2023-24 Board of Directors

The Association of Biosafety for Australia and New Zealand (ABSANZ) is governed by the Board of Directors.

Richard Spence


Richard is the manager of the Assurance, Biosafety and Containment team at the Ministry for Primary Industries

National Biocontainment Laboratory in New Zealand and has responsibility for managing the systems that ensure

safe and secure laboratory operations.

Richard has a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Nottingham and has over 20 years experience in senior

scientific and managerial roles in diagnostic clinical and veterinary microbiology laboratories.

He has broad experience in working with and managing the risks associated with both animal and human

pathogens, including high risk zoonotic agents.

Richard is passionate about improving risk management and understanding around biosafety and biocontainment

in laboratories working with high consequence pathogens and the development of appropriately qualified and

experienced biosafety professionals to support this.





June Freeland

Vice President

June, a professionally Chartered OHS Advisor, Biosafety Professional  and Chartered Biologist, has over 30 years experience authoring a range of scientific papers, university policy documents, and regulatory guidelines.

June’s collaboration with government agencies, nationally and internationally, and her wide knowledge of global biosafety has led to her creating several biological and general safety online training courses.  

In addition, she helped create an accredited Professional Biosafety Practitioner course which was subsequently adopted throughout the UK and introduced to the European biosafety community through the European Biosafety Association (EBSA) in which June was an active member. She also audited and reviewed EBSA training courses.


Amanda has a PhD, Medicine – Neuroimmunology as well as a Bachelor of Science Honors – Biochemistry; Bachelor of Science, major – biochemistry/biomedical science from the University of Queensland. Amanda is an experienced senior manager with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. With over 15 years' experience in occupational health and safety, risk governance and compliance management in biological teaching and research settings, Amanda brings a pragmatic approach to achieving success in these areas. Her knowledge and expertise in regulatory compliance means she has the capability to support leaders at all levels of an organisation in areas such as management systems, governance, due diligence and engaging with Regulator


Nenad holds a PhD in Microbiology and has over 25 years experience in the Life Sciences sector, he was a past president of ISPE Australasia. 







Gregor holds a Bachelor of Science from Macquarie University, he has also completed a Master of Science (UQ) and a Masters of Occupational Hygiene and Toxicology (ECU).  Gregor has experience working for across several State and Federal Government Agencies including; SafeWork Australia, NSW Workcover and NSW EPA. Gregor also has several years governance experience as a Company Secretary.


Brett Cole has been working in OHS/contamination control in the high containment, life sciences, healthcare and pharmaceutical market for over 25 years.  His formal qualifications are in Environmental Microbiology and Chemistry, Business, Occupational Hygiene and Toxicology, Public Health. His experience has been in academic microbiological research, medical devices for high-level disinfection, engineering controls for contamination abatement, materials handling, infectious and contaminated waste and facility microbial testing, decontamination, and remediation.  He has worked in Australia, Europe, New Zealand, North America, and Asia on many contamination projects from beta=lactam site remediation, animal facility infection, high containment, mould infestation, biological contaminated site decontamination.