Full Name: Ms Fiona Knowles
Phone: +61 3 9225 7777
Fax: 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, now QC, and her senior mentor was Melinda Richards SC, now Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Appearances include:

Australian Education Union v Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology [2018] Federal Court of Australia: application by the union for an injunction to stop a vote on an enterprise agreement on the grounds of alleged misrepresentations

James v WorkPower Inc [2018] Federal Court of Australia: application regarding alleged discriminatory wage assessment tool on the grounds of disability

4 yearly review of modern awards - Pharmacy Industry Award 2010 [2018] Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission: work value claim

Fair Work Ombudsman v Yenida Pty Ltd & anor (No. 2) [2018] Federal Circuit Court of Australia: the FWO’s first race adverse action case - penalties of $211,104 ordered against the Scamander Beach Hotel in Tasmania and its director; Fair Work Ombudsman v Yenida Pty Ltd & anor [2017] - liability decision 

Australian Services Union v Australian Taxation Office [2018] Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission: appeal in “hot-desking” dispute with the ATO

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. (See cases for FCCA judgment.)

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

Heraud v Roy Morgan Research (No 2) Ltd [2016] hearing on relief, led by Mark Irving, in which the applicant was awarded approximately $150,000 in compensation and penalties; Heraud v Roy Morgan Research Ltd [2016] Federal Circuit Court of Australia liability hearing, appeared alone: maternity leave and request for flexible working arrangements workplace rights 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


Industrial Bar Association

Women Barristers Association

Areas of Practice


Commercial Law

  • Contractual Disputes

Industrial Relations Law & Employment Law

  • Discrimination
  • Employment Contracts
  • Industrial Disputes
  • Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S)
  • Public Sector Appeals
  • Statutory Employment Rights

Inquests, Inquiries, Tribunals & Commissions

  • Disciplinary Tribunals
  • Royal Commissions

Public Law & Administrative Law

  • Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Discrimination & Equal Opportunity
  • Human Rights Law
  • Information Privacy
  • Judicial Review
  • Merits Review
From 1 May 2014, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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