Staff profile

Mr Anthony O'Donnell

Senior Lecturer

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce
La Trobe Law School

Melbourne (Bundoora)


LLB, BA(Hons), LLM Melb

Area of study


Brief profile

Prior to joining the School of Law in 2006, Anthony held positions at the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law and the Centre for Public Policy, at the University of Melbourne, where he worked on several ARC-funded projects in the areas of labour market regulation, social policy and corporate governance. He has played a key role in an ongoing collaborative project to rethink the subject matter and objectives of labour law. This has resulted in an edited collection, Labour Law and Labour Market Regulation (Federation Press, 2006) which one international reviewer referred to as ‘unquestionably a landmark in Australian labour law scholarship’ and another as a ‘remarkable volume…a book to be read by anyone interested in serious academic thinking about labour law’. He has contributed to international studies on the regulation of fixed-term work; the future of workplace regulation; and the history of employment services. He is currently completing a history of the evolution of unemployment law and policy in Australia and working on a project with colleagues from Monash and Melbourne Universities that measures the protective strength of labour law in a number of Asia-Pacific countries.

From 2012 to 2015 Anthony was co-editor of Labour and Industry, the official journal of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand. He is an associate member of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law at the University of Melbourne Law School. He is currently convenor of the School of Law's Honours program.

Research interests

Labour Law

- Please contact me to discuss a topic.

Teaching units

  • LAW4THA/LAW4THB  Law Honours Thesis
  • LAW5FPR Foundations of Property Law

Recent publications

'Labour Law and Poverty in Australia: The Transformation of a Wage-Earners' Welfare State' in B Edgeworth et al. (eds), Law and Poverty in Australia: 40 Years After the Sackville Report, Federation Press, in press.

'Unemployment in a Time of Full Employment: Counting and Regulating Worklessness in Mid-Twentieth Century Australia' (2015) 108 Labour History 71 (

'Organising the Labour Market in a Liberal Welfare State: The Origins of the Public Employment Service in Australia' in S Wadauer et al. (eds), History of Labour Intermediation: Institutions and Individual Ways of Finding Employment, Berghahn Books, Oxford, 2015.

‘Shareholder Protection in Australia: Institutional Configurations and Regulatory Evolution’ (2014) 38 Melbourne University Law Review 68 (with R Mitchell, I Ramsay and M Welsh). (

'Safety Nets and Transition Assistance: Continuity and Change in a Liberal Welfare State' in K Stone & H Arthurs (eds), Rethinking Workplace Regulation: After the Standard Contract of Employment, Russell Sage, New York, 2013.

Law, Corporate Governance and Partnerships at Work: A Study of Australian Regulatory Style and Business Practice, Ashgate, Farnham, 2011 (co-author), 242pp.

'Fixed-Term Work in Australia' in H Nakakubo & T Araki (eds), The Regulation of Fixed-Term Employment Contracts: A Comparative Overview, Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 2010

'Corporate Governance and Labour Law: Situating Australia's Regulatory Style' (2009) 47 Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources 150 (with S Marshall and R Mitchell)

'Welfare After Workchoices: All Work and No Choices?' (2007) 20 Australian Journal of Labour Law 75

Labour Law and Labour Market Regulation, Federation Press, Sydney, 2006 (co-editor), 752pp.

'Shareholder Value and Employee Interests: Intersections Between Corporate Governance, Corporate Law and Labor Law' (2005) 23 Wisconsin International Law Journal 417 (with R Mitchell and I Ramsay) (

'Non-Standard Workers in Australia: Counts and Controversies' (2004) 17 Australian Journal of Labour Law 89

'Inventing Unemployment: Labour Market Regulation and the Establishment of the Commonwealth Employment Service' (2003) 31 Federal Law Review 342.


Research projects

Inventing Unemployment: The Regulation of Worklessness in 20th Century Australia

Calculating the Protective Strength of Labour Law through Leximetrics

Dr Moss Cass: A Political Memoir (with Moss Cass and Vivien Encel)

Labour Law as Public Policy: The Australian Experience


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