Mick Batskos - Executive Director
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Training

FOI Solutions offers training in government (administrative) law areas including freedom of information and privacy.  FOI Solutions is a specialist firm in the area of administrative law.  We have 2 of only 20 accredited specialist solicitors in Victoria.

We are pre-eminent trainers with extensive knowledge and experience, and a reputation for being able to convey difficult and complex legal concepts in a practical and understandable manner. See below for just some of the feedback we have received about recent training sessions

All training sessions about Victorian legislation are conducted by Victorian lawyers from FOI Solutions. You will have the added benefit of a presenter with legal and practical experience in the Victorian jurisdiction.  Beware of unqualified training being offered by entities or individuals with experience in different (non-Victorian) jurisdictions who lack local legal and practical expertise - we provide the best legal and practical training for the Victorian jurisdiction drawing on the outcomes of decision making we see involving Information Commissioners (or equivalent) and various Tribunals and Courts, as well as our extensive practical Victorian experience.  If you see training offered for free, just remember that you get what you pay for!

If you miss out on a particular session due to the tyranny of distance or diary clashes, some of the papers and associated materials may be available for purchase. Click here for more information about which papers are available.

Sometimes we have intensive sessions combining a number of our other sessions into a half day or full day program, so keep a look out for them as well.

We often add to our program so come back regularly to see what is available as new and different sessions are added from time to time.

January 2019 - February 2019

Practice Area
Description
Dates

Freedom of Information

(Victoria)

FOI Basic and Intermediate Training (Last chance for this financial year)

Whole day

Our most popular training session for all FOI decision-makers and managers from absolute beginners to experts. 

Learn all the practical knowledge you need about processing FOI requests from receiving requests, assessing validity, refusing without processing, deposits and access charges, managing workflows, exemptions, when partial access is required, and statements of reasons, complemented by extensive workshops to consolidate knowledge.  Read some of the testimonials below to see what participants thought fo this all day training.

This trainng has been done by thousands of FOI officers in Victoria over many years and is conducted by Mick Batskos, Executive Director, with over 30 years experience in dealing with the Victorian FOI Act.  Be quick to register - these sessions sell out extremely quickly.

 

1 May 2019

If you wish to express interest in attending a future session, please email our office

 

Basic FOI Training  (Last chance for this financial year)

Half day

A great start or refresher for handling FOI requests covering all you need to know to begin processing including:

  • Why we have an FOI Act
  • Scope of right of access
  • What to do when a request is received
  • When can you refuse to process a request
  • Fees and charges
  • Time limits, decisions, Information Commissioner & VCAT review
  • Workshop problems

Read some of the testimonials below to see what participants thought fo this training.

This trainng has been done by thousands of FOI officers in Victoria over many years and is conducted by Mick Batskos, Executive Director, with over 30 years experience in dealing with the Victorian FOI Act. Be quick to register - these sessions sell out extremely quickly.

 

1 May 2019

If you wish to express interest in attending a future session, please email our office

 

Intermediate FOI Training (Last chance for this financial year)

Half day

Builds on the preliminaries of the Basic session with a focus on when exemptions apply, partial access, reasons for decision and consideration of how FOI interacts with other statutory access regimes and legal processes for gaining access to documents.  This session includes consolidating workshop problems.  Read some of the testimonials below to see what participants thought fo this training.

This trainng has been done by thousands of FOI officers in Victoria and is conducted by Mick Batskos, Executive Director, with over 30 years experience in dealing with the Victorian FOI Act. Be quick to register - these sessions sell out extremely quickly.

 

1 May 2019

 

If you wish to express interest in attending a future session, please email email our office 

 

Be sure to book in early to avoid disappointment. For more information on any of the training sessions or to register your interest for future training sessions (particularly if you missed out on one that has passed) please contact us at marketing@foisolutions.com.au .  Also contact us if you have any particular topics which you would like included in future training and update sessions.

Note: Sessions are organised by Batskos Holdings Pty Ltd and presented by lawyers of FOI Solutions.

Training sessions are subject to terms and conditions which will appear on the back of your tax invoice.

 

Customised Training

FOI Solutions is also available to present customised training sessions for agencies on freedom of information, privacy, protected disclosures and other areas relevant to them.  That training can be presented in agency offices or their chosen venue at a date and at time suitable for the agency. 

