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Team Members

Belinda Winter

Belinda Winter is a partner in the workplace relations and safety team of Cooper Grace Ward, providing strategic advice to employers on wide-ranging employment, industrial relations, discrimination and safety matters.

Belinda advises on restructures, enforcing restraints of trade, managing long term ill and injured employees, employee misconduct, performance management and effecting termination of employment. She also assists clients in managing industrial issues such as enterprise bargaining, right of entry and industrial action.

Her work includes advising employers on policies and procedures to create strong cultures and safe workplaces. Where allegations of misconduct arise, including claims of discrimination, bullying or harassment, Belinda advises employers on their response to these claims and any disciplinary action required.

Belinda is experienced in conducting complex workplace investigations in response to safety related incidents, as well as providing advice to clients about safety compliance matters.

She is a sought-after speaker at professional conferences and a regular contributor to legal journals and publications specialising in employment law. Belinda also facilitates half-day training sessions on essential employment matters including employment agreements and policies, workplace investigations, management of ill and injured employees, and performance management.

Belinda is a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Chair of the Queensland Law Society Wellbeing Working Group. Given her employment law expertise and her training in mental health first aid, Belinda is frequently requested to speak at national employment conferences on the correlation between mental health and all facets of employment law including OH&S obligations, performance management and managing employees with mental health issues, amongst other matters.

Recognised as a leading lawyer by clients, peers and the wider market, Belinda has been listed in Best Lawyers Australia for Labour and Employment Law and OH&S Law every year since 2013.

  • Solicitor – Supreme Court of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Laws – Queensland University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Business – Queensland University of Technology
  • Graduate Certificate in Wellness – RMIT University
  • Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer – MHFA Australia
  • Accredited Mediator – National Mediator Accreditation System 2020–2022
  • Chair – Queensland Law Society Wellbeing Working Group
  • Leading Lawyer in Labour and Employment Law and Occupational Health and Safety Law – Best Lawyers Australia every year since 2013
  • Winner – HR Director Magazine Service Provider of the Year Awards 2023
  • Winner – Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards 2023
  • Recognised – Australasian Lawyer’s Elite Women Report 2021–2023
  • Finalist – Wellness Advocate of the Year – Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2023

Industrial relations and employment

  • Developing and managing contractor arrangements for government and non-government enterprises and providing advice about transfer of business issues.
  • Providing advice to a manufacturing client in relation to the implementation of a greenfields agreement and negotiations with the relevant union.
  • Undertaking workplace investigations for government and non-government enterprises concerning harassment, bullying and other employee misconduct for a government owned corporation.
  • Assisting government and non-government enterprises manage underperforming employees and providing them with lawful strategies and options for employee exit.
  • Assisting government and non-government enterprises restructure their operations and providing advice in relation to effecting redundancies and employee entitlements.
  • Drafting and reviewing employment contracts, contractor agreements, policies and other employment documents.
  • Advising a major airline and road transport client on strategies to respond to protected industrial action.
  • Advising and representing a major airline in relation to a right of entry dispute.
  • Seeking orders from the Fair Work Commission to stop unprotected industrial action taken by members of the Transport Workers Union.
  • Providing advice to many clients in relation to performance management, termination and redundancy of executive and non-executive employees.
  • Assisting a client in the agriculture industry effect a major restructure, including developing a strategy and preparing all communications and successfully resolving disputed terminations.
  • Providing assistance to many employers in managing long term ill and injured employees, including obtaining relevant medical information, managing underperformance and rehabilitation concurrently, and defending termination decisions if required.
  • Advising clients in response to risks of discrimination or adverse action claims and defending any claims when they arise.
  • Providing training to staff on workplace issues such as managing ill and injured employees, conducting a workplace investigation and performance management.
  • Providing advice to clients when sexual harassment occurs in the workplace or in the provision of services, including managing the complaint, the application of workplace policies and practices, and disciplinary matters.

Safety and regulatory

  • Conducting and implementing occupational health and safety system reviews.
  • Undertaking a safety investigation for an agriculture client following a fatal safety incident.
  • Providing advice and training about workplace health and safety compliance to many of our clients including providing advice to directors and officers about individual liability.
  • Assisting clients in the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors to manage department investigations and pending safety prosecutions following a safety incidents.
  • Assisting a transport client to defend a safety prosecution resulting from a fatality.
  • Assisting many clients in relation to union concerns about workplace health and safety, dispute resolution procedures and change management.
  • Providing training and guidance to employers on the implementation of new laws, particularly those aimed at addressing psychosocial hazards and risks in the workplace.

Discrimination law

  • Acting for a number of clients in the Anti-Discrimination Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal defending complaints concerning discrimination in employment and the provision of services.
  • Drafting policies and guidelines for our clients to achieve compliance.
  • Assisting clients obtain necessary medical information to make employment decisions and providing advice to them about fitness for work.
  • Providing training to clients in relation to managing long term ill and injured employees.

Workplace wellbeing

  • Facilitating workshops and presenting to more than 100 client organisations on workplace wellbeing, including training for senior management on managing psychosocial hazards in the workplace.
  • Presenting to Boards on trends in mental health management, managing risks and developing a strategy to meet legal compliance requirements and best practice.
  • One of the only lawyers in Australia to also be an accredited Mental Health First Aid Trainer through MHFA Australia, with additional postgraduate qualifications in wellness from RMIT University.
  • Delivering training to enable more than 150 employees in Australian businesses to become certified mental health first aid officers.
  • Chairing the Queensland Law Society’s Wellbeing Working Group, identifying strategies to assist the legal community to improve wellbeing and address mental health concerns across the profession.
  • Presenting at a wide range of industry conferences across Australia on the impacts of staff mental health concerns and crises, and strategies businesses can employ to improve their workplaces for all staff.
  • Establishing and chairing Cooper Grace Ward’s Wellness Committee, aimed at improving the mental and physical wellbeing of the firm’s team members.

Areas of Expertise


Belinda Winter and Leanne O’Neill listed as Elite Women for 2023

Cooper Grace Ward is proud to share that partners Belinda Winter and Leanne O’Neill have been recognised in Australasian Lawyer’s 2023 Elite Women report.

Cooper Grace Ward and Belinda Winter finalists in 2023 Women in Law awards

Lawyers Weekly have announced the finalists in the 2023 Women in Law Awards and Cooper Grace Ward is proud to have been named in two categories.

Can employers require an employee to work on a public holiday?

In a major decision regarding the application of the public holiday provisions of the Fair Work Act, the Full Federal Court has found that terms of employment that require employees to work on a public holiday will not be consistent with the National Employment Standards. This is the case even in circumstances where an employer’s operations are conducted over 365 days per year and an employee’s remuneration includes compensation for the requirement to work on those days.