Appendix One
Appendix Two
Appendix Three
Appendix Four
Appendix Five
Appendix Six
Appendix Seven

Appendix 1

Outcome and program statement – Family Court of Australia

Table A1.1: Outcome 2 – Family Court of Australia

Outcome 2: Apply and uphold the rule of law for litigants in the Family Court of Australia through the resolution of family law matters according to law, particularly more complex family law matters and through the effective management of the administrative affairs of the Court.

Budget
16–17
($’000)

Actual
16–17
($’000)

Variation

($’000)

Program 2.1 – Family Court of Australia

Administered Expenses

30

43

-13

Departmental Appropriation

31,447

31,620

-173

Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year

10,609

10,316

293

Total for Program 2.1

42,086

41,979

107

Total expenses for outcome 2

42,086

41,979

107

Average staffing level (number)*

108

85

* Please note that average staffing levels have been compared with budgeted figures rather than prior year figures. This is due to the amalgamation of the commonwealth courts corporate services on 1 July 2016, which makes comparison with prior years not meaningful.

The full financial statements can be found in Appendix 1 of the Federal Court of Australia’s 2016–17 annual report.

Appendix 2

Staffing profile

As at 30 June 2017, the Family Court had a total workforce of 95 employees.

Of the Court’s 95 employees:

  • 15 (16 per cent) were male and 80 (84 per cent) were female, and
  • 66 (69 per cent) were ongoing employees and 29 (31 per cent) were non-ongoing employees.

The following tables show staff statistics by location, gender, full-time and part-time status, and ongoing and non-ongoing.

Table A2.1: Staff by location

Level

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

APS1

0

APS2

0

APS3

1

1

2

APS4

1

8

4

2

1

6

22

APS5

1

19

8

2

1

7

38

APS6

3

2

5

EL1

2

2

4

EL2

2

12

2

1

5

22

SES1

0

SES2

1

1

2

Total

10

40

0

15

5

2

23

0

95

Note: Actual occupancy at 30 June 2017 includes full and part-time staff with the exception of judicial officers and casual employees. All figures are based on actual headcount.
Table A2.2: Staff by gender

Level

Attendance

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

APS1

Female

0

Male

0

APS2

Female

0

Male

0

APS3

Female

1

1

Male

1

1

APS4

Female

7

4

1

1

4

17

Male

1

1

1

2

5

APS5

Female

1

18

7

2

1

7

36

Male

1

1

2

APS6

Female

2

2

4

Male

1

1

EL1

Female

2

2

4

Male

0

EL2

Female

1

9

2

1

5

18

Male

1

3

4

SES1

Female

0

Male

0

SES2

Female

0

Male

1

1

2

Total

10

40

0

15

5

2

23

0

95

Note: Judicial officers and the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Registrar, who are holders of public office, and casual employees, are not included in the above table.
Table A2.3: Staff by attendance status

Level

Attendance

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

APS1

Full–time

0

Part–time

0

APS2

Full–time

0

Part–time

0

APS3

Full–time

1

1

Part–time

1

1

APS4

Full–time

8

4

2

4

18

Part–time

1

1

2

4

APS5

Full–time

1

18

8

2

1

5

35

Part–time

1

2

3

APS6

Full–time

2

2

4

Part–time

1

1

EL1

Full–time

2

2

4

Part–time

0

EL2

Full–time

2

8

2

1

4

17

Part–time

4

1

5

SES1

Full–time

0

Part–time

0

SES2

Full–time

1

1

2

Part–time

0

Total

10

40

0

15

5

2

23

0

95

Note: Judicial officers and the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Registrar, who are holders of public office, and casual employees, are not included in the above table.
Table A2.4: Ongoing staff by location and classification

Level

ACT

NSW

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

APS1

0

APS2

0

APS3

1

1

2

APS4

2

2

APS5

1

17

7

2

1

7

35

APS6

3

1

4

EL1

1

1

2

EL2

2

9

2

1

5

19

SES1

0

SES2

1

1

2

Total

8

27

10

3

1

17

0

66

Note: Judicial officers and the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Registrar, who are holders of public office, and casual employees, are not included in the above table.
Table A2.5: Non-ongoing staff by location and classification

Level

ACT

NSW

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

APS1

0

APS2

0

APS3

0

APS4

1

8

4

2

1

4

20

APS5

2

1

3

APS6

1

1

EL1

1

1

2

EL2

3

3

SES1

0

SES2

0

Total

2

13

5

2

1

6

0

29

Note: Judicial officers and the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Registrar, who are holders of public office, and casual employees, are not included in the above table.

