Senior Solicitor
BA, LLB

Current practice

Melissa's practice focuses on providing practical advice and solutions in relation to all aspects of Victorian public sector employment, including industrial relations, equal opportunity, discrimination, performance/misconduct processes, and occupational health and safety.  Melissa has also been involved in bullying investigations, developing workplace policies and procedures and risk management advice.

Experience

Since joining the VGSO, Melissa has advised a range of public sector clients and was recently seconded to a public hospital, where she worked closely with the Director of Legal Services to advise on a range of employment law matters, including the drafting of employment contracts, management of bullying and misconduct allegations, conflict management in the workplace, litigation strategy and the interpretation and application of various Enterprise Agreements.

Melissa's experience includes:

  • routinely conducting litigation in the Fair Work Commission, Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court and VCAT, including preparing responses, defences and witness statements
  • identifying non-compliance with enterprise agreements and formulating strategies to prevent and/or mitigate risk and exposure
  • assisting public sector clients through the enterprise bargaining and approval process, including assisting with negotiations, drafting enterprise agreements to ensure they accurately reflect the parties’ intended agreement and undertaking the better off overall test
  • drafting letters of allegations and particulars, investigation findings, outcome letters and related correspondence
  • advising public sector clients on the application and interpretation of industrial instruments and emerging and complex employment and industrial issues unique to the public sector
  • an understanding of the unique statutory and policy environment relevant to Government clients, including the interaction between the Public Administration Act 2004, Fair Work Act 2009, industrial instruments and policies and procedures
  • briefing and working closely with counsel on a range of complex employment law matters
  • providing equal opportunity training

Prior to joining the VGSO, Melissa gained experience at a multinational commercial law firm, Victoria Legal Aid and the Mental Health Legal Centre.

Memberships and professional associations

  • Law Institute of Victoria