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About Incolink

Incolink is the safety net for the building and construction industry, keeping workers' entitlements safe for when they need them most.

Our members get the security of redundancy payments, portable sick leave and income protection insurance. Through investment of member entitlements, we fund wellbeing programs to build a stronger industry and help workers when they need us most.

We are Australia’s largest provider of severance benefits and income protection. For over 10 years, we have offered tax free genuine redundancy to our members, putting more money in the pockets of workers and their families.

We represent a true employer and union partnership, putting the health, wellbeing and financial security of members first.

Our investments are focused on building a sustainable workforce to support the future skills needs of the industry for workers and employers.

Annual Report

Incolink's annual reports illustrate how we go about being the construction industry safety net.

The report outlines our financial position and our investment performance, in line with our investment strategy.

We also highlight the vital partnership and sponsorship arrangements we have with organisations, government bodies and service providers which assist us in delivering for our members.

Incolink Strategy


Earl Setches

Director (since 2002)

Earl has been actively involved in the plumbing industry for 30 years. In 2001 Earl was elected State and Federal Secretary of the Plumbing Trades Employees Union, and he has held both roles ever since. Earl is also Chair of the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre and Indigenous Plumbing and Sanitation Foundation, and is a Board Member of the Victorian Building Authority Plumbing Advisory Council, the Building Industry Consultative Committee, Incolink, CBus and the Plumbing Joint Training Fund.

John Setka

Director (since 2022)

Born and bred in Melbourne’s western suburbs of Footscray, John Setka, has been a union man all his working life. Once he completed his apprenticeship as a motor mechanic, from the age of nineteen he began working as a builders’ labourer, following in the footsteps of his father Bob, who was a Rigger and was working on the West Gate Bridge when it came down in 1970, he was able to see firsthand the improvements that the union made on the job.

“Seeing the union in action and seeing the results they delivered inspired me to be a union activist,” he says.

It was not long before he drew the attention of the union leadership of the late John Cummins President of the BLF, who employed him as an organiser in 1986 at the young age of 22.

John is proud of the achievements of the CFMEU and under his leadership wants to strengthen and broaden the union presence on building sites in Victoria, so that more workers receive EBA pay and conditions.

John served four years as Assistant Secretary of the Victorian CFMEU before being elected in 2013 to lead the Branch.

John joined Incolink as a director in January 2022, and has completed the AICD Foundation for Directors course.

Michaela Lihou

Director (Since 2021)

Michaela Lihou, CEO, leads Master Builders Victoria with a distinguished career spanning blue and white-collar services industries. With a Bachelor of Arts/Commerce from Deakin University and a Graduate Diploma in Business from Monash University, her strategic expertise shines in human resources management, industrial relations, policy and advocacy, communications and stakeholder engagement, strategy development and execution, member services, governance, marketing and finance.

Beyond her CEO role, Michaela's influence extends across key industry bodies. She is a Director on the Incolink Board and plays a vital role within the BICC. Her visionary leadership propels growth, sustainability, and collaboration in the construction sector. With a unique blend of strategic acumen and industry insight, Michaela Lihou leaves an indelible mark on Victoria's built environment, shaping its future with a legacy of progress.

Peter Daly

Director (Since 2021)

With more than 20 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, Peter has a deep understanding of membership organisations and a proven history of working successfully with government and industry to build consensus around business and public policy outcomes.

He is a Civil Engineer and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Peter is the CEO and Secretary of Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia, member of various government advisory bodies and Director on the board of a number of business entities and charitable organisations.

Adam Darby

Director (Since 2021)

Adam is the Managing Director of Wagstaff Piling Pty Ltd, an Australian owned foundation engineering contractor with operations nationally and in New Zealand. Prior to becoming Managing Director, Adam was the Group Finance & Strategy Director. Adam has a professional background in finance and law.

Robert Graauwmans

Director (since 2022)

Born and bred in Geelong, Rob has been a member of the CFMEU since 1996, coming from the FEDFA side of the Union.

Rob worked primarily interstate for the first 8 years of his working life both as a Rigger and Crane Operator.

Rob joined the CFMEU as an Organiser in 2006 and spent 5 years Organising in the Western District.

