Rebecca Preston

ADMITTED  2003    BAR  2015

CLERK CONTACT  03 9225 7999
PHONE  9225 7999
MOBILE  0433 328 873

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Rebecca Preston, LLB (Hons), BSc, LLM


  • Magistrates Court
  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Constitutional
  • Contract
  • Coronial Inquests
  • Disciplinary Tribunals
  • Employment / Industrial
  • Equal Opportunity / Discrimination
  • Human Rights
  • Liquor Licencing
  • Medical Negligence
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Professional Negligence




Rebecca continues to be recognised in Doyle's Guide to the Best Barristers in Victoria (2017-2022) in the field of Employment and Work Health Safety and is one of two representatives of counsel sitting on the Fair Work Commission Unfair Dismissal Users' Group.

Rebecca primarily practises in the areas of employment, industrial relations and anti-discrimination law. She also was junior counsel for the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions in the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry.

Rebecca is regularly briefed to provide prospects and strategic advice to clients, and has represented clients in VCAT, the Fair Work Commission, County Court, Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Court and Federal Court - at first instance and variously on appeal.

Along with her undergraduate Honours degree in Law, Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Science (Genetics and Microbiology, Monash, first class Honours average), and a Master of Laws (Melbourne, first class Honours average, recipient of prize for the top Labour Relations student).

A sample of matters in which Rebecca has acted as Counsel (parties represented are in bold type):

- Tucker v State of Victoria & Anor [2022] VSC 760 - successful defence of application to be released from undertaking as to damages on grounds of fraud - breach of undertaking - application dismissed - proceeding stayed pending compliance with undertaking (with Justin Bourke KC)

- Vergara v Bunnings Group Ltd [2022] FedCFamC2G - summary dismissal of claims - meaning of social origin under anti-discrimination law - whether s 351 FW Act applies to adverse action taken on the grounds of social origin

- Tucker v Broderick [2022] FCAFC 174 - successful defence of appeal of summary dismissal of claims as an abuse of process - costs (also at first instance [2021] FCA 1492) (with Justin Bourke KC)

- United Petroleum Pty ltd v Barrie [2022] FCA 818 - post employment restraint of trade - successful defence of application for interlocutory relief

- BSL22 v BSM22 [2022] FCA 558 - successful application for suppression and non-disclosure orders for the benefit of respondents to sexual harassment claims

- Mathew McGuinness v Woolworths Group Ltd T/A Woolworths [2022] FWC 727 - dispute about matters arising under enterprise agreement - proposed roster change enabled

- Smith v Rodger Constructions Pty Ltd [2022] FedCFamC2G 204 - successful defence of adverse action and underpayment claims - meaning of "inquiry" - meaning of "able to make" - award interpretation - application of Surveying Award 2010

- Judith Lanigan v Circus Oz and Others [2022] VSC 35 - application of Limitation of Actions Act 1958 to VCAT - statutory interpretation - historical context - meaning of 'court' in legislative context - meaning of 'tort'

- Civil Air Operations Officers' Association of Australia v Airservices Australia [2021] FCA 1030 - alleged contraventions of s 50 FW Act - construction of enterprise agreement (with Richard Dalton QC)

- Toby Tucker v State of Victoria [2021] VSCA 182 - s 570 FW Act - whether conduct amounted to unreasonable act or omission causing other party to incur costs – Conduct including failure to settle proceeding, bringing interlocutory applications and reliance on certain grounds of appeal – Discretion to award costs of appeal enlivened – Limited costs orders made against the applicant in respect of appeals (with Justin Bourke QC)

- Toby Tucker v State of Victoria [2021] VSCA 120 - procedural fairness in workplace investigation process - privacy issues - construction of employment contract and incorporation of terms - jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to make declarations in respect of contraventions of enterprise agreements - s 570 FW Act and when a matter arises under the FW Act (with Justin Bourke QC)

- Fair Work Ombudsman v C & H Entertainment Pty Ltd [2021] FCCA 1216 - findings of accessorial liability - failure to comply with compliance notice and other contraventions

- Phillips v Boeing Aerostructures Australia Pty Ltd [2021] FWC 965 - unfair dismissal - genuine redundancy - reasonable redeployment - insourcing of work to provide a redeployment opportunity - consultation obligations and whether these extend to outcomes of a dispute resolution process - application dismissed

- Grochowski v Kearney [2020] FCA 1248 - practice and procedure - successful defence of application for leave to appeal interlocutory decision - leave denied

- Toby Tucker v State of Victoria (Undertaking as to Damages) [2020] VSC 121 - enforcement of undertaking as to damages (with Justin Bourke QC)

- PG Nominees Pty Ltd atf Ryan Family Trust v WBHO Infrastructure Pty Ltd [2020] VSC 48 and [2020] VSC 149 -employee share plan - successful application to withdraw admission - successful defence of application to cross examine - successful application for indemnity costs (with Suresh Senathirajah QC)