There is a large variety of sessions available and we can customise training to suit individual agency needs. To illustrate the types of training that can be conducted from which sessions can be selected and adapted, we have prepared a Custom Training Sessions Catalogue.  You might even use the Training Catalogue to pick and choose a selection of sessions to develop your own internal training package.

If you would like a copy of the Training Catalogue to be emailed to you, please email us at marketing@foisolutions.com.au

 

Feedback & Testimonials

2019

  • "I liked the small group environment and oppurtunity to ask questions"; "Lunch and location was fantastic" (De-identifying Personal Information - 27 February 2019 )
  • "Lots of information, small group, very good at explaining and putting information into layman terms"; "Professional presentation, level of information, quality of refreshments, coverage of topics"; "Relevant content and use of examples to illustrate points"; "Mick's knowledge is incredible; love hearing about his VCAT case stories"; "Presenter communicated very well and was very relaxed and had excellent practical examples" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 13 February 2019)

2018

  • "Engaging speaker, good pace.  I always love taking away the papers from these sessions";  "The session comprehensively covered the process and the motivation/reason for deidentification";  "I liked the visual presentation and support materials"; "Interesting topic; Emma is a very good presenter";  "Very informative" (De-identifying Personal Information - 3 December 2018 & 10 December 2018)
  • "Nice focus on local government"; "Practical examples relevant to local government"; "Fantastic catering and a small group" (Hidden Gems for Councils - 23 November 2018)
  • "I liked the knowledge of the FOI Act and its workings, advice given, friendliness, small group size, food was great (lots of it and nice)";  "Mick really knows his stuff";  "I liked the workshops , discussing them as a group and working through the examples" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 14 November 2018)
  • "I liked the opportunity to consider less known parts of the Act";  "I liked the detail of the topics and content - very informative/useful"; "Content was appropriate, well presented, clear, small groups and relevant";  "It provided information and generated interest in areas I had not previously considered"  (HIdden FOI Gems for Councils - 10 October 2018)
  • "Lots of case examples to characterise principles";  "Good introduction to privacy";   "Clarified the basics of privacy given I'm new to this" (Back to Basics: Privacy 101 - 20 September 2018)
  • "Regular examples and ability to ask questions provided clarity as it was being discussed without having wait until the end";  The workshops and questions allowed the opportunity to engage and discuss FOI questions"; Both sessions were comprehensive and information delivered is relevant and useful.  Well organised and executed";  Concise and well articulated/explained training sessions.  Mick kept group engaged all day. (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 15 August 2018)
  • "Very informative";  "Gave me all the information I needed";  "I liked the detailed and referenced information which is always really useful";  "I liked that the key inforamtion was provided concisely" (Data Sharing: How does it affect me? - 13 August 2018)
  • "The information provided was comprehensive and handouts useful.  The small group also helped with discussions";  "I liked the questions and answers where we were able to put theory into practice";   "Very informative.  Mick was able to give clear examples of how things related to the topics covered" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 6 July 2018)
  • "Very good facilitation with relevant & interesting examples clearly articulated in an engaging manner";  "Great presentation - clear and easy to understand";  "Well explained, clear & concise, good examples provided";  "Presenter clearly very knowledgeable" (Back to Basics: Privacy 101 - 25 June 2018)
  • "The materials provided are fantastic.  The delivery provided great content and how to apply the Act logically";  "The topics covered and the workshop topics were really practical and helpful.  I learnt a lot";  "Good overview of the process and examples that effectively illustrated the procss, exemptions, pitfalls";  "Extremely informative - it covered lots of ground and gave real liife examples to help illustrate points";  "Mick has extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for the topics";  "I loved this session.  Having been out of the FOI field for 12 months, this session highlighted relevant updates without going over unnecessary material.  Mick is always accommodating of questions asked throughout the session and I'm returning to my office feeling confident about my existing requests that need processing";  "Gettimg Mick's take on several tricky parts of the FOI Act which there is not much case law on was fantastic."  (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 6 June 2018)
  • "Covered everything needed while allowing for lots of questions and individual agency context - extremely helpful";  "So helpful- thank you!!";  "A lot for a day but I feel confident now on why the legislation exists, the process we need to follow to approach this and where to go to get help and understand what we need to do";  "Such a bland topci made very interesting, greatly appreciated.  Presenter had fantastic knowledge." (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 19 April 2018)
  • Katy was a "very knowledgeable speaker with useful slides";  "High level, informative"; "Very thorough, good examples";  Katy was an "engaging speaker, good overview";  "Relevant information for agencies"  (Mandatory Data Breach Notification - 15 March 2018)
  • "Practical and accessible for non-legal participants";  "Excellent presentation of the material to those that are not from a legal background/ or no FOI knowledge";  "Excellent explanation and overview of FOI Act";  "Ability to aske in depth questions and receive practical answers";  "Incredibly informative";  "The examples support the information.  Mick's advanced and extensive knowledge and humour" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 8 March 2018).
  • "Well presented by Mick Batskos - Informative.  Excellent class training";  "Examples and discussion was very thought provoking";  "Assumed no knowledge of FOI.  Used useful and relevant examples";  "Broad range of topics; very informative" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 25 January 2018).

