Public sector union head Toni Walkington(pictured) has been appointed commissioner of the WA Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC).

Ms Walkington is the Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association WA branch secretary, the vice-president of Unions WA and a member of the Australian Council of Trade Unions Executive Committee.

With more than 26 years’ industrial relations experience, she is well-known in the union community, having served as the Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association’s first female and longest-serving secretary.

Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston announced her appointment last week, alongside officially appointing Stephen Kenner to senior commissioner after acting in the role since June 2016.

Mr Kenner’s lengthy industrial relations career has included as solicitor and partner at Mallesons Stephen Jaques and senior industrial advocate at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA.

His appointment includes as a public service arbitrator and currently constitutes the Road Freight Transport Industry Tribunal and the Occupational Safety and Health Tribunal.

The appointments will take effect on November 26, 2018.

Mr Johnston congratulated the pair on both their appointments, and said he trusts “they will enhance the operation of the industrial umpire with their unique backgrounds and experiences”.

“The appointments demonstrate the State Government’s commitment to ensuring the commission is well resourced to perform its important role in maintaining harmonious industrial relations in Western Australia,” he said.

WAIRC Acting President Jennifer Smith resigned from her role as Senior Commissioner because she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in June.