I graduated from Deakin University with a double degree in Arts (majoring in Psychology) and Law (Honours). After being admitted to practice in 2013, I have worked full time and am now completing a Masters of Law, focusing on regulation theories, management of high conflict people and advocacy.
At the moment I practice in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Branch of the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office. My focus is on litigious and non-litigious matters for Corrections Victoria and includes general litigation, personal injury, advocacy, prosecutions, subpoenas, and general advice.
Prior to joining the VGSO, I worked for Victoria Police as the Parole Prosecution Coordinator providing Corrections Victoria with advice regarding breach of parole. I also love advocacy work and have appeared in applications and contested hearings on behalf of Victoria Police under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008, Personal Safety Intervention Order Act 2010, Firearms Act 1996, Bail Act 1977 and Crimes Act 1958 in the Magistrates’ Court. A highlight has been appearing in the Supreme Court. I have assisted Victoria Police with enquiries and advice in the training and assessment prosecutors. Being a witness on behalf of the State in the Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria) was a career highlight as well as working as a tutor and assessor at Deakin University since 2012.
In my spare time, I enjoy watching legal crime shows, going to brunch for good coffee and travelling.
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world [living or dead] who would it be and why?
Robin Williams was my favourite actor and I would so love to have dinner with him! I ended up seeing him live when I was in San Francisco – on my birthday no less! He sang happy birthday (to someone else) from the comedy festival stage in Golden Gate Park but I will always claim it was for me!
Have you ever worked in the legal profession overseas? If so, what was your experience like?
I am yet to have the pleasure of working as a lawyer overseas but during my studies at Deakin I did a semester abroad at San Francisco State University. At SFSU I studied Criminal Justice in America and ‘Women in Prison’. Now that the majority of my work is focused on prisons in Victoria, this study experience was invaluable. I also had a fun time because my criminal justice professor was a retired NYPD detective who had worked mostly in the Bronx – so he always had the best stories!
What has been the most interesting task you have engaged in since being admitted into the legal profession?
After the Callinan report recommending parole reform was published, a new role was created to coordinate prosecution of the new offence of breach of parole established in July 2013. As the Coordinator, I got to assist with the implementation of a whole new process in the law, and oversee how the project progressed. It was so interesting to be involved in the development of a completely new area of law, where a lot of different people were consulted, involved and worked together to reinforce the focus of community safety.
What has been your greatest achievement?
As a witness for the State of Victoria in the Royal Commission into Family Violence, I got to experience an absolute career highlight very early in my job! This role meant that I got to prepare a lengthy statement, work with some brilliant legal minds and be questioned by counsel about my work in family violence. It was an opportunity to speak directly to those who were capable of making change in a highly volatile area. I was able to highlight aspects of the legislation that could benefit from reform. It was so challenging, intimidating and wonderful all at the same time. It has made me a better advocate too because I know how witnesses are feeling when they are sworn in to give their evidence (except mine was live streamed at the same time!)
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice back when you were in law school, what would it be and why?
Enjoy every second! Your only responsibility is to learn all you can! My advice would be to be interested, because that makes you interesting. This is what the profession looks for and needs when people become lawyers, or even if you are wanting to obtain a law degree to launch into a different platform of work outside of the traditional role as a lawyer. A law degree gives you so many options.