THE full bench of the Industrial Relations Commission sat in Newcastle on Tuesday to honour the career of deputy president Rod Harrison, who is retiring after 28 years.
The court was packed, with a TV monitor set up in the adjacent reception area for the dozens of attendees unable to squeeze into the hearing room.
Deputy president Harrison is credited as the architect of a brand of industrial relations practice known as “the Hunter model”.
It favours “co-operative” and “collaborative” problem-solving over the traditional “adversarial” model.
Commission president Justice Michael Walton led the tributes to Mr Harrison, followed by barrister Ralph Warren, Unions NSW industrial officer Peter McPherson and employers’ representative Ross Nassif.
Mr Harrison said he had handled about 8000 cases since being appointed in 1987. He predicted a role for the industrial commission in the state government’s local council reforms.
Mr Harrison thanked his staff and agreed that retirement would allow him more time at his beloved Cooks Hill surf club.
Harrison is the architect of a brand of industrial relations practice known as “the Hunter model”.