Natalie James was appointed to the position of Fair Work Ombudsman by the Governor-General on 15 July 2013.
Under the Fair Work Act 2009 Natalie is responsible for:
promoting harmonious, productive and cooperative workplace relations and
ensuring compliance with Commonwealth workplace laws.
Natalie has a 20 year career working for the Australian Government in a range of roles in program management and policy development in areas of employment, early childhood and workplace relations.
This included 10 years working in government in workplace relations, culminating in her appointment as Chief Counsel, workplace relations in the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.
Natalie grew up and went to school in Townsville. She graduated from James Cook University with an Arts Law degree. She began to develop a curiosity about workplace relations while working in retail and fast food while studying. When she was accepted as a graduate in Canberra at the then Department of Employment, Education, Science and Technology in 1996, she immediately enrolled in a Masters of Industrial Law at the Australian National University in Canberra to satisfy that curiosity. She has continued to find things to be curious about in the field of workplace relations ever since.