July 2018 - July 2020

About the artwork

Lore

The term lore refers to the Traditional customs and stories of our people learned from the Dreamtime. Aboriginal lore was passed on through the generations through songs, stories and dance and it connected all aspects of traditional life that our people ensured was followed.

The inner circle represents the Tribal Elders meeting to discuss lore.

The second outer circle is the warriors who protect the Elders.

The third circle are the tribal members that await the decisions of the Lore holders.

Lore is community and community uphold the lore.

About the artist

Richie Allan
Ngunnawal Artist

Richie Allan is a well-known Artist who has been painting for over 25 years. His paintings are about his Aboriginal spirituality and the connection he has with Lore, Land, Water, Trees and his Totems.

Richie has attributed his work to his culture, saying

“My Aboriginal spirituality and the Ancestor Spirits are what guide me to paint and Mother Earth tells me what I paint. It is bringing my Spirit together as one with her Spirit.”

Richie is a Ngunnawal Lore man.

Lore. An artwork by Ngunnawal man Richie Allan

Foreword

It is with great pleasure that I release the Reconciliation Action Plan for 2018–2020 for the Family Court of Australia.

The Family Court of Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Nations peoples and the Traditional Owners of this land. The Court respects the unique position of Indigenous Australians in contemporary Australian society and acknowledges the challenges they face.

With this Plan, we strive to translate our commitment to equal access to justice for all Australians into practical approaches and policies that deliver equitable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and families.

Equal access to justice in the family law system does not just occur in the courtroom. It starts at the front line, with the National Enquiry Centre and the counter staff of the various registries. It then extends to our family consultants, registrars and judicial officers. All people working in the Family Court system must be equipped with a good understanding of the culture and needs of First Australians. They must be able to respond to those needs with cultural appropriateness and sensitivity.

To improve our understanding, we must value relationships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their representatives. We must acknowledge that these relationships will inform us of the needs and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and are the foundation for our service delivery to them.

The Court will continue to interact with Indigenous communities and community leaders, including Aboriginal Legal Services, health liaison officers, Native Title groups and the like. Members of the Court will engage with their State and Territory counterparts and with their colleagues in the Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court of Western Australia.

Indigenous communities experience multiple barriers when trying to access the Court including literacy and language barriers, a lack of understanding about the family law system and a lack of service access for communities in regional and remote areas. These barriers often exist against concerns about Western notions of child-rearing, kinship and family.

This Plan commits the Court to continue working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to overcome such barriers.

In terms of family law, it has been and will continue to be important that the approach by the Family Court of Western Australia, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia, as the three main courts exercising jurisdiction under the Family Law Act, work cohesively and harmoniously in these ongoing and long term objectives. The Family Court of Australia is committed to ensuring that this takes place.

Any approach adopted by the Family Court of Australia will continue to be considered in a child-focused way having regard to the lifestyle, culture and traditions of the child, and his or her family. This must include the child’s right to enjoy his or her Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture and the impact any parenting order may have on such rights.

John Pascoe AC CVO
Chief Justice,
Family Court of Australia

Our vision for reconciliation

The Family Court of Australia (the Court) has a vision of a court where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples fully enjoy their right to access justice, are treated fairly and without discrimination and with respect for their inherent dignity and cultural heritage.

The Court strives to build the trust of Australia’s First peoples in the Court as a legal institution where their fundamental rights are respected and where they are supported to resolve their family law issues effectively and in a culturally sensitive manner.

Reconciliation is important to the Family Court because it is committed to providing access to justice and a safe and supportive environment for all clients dealing with family law matters.

The Court understands reconciliation to be an ongoing and dynamic process in which it must regularly review its practices, in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities themselves, to improve their access to, and experience of the Court.

The Court notes that its administration is the responsibility of the Federal Court of Australia and its registries are the responsibility of the Federal Circuit Court. For this reason, the Court is committed to working with those Courts to implement the overall strategy in this Plan.

About the Family Court of Australia

Our business

The Court, through its specialist judges and staff, has been assisting Australians to resolve their legal family disputes since it was established in 1975. The Court’s goal is to deliver excellence in service for children and families, while respecting the needs of separating families, by delivering effective judicial and non-judicial processes and timely high-quality judgments.

