Cathy Dowsett has a practice centred on employment and administrative law, and a developing professional negligence practice. She represents clients at all levels of court and tribunal and has appeared as sole counsel, and as a junior, on multiple occasions in the Federal Court of Australia. Cathy undertakes both advisory and advocacy work.
Recent cases in which Cathy has appeared include:
Federal Court of Australia
- Krombholz v Commonwealth of Australia VID714 of 2016 – application alleging among other things contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009. Following a series of interlocutory hearings and delays in advancing the substantive proceedings, the Commonwealth obtained a self-executing guillotine order. The applicant failed to comply and her proceedings stood dismissed. The Commonwealth was granted a costs order under s 570 of the Fair Work Act 2009.
- Murray v Repatriation Commission  FCA 1150 – an appeal under s 44(1) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 from a decision affirming a decision of the Veterans’ Review Board to set the veteran’s pension under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 at 100% of the general rate. Murray v Repatriation Commission (No 2)  1216 – costs.
- Melvin v Secretary, Department of Social Security  FCA 375 – an appeal under s 44(1) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 concerning an overpayment of a disability support pension on the basis that the applicant was a “member of a couple” within the meaning of s 4(2) of the Social Security Act 1991.
- Shamir v Commonwealth of Australia (Australian Taxation Office)  FCA 1463 – application alleging among other things contravention of the Fair Work Act 2009 and seeking urgent interlocutory relief. Matter listed for final hearing, with compressed timetable for the filing and service of evidence and submissions. Proceedings ultimately withdrawn. Commonwealth granted costs order under s 570 of the Fair Work Act 2009 on the basis that the proceedings were instituted without reasonable cause. Court rejected submission that the Commonwealth acted unreasonably and could have avoided costs if it had agreed to the applicant’s proposal to varying the Court-ordered timetable.
- Duff v Commonwealth of Australia (through the National Museum of Australia) and others NTD43/2014 – allegations of unlawful discrimination contrary to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and Age Discrimination Act 2004. Matter settled.
Federal Circuit Court of Australia
- Hindu Society of Victoria v Fair Work Ombudsman  FCCA 423 – an application for review of compliance notice issued pursuant to s 716 of the Fair Work Act 2009. Application dismissed, notice confirmed. Hindu Society of Victoria v Fair Work Ombudsman  FCCA 221 – onus of proof under s 717 of the Fair Work Act 2009.
- Baraklilis and Anor v Futuris Automotive Interiors (Australia) Pty Ltd  FCCA 3221 – an application alleging contravention of the Fair Work Act 2009 by failure to pay redundancy entitlements. Application dismissed.
- Fair Work Ombudsman v Oz Staff Career Services Pty Ltd and Ors  FCCA 105 – application alleging contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 and Fair Work Regulations 2009 in relation to deductions from wages and false or misleading records. Chief Executive Officer and Human Resources Manager liable as accessories. Fair Work Ombudsman v Oz Staff Career Services Pty Ltd and Ors  FCCA 3552 – objections to evidence.
- Wilson v Victorian Aboriginal Health Service Cooperative Limited  FCCA 3237 – general protections application under the Fair Work Act 2009. The applicant made a number of allegations including that he was subject to adverse action (including the termination of his employment) because he had exercised workplace rights and that he was discriminated against on the basis of his race. None of the allegations were made out, and the application was dismissed.
- Lei v Chance Trading Pty Ltd  FCCA 441 – application alleging adverse action on the grounds of pregnancy. Respondent did not appear. Default judgment.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
- Clarke and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (Compensation)  AATA 697 – application for review of a decision to deny a claim for compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. Decision affirmed Weight of medical evidence confirmed condition was constitutional in nature and cannot be connected with the applicant’s service.
- DJLK and Comcare  AATA 423 – application for review of a decision to deny a claim for compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. Decision affirmed. The applicant was not incapacitated for work as a result of the accepted injury affecting her right shoulder, upper arm and hand. The applicant’s adjustment reaction with mixed emotional features was the result of reasonable administrative action taken in a reasonable manner in respect of the applicant’s employment.
- Digiglio v Transpacific Industries Pty Ltd  AATA 226 – application for review of decision to deny claim for compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. Back and shoulder conditions not contributed to, to a significant degree, by employment during after respondent became a licensee.
Fair Work Commission
- Shamir v Commonwealth of Australia (Australian Taxation Office)  FWC 1844 – unfair dismissal application. Application upheld at first instance, but overturned on appeal. The applicant’s employment was terminated on the basis of non-performance of duties. He attended work, but did not undertake any of the duties specifically assigned to him.