ALLA 4th Biennial Conference 2008


ALLA held its 4th Biennial Conference on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 November 2008 at Rydges Hotel in Melbourne. The conference examined the implications for the workplace of past and proposed legislative reforms to labour laws under the general theme Labour Law under a Labor Government: A New Balance in the Workplace? The Conference was an outstanding success.

Featuring over 30 stimulating presentations, the Conference offered delegates variety, depth and expertise. More than 170 delegates registered for the conference. Attendees enjoyed provocative speeches, and were fortunate enough to hear new announcements about the Fair Work Bill first hand, with a speech given by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Throughout the day delegates were given the choice of three or four Concurrent Sessions, ensuring that attendees could pursue presentations that were engaging and relevant to themselves and their work.

Another highlight of the Conference was the Conference dinner, with an entertaining speech by guest speaker Mark Skulley, journalist with the Australian Financial Review. The conference dinner was preceded by the launch of ALLA Secretary John Howe’s new book Regulating for Job Creation(Federation Press 2008) by Federal Minister for Employment Participation, the Hon Brendan O’Connor.

The Conference also marked the first presentation of the Annual Phillipa Weeks Prize. An ALLA initiative, the Phillipa Weeks Prize honours Phillipa’s outstanding contribution to ALLA, and to teaching and scholarship in labour law more generally. The Prize is awarded for the best paper presented at the ALLA Conference, chosen by a panel consisting of Shae McCrystal, Anthony Forsyth and Peter Punch. Congratulations to the winners of this special prize, Mark Mourell and Craig Cameron of Griffith University, Queensland, for their paper ‘Neither Simple nor Fair: Prohibiting Legal Representation Before Fair Work Australia’.

For further information, please see the Conference Brochure and Conference Program.


Labour Law Teaching Workshop: 13 November 2008

The 2008 Labour Law Teaching Workshop provided a forum for teachers of labour law subjects, broadly construed to include employment law and industrial law (taught to both law and non-law students) to come together in a collegial environment and discuss the challenging questions we face in our teaching, such as:

  • Which text best suits my students learning needs and styles?
  • How should I structure the syllabus?
  • What innovative forms of assessment have other teachers used?
  • How can I best engage my students in current debates and issues?

The workshop was sponsored by the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne and ALLA.