The Court deals with the most complex family law cases and appeals.1 Cases brought before the Court often include high levels of conflict between the parties and multiple issues such as:

  • Parenting cases that may involve:
    • international family law (including Hague convention abduction matters)
    • significant family violence
    • serious allegations of child abuse
    • special medical procedures
    • mental illness and/or substance abuse, and
  • Financial cases involving complex property issues.

Former Chief Justice Bryant, in the Family Court of Australia Annual Report 2011–2012, observes that family law is often difficult, as it:

intersects with the breakdown of relationships, loss of companionship and closeness of family. 2

Our judges and staff

There are 19 family law registries across Australia (excluding Western Australia) providing services including the lodgement of documents, procedural advice and responding to enquiries, mail handing, and listing of cases. They are located in each capital city (except Perth), as well as in regional centres, including Dandenong and Parramatta. The Court has a little over 20,000 filings per annum.3

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients

Applications for Final Orders in the Family Court where one or both parties are Indigenous made up 1.6% of all final orders in 2015–2016, despite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples making up 3.0% of the general Australian population.4

Applications for final orders in the Family Court of Australia by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status

2005–06

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11*

2015–16

Not Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

10,926

7685

4424

3800

3649

2901

2990

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
(self-identified)

255

146

52

38

55

28

49

Total % Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

2.3

1.9

1.2

1.0

1.5

1.0

1.6

* Note: Statistics for 2010–11 do not include June 2011. For a short period statistics on Indigenous status were also not kept.

Based on these numbers, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaging in family law litigation is substantially below what might be expected according to population statistics, even allowing for the problems associated with data collection.5

The Court’s approach to understanding these figures, and more broadly understanding and addressing the barriers faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in accessing the Court, are the focus of this plan.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan

Recent reports, including those by the Family Law Council6 and Aboriginal consultant to the Family Court, Stephen Ralph,7 suggest that family law system services are under-utilised by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families for a number of reasons, including:

  • lack of understanding about the family law system among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients
  • resistance to engagement with, and even fear of, family law system services
  • literacy and language barriers
  • need for Indigenous-specific and culturally competent mainstream services
  • the challenges arising from lengthy and multi-step court processes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients
  • the setting being based on Western notions of child-rearing, kinship and family, and concerns as to whether they operated in a culturally safe way, and
  • lack of access to services for communities in regional and remote areas.

This Reconciliation Action Plan 2018–2020 (the “Plan”) aims to address some of these barriers.

Background – previous plans and initiatives

The Family Court of Australia made its first concerted efforts to promote and improve access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in 1993 when it established an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awareness Committee comprised of senior court staff. Under the broad direction of the Committee, the Court implemented a number of initiatives designed to promote Indigenous people’s access to justice.

These included cross-cultural education for judicial officers, registrars and mediators; the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy; the creation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-identified positions within the Court’s mediation service; and recognition of the customary adoption practices of Torres Strait Islander families.

Since then, the Court has built on these actions and developed and implemented the 2004 Family Court of Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Plan and the Indigenous Plan 2010–2013 and 2014–2016. This Plan updates those efforts while continuing the Court’s commitment to Indigenous people’s access to justice.

Access and equity

The Court is committed to ensuring and supporting access to justice for all. To fulfil this commitment, the Court acknowledges that it must:

  • develop the infrastructure (IT, training, physical, performance development and more) needed to support actions set out in this Plan
  • recognise that a one size fits all approach to its work cannot deliver justice equality
  • improve understanding of, and address the complexities and barriers experienced by different client groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, when seeking to access the Court
  • acknowledge that most individuals do not neatly fit into a single client group and, as such, the Court must adopt a flexible model of service delivery that meets the needs of each individual, and
  • play a role in providing information and linking clients to community organisations that can provide support services.

The Court recognises that the administration and judiciary must work together to ensure access to justice on an equal basis for all. It recognises that a client’s capacity to participate in Court processes is significantly influenced by the quality of information and the level of support they receive prior to their day in court.

Central to realising the Court’s commitment to equal access to justice is the implementation of this Plan in tandem with implementation of the Court’s Family Violence Plan. Both plans aim to address the needs of self-represented and represented litigants.

This Reconciliation Action Plan captures the work planned for the judiciary and administration of the Family Court of Australia.

Who developed this Plan?

