Our September old scholar story highlights the professional and personal journey of Mel Davies (’08), since graduating from Loreto as Deputy Head Girl through to her time at Minter Ellison as a Commercial Lawyer and now as an in-house lawyer at Beach Energy Limited. Mel explains to us how she managed to excel in an industry predominately led by men and further shares how she felt privileged to contribute to the Loreto Community through establishing and incorporating the Loreto Old Scholars’ Netball Club.
Definitely a story not to be missed!
Mel in her own words:
The Loreto spirit still lives in me! I am and will forever be a very proud Loreto old scholar.
I’m currently working in-house as Legal Counsel for Beach Energy Limited, and as a lecturer of Contract Management for the University of South Australia. I’m also a member of the Law School Advisory Board at the University of South Australia.
I arrived at Loreto in year 6, and spent my six years at Loreto forming strong relationships with smart and fabulous women whom I’m still very close friends with today. I was lucky to be nominated as Deputy Head of School in year 12 [class of 2008.] After completing year 12, I took a “gap year”, travelled abroad and spent time working at a summer camp in America.
In 2010, I commenced a double degree of Law and Journalism at the University of South Australia. During my time at university, I had the privilege of being elected President of the Student Association (USASA, formerly called “UniLife”) for two consecutive years. During this time, I became the student member of the University of South Australia Council, and was awarded a Student Leadership Scholarship by the Vice Chancellor. It was during my time as Student President that I realised I wanted to pursue a career in commercial law. In my final year of study, I was accepted into the eight week Minter Ellison Clerkship program and was employed full time thereafter. I completed by Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Adelaide in 2015 and then began my career as a commercial lawyer in Adelaide.
After three years working at Minter Ellison, I took an opportunity to work “in-house” as a legal counsel at a South Australian civil construction company. The construction industry is dominated by men, and as a woman, I soon found myself as part of the minority. Donning my steel-cap boots, throwing on my high vis, dusting off my hardhat and climbing on a dump-truck was all part of a day’s work as a lawyer within the construction industry. This was a unique experience and one that has instilled a passion in me for the law. In 2018, I was thrilled to be awarded the national ‘In-house Lawyer of the Year Award’ by Lawyer’s weekly for my time as legal counsel in the construction industry.
In 2019, I sought further experience as part of a bigger legal team, so I made the move to Beach Energy Limited, a publicly listed oil and gas company with its head office in Adelaide. I now provide advice to the business on all things related to oil and gas and spend by time reviewing, drafting and negotiating various contracts. For the previous two years, I have also been lecturing in Contract Administration and/or Contract Management at the University of South Australia and am currently drafting a text book in contract administration along with three other co-authors which is scheduled to be published at the end of the year. Pursuing a career in law has been a very empowering journey for me.
I feel very privileged and proud to be part of the LOSA community. I recently helped establish and incorporate the LOSA Netball Club. After incorporating the Netball Club, we gave a passionate speech to the LOSA Committee and successfully secured funding for the LOSA Netball Club. I look forward to watching the LOSA Netball Club thrive. I encourage all old scholars to think about getting back on the court and playing for LOSA!
I am engaged to my very hunky fiancé Eddie Bampton, and we are hoping (subject to COVID restrictions) to get married in December this year. We have a beautiful golden cocker spaniel puppy and a very happy life in Adelaide together. I am also a very proud Aunty to my 4 week old niece Charlotte Taylor.
Loreto has given me so much. I feel lucky to be part of such a strong women’s network. Go Mulhall!