Admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1983.  Iyla worked in family law and personal injuries before becoming an academic for 23 years, eventually specializing in mediation and dispute resolution.  Her last role at QUT was as Assistant Dean, International, Commercial and Community Engagement in the Law Faculty.

She is currently the Head of College and Chief Executive of The Women's College within the University of Queensland.  She is also a Director of the Legal Aid Board Queensland; National President of University Colleges Australia; Executive Committee Member of Women’s Education Worldwide and Chair of the All Hallows’ School Board.

Previously she held community leadership roles as National and Queensland President of Relationships Australia, a member of the Specialist Accreditation Board of the Queensland Law Society and National Coordinator of Family Law Interest Group of the Australasian Law Teachers’ Association.