Moving from Geelong to Melbourne in 2011, Rob was appointed the Organiser for Mobile Cranes as well as Organising in the Eastern Suburbs.

He was elected as Vice-President in 2016 and at the turn of the 2020 ticket, was elected President.

Rob’s vision is to broaden and diversify the Union so more people can enjoy the benefits of being a Union member. He has a strong commitment to achieving justice, fairness, equality and dignity for all workers.

Rob joined Incolink as a director in January 2022, and has completed the AICD Foundation for Directors course.

Claire Filson

Independent Non-Executive Director (Since 2022)

Claire is an experienced non-executive director with more than 20 years’ experience on State and Federal Government boards and in superannuation and infrastructure businesses.

Chairing audit, risk, finance, and remuneration committees, Claire has experience in superannuation, insurance, funds management, infrastructure and property including ports, roads, rail and utilities. Her knowledge and skills include corporate legal advice, strategic risk management, compliance and governance.

While working in private legal practice, Claire was a construction lawyer working for major national law firms in Perth and Melbourne.

Claire currently sits on the board of Greater Western Water in Victoria, and is the Deputy Chair of the Port of Hastings Corporation, the Portable Long Service Benefits Authority and the Indigenous Land & Sea Corporation.

She is also Chair and independent member of the City of Kingston Audit and Risk Committee.

Giovanni Abelardo

Director (Since 2023)

Giovanni has 15 years of Human Resources experience and 12 years in Senior Leadership roles, predominately within the building and construction sector. Currently Giovanni provides leadership to the Master Builders Association Victoria’s (MBAV) People and Member Services teams, covering, Advisory, People and Culture, Marketing and Communications, Projects and Membership.

Giovanni is also an Alternate Panel Member on the Victorian Building Industry Disputes Panel.

Elizabeth Doidge

Director (Since 2023)

Elizabeth Doidge has a proud career in the trade union movement, leading advocacy and policy initiatives for the CFMEU Construction division across Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

In addition to her role at the union, Elizabeth was elected to Melbourne City Council in 2020 where she chair’s the council’s Sustainable Buildings, Environment and Creative Melbourne portfolios.

Erik Locke

Chief Executive Officer

Erik has been in leadership positions in the private sector, unions and politics for more than twenty years. Prior to joining Incolink in 2019, he worked as a Chief of Staff in three jurisdictions, held senior management positions in public relations, professional associations, political parties and the union movement.

He has worked in the investment banking sector in London, and while managing public relations firms counted some of Australia’s largest corporates, unions and NGOs amongst his clients. Erik sat on the Board of Andrew Denton’s charity, Go Gentle Australia and played a senior role in the marriage equality postal survey. He studied at UWA, Murdoch and Griffith Universities, collecting Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Communications, Australia and the Asia Pacific. He is a member of and is currently completing his AICD course.

In his role as CEO, Erik is responsible for leading Incolink’s corporate strategy and ensuring the member is always put first. Erik works with our stakeholders and industry to ensure the health and safety of workers is always at the forefront.

Throughout his time at Incolink, Erik has led the organisation to deliver covid testing and vaccinations whilst supporting members by implementing industry-first covid payments. Erik’s leadership has been instrumental in the funds growth and innovation over the last several years.

Niall Keane

Chief Financial & Investments Officer

Niall is a financial and investment leader with a strong track record in the financial services sector. In his role at Incolink, Niall is responsible for all financial and investments functions ensuring strong returns allowing the organisation to invest back into the industry through programs and services. Niall also works closely with the CEO and Leadership team to design and execute key strategic planning initiatives.

Since joining Incolink in 2014 Niall has delivered consistent industry leading investment returns, built out an in-house finance and investment team alongside external provider expertise, and implemented contemporary financial systems to streamline functional processes and improve efficiency.

Prior to joining Incolink, Niall was CFO at Perennial, a multi-boutique Australian Fund Manager and previously was in a similar role at Victorian Funds Management Corporation.

Niall is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in both Australia and Ireland, holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Monash (Mount Eliza Business School) and is a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Benjamin Maxfield

Chief Operating Officer

Benjamin is an executive leader in funds management and wellbeing services to the Australian building industry with over 15 years of experience. Throughout his career Benjamin has advised on major infrastructure projects, including Melbourne Metro Tunnel, Airport Rail and NBN Co on their government relations and corporate affairs strategies.

