Wayne Phillips
ACT Emergency Services Agency

Wayne Phillips Wayne Phillips is the Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency. Narrandera born Wayne Phillips started his career as a Firefighter with Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) on 23 February 1990, in Sydney. 

Throughout his distinguished career he has demonstrated success in Senior Emergency Management and Leadership, and in complex and critical public safety operations. An effective strategic leader who has demonstrated ability to lead reform and organisational change in all aspects of his career. 

Wayne signed his contract to become the sixth Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) on 23 February 2024 – thirty-four years to the day when he started as a recruit firefighter. His excellent interpersonal and communication skills build high levels of trust within teams and create a sense of belonging to the workplace. 

In his career as Chief Superintendent for FRNSW and then as the Assistant Commissioner Corporate for ESA, his focus is gender equality and diversity capability, he established the Inclusion and Organisational Development Branch and the first Inclusive Culture Council within FRNSW. He is a major influencer at a national level within the AFAC network in the Champions of Change Implementation Leaders: Diversity and Inclusion Council. His unwavering commitment towards inclusion and diversity enables his staff to feel valued, promotes equality and free to contribute to making their workplace a better place to be! 

As he leads the Agency through the recent ESA Review, his focus will be his staff’s well-being and commitment to lead the ESA to be more agile and responsive in all that they do to keep Canberra safe. 

Wayne is married to Wendy, together they have three adult children and a dog called Geoffrey. Wayne likes to spend his weekends sampling coffees and visiting homewares shops. Unfortunately, he barracks for Collingwood, but luckily, he is surrounded by Carlton supporters at work. 

Updates from the Fire and Emergency Group

Champions of Change Fire & Emergency 

Wayne Phillips is a Member of the Champions of Change Fire &  Emergency Group which was established in 2017 in partnership with the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC). The group includes Chief Executives and Commissioners leading more than 30 agencies responsible for fire, emergency and land management services across Australia and New Zealand. The group is committed to advancing gender equity, inclusive cultures and achieving significant and sustainable improvements in the representation of women in their workplaces.