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Celebrating PhD success

"Work provides not only income but it can also be a source of deep satisfaction."

Deakin Law School's Dr Victoria Lambropoulos has been formally recognised for both her teaching and research and most recently added to an impressive list of accolades by earning a PhD for her efforts in the area of workplace law. Having practiced as a barrister, she joined Deakin Law School as a full-time academic in 2004 and is now a senior lecturer.

Victoria’s interest in workplace law is based upon her belief in work as a significant source of life enjoyment.

’For many people the most important thing is work. It provides opportunities to create a future and to live out their dreams. It provides not only income but it can also be a source of deep satisfaction,’ she says.

Practicing as a commercial lawyer, Dr Lambropoulos found she lacked people contact. It was as a barrister, undertaking pro bono work in the area of discrimination, that she found satisfaction. From there, her future fell into place. She is emphatic that finding your passion is not about luck. ‘You must chase it,’ she says. In her opinion, this can be achieved by engaging in volunteer work or finding other opportunities that offer a way to gain relevant experience.

Her research work is well recognised. In 2013, Dr Lambropoulos won the School of Law Research Award for Outstanding Publication, as well as the School of Law Researcher Award. She is the primary author and editor of Thomson Reuters’ annual publication, Fair Work Legislation and editor for the Common Law and General Protections section of the Workplace Review.

In 2013, Victoria was also honoured with a Faculty Teaching Excellence award, a part of her job she is very passionate about. In her opinion, Deakin has a ‘family atmosphere’ and she enjoys teaching for several reasons. She says, she is partly driven by her desire to inspire future thinkers and practitioners in the workplace relations law field, but she also enjoys that at Deakin, teaching staff are given the autonomy to try new things.

‘The University wants to be seen as progressive in its delivery of teaching. It is less bureaucratic and more inventive,’ she says.

In particular, the Cloud delivery method enables her to be innovative and experimental in her approach and she also likes to watch students become engaged and be a part of the creative and dynamic process the online learning process facilitates.

In her PhD thesis, titled ‘Rethinking the Employer’s Summary Dismissal Power in the Employment Contract’, Dr Lambropoulos has devised a new way to resolve disputes on the basis of statutory reform rather than through the Common Law. She found the process of completing her PhD engaging and an outlet for her passion to read, research, learn and discover. Most importantly she has found that her research has informed her teaching practice. In 2016, she is looking to consolidate knowledge from her PhD and expects to publish from it.

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