Fatigue Expert Reference Group

The Fatigue Expert Reference Group (FERG) is an expert advisory body that supports the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) in making decisions related to Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) accreditation.

The NHVR may refer an AFM application to the FERG for advice on the proposed work and rest hours and safety countermeasures. The FERG replaces the previous requirement of AFM applicants needing to provide advice from a registered fatigue expert as part of their application.

Operators whose AFM applications are referred to the FERG must submit a written safety case, but can elect to present this safety case in person to the FERG.

The FERG also provides advice to the NHVR on matters relating to the fatigue science underpinning the Risk Classification System (RCS) and on the general fatigue management schemes under the HVNL – Standard Hours, Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) and AFM.

The FERG is comprised of experts with experience in the areas of fatigue, behavioural science, human factors and risk management. The FERG cannot be engaged commercially and its advice is only provided at the request of the NHVR.

Fatigue Expert Reference Group (FERG) members

Carolyn Walsh (Chair)

Commissioner, Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Deputy Chair and Commissioner, National Transport Commission

Carolyn Walsh has over 25 years experience in policy development, regulation and safety management at both the Commonwealth and state levels. She has 10 years experience in the transport sector and was the founding Chief Executive of the NSW Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator (ITSRR).

Professor Drew Dawson

Director, Appleton Institute
Central Queensland University

Professor Dawson established the sleep research group at the University of Adelaide in 1992, which has since grown to become the largest behavioural sleep research group in Australia. In recent years Drew has broadened his research interests to include safety science, applied psychology, human factors and safety management systems, and cultural anthropology. Having built a broad multidisciplinary team, Drew formed the Appleton Institute in January 2012.

Professor Philippa Gander

Director, Sleep/Wake Research Centre, Research School of Public Health
Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

Professor Gander is the Director of the Sleep/Wake Research Centre, which she established in 1998. Her current research interests include: the development of national and international regulatory frameworks for fatigue risk management; implementation and validation of fatigue risk management systems in the transport sector, healthcare, and disaster response teams; epidemiology and provision of health services for sleep disorders in New Zealand; sleep changes across the lifespan; and factors contributing to individual differences in sleep timing and sleep architecture, and their implications for basic and applied sleep research.

Professor Narelle Haworth

Deputy Director, Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland
Queensland University of Technology

Professor Haworth is the Professor in Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation at CARRS-Q and holds a Doctorate of Philosophy from Monash University and a Bachelor of Arts (1st Class Hons) from the University of Wollongong. During her 25-year career, Narelle has conducted extensive research in road safety, covering studies of fatigue in driving, seat belt wearing by truck drivers, road user behaviour in developing countries, development of data collection methodologies, driver training and licensing, coin-operated breath testing machines, motorcycle and scooter safety and single vehicle crashes.

Professor Ann Williamson

Professor of Aviation Safety and Director of Transport and Road Safety Research
University of New South Wales

Professor Williamson's research is in the area of human factors, primarily focussing on two related areas; the effects of fatigue and the role of human error in injury and safety. Ann has worked in a number of areas relating to injury, in particular for her work on fatigue and working hours especially involving long distance road transport; her work on the role of behaviour in the causes of injury; and work on the neuro-behavioural effects of exposure to workplace hazards.