Special Counsel
LLB (Hons), BA , Acc. Spec. (Adm)

Current practice

Joanne has a broad administrative law and inquiries practice representing ministers, departments, statutory agencies, office holders and advising decision makers in the exercise of their statutory powers and obligations.
 
She is accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria as a specialist in Administrative Law.
 
Joanne's practice focuses on advice and litigation matters, including:
 
  • advising on good administrative decision making by administrative decision makers and boards;
  • advising on the conduct of investigations and formal inquiries, including Royal Commissions, parliamentary inquiries and boards of inquiry;
  • conducting merits and judicial review matters in VCAT and Victorian courts; 
  • advising on and conducting professional and occupational registration and licensing matters, freedom of information and privacy matters; and
  • advising on public sector governance and integrity in the public sector.
 

Experience

Joanne is an experienced lawyer who has worked at VGSO for 10 years.
 
During this time she has established a reputation as a trusted legal advisor to various clients, particularly in complex and sensitive legal matters involving a whole of government response.
 
Joanne is an excellent communicator and her client engagement skills and ability to collaborate with various stakeholders is highly regarded.
 
Her legal experience at VGSO has included:
 
  • representing the State of Victoria in Supreme Court legal proceedings concerning unauthorised persons occupying State-owned properties;
  • leading a team of solicitors and barristers in representing the State of Victoria in its response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence;
  • undertaking a secondment to the Victorian Building Authority to assist with publication of material to industry participants and the public about legislative reforms to the Building Act;
  • advising a client on the exercise of its board of inquiry powers under the relevant statute, requiring production of documents and examining witnesses under oath;
  • representing AHPRA in registration and professional disciplinary matters before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Supreme Court on appeal; and
  • advising on statutory interpretation issues and legislative reforms.
 
Joanne is also responsible for supervising and mentoring our junior lawyers in the provision of advice and conduct of litigation to ensure our legal services are accurate, strategic, timely and cost effective.
 
Joanne completed her Articles at a national law firm where she practised for three years.  Prior to entering the legal profession, Joanne worked as a decision maker for two years at the former Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs' Visa Office in the Australian Consulate-General, Shanghai.  She has previously volunteered with the former Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre Inc. as a not-for-profit migration agent, including as part of a legal taskforce sent to Christmas Island to assist 42 West Papuans in the making asylum seeker applications.
 

Memberships and professional associations

  • Law Institute of Victoria
  • Law Institute of Victoria – Administrative Law Advisory Committee
  • Inquire Australia – Committee