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Committee (the Committee), building on the work of its predecessor, the Indigenous Working Group, has developed this Plan. The Committee has judicial, Aboriginal, family consultant and administrative representation, and is chaired by Justice Robert Benjamin. Other members of the Committee include Justices, Peter Tree, Colin Forrest, Margaret Cleary, Garry Foster, Victoria Bennett and Hilary Hannam.

The Court’s former Executive Officer, Leisha Lister, and the Senior Advisor, Projects, Indira Rosenthal, provided advice on the administrative actions of the Court in the development of the Plan.

The Plan has also been developed in consultation with Reconciliation Australia who provided the template to assist in its content and insights into the actions and approach available.

Developing this Plan

In developing this Plan, the Committee has:

  • developed actions under the guidance of Reconciliation Australia’s RAP Minimum Elements for an Innovate RAP
  • taken into account the findings and recommendations of the Judicial Committee on Cultural Diversity’s 2016 report: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Experience of the Courts
  • responded to the findings and recommendations in the Family Law Council’s 2012 report: Improving The Family Law System for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clients
  • responded to the presentation to the Family Law Council: Expert Reports In Matters Involving Aboriginal Children tabled at the Family Law Council Meeting 20-21 February 2014, by the Directors of Aqua Dreaming Ltd., Ms Colleen Wall, Mrs Lynette Johannessen and Ms Cheryl Viellaris
  • responded to the findings and recommendations in Stephen Ralph’s 2012 report: Indigenous Australians and Family Law Litigation: Indigenous Perspectives on Access to Justice, and
  • built on the Family Court of Australia’s previous Indigenous Plans.

Actions

Relationships

The Court values relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their representatives as important members of the Australian community that the Court is intended to serve. The Court views such relationships as essential to inform it of the needs and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, as well as the foundation for its service delivery to them. These relationships are also vital to ensuring that Australia’s First Peoples are able to have confidence in the Family Court and its ability to be fair, non-discriminatory and respectful towards individuals, their families and their cultural heritage.

Focus area: To be responsive and pro-active in further building positive relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

1. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Committee (the Committee) actively monitors Plan development, including implementation of actions, tracking progress and reporting.

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

At each meeting of the Committee, but no less than biennially (each March and September).

  • Oversee the development, endorsement and launch of the Plan.
  • Meet at least twice per year to monitor the Plan’s implementation.
  • Respond to any ad hoc requests from the Chief Justice.
  • Prepare an Annual Report to the Chief Justice on the implementation of the Plan, its activities and on the outcome of any ad hoc requests from the Chief Justice.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

2. The Court has effective and cooperative working relationships with representatives of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, and where available the local Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, and other key stakeholders.

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

At each meeting of the Committee, but no less than biennially (each March and September).

Biannual reports, each May and November.

  • Through the Chief Justice’s National Consultative Forum, liaise regularly with representatives of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, and where available the local Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, and other key stakeholders.
  • Share information and views.
  • Revise the terms of reference adopted.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and Case Management Meetings.

3. The Court has a calendar of national, state and territory and regional events related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and culture.

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

At the Committee’s February meeting annually.

  • Establish a calendar of national, state and territory and regional events related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and culture.
  • Clearly announce events in a timely manner on the Court’s website.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

4. The Court and registries participate in joint NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week activities and events

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Three months in advance of NAIDOC week.

  • Family Court liaises with Federal Circuit Court on possible joint activities.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

5. Court staff engages in National Reconciliation Week events.

Each Registry Manager and local Judge Committee member.

No later than four weeks after the publication of the programmes for National Reconciliation Week for each year of this Plan.

  • Announce opportunities for staff to participate in local National Reconciliation Week events.
  • Provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Family Court employees to participate in local National Reconciliation Week events.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

6. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have a good awareness and understanding of the Court’s services, including in relation to family violence.

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

April–May annually.

  • In consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, identify any additional print and online material needed to explain the Court’s services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences.
  • Seek support from the joint court administration to develop any such materials and to ensure they are available in accessible formats for people with disability.
  • Share resources with relevant services and partners to ensure their dissemination.
  • Report annually on progress made and plans for following year for inclusion in the Court’s Annual Report.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

7. There are opportunities for Family Court judges to work with the Federal Circuit Court in developing the structure of registry-based teams to ensure teams are adapted to the communities they serve.

(Supports Stephen Ralph ‘s Recommendation 3: A Coordinated Registry-Based Team Approach to Managing and Determining Indigenous Cases)

Each Registry Manager.

