A group of 30 Deakin law students attended a panel discussion at Deakin Downtown with key Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) staff – Fiona Malishev (Acting Principal Lawyer) and Daniel Crick (Director of Policy). Rebecca Tisdale from the Deakin Law Clinic and Dr Britt Tevis (Lecturer of Workplace Law with Deakin University) also attended the event.
Students gained insight into the key functions of the Ombudsman, and opened up discussion about important cases, the trends and challenges involved in employment law and the various career pathways within the FWO.
Deakin law student, Ellyahne Hayes-Childs describes it as “the best event I have attended”.
“Daniel Crick was especially interesting as he is an example of someone who has moved into policy from litigation which is a path I am considering … I was able to follow along well based on the concepts I have studied within Workplace Law.”, she says.
Daniel Crick took the opportunity to hear from the students as well.
“This event provided an excellent opportunity to engage with future advisors and to share a little of the work that is happening at the FWO. In return, it’s great to hear from engaged students about their views of regulation and what we could be doing differently.”
Acting Principal Lawyer Fiona Malishev added further enlightenment to the students’ experience by sharing her own path from her time at Deakin Law School.
“As a Deakin Law alumna [class of 2003] I was really excited to participate in this discussion panel to share my experiences … When I was studying law, there wasn’t a lot of information about career options other than going into a top tier commercial law firm straight out of Uni. Despite this, I took an alternative career path by going into the public sector and now I have a rewarding and challenging role as a Principal Lawyer at the FWO.”
Dr Matthew Lister – the Unit Chair of Workplace Law – facilitated the event. He feels much of the value in events such as this lie in their ability to bring often elusive career prospects within our students’ line of sight.
“Too often, the various governmental bodies that students study and come across in their work remain abstract and distant to them … This event was especially pleasing for letting students meet some lawyers working in one of the agencies we’ve studied this term – the FWO – and learn how those lawyers came to hold the positions they have.”
Students unable to attend in person streamed the panel online. The initiative was made possible by a collaborative effort from the Faculty of Business and Law Student Experience team, Deakin Law School and the Fair Work Ombudsman.