2017

  • "I got a very good understanding of FOI which would have taken me forever through my day to day role";  "I liked the anecdotes and real life stories/examples";  "It was split up well with the basic session being a feneral introduction and the second session dealing with exemptions";  "Thank you - great, very friendly without being overwhelming" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 13 December 2017)
  • "Very weill presented (again)"; "Instructor was great"; "Great engagement with audience by presenter"; "Very informative"; "Very comprehensive.  Vast knowledge of presenter" (FOI Intermediate Training - Statutory regulator client, 27 November 2017)
  • "Extremely well targetted.  Very useful and appropriate exemples";  "I liked the informal sit down rather than lecture, speaker was approachable";  "Mick you are obviously very experienced in this area and I enjoyed your presentation" (FOI Basic Training - Statutory regulator client, 23 November 2017)
  • "Maintained the interest of the attendees; very good presentation"; "It covered a lot of information in a short period of time; very informative";  I liked the "ability to ask questions to clarify my understanding"; "Depth of knowledge of presenter.  Presenter's patience in answering questions with clarity and authority" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 27 October 2017)
  • "I liked the practical application and workshops";  "Good overview.  Activities to apply the concepts were very good.";  "Very informative; enjoyed the workshop activities adn discussions that followed.  Found this very interesting, how everyone interprets different ideas";  "Mick's detailed knowledge and experience." (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 22 September 2017)
  • "Good explanation and examples thoroughout the session";  "Use of case law as examples for how to apply sections of the Act";  "Thorough analysis, thoughtful responses";  "Very easy to understand, short and succinct";  "Detailed explanations and great content" (FOI Act Amendments - the important bits, 19 September 2017)
  • "Mick is a great presenter.  All very professional"; "Really detailed papers with supporting case law, really useful reference material"; "Friendly and approachable presenter.  Very knowledgeable on the subject matter and cases"; "Mick is a very knowledgeable presenter with a wealth of knowledge on FOI.  Loved the 'tips' and consolidation." (FOI Intensive 2017 - Whittlesea 7 and 8 September 2017)
  • "Informative and relevant"; "Exhaustive"; "Very clear and articulate" (FOI Act Amendments - the important bits, Departmental client session, 23 August 2017)
  • "Very informative, succinct and to the point"; "Practical focus on impact of amendments on processing of requests"; "entire session was useful"; I liked "small numbers; easy to ask questions"; "Detailed guidance and advice on the amendments"; "Very practical thank you! Very well presented" (FOI Act Amendments - the important bits, 17 August 2017)
  • "Interactive, enjoyable";  "Pace and flow of material presented"; "Very in depth, covering a broad range of FOI topics.  Highly interesting"; "Factual not too long workshops"; I liked "the workshops - it was good to have examples"; "I liked the breadth of information and clarity on aspects of FOI I was not sure about" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 15 August 2017)
  • I liked "the amount of material provided, the depth of the topic, Mick's delivery style"; "Great information in beginning to handle the changes under the FOI Act.  This session is a good 'heads up' for 1 September"; "Excellent materials and content"; "I liked the comprehensive paper to take and way and refer to in the future" (FOI Act Amendments - the important bits, 10 August 2017)
  • "Knowledgeable speakers, excellent writtwen material supplied";   "Excellent resources and thorough";  "The depth of information to support out continued improvement in this area of our business";  "Presenters very knowlegeable.  Thank you Mick and Elisa";  "Thanks! Very informative - looking forward to thoroughly reading the notes and following up";  "Very enjoyable for a dry subject";  "the presenters did a good job on this subject and are clear subject experts" (Complaint Handling for Government Agencies - 20 April 2017)
