Marita has over 30 years experience in the law, and has been a barrister since 2008. She specialises in Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal matters, including counsel assisting, and VCAT appeals/reviews and Sentencing Act applications. She regularly gives training and mentoring to solicitors in these areas.
Marita also appears in family violence and personal safety intervention orders, summary crime, Children's Court (both family and criminal division) and family law (mainly children's matters).
Marita has a strong interest in therapeutic justice and appears in the specialist courts including the Assessment and Referral Court and Neighbourhood Justice Centre. She has undertaken training in therapeutic justice through the Australian Association of Restorative Justice (AARJ), and is keen to expand her work into this field.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Marita was a solicitor with Australia Post, as its National Compliance Manager advising on Trade Practices, privacy, intellectual property and contractual matters. As part of the Compliance role, she trained staff in trade practices law across Australia.
For five years prior, she was a Legal and Policy Officer with the Office of Fair Trading (now Consumer Affairs) at the Department of Justice, where she had carriage of two acts through Parliament (the Fair Trading Act 1999 and Motor Car Traders (Amendment) Act 1996), and prosecuted crimes under the Fair Trading Act. In a previous role she was Victoria's MinFIN Officer and a member of the federal Ministerial Council for Financial Institutions, and a member of the National Working Party for non-financial banking institutions.
Marita completed her Articles with Maddock Lonie and Chisholm (now Maddox), after which she was a solicitor for two years in a dynamic grass roots legal practice (O'Moore Hertzberg) in Byron Bay working in family law and summary crime.
Marita has always volunteered throughout her career, in community legal centres, and for the last ten years in NGOs seeking to eliminate human trafficking and slavery. Since January 2019 she has been on the board of Hagar Australia Ltd, which is part of a global federated network, and a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to ending the cycle of trafficking, slavery and abuse in Cambodia, Vietnam and Afghanistan. She represents Hagar Australia at the annual National Roundtable Conferences on Human Trafficking and Slavery in Canberra.
Marita is engaged by Leo Cussen Centre for Law assessing law graduates in family law practical assessments.
In 2017, Marita presented her paper on 'Forced Marriage in Victoria', at the World Congress on Family Law and Children's Rights in Dublin, Ireland.
ZHC v Victims of Crime Assistance (Review and Regulation) 2022 VCAT 333 (30 March 2022) - Successfuly overturned a VOCAT decision which struck out a claim under section 52 for failing to report the act of violence to police within a reasonable time.
PTR v Victims of Crime Assistance (Costs) (Review and Regulation)  VCAT 1644 - (21 October 2019) - Successfully opposed VOCAT's application to pay costs on a lesser scale than the County Court Scale, after VOCAT was unsuccessful at VCAT in the substantive case (see below).
PTR v Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal  VCAT 1204 (8 August 2019) - Represented a school boy victim of grooming, successfully overturning VOCAT's decision to refuse him lost earnings and tutoring expenses.
HUM v Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (Review and Regulation)  VCAT 443 (29 March 2019) - successfully overturned VOCAT's decision to refuse a claim from a woman who experienced sexual offending as a child from a police officer.
QMX v Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (Review and Regulation)  VCAT 614 (20 April 2018) - Acted for a mother and children who, at VOCAT, were refused security expenses, a holiday and other items to assist recovery, and were not awarded the maxium Special Financial Assistance, successfully overturning VOCAT's decision.