Indigenous employment

At 30 June 2017, the Court had one employee who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Table A2.6: Indigenous staff by location, gender and employment status

Employment status

Gender

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

Ongoing

Female

1

1

Male

0

Non-Ongoing

Female

0

Male

0

Total

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Judicial officers

At 30 June 2017, the Family Court had 32* judges, including the Chief Justice; 16 female and 16 male.

The remuneration arrangements for all judicial officers and the Chief Executive Officer and acting Principal Registrar are governed by enforceable determinations of the Remuneration Tribunal. Further details including relevant determinations are available at www.remtribunal.gov.au

Table A2.7: Number of judges, at 30 June 2017

Location

Judges

Australian Capital Territory

1

New South Wales

14

Northern Territory

0

Queensland

7

South Australia

2

Tasmania

1

Victoria

7**

Western Australia

0

Total

32*

* This numbers does not include the Deputy Chief Justice position which is currently vacant; and a vacant position in Adelaide. ** This includes Justice Coate who is currently seconded to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Workforce turnover

During 2016–17, 25 employees left the Court (19 were non-ongoing, six were ongoing employees), representing an annual turnover rate of 20 per cent against total employee numbers at 30 June 2017.

Table A2.8: Workforce turnover

Employment type

Reason

Total

Non-ongoing Specified Term

Expiration of contract

7

Resigned

12

Ongoing Employee

Age – 60 to 65 years

1

Resigned

1

Voluntary Redundancy

4

Total

25

Agreement making

Enterprise Agreement

The Federal Magistrates Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011–2014 continued to operate during 2015–16. The Agreement has a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2014, however, under present arrangements it will continue to operate after that date until replaced or formally terminated.

At 30 June 2017, 93 Family Court employees were covered by the Enterprise Agreement.

Table A2.9: Family Court employees covered by the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011–2014

Level

Female

Male

Total

APS1

0

APS2

0

APS3

1

1

2

APS4

17

5

22

APS5

36

2

38

APS6

4

1

5

EL1

3

3

EL2

18

4

22

Total

80

13

93

Relationship between agreements

Terms and conditions of employment in the Court are governed by one or more of the following industrial instruments:

  • the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011–2014, covering all non-SES employees except those on AWAs
  • AWAs
  • individual determinations under s 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999, or
  • individual common law contracts.

The Enterprise Agreement, like its predecessors, is a comprehensive agreement, however for some employees, it may be supported by either an individual flexibility agreement, a s 24(1) determination or a common law contract that provides additional terms and conditions.

AWAs may also be supported by individual s 24(1) determinations or common law contracts.

Other agreements

Offers of Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA) to court employees ceased from 13 February 2008, in accordance with government policy; however at 30 June 2017, three employees had enforceable AWAs in place.

In some limited cases, the Family Court has used common law contracts and determination 24 instruments pursuant to the Public Service Act 1999, to build upon existing AWA arrangements.

Employees covered by other agreements

During the reporting period, the Family Court had a total of:

  • three employees on AWAs
  • three employees on common law contracts
  • two employees on individual flexibility agreements, and
  • two SES employees on determination 24 arrangements.

Senior Executive Service remuneration

Terms and conditions for the Court’s Senior Executive Service employees (SES) are in common law contracts, AWAs and individual 24(1) determinations made by the Chief Executive Officer and acting Principal Registrar. SES salaries are benchmarked against other public sector agencies and take account of the Court’s budgetary position and the Government’s workplace bargaining policy.

Non-salary benefits

Non-salary benefits provided by the Court to employees include motor vehicles, car parking, superannuation, access to salary sacrificing arrangements, computers, including home-based computer access, membership of professional associations, mobile phones, studies assistance, leave flexibilities, workplace responsibility allowances (for example, first aid, chief and deputy fire warden, community language) and airline club memberships.

Performance pay arrangements

The Court’s industrial instruments do not include provision for performance based pay to employees. No employees received performance pay during 2016–17.

Table A2.10: AWA minimum salary ranges by classification

Classification

Salary range ($)

APS2

0

APS3

0

APS4

0

APS5

0

APS6

0

EL1

0

EL2

140,260 to 188,665

SES1

0

SES2

211,851

Table A2.11: Classification structure and pay rates in accordance with the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011–2014*

APS classification

Salary rates on 1 July 2012

Salary rates on 1 July 2013

APS 1

$42,779

$44,063

$43,937

$45,256

$45,745

$47,118

APS 2

$46,841

$48,247

$49,395

$50,877

$51,945

$53,504

APS 3

$54,740

$56,383

$56,129

$57,813

$57,583

$59,310

APS 4

$61,356

$63,197

$62,950

$64,839

$64,562

$66,499

APS 5

$66,325

$68,315

$68,404

$70,457

$70,330

$72,440

APS 6

$72,036

$74,198

$75,867

$78,144

$82,285

$84,754

EL 1

$91,831

$94,586

$95,497

$98,362

$99,161

$102,136

EL 2

$108,424

$111,677

$111,736

$115,089

$120,081

$123,684

$121,079

$125,639

$124,095

$127,818

$127,264

$131,082

*excludes casual employees

Appendix 3

Committees

Judicial committees, 30 June 2017

Committee

Terms of reference

Court Policy Committee

Chief Justice Bryant (Chair)

  • To support the Chief Justice in the governance of the Court and to provide advice on strategy and the future direction of the Court.

