2015 Annual Forum

ForumOn Friday 8 May 2015, the South Australian Family Law Pathways Network held its annual Forum entitled: “Conflict, Trauma and Everything in Between” at the Hotel Chancellor on Hindley Street to great success once again.

Approximately 130 delegates including private lawyers, legal aid and community legal practitioners, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners and others who work with families attended to hear a number of excellent presentations, managed by Master of Ceremonies, Graham Russell, Chair of the SA Family Law Pathways Steering Committee and Manager of the Family Law Division of the Legal Services Commission.

The day was launched beautifully by a moving Welcome to Country from Uncle Lewis O’ Brien, who not only made delegates feel welcome but also reminded them about the importance of listening and the value in continuing education.

Associate Professor Bruce Smyth, ARC Fellow, Australian National University, kindly provided two presentations, the first of which delved into the largely   unchartered waters of parents who experience high conflict may be living with a concept he refers to as ‘ loving hate’ and how behaviour stemming from that phenomenon impacts on families. In his second presentation following the lunchtime break, Bruce Smyth managed to discuss the recent Child Support reforms in an interesting way, which is no mean feat!

Following morning tea, Dr Cathy Celezman from Adults Surviving Child Abuse provided a thought- provoking presentation about how practitioners who work with families can become more informed about people who have experienced childhood trauma and ways to better manage those clients in every day practice models.

Dr Jamie Lee also provided delegates with a new approach to clients with mental health issues and suggestions for screening tools in doing so.

The final session of the day involved a “ Q & A” Panel, facilitated by Ric Trevaskis with experts in family law as follows:

  • Justice David Berman, Family Court, Adelaide Registry
  • Dr Jacqui Beall, Flinders Child Protection Unit
  • Dr Sherrie Ryan, Manager/Senior FDR Practitioner/Child Consultant, Family Relationship Centre Port Augusta
  • Rodney Welch, Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Relationships Australia and
  • Kelly Kirstein,  Case Manager/Outreach Worker, Western Adelaide Domestic Violence Service

Questions were submitted by delegates on line prior to the Forum. Panellists were able to provide considered answers to those questions and raised some interesting, and in some cases, controversial discussion points for the delegates during the networking/post Conference drinks session which ended the day.

Overall, the Forum was an overwhelming achievement for the SA Family Law Pathways Network and extends its gratitude to the presenters and all those assisted in preparing for the Forum. Finally, SA Family Law Pathways thanks all those members who continue to support the program and looks forward to another successful Forum in 2016!

See here for Final Program for 2015 Pathways Forum

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