  • " Small group; excellent technology and slides; professional, knowledgeable, enjoyable presenter";  "Nice pace of introduction to the topic and then expanding to more in depth knowledge of the process";  "Mick explains the concepts and issues around the process well, and in depth where needed.  The ability to ask questions as you go is great.  Great course notes :)";  "Definitely learned a lot - liked the informatl training approach, I think it promoted good discussion amongst the group";  "As always, Mick has beena  wealth of information!  The ability to relate real-world examples help us all understand the practical aspects of FOI, even though they might still be scary!" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Wodonga 6 and 7 April 2017)
  • "Very informative, learnt a lot";  "Mick is obviously very passionate about FOI, you could nearly say his passion is infectious! A great resources is provided"; I liked the "discussion in the workshops" and "workshop questions"; "Appreciate that FOI Solutions comes to regional areas, nice not to have to go to Melbourne" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Hamilton 30 and 31 March 2017)
  • "Mick is a great presenter, very approachable between sessions and provides clear, easy to understand and digestible examples of FOI law in practice";  "FOI Intensive structure is great";  "I liked the comprehensive notes, plain language and timeframe";  "Informative, relevant, lots of tips; flowed well and kept all interested";  "Clarity of information combined with tips how to apply in a practical setting";  "Extremely informative; Mick is a great presenter;  Clear, precise and knowledgeable";  "Very entertaining coverage of FOI";  "Great to have it closer to home instead of going to Melbourne" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Bendigo 23 and 24 March 2017)
  • "This session was great.  As I am someone without prior knowledge, it was really good to be a part of"; "Great presenter and no need to travel"; "Day 2 provided a good update on a broad series of topics";  "I liked the presenter, Mick; very knowledgeable on topics, great examples to explain sections of the Act; the workshop notes were very thorough - great reference material"  "I liked Mick's knowledge and his sharing of knowledge - Thanks heaps!" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Sale - 16 and 17 March 2017)
  • "It was great that we had the opportunity to have the short sessions usually held in Melbourne into one big session in our region."  "Practical tips and examples of each seciton, knowledge of legislation by facilittor";   "Enjoyed the strucutre, lots of group conversation";   "Great information and background" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Robinvale - 10 March 2017)
  • "Good refresher, well paced and easy to follow";  "I liked the practical examples";  "Succinct";   I liked "the workshop scenarios"; "Good range of examples, nice pace, folder is a fantastic resource";  "I liked the broad range of infrmation" and "structure/flow" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Narre Warren - 2 and 3 March 2017)
  • "Small group size enabled questions to be asked and answered in the detail required";  I liked "the opportunity to learn from a very experienced subject matter expert in a small group setting - great opportunity";   "It covered questions that I had regarding FOI";  "Small group means better discussion and learning outcomes";  "Accessibility of information, the expertise, learning new information for 'my toolkit'" (FOI Intensive 2017 - Geelong - 23 and 24 February 2017)
  • "The session was extremely informative and thorough on processes";  "Presenters explained concepts in clear and methodical manner";   "Relevant, well structured and delivered by knowledgeable presenters - thank you";  Informative, good tips regarding complaint handling; helpful discussion eg complainant conduct";  "I liked that the full session is in a manual so I don't just have to rely on my scribble and memory" (Complaint Handling for Government Agencies - 17 February 2017)
  • "Mick was great, very easy to talk to and I was comfortable asking questions"; "Detailed the FOI process from receiving an FOI request to possible legal outcomes. It was a great opportunity to ask questions as we worked through the session, and we were able to link content of the session to current FOI requests."; "Very informative and the limited numbers allowed for more personalised and more frequent questioning"; "I thought that Mick explained the process very thoroughly.  The workshops worked well." (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - Customised for Rural Council - 15 February 2017)