Standing Committee

Terms of reference

Finance

Justice Berman (Chair)

  • Budgeting
  • Judicial remuneration
  • Audit and risk
  • To provide judicial input to the Court’s annual budget in relation to the funding and resourcing of judicial work, including the national calendar for interstate judicial travel.

Rules

Justice Rees (Chair)

  • To consider all necessary or proposed rule changes. Section 123 of the Family Law Act 1975 provides that a majority of judges may make rules of court in relation to practices and procedures to be followed in the Family Court.

Court Performance

Justice Austin (Chair)

  • Case management
  • Magellan
  • National calendar
  • To ensure the implementation and maintenance of case management systems designed to achieve maximum efficiency in the discharge of the Court’s work.

Court Services

Justice Forrest (Chair)

  • Cultural diversity
  • Unrepresented litigants
  • Property management
  • Library
  • Family violence
  • Children’s
  • IT judicial requirements
  • To oversee and report on the provision of services to the public, including the equitable delivery of access to justice, mindful of barriers created by the cost of litigation, race, religious, cultural and language diversity, family violence and physical and mental health disabilities.
  • The provision of services to judges and staff.
  • The Court’s maintenance and storage of its records.

Professional Development and Judicial Welfare

Justice Ainslie-Wallace (Chair)

Professional development programs including:

  • Orientation
  • Judicial welfare
  • Research and ethics
  • To develop, implement and oversee the ongoing judicial education in the Family Court, including orientation for new appointments, the formulation of a comprehensive plan for judicial education and the annual Judicial Education Conference.
  • To put in place and monitor programs which assist judges to maintain resilience as judges.
  • To oversee the research and ethics committee.
Image of The Honourable Deputy Chief Justice John Faulks

The Honourable Deputy Chief Justice John Faulks

Appendix 4

Judicial activities

In addition to hearing and determining cases, the Family Court’s judges actively contribute to the development of the law and legal education, both in Australia and internationally. This is achieved through attending conferences and seminars; membership of relevant bodies; presenting papers and lectures; addressing academic institutions, professional associations and community-based organisations; meeting international delegations and liaising with judicial colleagues around the world.

Many judges also serve as members of organising committees for conferences as well as working in the community with a variety of legal and non-legal organisations.

A summary of conferences and seminars attended and papers delivered by the Chief Justice and Family Court judges during 2016–17, and other activities undertaken during that period, follow:

Chief Justice’s activities

Conferences attended and papers delivered

6–8 July 2016

Presented at the International Centre for Family Law, Policy and Practice Conference ‘Culture, Dispute Resolution and the Modernised Family’ in London: 40 Years of Innovative Family Law and The Guide to Good Practice on Article 13(b) of the Hague Convention: A Progress Report with Professor Nick Bala and was a panellist on Restructuring Families: a Paradigm for the 21st Century

11–12 July 2016

Fifth meeting on Article 13(1)(b) in The Hague, Netherlands

21–23 July 2016

Presented at the 2016 Queensland Law Society and Family Law Practitioners’ Association Family Law Residential: Adapting to the Changing Legal Landscape

29–30 July 2016

Panellist on areas of overlap and gaps between the state or territory courts and the federal family courts at the National Judicial College of Australia’s Facilitation Skills Program in Sydney

18–20 August 2016

Panellist at the AFCC 3rd Australian Chapter meeting: Children’s Best Interests where there are allegations of family violence: Does the legislative framework support good decision making? in Brisbane

26–27 September 2016

Presented the opening address at the Symposium on Cross-border Child Issues in Singapore: A Judicial Perspective on Modern Complexities in Cross-border Child Issues

28 September 2016

Presented at the meeting of the Singaporean International Advisory Council: Contravention of Parenting Orders: An Australian Perspective

29–30 September 2016

Presented the keynote address at the Singapore International Family Law Conference in Singapore: Four decades of Australian Family Law: A retrospective

19–21 October 2016

Panellist on the State of the Nation address, Women in Law Breakfast: Celebrating 40 years of the Family Law Act at the Family Law Section’s 17th National Family Law Conference in Melbourne

27–28 October 2016

Panellist at the Australian Bar Association 2016 Conference in Melbourne: National and International Developments of Modern Litigation and Courts Practice (Rule of Law)

