85 - 99,

Holley S; Thornthwaite L; Markey R; O'Neill S, 2015, 'NSW Workers' Compensation Reform: A Parody of Evidence-based Policy Making', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 74, pp. 151 - 161,

O'Neill SM; McDonald G; Deegan CM, 2015, 'Lost in translation: Institutionalised logic and the problematisation of accounting for injury', Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol. 28, pp. 180 - 209,

O'Neill SM; Wolfe, K, 2014, 'Officers' due diligence: Is work health and safety an accounting problem?', Journal of Health and Safety Research and Practice, vol. 6, pp. 15 - 21,

Clarke KJ; Flanagan J; O'Neill S, 2012, 'Success in winning Australian Research Council grants as a measure of comparative professionalized disciplinary research activity', Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 24, pp. 51 - 79,

Clarke KJ; Flanagan J; O'Neill S, 2011, 'Winning ARC grants: comparing accounting with other commerce-related disciplines', Accounting Research Journal, vol. 24, pp. 213 - 244,

Clarke KJ; Flanagan J; O Neill SM, 2008, 'The Financial Information Value Chain: repositioning Accounting Knowledge.', Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal, vol. 2, pp. 82 - 94,

O'Neill S, 2007, 'The road to profit', Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 20, pp. 160 - 161,

Clarke K; O'Neill S, 2005, 'Is the environmental professional... An accountant?', Greener Management International, pp. 111 - 124,

Clarke KJ, 2005, 'Is the Environmental Professional... an Accountant?', Greener Management International, vol. 49, pp. 110 - 125,

Conference Presentations

O'Neill S, 2019, 'Informing Health and Safety Leadership', presented at Health and Safety Month Conference, Work Safe Victoria, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, I Convention Centre Place, South Wharf, Melbourne, Victoria, 3006, Australia, 30 October 2019 - 30 October 2019

O'Neill S, 2019, 'Evaluating WHS Risk', presented at ACT Government, Audit and Risk Management Committee Forum, CPA Australia, Canberra, 05 September 2019 - 05 September 2019

O'Neill S, 2019, 'Measurement and reporting of WHS performance', presented at ORCHSE Asia Pacific Health, Safety and Environment Forum, Sydney, 17 July 2019 - 19 July 2019

O'Neill S, 2019, 'Accountants - the hidden key to better health and safety performance', presented at CAANZ Public Sector Forum, National Press Club, 16 Barton Circuit, Canberra, 24 May 2019 - 24 May 2019

O'Neill S, 2018, 'WHS Reporting', presented at SafeWork NSW - Musculoskeletal Disorder Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 08 November 2018 - 09 November 2018,

O'Neill S, 2018, 'GRI403: The New Global (OHS Reporting) Standard', presented at Safety Forum, Mecure Sydney International Airport, Sydney, 25 September 2018 - 26 September 2018,

Thornthwaite L; O'Neill S, 2018, 'Employee silence when regulatory voice mechanisms exist: bullying, retribution and truck driver safety', presented at AIRAANZ 2018, Adelaide, Australia, 07 February 2018 - 09 February 2018,

O'Neill S; Thornthwaite L, 2018, 'Constructing silence on health and safety: The case of road freight transport workers', presented at 6th Precarious employment and vulnerable workers conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 31 January 2018 - 01 February 2018,

O'Neill S, 2017, 'Driving WHS Performance', presented at Injury Prevention and Return to Work, Brisbane, Australia, 19 October 2017 - 19 October 2017,

O'Neill S, 2017, 'Measuring to improve supply chain WHS performance', presented at Supply Chain Forum, Cairns (16 Aug), Rockhampton (30 Aug), Roma (5 Sept), 16 August 2017 - 05 September 2018,

O'Neill S, 2017, 'How the choice of lead and lag KPIs influence WHS outcomes', presented at Injury Prevention and Management, Brisbane (3 Aug), Mackay (15 Aug), Townsville (29 Aug), 03 August 2017 - 29 August 2017,