With strong stakeholder, engagement and business acumen, Benjamin has led project teams with complex interest groups in the delivery of new financial products and services across the Australian building industry.

In Benjamin’s role at Incolink he is responsible for business development, member engagement, stakeholder engagement as well as services and wellbeing program delivery. Throughout his time at Incolink Benjamin has led the rollout of covid testing and vaccinations on site and the relationships between industry, government and stakeholders.

Over the last 6 years Benjamin has sat on the board of Merri Health as a Director and Deputy chair, improving community health outcomes is an area which he is passionate about. Benjamin holds a Bachelor of Business at Monash University.

Christian Bombig

Executive Officer, National Fund

Christian is a respected workplace leader having held positions in finance, public policy and industrial relations sectors over the last 20 years. Prior to joining Incolink Christian worked as a Senior Adviser to the Premier and Senior Manager of Industry Partnerships at CBUS Super. Recognised as being an excellent communicator, negotiator and strategist he has a consultative approach to decision making.

In his role at Incolink Christian oversees the growth, marketing and communications areas of the business ensuring a member-first approach. Christian has a lifelong commitment to representing the interests of working people and always approaches responsibilities with integrity. Managing processes that deliver effective business outcomes are important to Christian and he strongly believes that his considered approach to building and managing relationships, allows him to effectively deliver outcomes.

Christian holds a Bachelor of Social Science, Industrial Relations and Sociology from RMIT and a Masters of Social Policy from Melbourne University.

Samantha Ellison

General Counsel & Company Secretary

Samantha is an experienced lawyer with a diverse background in legal practice. With many years of dedicated service in private practice, Sam has honed her expertise in property law, general commercial law, and corporate law. Throughout her career she has had the opportunity to collaborate with businesses across various sectors, guiding them through complex contract negotiations, offering sound legal strategies for risk mitigation, and ensuring compliance with regulatory frameworks.

In her role at Incolink, she is responsible for providing vital legal guidance on various regulatory regimes, trust law, and intricate compliance issues. She oversees the critical portfolios of legal, risk, governance and compliance, industry grants and members insurance.

Samantha is committed to the highest standards of legal practice and professionalism and prides herself on facilitating transparent stakeholder communications. She is a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Governance Institute.

Conduct annual reviews of staff salaries and remuneration for members of the Board and implement any decisions of the Committee resulting from any such review.

John SetkaDirector
Michaela LihouDirector
Samantha EllisonCommittee Secretary

Review the financial performance of Incolink, oversee the audit program, and oversee the management of risk in accordance with the Risk Management Framework.

Claire FilsonIndependent Chairperson
Adam DarbyDirector
Michaela LihouDirector
Robert GraauwmansDirector
Earl SetchesDirector
Niall KeaneCommittee Secretary

Investment Strategy

We manage investments that are held in trust in a responsible and professional manner for the best risk-adjusted returns for members and industry stakeholders. This means we can readily meet member claim obligations, fund our operations, meet the wellbeing and support needs of our members, and reinvest back into the industry.

We fund skills-based registered training providers and industry led OH&S Training and Awareness projects.

Incolink constructs its portfolio by investing in a broad range of diversified asset classes with the required blended risk and return characteristics. An external investment consultant is engaged to provide expert advice to management and directors on the composition of the portfolio and external fund managers appointed to manage these strategies.

Return objective (i.e. what the investment portfolio should achieve)Funding target (i.e. the amount of investment assets compared to member liabilities)
4.5% after tax and fees (or approximately 6.5% before tax and fees)110% (or assets are 10% more than the liabilities)

Incolink measures the true success of investment performance against the return objective over rolling four-year periods. Over the four years to 30 June 2019, Incolink’s investment portfolio outperformed both the market benchmark (7.5% vs 6.7%) and the return objective (7.5% vs 7.4%).

Incolink’s funding coverage buffer as at 30 June 2019 stood at 126%


Trust Deeds

Trustee Determinations

Deeds of Amendment