10 November 2016

Presented at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’ Australia event: Family Law Financial Arbitration: Arbitration in Family Law in Brisbane

20 February 2017

Presented at the National Judicial College of Australia’s National Judicial Orientation Program: Maintaining psychological health in Melbourne

27–28 March 2017

Attended the AIJA/Victorian Supreme Court’s Innovation and Excellence in Courts Conference in Melbourne

5 April 2017

Panellist at the Women Lawyers of Western Australia’s event: Career Paths for Women in the Legal Profession in Perth

27–30 April 2017

Panellist at the IAWJ Asia Pacific Regional Conference/AAWJ National Conference in Sydney

19 May 2017

Presented at the ARC Justice’s Talking Justice Conference in Bendigo

26–27 May 2017

Presented at the Family Law Workshop to Barbados Judiciary and Barbados Bar Association: Developments in the Law of Maintenance (including enforcement of maintenance arrears); Development of the Australian Family Court, lessons learned and future development; New developments in the Law of Matrimonial Property on Divorce and the success that the Family Law Act has had in improving gender relations; Protecting children and reducing domestic violence in Barbados

1–3 June 2017

Attended the 54th Association of Family and Conciliation Courts’ Conference in Boston

4–7 June 2017

Attended the 7th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights in Dublin, Ireland

12 June 2017

Presented at the International Centre for Family Law Policy and Practice’s conference ‘Experts’ Meeting on Issues of Domestic/Family Violence and the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention’ a public lecture The Abduction Convention in a post-Brexit era: the law will survive the changes to the political landscape in London

13–14 June 2017

Attended the IACLaR Research Meeting in London

In addition, the Chief Justice:

  • Attended the Monash University Lucinda Lecture, The People and the Constitution, by the Honourable Justice Patrick Keane AC on 11 August 2016.
  • Hosted a Deakin University delegation of Sri Lanka Judiciary on 15 August 2016.
  • Hosted a Victoria University delegation of Chinese lawyers on 21 September 2016.
  • Attended an International Hague Network Judges’ meeting on 26–27 September 2016 in Singapore.
  • Attended the first meeting of the Singapore Family Justice Courts’ International Advisory Council on 28 September 2016 in Singapore.
  • Hosted a luncheon for Muslim Women’s Leadership group on 11 October 2016.
  • Held an Annual Judges’ conference in Melbourne 17–18 October 2016.
  • Hosted a delegation of Hong Kong Judiciary on 18 November 2016 in Melbourne.
  • Hosted a delegation of Japanese Judiciary in Canberra on 14 February 2017.
  • Hosted a delegation from the USA Central Authority and Attorney-General’s Department in Melbourne 27–28 February 2017.
  • Attended the 2017 Dame Roma Mitchell Memorial Lunch and address by Tasneem Chopra on 10 March 2017.
  • Attended the FCLRG Seminar at Melbourne University on Family Legal Aid cuts in England and Wales on 27 March 2017.
  • Attended the 48th Meeting of the Council of Chief Justices of Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane on 11 April 2017.
  • Held regular meetings with the Family Law Section executive throughout the financial year.
  • Attended quarterly meetings of the Council of Chief Justices of Australia and New Zealand.

The Chief Justice is a Joint Director of Studies, Program Committee, World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights Inc. The Chief Justice is a board member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and is a past President of the Australian Chapter of the AFCC.

The Chief Justice is the sole patron of Australian Women Lawyers, a patron of Court Network and a patron of Gordon Care.

The Chief Justice is Chair of the working group to develop a Guide to Good Practice on the Interpretation and Application of Article 13(b) of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention.

This year the Chief Justice became a Member of the American Law Institute.

Activities of judges

Papers presented and conference, seminars and workshops conducted and/or attended

