Full Name: Fiona Knowles
Phone:+61 3 9225 6579
Phone:+61 3 9225 7777
Fax:+61 3 9225 8480
Chambers: Owen Dixon Chambers West
Room: 0123
Date of Admission: 3 Apr 2000
Called to the Bar: 1 May 2014
Qualifications: BA (Hons); LLB (Hons); LLM (The University of Melbourne)
Previous Occupation: Principal Lawyer; Senior Associate


Fiona Knowles practises mostly in work related areas, including industrial, disciplinary and health and safety matters. Fiona has acted for a wide variety of clients, such as government departments, associations, corporations and individuals. 

Having this broad experience means that Fiona can provide advice on matters from a unique range of perspectives. She has litigated in a range of forums and areas, including in:

  • employment, industrial and discrimination
  • disciplinary and regulatory work
  • registered organisations
  • workplace injury and health and safety
  • public and administrative law
  • royal commissions and inquiries

Fiona is known for her work in anti-discrimination law and workplace rights matters and has acted in some landmark cases in these areas. Prior to coming to the Bar, Fiona worked at the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Department of Justice after being in private practice at Holding Redlich and a large commercial law firm.

Fiona is an accredited specialist in workplace relations and sits on the Law Institute of Victoria’s Workplace Relations Specialisation Advisory Committee. She was also elected to the LIV’s Council from 2010-2013 after being Chair of its Workplace Relations Section for the preceding three years.

Fiona read with Mark Irving and her senior mentor is Melinda Richards SC, now Crown Counsel.

Appearances include:

Fair Work Ombudsman v Mhoney Pty Ltd & anor [2017] Federal Circuit Court of Australia: record penalties of $660,020 ordered against the Sunshine Fruit Market and its director for various contraventions in respect of underpayments, record keeping and payslip breaches and a failure to comply with a notice to produce

AGL Loy Yang Pty Ltd T/A AGL Loy Yang [2017] Fair Work Commission: application for termination of the Loy Yang Power Enterprise Agreement 2012     

Fair Work Ombudsman v Mai Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] Federal Circuit Court of Australia: penalties of $408,348 ordered against a 7-Eleven franchisee and its director for underpaying 12 employees, receiving pay back from employees and various misleading and deceptive use of employee records contraventions

Fair Work Ombudsman v Hiyi Pty Ltd & Ors [2016] Federal Circuit Court of Australia: penalties of $150,000 ordered against a 7-Eleven franchisee and its directors for underpaying 12 employees and various misleading and deceptive use of employee records contraventions

Heraud v Roy Morgan Research (No 2) Ltd [2016] led by Mark Irving; Heraud v Roy Morgan Research Ltd [2016] Federal Circuit Court of Australia appeared alone: maternity leave and request for flexible working arrangements workplace rights matter

Fair Work Ombudsman v Jackson (No 2) [2016] and Fair Work Ombudsman v Jackson [2016] Federal Circuit Court of Australia: civil penalties against employer for underpaying 5 backpackers in Australia on working holiday visas

Australian Workers' Union v Treasury Wine Estate [2016] Fair Work Commission: dispute about redundancy entitlements under the enterprise agreement

Ferrao  v Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute [2016] Fair Work Commission: unfair dismissal and jurisdictional issue about whether a genuine redundancy

4 yearly review of modern awards – Family and domestic violence clause and Family friendly work arrangements clause [2015] Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission: award modernisation matter

Dziurbas v Mondelez Australia Pty Ltd (Human Rights) [2015] VCAT 1432: disability discrimination and reasonable adjustments matter in which the applicant was awarded $251,161.21 in compensation, which includes the record amount awarded by VCAT for economic loss in a discrimination case

Mark Kirkman v DP World Melbourne Limited [2015] Fair Work Commission Full Bench: appeal against refusal to allow inspection of documents produced

The Australian Workers' Union v Esso Australia Pty Ltd [2015] Fair Work Commission Full Bench: appeal against a stop industrial action order



Industrial Bar Association
Women Barristers Association

Download / Print Fiona Knowles' practice profile.

Areas of Practice


  • Contractual Disputes
  • Superannuation


  • Civil and Human Rights
  • Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Discrimination
  • Judicial Review and administrative law
  • Merits Review
  • Privacy/Freedom of Information


  • Appellate
  • Discrimination
  • Employment Contracts and Restraint of Trade
  • Industrial Disputes and statutory employment rights
  • Public Sector Appeals
  • Work Health and Safety


  • Commissions and other inquiries
From 1 May 2014, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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