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Hot Topics in Commonwealth Compensation

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Discounts apply for Federal Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section members. If you are not currently a member of the Section, you can join here

Registrations for in person close 5pm, 28 November 2022. Online registrations close 5pm, 30 November 2022. 

Key Speakers

We are pleased to announce the key speakers for this event.

Senior Member Damien O’Donovan
Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

Senior Member Damien O’Donovan was appointed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in 2019 after more than 20 years at the Australian Government Solicitor.

 He is currently the Practice Leader for Workers’ Compensation and is the Canberra Registry’s Executive Member.

 SM O’Donovan is currently involved in a workers’ compensation pilot program in the Canberra Registry which is seeking to identify procedural changes that can be made to the running of workers’ compensation matters which will improve the identification of issues in proceedings and facilitate faster resolution times.

The Hon Justice Fiona Meagher
President, Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

Justice Meagher was appointed to the Federal Court and to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as President on 1 April 2022.

Prior to her appointment Justice Meagher was a Deputy President and the Division Head of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Justice Meagher was first appointed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as a part time Member in 2015 and as a full time Senior Member in November 2018. From 2014 until November 2018 Justice Meagher was a Member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal Queensland and held a Presidential Delegation from June 2017 until November 2018.

Ms Katrina Stouppos
Associate, Shine Lawyers Sydney

Katrina Stouppos is an Associate leading the Comcare practice at Shine Lawyers based in Sydney.  

Katrina represents applicants to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to stand as a voice for injured workers who require medical support, payments for lost income and other compensation to get their lives back on track after an injury. Katrina also works alongside a team of dedicated professionals to bring acknowledgement, restitution and justice to survivors and victims of child sexual abuse across Australia.

Her background in psychology is valuable in her work in light of complexities for psychological conditions under the Comcare scheme and for survivors of abuse and assists to guide clients through their legal journeys.

Dr Farhan Shahzad
Occupational Physician,

Dr Farhan Shahzad is a highly experienced Consultant Occupational Physician. He is a Fellow of The Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians and also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Ireland.

Having worked in Occupational Medicine across New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and Australian Capital Territory for almost 15 years, Dr Shahzad has an extensive range of professional experience, accreditations and qualifications within the industry.

Dr Shahzad has served as an inhouse medical specialist to iCare (formerly WorkCover NSW), assisting various insurers and agents with complex case management needs, liability assessments and treatment recommendations for workers’ compensation cases. Dr Shahzad has also previously been a Medical Advisor to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Ms Lisa Gooneratne
Special Counsel, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Lisa has extensive experience in personal injury insurance law, in a variety of areas. Lisa acts for both private insurers and Government agencies, in the areas of public liability, workers compensation, medical negligence, coronial inquests, medical disciplinary matters, and motor vehicle accidents. Lisa also acts for a self-insurers, including a national airline and national banks, in relation to personal injury claims.

Lisa has extensive experience in managing un-litigated and litigated claims and takes a practical and commercial approach to matters to assist clients to achieve a satisfactory resolution. Lisa’s experience includes appearing in the ACT Magistrates and Supreme Courts, the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and the Federal Circuit Court.

Lisa is actively involved in the ACT legal community, being a former chair of the Young Lawyers Committee and currently a Commissioner and Board member of the ACT Legal Aid Commission.

Mr Philip Nolan
Barrister, Queensland Bar

Phil is a barrister, commencing at the Queensland private Bar in December 2018. He has over 10 years of personal injury, insurance and administrative law experience in the New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and Federal Jurisdictions. Since being called to the Bar, Phil has predominantly been briefed in personal injuries, superannuation (TPD) and administrative law matters. He is regularly in the in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for Applicants and Respondents in the social security, veterans, workers compensation and national disability insurance divisions. He also appears in appeals to the Federal Circuit Court and Federal Court for matters under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

Ms Melissa Scriva
Senior Associate, Sparke Helmore Lawyers

Melissa advises clients on Commonwealth workers' compensation claims and specialises in administrative law, immigration law, statutory compensation law and litigation.

Melissa is skilled in dispute resolution and regularly appears as an advocate before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in preliminary and conciliation conferences as well as in directions and substantive hearings, including veterans' entitlements hearings. She also regularly appears in the Federal Circuit Court (FCC) and Federal Court of Australia (FCA). 

She provides comprehensive and strategic advice to clients at each stage of the claims process.

Melissa manages a high volume practice for the Commonwealth departments and various licensees in the AAT, FCC and FCA.


  • A presentation by a medical practitioner regarding how to diagnose and determine the cause of an ailment/injury, including whether an employee suffered an ailment/injury which the nature and conditions of that employee’s employment significantly contributed to or caused. 
    Speaker: Dr Farhan Shahzad (Occupational Physician)
  • Jurisdiction/scope of review, including whether an employee should make a nature and conditions claim or some other kind of claim. 
    Speaker: Philip Nolan (Barrister, Queensland Bar) and Melissa Scriva (Senior Associate, Sparke Helmore Lawyers)
  • Working from/at home: the boundaries of employment in an iPhone era.  Sydney solicitors from applicant and respondent perspectives
    Speaker: Katrina Stouppos (Associate, Shine Lawyers) and Lisa Gooneratne (Special Counsel, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers)
  • Tribunal update. 
    Speaker: Senior Member O’Donovan.

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers
Level 14, Australia Square, 264-278 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

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