Webinar: Safety in the Family Court
How do we keep women and children safe in the Family Court?
This very question has been raised through the many changes and initiatives in the Family Court that have occurred over the last year alone. This has included major changes such as the merger of the Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court to create the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFC), the response to COVID-19, and the interim reports from the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System. Just in April, a new training program was announced for the Family Court focused on improving decisions related to children, and days after this webinar, submissions will close for the Review of the ban on direct cross-examination under the Family Law Act 1975. These concerns and changes have been broad-ranging, but one key issue remains: how to improve safety, and reduce trauma, in the Family Court for women and children.
The expert panel will draw on their diverse experiences to offer insights into improving safety in the Family Court. The panel will discuss: what can we learn from what is working, what can we learn from what isn’t working, and where are the opportunities to build change? The discussion will be facilitated by Michele Robinson (ANROWS) with:
- Dr Jane Wangmann (University of Technology Sydney)
- Dr Rae Kaspiew (Australian Institute of Family Studies)
- Tracey Turner (Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Worker (Aboriginal Focus), Sydney Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service)
- Angela Lynch AM (Women’s Legal Service Qld)
- Janet Carmichael (Child Dispute Services, FCA & FCCA)
- Associate Professor Molly Dragiewicz (Griffith University).
There will also be a live Q&A.
This webinar is designed for:
- policymakers, practice design decision-makers, practitioners and researchers working in domestic and family violence, family law and the legal system more generally.
The webinar is open to anyone and free to attend. A recording of the webinar will also be available on the ANROWS website.
Dr Jane Wangmann
Senior lecturer, Law, University of Technology Sydney
Dr Jane Wangmann was the principal chief investigator on the ANROWS research project Exploring the impact and effect of self-representation by one or both parties in Family Law proceedings involving allegations of family violence. She is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney. Jane’s work explores legal responses to domestic and family violence. She has conducted research on civil protection orders, criminal law and family law. Jane is currently a member of the NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team.
Dr Rae Kaspiew
Executive Manager, Family Law, Family Violence and Elder Abuse, Australian Institute of Family Studies
Dr Rae Kaspiew is a socio-legal researcher with particular expertise in family law and family violence. She manages the Family Law, Family Violence and Elder Abuse research program at AIFS. She has been involved in an extensive range of studies and is the lead author of two large-scale evaluations of successive waves of reforms in family law (the 2006 and 2012 reforms). Themes captured in her work include the extent to which systems and services meet the needs of people affected by family violence (including children).
Advisory roles have included membership of the Family Law Council, a body that provides policy advice on family law to the federal Attorney-General, from 2010 to 2016. She was also a member of the Violence Against Women Advisory Group (2009 to 2011) that advised the federal Minister for the Status of Women on the implementation of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. Rae is also on the editorial board of the Australian Journal of Family Law.
Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Worker (Aboriginal Focus), Sydney Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service
Tracey Turner is from Bungjalung country. Tracey is the Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Worker (Aboriginal Focus) for the Sydney Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service. With experience across the domestic violence sector, including in refuges, foster care organisations, and other support services, Tracey is extremely passionate about assisting women and their children experiencing domestic violence. Tracey’s key focus is supporting Indigenous women and their children in a culturally appropriate manner, assisting one of our most disadvantaged populations to live free from violence.
Angela Lynch AM
CEO, Women’s Legal Service Queensland
Angela is a lawyer and the CEO of the Women’s Legal Service (WLS) and across her 25 years with the service has made significant front-line contributions to the prevention of domestic and sexual violence. Angela has led and made important contributions to the development of law reform at a State and national level. Angela’s expertise has been recognised through her appointment to the inaugural Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board in 2016, her reappointment in 2020 and as a member of the Queensland Sexual Violence Roundtable. Angela is a member of the practitioner engagement group with ANROWS, was an advisory member to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Family Law System, is currently an advisor to the ANROWS research on self-represented litigants in family law involving allegations of family violence and the AIC research Pathways to Intimate Partner Homicide. Angela was awarded the 2017 Women’s Agenda leadership in the legal sector award and the Lawyer’s Weekly 2017 Not for Profit Lawyer of the Year and the Women in Law excellence award. She recently received a Member of the Order of Australia medal (AM) for her services to domestic violence prevention.
Executive Director Child Dispute Services, Family Court of Australia &Federal Circuit Court of Australia
Janet is a psychologist with over 30 years’ experience working with children and families across the areas of child development, child protection and family relationships. After nearly 20 years undertaking direct service delivery, Janet became the manager of the family counselling, family mediation and men’s relationships programs at CatholicCare Sydney from 2004-2008, before becoming the inaugural manager of the Sydney City Family Relationship Centre for Relationships Australia NSW in 2008. From 2013-1017 she was a Director with Open Arms (Commonwealth Department of Veterans Affairs) overseeing the delivery of counselling, groups and support services to veterans and current serving defence personnel and their families in NSW and ACT. Janet took on her current national position with the Courts in 2017, and is responsible for the work of family consultants both employed by the Court and those engaged under Regulation 7 of the Family Law Regulations 1984 (Cth). Family consultants play an important role in assisting and advising families and the Courts in relation to disputes about children. In this current role Janet sits in the Courts’ executive group and is actively involved in a range of initiatives currently underway in the Courts.
Associate Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University
Molly Dragiewicz is Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University.
Dragiewicz is an expert on gendered violence and member of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Advisory Board.
She is currently conducting research on technology-facilitated coercive control and domestic violence in the context of post-separation parenting. She is author of Abusive Endings: Separation and Divorce Violence against Women and a contributing researcher on the ANROWS project, “A deep wound under my heart”: Constructions of complex trauma and implications for women’s wellbeing and safety from violence.
Michele joined ANROWS in 2017 as the Director, Evidence to Action. Michele leads the translation and dissemination of research at ANROWS to support the take-up of evidence into policy and practice, to reduce violence against women and their children. This role builds on Michele’s 18 years of experience in leadership roles developing advice and strategies on research, knowledge partnerships and exchange in a diverse range of sectors, including the prevention of violence against women and their children.