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Ashurst lures former Fair Work Commissioner

Barbara Deegan has joined Ashurst as a consultant after 18 years as Canberra’s Fair Work Commissioner.

user iconDigital 29 February 2024 The Bar
Ashurst lures former Fair Work Commissioner
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Deegan (pictured) retired from the Commissioner role in August and will not be replaced. Her duties will be performed by visiting commissioners from Sydney and Melbourne.

Canberra has now joined Darwin and Hobart as the only capital cities without a resident Fair Work Commissioner or member.


Deegan served as a commissioner of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Commission from 1996 to 2014. In 2008, she authored an independent integrity review of the 457 Visa Program commissioned by the Minister for Immigration, which was later referred to as the Deegan commission.

Ashurst’s head of employment, Stephen Woodbury, said Deegan’s appointment was an enormous coup for the firm.

“Barbara's extensive knowledge and experience will be a great asset to the lawyers in our employment practice,” he added.

Deegan will be based at Ashurst’s Canberra office where a colleague from Fair Work Australia, its former president Geoff Giudice, is also a consultant.

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