  • July 2016, College of Law intensive advocacy skills workshop.
  • July 2016, participant, Family Violence Taskforce Workshop, Melbourne.
  • 19–30 July 2016, Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions, Advocacy Skills Workshop, Brisbane.
  • 21 July 2016, Finding the evidence in evidence based practice: three real world illustrations from family law interventions, by Prof Amy Holtzworth-Munroe (Indiana University, USA), Melbourne.
  • 22 July 2016, Newcastle Bar Association, Annual Dinner, Newcastle.
  • 23 July 2016, Queensland Law Society and Family Law Practitioners Association, Family Law Residential, Chair: Parenting Stream, Gold Coast.
  • 29 July 2016, 2016 Hunter Valley Family Law Conference, Hunter Valley, presented: How to get the Best out of a Family Report and How to Deal with an Unfavourable Report, presented by Justice Cleary, Vincent Papaleo, Psychologist & Dr Simon Kennedy, Psychologist. Interactive Question and Answer Session: You be the Judge Justice Stewart Austin and Justice Margaret Cleary.
  • August 2016, Lawyers Learning for Charity 2016, Bondi Junction, presented: The Vexed Question of Vaccination.
  • 3 August 2016, The Ongoing Legacy of the Stolen Generations, Judicial College of Victoria, Koori Twilight, Magistrate Rose Falla, Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, Melbourne.
  • 10 August 2016, Law Society of NSW, Family Law Issues Committee Meeting, Parramatta.
  • 12–13 August 2016, Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions, Advocacy Skills workshop, Sydney.
  • 17 August 2016, The Royal Commission into Family Violence, Family and Children’s Law Research Group Seminar, Melbourne Law School, The Hon Marcia Neave AO, Magistrate Anne Goldborough, Joanna Fletcher, CEO Women’s Legal Service Victoria, Nathan De Guara, Services Manager, No to Violence and Men’s Referral Service, Melbourne.
  • 19–20 August 2016, AFCC, Annual Conference, Brisbane.
  • 25 August 2016, Monash Lecture, Melbourne.
  • 25 August 2016, Freedom from Family Violence, Does a Human Rights Framework Help? Lecture introduced by the Hon Chris Maxwell AC, President of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria. Lecture presented by Marcia Neave AO, Former Justice of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria and Chair of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, Higinbotham Lecture, RMIT, Melbourne.
  • 25–26 August 2016, AIJA, Indigenous Justice Conference, Alice Springs.
  • 29 August–3 September 2016, Advanced Advocacy Training, UK Advocacy Training Council, Keble College Oxford.
  • 31 August 2016, Flashpoints in Family Law: When Current Models of Risk Assessment Fail, Lecture presented by Dr Jennifer Neoh, Clinical Psychologist, Child Dispute Services Seminar Series, Melbourne.
  • 12–17 September 2016, Supreme and National Courts Waigani, NCD Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Pacific Judicial Conference 2016, Port Moresby, presented: Self Represented Litigants.
  • 23–24 September 2016, Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions, Advocacy Skills workshop, Melbourne.
  • 26–27 September 2016, Symposium on Cross-Border Disputes Involving Children, Perspectives on Family Disputes Involving Children in a Globalised Society, Singapore, presented: legal framework and operation of the Hague 1980 and 1996 Conventions.
  • 29–30 September 2016, International Family Law Conference 2016, Singapore, presented: International frameworks relating to separating couples: a better place for the child in Hague Return Proceedings.
  • 30 September 2016, Newcastle University – Law School, Students’ graduation, Newcastle.
  • 4–5 October 2016, JD Family Law lectures; University of Melbourne, Melbourne.
  • 7–8 October 2016, Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions, Advocacy Skills workshop, Adelaide.
  • 7–9 October 2016, Judicial Conference of Australia, Annual Conference, Canberra.
  • 10 and 12 October 2016, Newcastle University Law School, Student’s training – Mock Courts, Newcastle.
  • 14–15 October 2016, Advocacy General Skills Workshop, Sydney.
  • 17–18 October 2016, Judges’ Conference, Melbourne.
  • 17–18 October 2016, Judicial Education conference, Melbourne.
  • 18–21 October 2016, Law Council of Australia, Family Law Section, National Family Law Conference 2016, Melbourne.
  • 19 October 2016, Parramatta and District Law Society dinner, Parramatta.
  • 20–21 October 2016 AIJA, Appellate Judges Conference, Melbourne.
  • 22–25 October 2016, Monash Student Placements, Melbourne.
  • 29–30 October 2016, Riverina Law Society weekend, Griffith.
  • 4 November 2016, Newcastle Law Society, Annual Members’ Dinner, Newcastle.
  • 4–5 November 2016, ICL Advocacy Training, Legal Aid, Sydney.
  • 8 November 2016, Dubbo and Districts Pathways, Pathways event, Dubbo, presented: Indigenous Issues in Family Law.
  • 11–12 November 2016, Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions, Advocacy Skills workshop, Sydney.
  • 16 November 2016, Domestic and Family Violence Forum Discussion, Spotlight on Economic Abuse, Norton Rose, Melbourne.
  • 17–18 November 2016, Justice and Society Symposium, The Cranlana Programme, Melbourne.
