Three thoughts from our practice leader, Troy Andres

Sometimes you just have to start.

I’ve watched the clock tick over to 1 January 2020 and then to 6 January 2020 and now it’s the final day of the first month in the year 2020.

And I still haven’t said anything about the huge shifts in my business, my life and the immigration space in general.

Here are three thoughts from me (aside: the idea of three random thoughts is taken from a podcast called 5 thoughts by Thinking Basketball – have a listen if you love all things NBA).

Breaking news as of writing

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has issued a partial travel ban for tourists to Australia. The Australian Government has announced that as of 1 February 2020, all travellers arriving from any part of mainland China, regardless of nationality, will be subject to enhanced border control measures to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the Australian community.

Australia will deny entry to anyone who has left or transited mainland China from 1 February, with the exception of:

  • Australian citizens
  • permanent residents
  • immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents including spouses, minor dependents and legal guardians

Limited exemptions also exist for airline and maritime crew, where they have taken appropriate precautionary measures.

These enhanced public safety measures will apply to those seeking to enter Australia as well as those seeking to transit through Australia en route to another country.


Welcome to 2020!

After initially operating as a legal partnership then as a migration agency, Gilton Valeo is officially an incorporated legal practice.

The rationale behind this move has been driven by our new Executive Director, Fiona Wong, who has identified the need for specialist advocacy in immigration compliance particularly with the increasingly policed system under which many of our clients operate.

In the last few months, we have observed an increase in unannounced site visits, monitoring of business sponsors and a general focus on sponsorship compliance.  Whilst our expertise in immigration is unaffected by the transition to an incorporated legal practice, the availability of legal representation seemed like a natural progression as compliance often involves other areas of law including employment and, in some cases, criminal law.

Importantly, we remind our clients that failure to meet their sponsorship obligations may face a range of possible sanctions including:

  • cancellation of their approval as a sponsor
  • being barred from sponsoring other workers
  • being barred from making future applications for approval as a sponsor
  • being issued with an infringement notice of up to:
    • $1,260 for individuals and $6,300 for bodies corporate per obligation breach for a first notice
    • $2,520 for individuals and $12,600 for bodies corporate per obligation breach for subsequent notices.
    • civil penalties imposed by the courts (for example, up to $63,000 for a corporation and $12,600 for an individual for each failure)
    • enforceable undertaking between the sponsor and the Department of Home Affairs / Australian Border Force.


Culture, culture, culture

Our firm is huge on culture. It is the operating system that governs our interactions with our clients, stakeholders and most importantly each other. In line with the changes to our business, our theme for this year’s strategy and training session was evolution: to evolve #evolve2020

It has become abundantly clear to us that the future is now and that we are consciously creating it. And our future hinges on each team member striving to be the best of themselves. Not the best version. But the best of themselves.

Our training session was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about one another and consider new ways of interacting and collaborating.

We are excited to see what develops from here.

Gilton Valeo Team Training eating pizza


This has been one of the strangest months of my life.

I can hardly believe what I am writing when I see those two digits repeated, 2, 0, 2, 0.

My home, Australia, is burning. Lives are lost, homes are destroyed and I sit and stare at a rectangular device that shares countless images and film of what can only be described as hell.

You know hell, the place where the devil reigns supreme.

My sporting idol, Kobe Bryant, passed away with his daughter Gigi.

There is a virus named after a Mexican light beer with a death toll that is rising and a fear based agenda that is far reaching.

Life is sacred.

All life.

Ode to Bean

I have a signed Kobe Bryant jersey sitting in my office.

It’s a collector’s item and I suppose the value has risen.

It is also a reminder of life. A reminder of a man, a year removed from me, who lived an extraordinary life.

I grew up a huge fan of the NBA. Every kid in the 80s and 90s who grew up in Sydney’s West was in love with MJ and his predecessors, Magic and Larry.

When I came of age, there was a guy who looked about my age, tearing up the best league in the world. I even kept my head shaved like him (and 2pac but that’s another tribute). There are countless tributes to Kobe and I understand why. He took his talent beyond his own imagination, and he did this all through hard work and dedication.

I love what I do.

And the only way to honour that is to do that each and every day with the mamba mentality.

RIP Kobe Bryant.

#mambamentality #kb8 #kb24

Kobe Bryant Collecter's Jersey Framed

Bushfire Donation

Finally, to honour our ethos that all life is sacred, Gilton Valeo will be donating 20% of profit for the third quarter of FY2020 to WIRES.

To our partners and clients, WIRES is the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service, Inc. and has been rescuing and caring for wildlife for over 30 years and is the largest wildlife rescue organisation in Australia. We are passionate about supporting smaller volunteer organisation in the wildlife sector with the same mission, as well as Universities, Veterinary Associations and other leading scientific and environmental groups.

Following these catastrophic fires WIRES is also very keen to pursue additional opportunities to help wildlife more broadly across Australia wherever possible, including partnering on projects to improve long-term outcomes for native animals.

Donations can be made to WIRES directly.