Sharron O'Neill

Deputy Head of School (Research) and Director PSRG
Associate Professor

Dr Sharron O'Neill is Deputy Head of School (Research), Director PSRG and Associate Professor of Accounting in the School of Business at UNSW, Canberra.

Sharron's research examines the design, measurement and reporting of performance measures for operational decision-making, governance and accountability. She has particular expertise in non-financial indicators of work health and safety (WHS) 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 and has been chief investigator on funded research projects totalling over $1,656,200 and has published her research in publications including journal articles, industry research reports and media and delivered keynote and invited conference presentations at more than 70 academic and industry conferences in Australian and Internationally.

Sharron's research has contributed to global policy debate and reform on the measurement and reporting of WHS performance through roles including Chair of the Global Reporting Initiative's international GRI403 project working group, the Queensland Government's safety leadership expert reference group (2018), the ACT Government's Work Safety Council (ministerial appointee 2017-2019) and the evaluation working group of the National Mental Health Commission's National Workplace Initiative. 

Sharron currently teaches introductory financial and management accounting at postgraduate and undergraduate levels, and the postgraduate elective, leadership of safe and healthy work. She has previously taught advanced accounting, accounting theory, research methods and issues in corporate social responsibility. Her academic research and teaching is underpinned by financial accounting industry experience gained in manufacturing, transport and healthcare sectors, as well as academic and professional accounting qualifications and a PhD in corporate accountability for work health and safety (WHS). Sharron is a member of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), the Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS) and the National Safety Council of Australia (NSCA).

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

Book Chapters
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O'Neill S; Rooney J, 2021, 'Performance measures for governance systems', in Blackman D (ed.), Handbook on Performance Management in the Public Sector, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham UK, pp. 55 - 71
2021
Conference Presentations
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O'Neill S; Kurt W; Emma S; Scott P, 2022, 'The evolution of safety measurement frameworks', presented at AIHS National Health and Safety Conference, Melbourne Vic, 25 May 2022 - 26 May 2022, https://www.aihs.org.au/events/aihs-national-health-safety-conference-2022
2022
O'Neill S, 2021, 'WHS Data:', presented at (Inaugural) National MSD Conference, Brisbane (virtual ink), 01 June 2021 - 03 June 2021, https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/news-and-events/events/2021/musculoskeletal-disorders-symposium-2021
2021
O'Neill S, 2020, 'Informing WHS decisions', presented at Australian Nurses and Midwives Association Annual Conference, Melbourne VIC, 13 November 2020 - 13 November 2020
2020
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
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
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
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
2019
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, https://cohsr.aut.ac.nz/news-and-events/6th-international-conference-on-precarious-work-and-vulnerable-workers
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, http://www.airaanz.org/
2018
O'Neill S, 2018, 'WHS Reporting', presented at SafeWork NSW - Musculoskeletal Disorder Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 08 November 2018 - 09 November 2018, https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/385629/MSD-Symposium-2018-program-SW09053.pdf
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, https://www.sia.org.au/events/safety-forum-2018
2018
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, http://www.rdw-conference.org/pages/info
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, http://www.airaanz.org/news/airaanz-conference-2017
2017
O'Neill S, 2017, 'Driving WHS Performance', presented at Injury Prevention and Return to Work, Brisbane, Australia, 19 October 2017 - 19 October 2017, https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/whats-on/swm-events/2017/other-events/injury-prevention-and-return-to-work-conference
2017
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, https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety
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, https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety
2017
Journal articles
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Cheng TC; Caponecchia C; O'Neill S, 2022, 'Workplace safety and future and emerging ways of work: A systematic literature review', Safety Science, vol. 155, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2022.105873
2022
Thornthwaite L; O’Neill S, 2021, 'Regulating HRM: the limits of regulatory pluralism', International Journal of Human Resource Management, pp. 1 - 29, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2021.1996432
2021
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12346
2019
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3653-1
2018
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2015.11.007
2016
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1331-8
2016
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022185615598187
2016
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-03-2014-1625
2015
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10301763.2015.1034969
2015
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12125
2015
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, https://sia.org.au/research/journals/volume6-issue1/vol6iss1-pp-15-21.html
2014
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01140581211221551
2012
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/10309611111186984
2011
Clarke KJ, 2005, 'Is the Environmental Professional... an Accountant?', Greener Management International, vol. 49, pp. 110 - 125, http://dx.doi.org/10.9774/GLEAF.3062.2005.sp.00011
2005
Reports
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O'Neill S; Glennie M; Farmer J; Caponecchia C; McDermott V; Blackman D; Rooney J; Huron V, 2022, Measuring for a mentally healthy workplace: a practical guide for medium to large organisations, https://haveyoursay.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/77448/widgets/371947/documents/238989
2022
Bentley T; Caponecchia C; Onnis L-A; Farr-Wharton B; Vassiley A; O'Neill S; Andrew C; De Almeida Neto A; Huron V, 2021, The Healthy Older Worker: A Systematic Review of Literature on Work Health and Safety Interventions for Older Workers
2021
Caponecchia C; Mayland E; Huron V; Onnis L-A; Coman R; O'Neill S; Nguyen H; Gopaldasani V; Manca D; Jokic T; Bentley T, 2021, Managing mental health at work: A systematic review of interventions
2021
Mayland E; Caponecchia C; Onnis L-A; Manca D; Vinod G; Jokic T; Coman R; O'Neill S; Farr-Wharton B; Bentley T, 2021, Facilitators, motivators and barriers to improved management of psychosocial risks at work
2021
O'Neill S; Miller P; Cao Y; Potter R, 2019, Building the Intellectual Capital of Business Leaders Through Executive Peer-to-Peer Safety Networks
2019
O'Neill SM; Wolfe K, 2017, Measuring and reporting on work health and safety, Safe Work Australia, Canberra, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/gkjk-yg56, http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Pages/Measuring-and-reporting-on-work-health-and-safety
2017
O'Neill SM; Wolfe K, 2017, Informing Officers' Decisions: A guide to reporting on WHS performance, UNSW Canberra, Canberra
2017
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, http://www.teacho.com.au/images/SUMMARY_REPORT_Final.pdf
2017
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, http://www.teacho.com.au/images/TEACHO_Final_Report.pdf
2017
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, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/hs3k-2a07, https://lynchsyndrome.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Lynch-Syndrome-Report.pdf
2017
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, http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/834/Performance-measurement-incentives-organisational-culture.pdf
2015
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
2015
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, http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/834/Issues-Assurance-Verification-WH-%20Information-Review.pdf
2014
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, http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/834/business-case-for-safe-healthy-productive-work.pdf
2014
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, https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/unionsnsw/pages/1271/attachments/original/1425015394/Report_no._2_-_December_2014_-_Final.pdf?1425015394
2014
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, http://www.businessandeconomics.mq.edu.au/faculty_docs/workforce_futures/1_Dec_The_Impact_on_Injured_Workers_of_Changes_to_NSW_Workers_.pdf
2013
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, http://mckellinstitute.org.au/plsl
2013
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, http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/834/Issues-Measurement-Reporting-WHS-Performance.pdf
2013
Theses / Dissertations
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O'Neill SM, 2010, Accounting for lost time: examining corporate accountability to stakeholders for occupational health and safety, RMIT University, http://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/view/rmit:13632
2010
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
2003