  • 18–19 November 2016, Advocacy Skills Family Law, Perth.
  • 25 November 2016, Newcastle Bar Association, Cocktail Party, Newcastle.
  • 29 November 2016, Reunite International Child Abduction Centre, Seminar on 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction, Seoul, presented: 30 years’ experience of the 1980 Hague Convention — the Australian perspective.
  • 5–10 December 2016, Investigation, expert witness and advocacy skills training, Securities and Futures Commission, Hong Kong.
  • 12 December 2016, Rules, Principles and Discretion in Financial Remedy Law, Family and Children’s Law Research Group Seminar, Melbourne Law School, Professor Jo Miles (Cambridge University), Melbourne.
  • 13–15 December 2016, Investigation technique training, Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
  • 14 December 2016, Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health, Continuing Tradition of Dowry without Harm? National anti-dowry forum, Melbourne.
  • 18–20 January 2017, Law Council of Australia, Start at the Top Family Law Conference, Darwin.
  • 7 February 2017, Uniting Church, Parramatta, Commencement of the Law Term Service, Parramatta.
  • 8 February 2017, Greater Sydney Family Law Pathways Network, Men’s Behaviour Change Roadshow, Caringbah, panel discussion.
  • 24 February 2017, Newcastle Bar Association, Lunch, Newcastle.
  • 25 February 2017, Toongabbie Legal Centre, Family Law Day, presented: Crime pays: Finding and using material from criminal proceedings in parenting proceedings.
  • 3 March 2017, College of Law, Judges’ Continuing Professional Development Day 2017, Sydney, presented: Unacceptable Risk and Interim Parenting Orders.
  • 9 March 2017, Women’s Legal Service, speaker, volunteer training session on domestic violence, Brisbane.
  • 10 March 2017, Newcastle Law Society, Newcastle Law Society CPD, Newcastle, presented: The Forensic Challenge of Family Violence.
  • 10–11 March 2017, Advocacy Teacher Training Workshop, Sydney.
  • 14 March 2017, Women’s Legal Service, speaker, volunteer training session on domestic violence, Brisbane.
  • 15 March 2017, Newcastle University Law School, Student’s training, Newcastle, presented: Family Violence in context of Financial Interest.
  • 17–18 March 2017, Queensland Law Society, QLS Symposium 2017, Brisbane, panellist – Negotiating a Better Future for your Clients.
  • 17–18 March 2017, Back to Country Weekend, Bendigo.
  • 18 March 2017, NSW Bar Association: Written Advocacy.
  • 22–26 March 2017, International Academy of Family Lawyers, European Chapter meeting, Lisbon.
  • 24–25 March 2017, General Advocacy Skills training workshop, Sydney.
  • 4 April 2017, Newcastle University, presented to law students: Framework and Principles for Decision Making in Children’s Matters, Newcastle University.
  • 5 April 2017, Advocacy presentation, Goodenough House, University College, London.
  • 7–9 April 2017, Advanced Advocacy Skills Training (Medical Experts), Inner Temple, UK.
  • 8 April 2017, The Australian Institute of Judicial Administration, Non Adversarial Justice Conference, Sydney, presented: Fact finding in family law disputes.
  • 26–28 April 2017, Law Institute of Victoria, Judicial Mentoring Program, Melbourne.
  • 5 May 2017, Victoria Legal Aid, ICL Advocacy Program, Evidence lecture, Melbourne.
  • 8 May 2017, Parramatta Family Law Pathways Interagency Meeting, Child Abduction Workshop, Parramatta, panel discussion.
  • 13–14 May 2017, Riverina Law Society, meeting, Griffith.
  • 18 May 2017, Newcastle University Law School, Law Week Event – panel discussion during Law Week, Newcastle.
  • 22 May 2017, Newcastle Law School, Symposium on Evidence Based Law and Practice, Newcastle Museum.
  • 24 May 2017, Kurri Kurri High School, presented to Legal Studies students, Newcastle registry.
  • 27–28 May 2017, Family Law Practitioners Association of Tasmania, State Conference, Launceston, presented: Crime Pays: Aspects of Forensic Preparation in Family Law Proceedings.
  • 26 May 2017, Independent Children’s Lawyer’s Conference, Launceston.
  • 1 June 2017, Justice Benjamin participated in a consultation with Judge Myers, Sabina Wynn (Executive Director, Australian Law Reform Commission) and Emma Bastable (Research Officer) regarding the ALRC Indigenous Incarceration Inquiry.
  • 1 June 2017, Family Law Practitioners Association, Early Career and Experience Practitioner Twilight Event, presented: Preparation and court practice, Brisbane.
  • 4–7 June 2017, World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights, Dublin, Ireland.
  • 12 June 2017, Expert’s Meeting on Issues of Domestic/Family Violence and the 1980 Hague Convention, Westminster Law School, London, United Kingdom, hosted by Professor Marilyn Freeman PhD.
  • 16 June 2017, Cultural Sensitivity in the Courtroom, Judicial College of Victoria, Melbourne.
  • 29 June 2017, Law Institute of Victoria, accredited specialisation discussion group, Melbourne.
  • 30 June 2017, Greater Newcastle Family Law Pathways Network, Family Law Pathways Conference, Newcastle, presented: Case Management for the Future.

