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Two white women, one brunette, one blonde holding their Bachelor of Law certificates
Emily Willison (left) and Kelsey Harding proudly show their certificates admitting them as lawyers to the Supreme Court of Victoria

At Development Victoria, we don’t just invest in projects to make our state a great place to be - we also invest in our people

By encouraging our team’s professional development and providing them with opportunities, we are watching our people grow and develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

One of the ways we support our team is through the opportunity of study leave for those striving for a university degree. Under this policy, we provide a day of study leave per semester – also contributing financial support towards the cost of their studies.

“We know that by supporting our team to undertake further studies, there are contemporary learning styles and theories that these students can share,” said Group Head, Legal & Advisory Bernard Stute,

“There are also diverse thoughts and ideas that come from universities that can help to build innovation in the team.”

Bernard is no stranger to having team members who are studying at university. When Emily Willison started at Development Victoria in 2021 in our Legal & Advisory team, she quickly learned she shared a common bond with colleague Kelsey Harding.

They found they not only had an interest in the law but were also both studying for a Bachelor of Law degree through Deakin University with aspirations of graduating and being allowed to practice as lawyers.

“Emily and I worked together while completing the final 18 months of our studies,” said Kelsey

“We completed a lot of the same subjects which meant we were able to bounce ideas off each other, complete group assignments together and understood each other’s work commitments outside of the study load.”

Studying together not only meant Kelsey and Emily were spending extra hours on the phone with each other working through assignments, but it also built their relationship outside of being colleagues.

“It helped to have someone who had the same work commitments and study commitments, as we were able to work together to find a balance.” Said Emily

“Whilst Kelsey and I met at Development Victoria and happened to be at the same university and doing the same degree, she is now one of my closest friends.”

Kelsey and Emily not only supported each other through this experience, but they also received ongoing support from the Development Victoria Legal team and the wider organisation.

“The whole of the Development Victoria Legal Team has been especially supportive. They were always available to answer questions and explain topics when I needed a helping hand.” Said Emily

Kelsey said, “The Development Victoria Legal Team not only offered support when we needed it, but they also celebrated both our university graduation and our Admission to the Supreme Court (including watching us be admitted via the Livestream).”

Across Development Victoria’s teams, there are a number of people being supported as they undertake their studies. This is just one of the ways we’re helping our team to grow and achieve their potential.

Updated on 26 May 2023