Staff and Contact Details

Contact Information

Telephone:+61 2 9685 9895 or Ext. 9895

Mailing Address:

Western Sydney University
Office of General Counsel 
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751


Office of General Counsel 
Western Sydney University
Building EQ, Ground Floor - Cnr Victoria Rd and James Ruse Drive (entrance via Victoria Rd)
Parramatta South campus (opens in a new window)
Rydalmere NSW 2166

Nicole Bannerman (opens in a new window)

Nicole Bannerman

Nicole Bannerman is the University General Counsel. Nicole joined the University in 2021.

Nicole brings more than twenty-five years’ experience in senior legal roles, including as Senior Legal Counsel with ASX listed firms and General Counsel in private equity businesses, as well as law firm private practice across a range of industries.

Nicole has extensive experience in partnering with business, senior executives and boards to achieve solutions across areas such as property development, risk, compliance, governance, regulatory change, employee relations and finance.

Gordon Babe (opens in a new window)

Gordon Babe

Gordon is the University’s Senior Litigation and Disputes Lawyer.  He joined the University in 2022 after eight years as a barrister at the Sydney Bar, and before that he practised as a litigation solicitor for some years.

Gordon advises the University in relation to litigated and non-litigated disputes, and represents the University in Courts and Tribunals where required.  These disputes include a wide range of matters and include contract, intellectual property, freedom of information, discrimination, and liability matters.  He also advises the University in relation to allegations of student misconduct.

Gordon holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia.  He was first admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia but has practised in NSW since 2014.  He is also entered on the High Court’s Register of Practitioners.

Violeta Kikirekova (opens in a new window)

Violeta Kikirekova

Violeta  is the University's Senior Property Lawyer.

Violeta joined the University in 2018, having worked as a senior lawyer for over 25 years. This includes seven years’ experience gained at another NSW university, where she acted on a broad range of commercial matters and was the primary contact for property matters.  Outside the University sector, Violeta has held senior commercial and property roles in-house with a publicly listed company and with a couple of major law firms.

Violeta holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of New South Wales and is admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Violeta advises the University on a broad range of property matters, including acquisitions, disposals, co-ownership agreements and arrangements with relevant public authorities.  She will be working extensively on the Western Growth project.

Violeta is a member of the Law Society of NSW and the Society of University Lawyers (SOUL).

Natasha Maiolo (opens in a new window)

Natasha Maiolo is the University's Senior Employment Lawyer.

Natasha Maiolo

Natasha has more than 13 years' experience in employment and industrial law. Natasha joined Western Sydney University in 2006, prior to which she worked in private practice. She advises the University on a broad range of employment and industrial matters, including enterprise bargaining, interpretation of enterprise agreements and employment contracts, statutory obligations, organisational change, disciplinary proceedings and disputes, and also represents the University in external tribunals such as the Fair Work Commission.

Natasha holds a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours and a Graduate Certificate in Legal Practice from the University of Technology, Sydney, is admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW, and is entered on the High Court Register of Practitioners.

Johan Haaring (opens in a new window)

Johan Haaring

Johan Haaring is the University’s Commercial and Property Lawyer and advises the University on a broad range of commercial and property matters. He joined the University in 2019, having previously worked as a Commercial Litigation and Property Lawyer in private practice.

Johan holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Western Sydney University and is admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He is also a member of the Law Society of NSW.

Mariah Saad (opens in a new window)

Mariah Saad

Mariah Saad is a Paralegal in the Office of General Counsel.

Before joining the University, Mariah worked as a Paralegal at the Law Society of NSW in their Professional Standards Department specialising in litigation and external intervention. Mariah also has previous experience working as a Paralegal in private practice across criminal law, property law, employment law and estate law.

Mariah is in her final year of a Bachelor of Laws and Communications (Public Communications) at the University of Technology Sydney.

Rhyannon Bechara (opens in a new window) (on leave)

Rhyannon Bechara is an Administrative Officer in the Office of General Counsel.

Rhyannon previously worked on Western Sydney University’s Sydney City Campus as a Project Officer. Prior to joining the University, Rhyannon worked as a secretary and licensed Conveyancer for over 6 years at a local firm in Epping.

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