Thornthwaite L; O'Neill S, 2017, 'Challenges in Supply Chain Regulation: WHS in the road freight transport sector', presented at Fifth Regulating for Decent Work, Geneva, Switzerland, 03 July 2017 - 05 July 2017,

O'Neill S; Thornthwaite L, 2017, 'Owner Driver Remuneration and Road Safety: New Survey Evidence', presented at AIRAANZ 2017, Canberra, Australia, 08 February 2017 - 10 February 2017,


O'Neill SM; Wolfe K, 2017, Measuring and reporting on work health and safety, Safe Work Australia, Canberra,

O'Neill SM; Wolfe K, 2017, Informing Officers' Decisions: A guide to reporting on WHS performance, UNSW Canberra, Canberra

Thornthwaite L; O'Neill SM, 2017, Evaluating approaches to regulating WHS in the Australian road freight transport industry, Transport Education, Audit, Compliance, Health Organisation (TEACHO) Ltd., Sydney, NSW, Final Report,

Thornthwaite L; O'Neill SM, 2017, Regulating the Work Health and Safety of Australian Road Freight Transport Drivers, Transport Education, Audit, Compliance, Health Organisation (TEACHO) Ltd., Sydney NSW, Summary,

Morris S; Rice T; O'Neill S; Raets E; Fairbank B, 2017, Misdiagnosed, misunderstood and missing out: Lynch Syndrome, Australia's untold health story, Lynch Syndrome Australia, Brisbane,

Markey R; Holley S; Thornthwaite L; O'Neill SM, 2015, The impact on injured workers of changes to NSW workers' compensation: Report 3, Unions NSW, Sydney, July 6 2012- November 2015

O'Neill SM; Wolfe K; Holley S, 2015, Performance measurement, incentives and organisational culture: implications for leading safe and healthy work, Safe Work Australia, Canberra, The role of accounting in work health and safety governance, 4/4,

Markey R; Holley S; Thornthwaite L; O'Neill SM, 2014, The Impact on Injured Workers of Changes to NSW Workers’ Compensation: June 2012 Legislative Amendments, Report 2, Unions NSW, Sydney, 2,

O'Neill SM, 2014, The business case for safe, healthy and productive work: Implications for resource allocation, Safe Work Australia, Canberra, The role of accounting in work health and safety governance, 3/4,

Martinov-Bennie N; O'Neill SM; Cheung A, 2014, Issues in the Assurance and Verification of WHS Information, Safe Work Australia, Canberra, The role of accounting in work health and safety governance, 2/4,

Markey R; Holley S; O'Neill SM; Thornthwaite L, 2013, The Impact on Injured Workers of Changes to NSW Workers’ Compensation: June 2012 Legislative Amendments, Macquarie University, Sydney, 1,

O'Neill SM; Martinov-Bennie N; Cheung A, 2013, Issues in the Measurement and Reporting of Work Health and Safety Performance, Safe Work Australia, Canberra, The Role of Accounting in Work Health and Safety, 1,

Markey R; Ferris S; Kyng T; Lavermicocca C; Muhidin S; O'Neill SM; Parr N; Thornthwaite L; Wright C, 2013, The Case for a National Portable Long Service Leave Scheme in Australia, The McKell Institute, McKell Institute,

Theses / Dissertations

O'Neill SM, 2010, Accounting for lost time: examining corporate accountability to stakeholders for occupational health and safety, RMIT University,

O'Neill SM, 2003, A Study of the Effect of Organisational Visibility and Environmental Impact on the Adoption of Risk Management Strategy, University of NSW


Thornthwaite L; O'Neill S, 2019, Better by Design, New Zealand,

O'Neill S; Taylor N, 2016, Lynch syndrome explainer: a common cancer risk few have heard of, The Conversation,

O'Neill S, 2015, Officers need good data, Safeguard, Auckland, New Zealand

O'Neill S, 2014, Getting serious about the 'chain of responsibility', Informit,;dn=599395236039643;res=IELBUS

O'Neill S; Holley S, 2014, Workers’ comp needs real reform, not ‘red tape’ fiddling, The Conversation,

O'Neill S, 2014, Pushing it up the chain: why big business can't ignore truck safety, The Conversation,

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