Professional legal development

Family Court judges contribute to professional legal development through their membership of, and participation in, professional and research-based associations.

Justice Benjamin from the Hobart registry is Chair of the Family Court’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Committee, Chair of the Joint Courts Costs Committee, and throughout 2016, chaired a sub-committee of the Family Law Council’s National Family Law Conference.

His Honour continues to serve on the Academic Committee of College of Law, including the continuing development of Master qualifications for practitioners in family law. His Honour continues to be part of the Centre for Legal Studies Tasmanian Legal Practice Course and participated in a one day moot in May 2017 with the students.

Justice May from the Brisbane registry was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday honours list on 12 June 2017. Justice May is Past President and member of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration; Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law; Member of the Australian Association of Women Judges; Member of the Bar Association of Queensland; Judicial Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers; Member of the Judicial Conference of Australia; and Advisory Board member of the Judges Forum of the International Bar Association.

Justice Ainslie-Wallace from the Sydney registry is Master of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple London; Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law; Chair, College of Law Master of Applied Law (Family Law) Advisory Committee; Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Technology, Sydney; Chair of the Australian Advocacy Institute (AAI); Chair of the AAI Management Committee; Visiting Faculty Member National Institute for Trial Advocacy (USA); Committee Member, College of Law, Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee; Committee Member, NJCA Dialogues Program; Steering Committee Member, NJCA Family Violence Training Program; Council Member, National Judicial College of Australia; and UTS High Achiever program mentor.

Justice Bennett from the Melbourne registry is a Continuing Presidential Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal; member of the Judicial Officers Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Committee; a member of the Magistrates Court of Victoria, Family Violence Taskforce; member of the Judicial Advisory Group on Family Violence; Chair of the Court Liaison Committee; and member of the Court’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Committee and Court Education Committee.

Judges are also involved in the development and conduct of the National Judicial Orientation Program, delivered through the National Judicial College, and teaching for other judicial education bodies throughout Australia.

Judges regularly present to law societies and bar associations in their respective jurisdictions, as well as holding informal meetings with members of the legal profession and participating in stakeholder meetings. Judges are often asked to speak at secondary schools and lecture at law schools about particular topics and their work generally.

Justice Bennett from the Melbourne registry is one of the Hague Network Judges for Australia, Chief Justice Diana Bryant AO being the other.

During 2016–17, Justice Bennett undertook direct (case specific) judicial communication with the following countries:

  • New Zealand: return of children to New Zealand – operable orders in NZ to be applicable on return of children.
  • New Zealand: at the request of Department of Health and Human Services (Victoria) to obtain details of orders made in New Zealand affecting the child and father who sailed from NZ to Australia.
  • Israel: procedural information as to how orders can be made and be enforceable for travel purposes.
  • Portugal: enquiry from Portugal as to possibility of family adopting child in Portugal – referred to the Australian Central Authority.
  • Germany: request from Germany as to the terms of orders and procedure for enforceability in Australia.
  • Spain: status of proceedings in Spain where orders made for return of child.
  • Canada: procedure for enforceability of access orders pending travel to Canada by child to visit mother.
  • United Kingdom: Registration of orders under 1996 convention.
  • United States of America: procedural for mirror orders to be made.

Justice Bennett also undertook the following general network judicial communications:

  • Commenced a coordinating project with the Chief Justice, to prepare a photographic profile of all International Hague Network Judges for dissemination to the network judges ahead of the 2017 Special Commission.
  • Safe Harbour Orders: communications and meeting with Office of the Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales to compile orders which are commonly sought in relation to children returned under the 1980 Convention.
  • New Zealand: communications to ascertain state of jurisprudence within New Zealand about power to order conditions on return where no exception to return has been made out.
  • New Zealand: to provide information on the harvesting of gametes from deceased males (responses undertaken by Justice Robert Benjamin).

Membership of professional associations

Judges of the Family Court are members of various professional organisations, some of which include:

  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Association of International Family Judges
  • Association of International Judicial Administration
  • Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration Incorporated
  • Australian Academy of Law
  • Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
  • Australian Association of Women Judges
  • Australian Centre for Justice Innovation
  • Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
  • Bar Association of Queensland
  • Centre for Childhood Development and Education
  • Council of Australasian Tribunals Inc.
  • Family Law Council
  • Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia
  • Hunter Valley Family Law Practitioners Association
  • International Academy of Family Lawyers
  • International Association of Court Administration
  • International Association of Women Judges
  • International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • International Bar Association
  • Judicial Conference of Australia
  • Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity
  • Judicial Officers Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Committee
  • LawAsia
  • Law Society of South Australia
  • Menzies School of Health Research
  • National Judicial College of Australia
  • Newcastle University Advisory Committee
  • Newcastle Bar Association
  • NSW Bar Association
  • NSW Law Society
  • Taulumande Youth Service – Board Member
  • Victorian Bar Association.

