Amanda Watt
Partner, Melbourne
I am passionate about working with clients on strategic and sustainable workplace solutions. My approach to managing workplace risk is through the lens of purpose, humanity and practicality. As an adviser to leaders, I am often involved in creating strategic and tactical solutions to a myriad of issues.

Much of my work is highly sensitive, complex and confidential and can involve matters relating to behaviours exhibited by senior employees. Clients value my capacity to quickly distil key issues from complex matters. I have built long-term, trusted relationships advising Boards, General Counsel, Senior public servants HR Directors and senior executives in the private and public sectors across multiple sectors including education, health, mining, retail, essential services and manufacturing.

I utilise my extensive experience, spanning over30 years, insights and deep understanding of risk management, particularly in employee relations and culture and managing key stakeholder expectations.

I support the work of the Champions of Change Coalition and have contributed to their reports: Disrupting the System – preventing and responding to sexual harassment in the workplace and Building confidence and trust in workplace responses to sexual harassment - Champions Of Change Coalition. I have also worked with the Respect@Work Council, supporting its development of best practice guidance on non-disclosure agreements: Guidelines on the Use of Confidentiality Clauses in the Resolution of Workplace Sexual Harassment Complaints | Respect@Work (

I manage sensitive workplace investigations into sexual harassment, offering guidance on executive separations and complaints, and assisting with complex and sensitive discrimination class.

I advise on:

  • Respect@Work
  • Workplace transformation and achieving positive workplace cultural change.
  • Enterprise agreement negotiations and strategy.
  • Managing and mitigating the effects of industrial action.
  • Resolving sensitive employment and discrimination grievances, including by working with multi-disciplinary teams, particularly where mental health issues are involved, executive separation negotiations and general protections disputes.
  • Developing strategy and navigating employment law risks and legislative compliance requirements in the transfer of public assets to the private sector.
  • Devising Innovative workplace solutions that take account of regulatory and policy frameworks and meet business imperatives.
  • Advising public sector departments and agencies on drafting amendments to employment legislation and responding to independent reports of regulators.

I have a significant understanding of employment and professional conduct regulatory frameworks, working with regulators to successfully discharge their statutory duties and, in doing so, protect the public. In 2019 I obtained my Master of Applied Positive Psychology.

Career highlights

  • Advising the State of Victoria on the industrial and employment law strategy and its practical execution for the long-term lease of the Port of Melbourne to the private sector, the commercialisation of Land Use Victoria and the VicRoads modernisation
  • Advising a cross-jurisdictional Working Group on Strengthening University Governance, which was established by the Commonwealth Government to implement Priority Action 5 of the Interim Report of the Australian Universities Accord.
  • Working with the team that successfully defended a high-profile adverse action claim, initially before the Federal Court and again on appeal to the Full Court. This case clarified the law in respect of adverse action applications concerning employment complaints under section 341 of the Fair Work Act.
  • I have been independently recognised for many years by Best Lawyers in the areas of Employee Benefits (including as Lawyer of the Year Melbourne for FY2017), Labour and Employment, Government, and Education (including as Lawyer of the Year Melbourne for FY21 and FY25). I am also recognised by Chambers Global in Employment, which has noted client feedback such as: 'Amanda is an absolute delight to deal with and offers incredible responsiveness.' 'Amanda Watt's broad range of skills includes noted expertise on advising clients on organisational change issues.' 'One client highlights her expertise in employment law, as well as her "high degree of emotional intelligence" and ability to "engage in frank and fearless conversation". I am also recognised as a ‘leading individual’ in Employment Law by Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Asialaw leading lawyers and Women in Business Law. In 2019 I was a finalist for the Lawyers Weekly Award for Wellbeing Advocate of the Year.
  • I served on the MinterEllison board between July 2015 and July 2021. As Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, I led the governance transformation of how our D&I is embedded in our culture.

Amanda Watt on Workplace Sexual Harassment

Amanda highlights a systemic and cultural shift towards preventing workplace sexual harassment in Australia, emphasizing the importance of leadership, transparency, and a safety-first approach.