2018 Pathways Annual Forum

Come along to hear about how emerging and growing areas and ideas in the family law space may affect your organisation and practice.

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Key note: Separated Same-Sex Parenting Families

Presenter: Luke Gahan, Sociologist, National Ageing Research Institute

Luke’s presentation will explore changing social attitudes and recent trends in same-sex divorce from countries where marriage equality has existed for some time. Luke will then share the findings of his qualitative research undertaken with separated same-sex parents from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and regional Victoria. His findings unpack their experiences of separation both before and after legal changes recognizing female non-biological parents, and will discuss parents’ experiences of shared care over two and sometimes three households. He will introduce us to multi-parent family households – those who create their family with more than two parents – and their subsequent unique experiences of separation and shared parenting.

His findings will also uncover same-sex parents’ experiences and perceptions of separation services and service providers, including legal professionals, family relationship centers, and mediation and counselling services.

About the presenter:

Luke Gahan is a sociologist who has recently completed his PhD research at Victoria’s Family Institute: The Bouverie Centre, and the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health, and Society, located at La Trobe University.

Luke is the Secretary of The Australian Sociological Association and was previously the convener of their Sociology of Families and Relationships Thematic Group. Until recently he was a lecturer at Federation University, and has previously lectured and taught at Melbourne, La Trobe, and Swinburne Universities. Luke is now at the National Aging Research Institute ( NARI).

Outside of academia, Luke was a co-founding convener of Australian Marriage Equality group in 2004. He has sat on various committees, including the Victorian Labor Party LGBTI Policy Committee, and the Ballarat Health Services newly establish Equity and Diversity committee.

Luke is the co-editor of “Heaven Bent” a book which explores Australian LGBTI perspectives on religion and spirituality. He was also a co-author on the “Writing Themselves in 3” report on the health and wellbeing of same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people in Australia. Both of these publications have been mentioned in Australian state and federal parliaments, and have been referenced globally.

Afternoon Session 1: Parent Management Hearings

Presenter: Ms Dianne Orr, Principal Legal Officer, Family Law Branch, Attorney General’s Department

In 2017, the Federal Government announced funding in the 2017 budget of $12.7 million over four years from 2017–18 to establish a pilot of Parenting Management Hearings (PMHs). PMHs are intended to offer an alternative to traditional court hearings as a means of resolving family law disputes between self-represented litigants. The scheme is proposed to be a ‘fast, informal, non-adversarial dispute resolution mechanism’. Find out what this will mean for the South Australian family law sector.

Afternoon Session 2: Young Persons Family Law Advisory Group

Presenters: Members of the YPFLAG Working Group

In 2016, the SA Family Law Pathways Network set up a council of 10 young people between the ages of 12-17 called the Young Persons Family Law Advisory Group ( YPFLAG) to provide feedback about their direct experiences of various stages of the family law system. Hear an introduction about how we can all learn the lessons from the feedback from this ‘ first of its kind’ group from South Australia.

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