- Application by Hays Specialist Recruitment (Australia) Pty Ltd [2020] FWA 404 - successful application to terminate an enterprise agreement after its nominal expiry date, opposed by the CEPU

- Victorian Xray Group Pty Ltd v Ho [2020] FCA 27 - successful defence of claim as to competency - whether court at first instance was exercising jurisdiction under the Fair Work Act 2009 - whether court at first instance was exercising summary jurisdiction

- Joseph Kearney v Accrue Property Pty Ltd and Anor [2020] FCCA 74 - successful defence of pleadings - interaction of legal construct of continuing breach and accessorial liability provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009

- Toby Tucker v The State of Victoria [2019] VSC 635 - defence of application for stay/adjournment - no stay of proceedings pending determination of Fair Work Commission proceedings (with Justin Bourke QC)

- Separator Technology Solutions Pty Ltd v Yin Han [2018] VCC 1922 - breach of confidence - successfully defended application for interlocutory injunction - no serious question to be tried

- AC v St Joseph's Flexible Learning Centre [2019] FWC 6630 - successful unfair dismissal application - alleged misconduct - no valid reason found to exist

- Nurses Kurucuk v Mining One Pty Ltd [2019] FWC 1236 - successful defence of costs application

- Boeing Aerostructures Australia Pty Ltd t/a Boeing Aerostructures Australia v Gualano, Tuddenham and Anor [2018] FWC 7490 - dispute under DRP as to the interpretation of an enterprise agreement

- The Police Federation of Australia v Victoria Police [2018] FWC 5695 - arbitration of request for flexible work arrangement - whether refusal was on reasonable business grounds

- Larosa v Number 100 Pty Ltd & Anor [2018] FCCA 1312 - successfully defended claims for underpayments, breaches of general protections; existence of employment relationship

- Dyke and Pedlar v Frank D'Urbano Management Services Pty Ltd (2018) H12194260, H12193631 - ordinary and customary turnover of labour associated with the loss of Australia Post delivery contracts

- Yadav v Trustee for Maddingley Montessori Centre Unit Trust [2018] FWC 2883 - successful unfair dismissal claim, finding that conduct did not amount to misconduct and there was no valid reason for dismissal

- In the matter of the Suitability Panel RIVE 17 (confidential) - acting for the employee, finding that the employee did not present an unacceptable risk to children under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic)

- United Firefighters' Union v Metropolitan Fire Brigade (2017) FCA - defending application for interlocutory injunction, alleged breach of consultation obligations under enterprise agreement (with Melinda Richards SC)

- Kyle Bumpstead v Wyndham Central Secondary College [2017] FWC 5794 - successfully opposed a finding of jurisdiction, application dismissed

- Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia v Australian Postal Corporation [2017] FCA 1091 - successfully defended claims for breach of superannuation trust deed, s.345 FW Act (misrepresentations about workplace rights) and claims in estoppel and contract (with Jennifer Batrouney QC)

- Darren Lacey and Chris Kandelaars v Murrays Australia Pty Limited; Andrew Cullen [2017] FWC 3136 - successfully opposed application for bullying orders

- Knight v Visionstream Australia Pty Limited [2017] FCCA 980 - application to amend parties to a general protections claim dismissed where employer was not the entity named in the FWC certificate

- Paul Baird v Airservices Australia [2017] FWC 1946 - successfully defended unfair dismissal claim - misconduct

- Fair Work Ombudsman v Food Republic Pty Ltd [2017] FCCA 263 - underpayments - record keeping breaches

- Abdul Soomro v Murrays Australia Pty Limited T/A Murrays Australia [2016] FWC 8211 - successfully defended unfair dismissal claim

- Bendigo Health Care Group v Richard Logan [2016] FWCFB 7190 - successfully defended appeal and successfully prosecuted unfair dismissal claim at first instance - employee reinstated with backpay

- United Firefighters' Union of Australia v Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board [2016] FWCFB 2894 - dispute about matters pertaining (with Melinda Richards SC)

- Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union v CBI Constructors Pty Ltd [2015] FWC 7460 - dispute about shift work allowances (with Richard Dalton)

- Lion Dairy and Drinks Milk Limited v Peter Norman [2016] FWCFB 4218 - successful appeal of Peter Norman v Lion Dairy and Drinks Milk Limited [2016] FWC 840 - unfair dismissal - medical incapacity

- Jahangir Farzady v Monochromatic Engineering Pty Ltd T/A MCE Lasers [2015] FWC 7216 - successful unfair dismissal claim - compensation cap awarded (6 months) - Monochromatic Engineering Pty Ltd T/A MCE Lasers v Jahangir Farzady [2016] FWCFB 1061 - successfully defence of permission to appeal application

- Virata v NSW Motel Management Services Pty Ltd [2015] FWC 7932 - unfair dismissal - compensation cap awarded (6 months)

From 1st May 2015, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.