Scheduled Registry Case Management meetings.

  • Engage the Federal Circuit Court in establishing a process to ensure Family Court judges can give input into efforts to monitor and improve team approach to managing and determining Indigenous cases.
  • Establish and hold, at least, bi-annual meetings with the Federal Circuit Court for this purpose.
  • Report on the outcomes.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

8. There is a joint protocol with the Federal Circuit Court on a shared vision and objectives, and agreed structure and process for implementation for registry-based teams.

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Within 12 months of the commencement of this Plan.

  • Promote a joint protocol between the two courts.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

9. Judges of the Family Court are engaged in the process of monitoring and evaluating a registry-based team approach to managing and determining Indigenous cases to ensure the approach is effective and cohesive.

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Annual Judges’ Meeting.

  • Give a report and inform and educate judges about the issues.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

Respect

The Court values relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their representatives as important members of the Australian community that the Court is intended to serve. The Court views such relationships as essential to inform it of the needs and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, as well as the foundation for its service delivery to them. These relationships are also vital to ensuring that Australia’s First Peoples are able to have confidence in the Family Court and its ability to be fair, non-discriminatory and respectful towards individuals, their families and their cultural heritage.

Focus area: The judiciary understands, and Court practices and policies respect cultural diversity

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

10. The Court has a protocol for requesting a Welcome to Country ceremony and making an Acknowledgment of Country, including a standard form of words for Acknowledgment of Country.

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Within 12 months of the commencement of this Plan.

  • Develop and implement a ceremonies protocol for the Family Court in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and others.
  • Make all Judges aware of it.
  • Include a Welcome to Country from a Traditional Owner during at least one significant annual event, for example during NAIDOC week.
  • Develop and disseminate a list of appropriate people or organisations, such as Land Councils, to provide a Welcome to all judges and the executive.
  • Work with the joint court administration to ensure Acknowledgement of Country by the Court appears on the home page of its website.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

11. Judicial officers have a sound and developing understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other cultural backgrounds, so that there is a foundation for other Plan actions to be achieved.

(Supports Family Law Council Recommendation 2: Cultural Competency and Recommendation 4: Judicial Education and Training)

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Annual Judges’ Meeting.

  • Judges are engaged in cultural learning.
  • Judges make an Acknowledgement of Country whenever speaking publically at court-related and external events.
  • Appropriately identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and cultural works on display in chambers and other parts of the Family Court, including name of artist and community and other appropriate information.
  • Prioritise displaying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and cultural works local to the Chamber in which they are hung, and pay any royalties to the artists or communities themselves.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.
  • Add as an agenda item of the Annual Judges’ Meeting.

12. Court staff engages in NAIDOC Week events.

Each Registry Manager and local Judge Committee member.

No later than four weeks after the publication of the programmes for NAIDOC week.

  • Announce opportunities for staff to participate in local NAIDOC Week.
  • Provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Family Court employees to participate in local NAIDOC Week events.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

13. The Court has a specific webpage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients where relevant and up-to-date resources and the details of community based support organisations can be easily accessed. All of the Court’s materials are up-to-date and relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

(Supports Family Law Council Recommendation 1: Community Education and Recommendation 3: Building Collaboration and Enhancing Service Integration)

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Within the first 12 months of this Plan.

Annual reports thereafter.

  • Work with the joint court administration:
    • to develop a specific internet page tailored for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients
    • to ensure the new page is easily accessible from the “client” landing page
    • to ensure the new internet page is in an accessible format to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a disability can also easily access relevant information
    • update the brochure titled Indigenous families and the courts and ensure it refers to material on family violence, and
    • distribute the Brochure to all registries and ensure it is available online.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

14. The Court has accurate statistics regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status.

CEO Family Court of Australia or her/his nominated delegate. Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Annual review and reporting.

  • Work with the joint court administration to maintain statistics regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

15. Training materials for staff in areas such as Family Violence, Cultural Competency and Disability address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

CEO Family Court of Australia or her/his nominated delegate.

Annual review and report at February Committee meetings.

  • Work with the CEO of Family Court or her/his nominated delegate and the joint court administration to include reference to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and to address the family law issues they face in the training materials.
  • CEO Family Court or her/his nominated delegate makes annual report to the Committee on action taken.

