This is Allens

Tarsha Gavin

Tarsha is a partner in our Employment & Safety team in Sydney, specialising in wage underpayment and employment matters.

I don't think there was a particular moment that made me decide to pursue a career in law.

While I didn't have much exposure to law through my family or networks growing up, I really enjoyed studying it at university and decided to apply for a clerkship at Allens.

I came to employment law almost by accident. It was the team I sat with when I joined the firm and I naturally started doing work for the employment partners. I stayed because I ended up really enjoying the human element of the work that we do.

I like helping our clients with quite sensitive or reputationally significant problems that have a real impact on people. For example, employers across a range of sectors are grappling with increased scrutiny around issues such as wage underpayments. These are complex issues with many dimensions.

When I think about what I enjoy most about my job, it always comes back to working with clients, helping them navigate challenging issues when there can be a lot on the line for them personally. Partnership is an opportunity to take on more of that work and a real leadership role.

To get here I have had the benefit of some fantastic mentors, particularly partners and senior lawyers at Allens. They have been supportive and generous with their time and in looking out for different opportunities for me. I've had people in my corner, pushing me throughout my career and that has been immensely helpful.

I am expecting my first child later this year and will take parental leave not too long after becoming partner. I love that I am able to do that and have the support of my team and the firm.

On my desk

Tea and water: I usually have a cup of tea on my desk while I'm working. I have always been a big David Bowie fan, so this mug gets used regularly. I also love artworks by Piet Mondrian so this is my favourite water glass.    

Daily planner: I enjoy writing a to-do list, and always start my work day by writing out my tasks and calls for the day. On busy days I find that revisiting the list and ticking things off helps create a sense of order and achievement.

Trip trinkets: I like to collect small keepsakes from places that I visit overseas. These are a few keychains and miniatures that I picked up from visits to London, Munich and Amsterdam.

Parenting book: As I will be becoming a mum later this year, I have received lots of parenting advice from family, friends and colleagues. Some common advice has been to ignore the parenting books and chart your own path as a parent, so I've only been reading books with a humorous take on parenting -  like this one about surviving sleep deprivation.

Photograph: My husband and I were lucky to have our wedding in late January 2020, only weeks before we all went into COVID lockdown. Our honeymoon was unfortunately delayed, but we finally made our long-awaited trip to Europe in September 2022.