November 2012 Industry Update

Q&A with FWBC’s Chief Counsel – Brian Corney

Read FWBC Chief Counsel Brian Corney’s biography here.

1. What does your typical working day entail?
Discussing matters with counsel/solicitors, talking with industry associations, reviewing case reports, reading and assessing judgements, assessing cost and budget for cases, discussions with Leigh Johns and other executive staff and Legal staff.

2. What is the most interesting job you have had?
Apart from the current job, two jobs spring to mind over an extensive career:

  • Developing the policy, legislation and implementation of the historic referral of Victorian industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth. This was the forerunner to today’s national IR system.

  • Registrar/ Chief Commission Officer at the Industrial Relations Commission/ Employee Relations Commission (V).

3. If you didn’t work in the legal profession, what other career path would you have chosen?

According to my staff, a surgeon - because of my dextrous, tiny hands. I would have kept a bevy of personal injuries lawyers in work for years.

4. You received a Public Service Medal in 2009 for your commitment to promoting better workplace relations between employers and employees. What do you think is the biggest modern-day obstacle in this area?

A shared commitment to the bigger picture - benefiting all parties and the Australian people by adopting a more expansive view on “growing the pie” and adapting to the huge societal and industrial  changes in the workplace. But in doing so, an equal commitment for a fair and equitable safety net for those, especially at the bottom, most affected by the on-going changes in our workplaces and economy.

5. What is your favourite major Australian building?

  • The symbolism of Parliament House, Canberra. 

  • The external beauty of the Opera House, Sydney.

  • The Centrepoint Tower, Sydney – because I helped build it while a builder's labourer during university (and climbed to the top of the flag pole atop its spire (OH&S was almost non-existent then)

6. Do you know any good lawyer jokes?

Define “good” please.

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