Opportunities

The process of reconciliation offers the Court an important opportunity to deepen its understanding of Australia’s First peoples, as well as a responsibility to ensure the Court is inclusive and accessible. The Court will seek to incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ perspectives into all areas of the Court’s operations and to provide more opportunities for their participation in the work of the Court through employment, mentoring and investigating measures that can be taken to improve access to the Court for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Focus Area: Improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the work of the Family Court and the Court’s responsiveness to the needs of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

16. Specific case management in respect of Indigenous proceedings is considered and recommended.

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Within six months of the commencement of this Plan.

  • Set up a framework and approach to the issue of special proceedings for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, including:
    • reports on its findings and any recommendation, and
    • a process for implementation of any recommendations it makes.
  • Add this action as a standing agenda item to review annually and nominate a responsible Committee member.

17. The Court employs more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

CEO Family Court of Australia or her/his nominated delegate.

Within 18 months of the commencement of this Plan.

Reporting annually at the 1st Committee meeting of each year

  • Explore funding and other opportunities to increase the number of Indigenous staff.
  • Explore funding opportunities to enable the Court to offer traineeships dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Explore opportunities to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law students to do work experience in the courtroom and/or chambers.
  • CEO or her/his nominated delegate report to the Committee and the Chief Justice on the outcome of these investigations with recommendations for any next steps to be taken.
  • Add as a standing agenda item of the Committee and nominate a responsible Committee member.

18. The Court considers supplier diversity in relation to its minor spends

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Within six months of the commencement of this Plan.

  • Having regard to the Court’s limited budgetary control, the Committee explores opportunities for incorporating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers on minor spends.

Tracking progress and reporting

Focus Area: Accurate and timely reporting on the implementation of this Plan and any further actions needed

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

19. The Court reports annually on the actions it has taken under the Plan.

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Annual – As part of the Court’s Annual Report.

  • Report achievements against the plan in the annual report.
  • Complete and submit the Plan Impact Measurement Questionnaire to Reconciliation Australia annually.

20. The Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-2023 takes into account the learning and achievements of this Plan.

Chair of the Committee or nominated delegate.

Within six months of the conclusion of this Plan.

  • Review this Plan.
  • Complete End of Plan Report.
  • Take into account the learning and achievements identified in the review of this Plan in drafting the next Plan (2021-2023).
  • Nominate a responsible Committee member.

Works cited

Ralph, Stephen. (2012). Indigenous Australians and Family Law Litigation: Indigenous Perspectives on access to justice. Canberra: Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

Reconciliation Australia. (2014). RAP Innovate Template. Accessed online at www.reconciliation.org.au/raphub/program/innovate-rap on 1 March 2014

Family Court of Australia. (2012). Annual Report 2011–2012. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia

Family Law Council. (2012). Improving The Family Law System for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clients. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia

Aqua Dreaming – Ms Colleen Wall, Mrs Lynette Johannessen and Ms Cheryl Viellaris. (2014). Expert Reports In Matters Involving Aboriginal Children tabled at the Family Law Council Meeting 20-21 February 2014. Canberra, Commonwealth of Australia

Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia. (2010). Indigenous Plan: 2010–2013. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia

Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia. (2014). End of Plan Report: Indigenous Plan 2010–2013. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia

Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia. (2012). Statement of Strategic Intent

Contact us

Family Court of Australia
National Communication
GPO Box 9991
CANBERRA ACT 2601

+61 (0) 2 6243 8690

communication@familylawcourts.gov.au

Footnotes

1 Eighty-five percent of all family law matters are now conducted in the Federal Circuit Court with only the more complex matters being dealt with by the Family Court.

2 Family Court of Australia, Annual Report 2011–12.

3 Includes final orders applications, application in a case (interim), consent order applications and other applications.

4 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3238.0.55.001. Accessed on 8 March 2017.

5 Stephen Ralph cited that “there are significant gaps associated with the reliable capture of data pertaining to Indigenous status that may lead to an under-representation of the number of Indigenous litigants in the courts’ Casetrack system. Casetrack statistics however are the best figures available to indicate the extent to which Indigenous people are involved in family law litigation.”

6 Family Law Council. (2012). Improving the Family Law System for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clients, Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.

7 Ralph, Stephen. (2012). Indigenous Australians and Family Law Litigation: Indigenous Perspectives on access to justice. Canberra: Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia.