Athena Cains Athena Cains

Athena Cains

Principal Employment Relations | Canberra
acains@mcw.com.au Download vCard

Athena is a Principal in our Insurance Industry Group.

Athena is a litigation lawyer with expert knowledge of workers’ compensation law under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and the ongoing management of employees under that Act. Athena has conducted matters in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission, Supreme Courts, Federal Courts and the High Court.

With over 12 years’ experience working with and advising the Australian Government, Athena has a deep knowledge of the operational and legislative framework within the Australian Public Service. She can assist with the management of employees and the various challenges that arise in the course of their employment. Athena has a particular interest in ill and injured employees and provides practical solutions on the management of them.

Athena works in collaboration with clients to understand their needs and provides timely, pragmatic, solutions-driven legal assistance. Athena is committed to continual improvement of HR services in the Commonwealth. She conducts regular workshops and seminars on the management of workers’ compensation claims in order to achieve beneficial outcomes and presents to other forums on various government law issues.

Listed in The Best Lawyers in Australia 2020 for Insurance Law

Athena's Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws, Queensland University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Applied Science, Queensland University of Technology
  • Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, ANU
  • Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory

Athena's Expertise

  • Workers’ compensation
  • Employment law
  • Litigation
  • WHS Training

Athena's Leadership

  • Member, Government Law Committee
  • Member, Women Lawyers Association ACT
  • Member, ACT Law Society

Athena's recent publications

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  1. Administrative Appeals Tribunal confirms 600 counselling sessions is too many

    18 Feb 2020

    When is too much medical treatment enough? On 22 January 2020, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the AAT) in Re Rope and Comcare [2020] AATA 59 (Rope) found that a high level of dependency on a particular type of treatment, without any apparent...

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  2. Full Federal Court confirms that self-insureds cannot contract out of SRC Act

    10 Jan 2020

    Sometimes I get asked whether or not a self-insured employer can ‘contract out’ of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. For employers in this long tail scheme, the lack of commutation can be a major impediment to resolving old...

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  3. Top 5 questions for HR in a MoG (Machinery of Government Change)

    13 Dec 2019

    So you’re being MoG’d - the Government announced Machinery of Government (MoG) changes on Thursday 5th of December. The effective date given was February 2020 for several departments and agencies to merge. In a MoG, the heavy lifting is really...

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