Workplace Relations

The NSW Farmers (Industrial) Association 

About Us

NSW Farmers’ (Industrial) Association exists to advocate the collective interests of NSW Farmers’ members on all employment related issues and to provide members with day to day assistance in managing their workforce.

What We Do

The Industrial Relations (IR) team consists of practical minded IR practitioners whose main role is to advise, represent and assist members in meeting their obligation relating to workplace relations. The IR Team inform and assist members with all issues pertaining to labour relations (e.g. engagement, immigration, workers compensation, training, etc.), assists with the provision and implementation of safe work practices, provides support to human resources professionals and importantly, seeks appropriate regulation and policy reform from government as required.

Our work can be split into three broad categories:

  1. Advocating on behalf of member interests in relation to employment related matters. For example: minimum wage increases, workers compensation reforms and modern award reviews.
  2. Providing timely and tailored advice to members, collectively or individually. Most of our work is spent directly speaking to members to advise and assist them in resolving any employment related issue they may have in their farming business. In addition to providing verbal advice to members, we also assist members to draft employment related documents (e.g. employment contracts, IFA, policies and procedures).  We also put out regular publications to update members on current issues in IR.
  3. Representing individual members in tribunal matters and matters relating to the Fair Work Ombudsman or the Fair Work Commission.

Who we are - Our Team 

Gracia Kusuma - Industrial Relations Manager
Grace joined the Association in 2011 and became the IR Manager in early February 2012. Her wealth of knowledge and experience in the Industrial and Employment relations fields has proven her to be an invaluable member and leader of our team.  

Matthew Waring - Special Counsel
Matt leads the industrial relations team at NSW Farmers and has over 10 years’ experience in employment law and industrial relations, regularly dealing with large clients in agriculture, building and construction, manufacturing and maritime. 

Matt operates his own private legal practice when he is not working for NSW Farmers and deals with property, commercial matters and litigation.

Cassandra Low - Industrial Relations Advisor
Cassandra has been part of the Industrial Relations Team at NSW Farmers’ Association since 2015. Prior to this she undertook work experience at a community legal centre and completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce (Human Resource Management).

Membership Offerings

Basic IR Membership

A farmer who joins the NSW Farmers Association automatically becomes a member of the IR Association.

Membership entitles the member to a “Basic” level of service from the Association covering services such as:
  • Collective representation - on modern award matters, minimum wage review, workers compensation
  • Wage information - including wage guides issued annually
  • Phone advice –four calls per year to a qualified employment relations specialist.

IR Essentials Membership

Members have the option to upgrade their IR services to the “Essentials” level.

The Essentials membership provides the following services in addition to Basic service above:

  • Unlimited advice for any matters related to employment
  • Assistance in liaising, negotiating and corresponding with the Fair Work Ombudsman's office should a complaint against the member is made.
  • Representation in employment matters handled by the relevant tribunals (e.g. Fair Work Commission)
  • Assistance with drafting and review of employment related correspondence (e.g. disciplinary letters, abandonment of employment letters, letter of offers etc), policies and procedures, employment agreements etc;
  • Unlimited access to our website resources;

Industrial Relations Essentials members have access to support and representation from the Industrial Relations team when faced with an employment related claim with no additional charge apart from the annual essentials membership fee.