Lead Counsel
LLB (Hons), BA

Current practice

Catherine leads the human rights practice at VGSO, advising Government departments and agencies about issues arising under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.  This includes providing practical assistance to clients so that their decisions, actions, policies and services are informed by robust human rights considerations; supervising the preparation of complex Statements of Compatibility for new legislation (and providing advice during the development of legislation); briefing the Attorney-General in litigation matters involving human rights issues; and representing or assisting State parties in related litigation.  Catherine also advises and represents clients in a range of matters involving questions of statutory interpretation, administrative decision-making, equal opportunity and privacy.  Catherine also designs and delivers tailored human rights training.  
 

Experience

Catherine began her legal career in the Employment Law team at a top-tier law firm in 2002, progressing to Senior Associate.  In 2007 she joined the former Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation, where she was part of a team responsible for the initial whole-of-Government implementation of the Charter. Subsequently she moved to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission as Senior Advisor, and was responsible for coordinating the complaint formulation and community engagement functions of the Commission. Catherine has also undertaken a range of volunteer work at community legal centres and other non-profit organisations. 
 
Catherine's range of experience across the private, government and community sectors has provided her with an in-depth understanding of the policy development and practical application of human rights and anti-discrimination laws in particular, as well as the workings of government and key stakeholders.
 
Catherine also established the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Program at VGSO, which she continues to coordinate. 
 
Catherine is a member of the Editorial Committee for the Judicial College of Victoria Charter of Human Rights Bench Book, and has published on LGBTIQ discrimination in employment in the LIV Journal.  
 
In 2020, Catherine will commence her Executive Master of Public Administration with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, in partnership with the University of Melbourne.