The state of Victoria has marked another first with the appointment of Marlo Baragwanath, the first woman to lead its Government Solicitor’s Office.
Ms Baragwanath has stepped into her new role as the next Victorian Government Solicitor. She replaces outgoing Government Solicitor Peter Stewart. This appointment marks the first time a woman has officially held the position.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews commended Ms Baragwanath’s appointment to the post in a statement made last week.
“Marlo Baragwanath is a person of outstanding ability, skills and experience – and we’re proud to officially appoint the first woman to this pivotal role,” Mr Andrews said.
Ms Baragwanath departed the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to assume the position of Government Solicitor. In her capacity as VBA director she oversaw strategic, operational and legal issues for the board, in addition to advice to the state government.
In 2006, Ms Baragwanath was appointed general counsel for WorkSafe Victoria, where she led its 200-person business unit focused on legal, legislative and employer services. She worked at WorkSafe for a total of 10 years.
Ms Baragwanath was admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1997 and received her bachelor of laws (honours) and arts from Monash University in 1996. She also has a master's degree from the London School of Economics. She has previously held roles with the Victorian Department of Justice and Ombudsman Victoria.
State Attorney-General Martin Pakula described the new Government Solicitor as a person with a strong “background and leadership across the public sector”. He said her experience would be “invaluable in her new position providing high-quality legal advice to government”.
The Attorney-General thanked Mr Stewart for his service during his five-year tenure and acknowledged Assistant Government Solicitor Alison O’Brien, who acted as interim office-holder until the new appointment was made.