June 2022 | Sara Dennis | VGSO


June 2022 | Sara Dennis | Assistant Victorian Government Solicitor, VGSO


My favourite part of working at the VGSO is…

that every day is interesting and brings new challenges to solve.  The legal issues that we are dealing with are diverse, often quite novel and frequently have far-reaching consequences.  The sense of responsibility I feel in acting for the State has not diminished over the past (almost) 3 years that I have worked for the VGSO.  The environment at the VGSO is very collegiate as, unlike working in a private law firm, we all have exactly the same clients so there is considerable collaboration across the organisation.  I'm also thrilled to be part of an organisation that is focussed on, and open to, doing things better and working in a smarter, more efficient and more sustainable manner - and is genuinely committed to improving the wellbeing of our people via a range of initiatives.

The best advice I have received about working in the public sector is…

to ensure you always understand how decisions are made and by whom - and, as lawyers in the public sector, to genuinely understand and be guided by the Model Litigant Guidelines.

If I could have dinner with any 3 people, they would be…

it's so hard to choose just 3 people….

  1. Queen Elizabeth II as she has lived the most extraordinary life of public service, has met the most incredible range of people (world leaders and members of the public) and has witnessed so many changes in the world. It's hard to identify someone significant on the world stage that she would not have met during her 96 years.
  2. Serena Williams - It would be fascinating to hear what has motivated her, how she has overcome the many challenges that she has faced during her life and how she has developed such incredible resilience, determination and mental strength.
  3. Oprah Winfrey - I really admire people who can connect with a wide range of people and who can make them feel sufficiently comfortable to tell their stories and to show vulnerability. I love hearing about the influences, and milestones, in someone's life and how this has shaped who they have become.

To me mentorship means…

sharing the wisdom, experience, lessons learnt and challenges overcome, through life with others in the hope that this may provide them with an additional (and hopefully helpful) perspective to enable them to find their optimal path and reach their true potential. For mentoring to be successful I think it's important to understand the path that your mentee is on and how closely they think this aligns with their professional skills, personal strengths and values and career aspirations.