Current

  • Evaluation working group, National Workplace Initiative, National Mental Health Commission

Previous

  • Chair, GRI403 working group, Global Reporting Initiative (2016-2018)
  • Ministerial appointee, ACT Work Safety Council, ACT Government (2017-2019)
  • Judging panel, WHS Award, Australasian Reporting Awards (2014-2018)
  • Invited member, Supply chain reference group, Office of Industrial Relations, QLD Government (2016)
  • Invited member, Research grant assessment panel, WorkCover NSW, NSW Government (2015)

      >70 speaking engagements for the accounting profession, WHS profession, industry and Government

 

Research awards:  

2014: Faculty of Business & Economics Research Impact Excellence Award. Macquarie University.

2014: Vice Chancellors Research Excellence Award (FBE) - Highly Commended. Macquarie University.

2014: United Nations - Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), Academic-Investor network conference,  Best Paper Award - Highly commended.

 

Teaching awards:

2004: College of Law and Business, Individual Teaching Excellence Award. Western Sydney University.

2003: Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards – Excellence in Teaching, Highly Commended. Western Sydney University.

 

University service award:

2003: Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards – Excellence in Social Justice, Commended. Western Sydney University.

 

Research income for funded research projects on which Sharron is/was lead or chief investigator since 2012 exceeds  $1,656,200.
This includes $961,700 in research funding for projects 2019-2022.

Current funded research projects include,

Funded research projects completed: 

  • 2021 Lead: Measures to support mentally healthy workplaces (National Workplace Initiative, National Mental Health Commission)
  • 2020 Lead: Measuring and Reporting Guide (Safe Work NSW)
  • 2019 Lead: Developing Executives' Intellectual Capital through Peer to Peer Networks (SafetyWorks, Australian Govt.)
  • 2019 CI: Assessing the Wellbeing System (UNSW & Australian Government)
  • 2017 Lead: Testing and Evaluating WHS Guidelines (Safe Work Australia, CAANZ, SIA)
  • 2017 Joint lead: Evaluating Approaches to Regulating WHS in the Road Transport Industry (TEACHO Ltd)
  • 2017 CI: Achieving Behaviour Change for the Prevention & Management of Lynch Syndrome (Cancer Institute NSW)
  • 2016 Lead: The Role of Accounting in Work Health and Safety Governance (CPA Australia, Safe Work Australia, Safety Institute of Australia, Macquarie University)
  • 2016 CI: Investigating perceptions of Chain of responsibility requirements (National Heavy Vehicle Regulator)
  • 2015 CI: Impact of NSW Workers' Compensation Legislation Reforms (Unions NSW)
  • 2013 CI: National disability insurance (Centre for the Health Economy, Macquarie University)
  • 2012 CI: National portable long service leave (McKell Institute)
Thornthwaite L; O'Neill S, 2019, Better by Design, New Zealand, http://safeguard.co.nz/
2019
O'Neill S; Taylor N, 2016, Lynch syndrome explainer: a common cancer risk few have heard of, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/lynch-syndrome-explainer-a-common-cancer-risk-few-have-heard-of-56274
2016
O'Neill S, 2015, Officers need good data, Safeguard, Auckland, New Zealand
2015
O'Neill S, 2014, Getting serious about the 'chain of responsibility', Informit, https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=599395236039643;res=IELBUS
2014
O'Neill S, 2014, Pushing it up the chain: why big business can't ignore truck safety, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/pushing-it-up-the-chain-why-big-business-cant-ignore-truck-safety-23178
2014
O'Neill S; Holley S, 2014, Workers’ comp needs real reform, not ‘red tape’ fiddling, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/workers-comp-needs-real-reform-not-red-tape-fiddling-24028
2014
Organisational units
lensSchool of Business
lensPublic Service Research Group
Sub Theme
lensSustainment and Network Collaboration
lensPublic Service Management
lensIndustrial Relations