Senior Solicitor
LLM (International Law), LLB, BA (Politics)

Current practice

Melanie practices in government and administrative law, providing advice on and conducting litigation in relation to compulsory land acquisition and compensation, and planning and environment law. Melanie also advises on and acts for government clients in relation to judicial review, statutory interpretation and the exercise of statutory powers.

Melanie is currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law at the University of Melbourne, focusing on environmental protection, climate change, water law and natural resources management.

Experience

In her current role, Melanie has provided advice on a range of issues, including the new environmental regulatory framework, water resource plans, Victorian Regional Forest Agreements, compulsory land acquisition and planning compensation for major transport infrastructure projects, and other general administrative law advice.

Melanie has instructed in an urgent injunction application in the Supreme Court relating to the State's Eastern Barred Bandicoot conservation plans and is currently representing the Minister for Planning in the North East Link judicial review matter in the Supreme Court.

In her previous roles, Melanie has diverse domestic and international experience in state and federal government, private practice, community legal centres, non-governmental organisations and the United Nations. Melanie commenced her legal career in migration and refugee law, representing asylum seekers and refugees and other disadvantaged visa applicants, before expanding her practice more broadly into administrative law. She regularly appeared as solicitor advocate and instructing solicitor in the various courts and tribunals of each jurisdiction she practiced in, including Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Thailand, in addition to Australia.

Prior to joining VGSO, Melanie worked at an international commercial law firm in the government litigation team. In that role, Melanie provided advice on and conducted litigation for the federal government in relation to judicial review of migration decisions. Melanie again regularly appeared as solicitor advocate in the federal courts and instructed counsel in more complex matters.

Memberships and professional association

  • Law Institute Victoria
  • Victorian Women Lawyers
  • Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association