Michelle is a senior commercial, public and regulatory lawyer. She has over 15 years’ experience advising Victorian government departments and agencies on procurement and outsourcing, public sector governance (including the application of the Public Administration Act and the Financial Management Act), statutory interpretation, legislative reform, privacy and data protection, delegations, legislative and policy frameworks, regulatory compliance and other public law matters.
Michelle has worked on various projects to establish new Victorian government bodies, providing advice on the transfer of assets and liabilities, the establishment and operation of their boards and the exercise of their functions and powers. She has drafted transfer agreements, allocation statements, delegations, governance policies, legislative certifications, gazette notices and Ministerial briefings.
She also works with her Victorian government clients on commercial matters such as tendering and procurement and government contracting including outsourcing and funding agreements.
Michelle is an advocate for plain English drafting and recently delivered a series of seminars to Victorian public sector lawyers on this topic. She regularly works with Victorian government clients to draft, review and update template documents to improve efficiencies, ensure compliance with regulatory and policy requirements and effectively manage risk in undertaking commercial activities.
- Public sector governance
- Administrative law including legislative frameworks within which government and public sector agencies operate
- Legislative reform
- Statutory interpretation and the operation of complex regulatory schemes
- Government tendering and procurement
- Government contracting including outsourcing and funding agreements
- Department of Premier and Cabinet – currently working with the Department to establish the Portable Long Service Leave Benefits Authority and Governing Board, including by advising on governance processes and mapping functions and powers to establish a delegations framework.
- V/Line – acted as lead senior lawyer to advise the project team in the VLC Project which implemented the Victorian Government’s policy to secure the ongoing public ownership of the V/Line business. The project was undertaken over several months and involved transferring all V/Line property, assets, contracts, employees, rights and liabilities from the private company V/Line Pty Ltd to a statutory authority V/Line Corporation via a legislative mechanism in the Transport Integration Act. The project included drafting a report to the Board setting out key responsibilities of the Board as a public entity in Victoria.
- Visit Victoria – advised the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources on the establishment of Visit Victoria (a merger of three existing bodies with tourism functions). Advised on governance arrangements, transfer of contracts and legislative compliance issues such as the application of Victorian laws and policies to the new body.
- Department of Transport – worked with the Department of Transport over a number of years to implement the Taxi Industry Inquiry’s recommendations regarding the taxi-cab and hire car industries in Victoria. Advised on legislative, regulatory and compliance issues and ensuring all governance arrangements were in place to transfer functions and powers for regulating the taxi and hire care industry from the Department to the new body. Drafted and reviewed key governance documents including inter-government MOUs, delegations, authorisations and an allocation statement. Also drafted a report setting out options to reform the legislative accreditation system for driver, licence holders and operators.
- Mt Buller and Mt Sterling Resort Management Board – advised the Board on the regulatory framework governing the provision of passenger transport services at the Mt Buller Resort, including bus and taxi services. Provided further advice on the commercial arrangements in place with the incumbent transport provider and advised on managing risks arising from the open tender for those services.
- Department of Premier and Cabinet – advised on information sharing and privacy related laws applying to the sharing of information for the purpose of identifying certain categories of high risk individuals and provided options for increasing information sharing within the current framework as well as legislative reform.
- Victorian Managed Insurance Authority – conducted a review of the VMIA’s current legislative framework to determine what changes (if any) would be required to implement goals identified in the organisation’s Vision 2020 statement. The review was finalised by preparation of a report to the Board which advised on how goals could be implemented within the current legislative framework and also identified areas where minor or major legislative change could be considered.
- Victoria Police – advised on the Aviation Services Continuity Project which will ensure continued support to the Victoria Police Air Wing through a transition of aviation service providers. Work undertaken included drafting and negotiating contract documents and advising the tender evaluation panel on contractual and regulatory risk issues.
- Department of Education and Training – advised the Department on the regulatory framework governing the provision of a student taxi service and drafted contract documents between the Department and taxi service providers.
- Ambulance Victoria – advised AV on governance and statutory compliance issues arising from AV’s implementation of a pilot to trial the use of body-worn cameras by paramedics. Advised on the governing policy framework, compliance with DHHS policy requirements and privacy and data protection issues arising from the use of the cameras.
- Swinburne University – undertook a review of compliance with legislative requirements for work integrated learning activities at the University. The review encompassed a consultation phase, a mapping of work-integrated learning activities across the University and the production of a set of documents, tools and templates to support work-integrated learning activities.
- Valuer-General Victoria – advised the VG on the transfer of contracts between local councils and valuers required after the government enacted legislative amendments to centralise land valuations with the Valuer-General.
- Commercial Passenger Vehicle Commission – mapped out powers and functions under the new Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act and then redrafted delegations and authorisations to apply from the commencement of that Act.
- Service Victoria – advised on the introduction of a electronic payments (PayPal) and electronic identity verification functions to the Service Victoria online platform, including advising on compliance issues arising under the new Service Victoria Act and under privacy and data protection laws. Also negotiated contract arrangements including licensing agreements with external providers supporting these functions.
- Fed Square Pty Ltd – advised on a proposal to restructure the company as a State business corporation and undertaking an analysis of Victorian legislation that will apply to the governance and operations of the State business corporation.
- RedR Australia – provide ongoing advice on a pro bono basis to RedR Australia, a leading humanitarian agency for international emergency relief. Recent work includes negotiating a new multi-year funding agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the delivery of the Australia Assists program and advising the Board on governance issues.
- Michelle has also drafted or updated template document systems (including contract documents and supporting documents such as user guides) for public sector clients including the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Education and Training, Environment Protection Authority, V/Line Corporation, Melbourne Water, Melbourne Polytechnic, Swinburne University and the Transport Accident Commission.
Michelle is the coordinator of the Commercial team CPD Program and has been a proud member of the Maddocks Women committee since 2014.