A conversation about culture

On 15 November 2016, Justice Bennett chaired a session entitled Koori Twilight: a conversation about culture with Richard Frankland. The session was hosted by the judicial officers’ Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Committee and the Judicial College of Victoria.

Richard Frankland is a well-known Aboriginal singer/songwriter, author and film maker. For many years he has run workshops on cultural safety and lateral violence. His work aims to facilitate problem solving and encourage freedom of cultural expression.

Richard gave an engaging and interactive talk that provided valuable insight into the issues that affect the Aboriginal community, including cultural meaning and identity, cultural safety, trauma, cultural loads and the Treaty.

Appendix 5

External involvement

The Family Court has a number of strategies for strengthening its partnerships with clients and other stakeholders within the family law system, such as legal practitioners, non-government organisations and government agencies and departments.

External stakeholders at the strategic level influence, either directly or indirectly, the direction of the family law system within Australia. They include:

  • the Attorney-General’s Department
  • other government departments and agencies
  • child welfare authorities
  • the Department of Human Services
  • legal services commissions and community legal centres
  • law societies and the Law Council of Australia
  • community-based and non-government organisations, and
  • the Australian Federal Police.

Relationships with these groups are managed either by the Chief Justice, other judges or the CEO on behalf of the Chief Justice.

There are a number of established channels through which external stakeholders may inform the Court and affect its processes and client service delivery, including the following.

Family Law Council

The Family Law Council, established by the Attorney-General under section 115 of the Family Law Act 1975, confers with the Court in the course of its consideration of particular aspects of family law. The Court has judges appointed to the council and senior executives as observers at its meetings.

Australian Institute of Family Studies

The Australian Institute of Family Studies was established under section 114B of the Family Law Act and is a forum for exchange of information and research.

Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia

The Chief Justice meets quarterly with the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.

Family Law Forum

The Chief Justice chairs the national Family Law Forum, which consists of representatives from the Family Court, Federal Circuit Court, the Family Law Council, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, National Legal Aid, the Attorney-General’s Department, the Department of Social Services, Child Support, the Australian Institute of Family Studies, non-government organisations and community legal centres.

In addition to the Family Law Forum, a number of external stakeholders contribute to court direction by contributing to or being members of various court committees, for example, as members of the Court’s Magellan Committee and the Family Law Advisory Group.

Appendix 6

Contact details

Chief Justice’s Chambers

Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts
305 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
(GPO Box 9991, Melbourne VIC 3001)

National Enquiry Centre

The National Enquiry Centre (NEC) is the entry point for all telephone and email enquiries for Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia matters. The NEC provides information and procedural advice, forms and brochures, and referrals to community and support services. NEC staff cannot provide legal advice. The NEC is open from 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

PO Box 9991, Parramatta NSW 2124
Phone: 1300 352 000

Link to live chat

TTY/voice calls: Contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or for Speak and Listen calls contact 1300 555 727

International: +61 2 8892 8590

Email: enquiries@familylawcourts.gov.au

Family Court website: www.familycourt.gov.au

Twitter: @FamilyCourtAU

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/familycourtAU

Family law registries

Australian Capital Territory

Canberra

Nigel Bowen Commonwealth Law Courts
Cnr University Ave and Childers Street
Canberra ACT 2600
(GPO Box 9991, Canberra ACT 2601)

New South Wales

Albury

Level 1, 463 Kiewa Street
Albury NSW 2640
(PO Box 914, Albury NSW 2640)

Dubbo

Cnr Macquarie and Wingewarra Streets
Dubbo NSW 2830
(PO Box 1567, Dubbo NSW 2830)

Lismore

Level 2, 29–31 Molesworth Street
Lismore NSW 2480
(PO Box 9, Lismore NSW 2480)

Newcastle

61 Bolton Street
Newcastle NSW 2300
(PO Box 9991, Newcastle NSW 2300)

Parramatta

Garfield Barwick Commonwealth Law Courts
1–3 George Street
Parramatta NSW 2124
(PO Box 9991, Parramatta NSW 2124)

Sydney

Lionel Bowen Commonwealth Law Courts
97–99 Goulburn Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(GPO Box 9991, Sydney NSW 2001)

Wollongong

Level 1, 43 Burelli Street
Wollongong NSW 2500
(PO Box 825, Wollongong NSW 2500)

Northern Territory

Alice Springs

Westpoint Building
Cnr Railway Terrace and Stott Terrace
Alice Springs NT 0870
(GPO Box 9991, Darwin NT 0801)

Darwin

Supreme Court Building
State Square
Darwin NT 0800
(GPO Box 9991, Darwin NT 0801)

Queensland

Brisbane

Harry Gibbs Commonwealth Law Courts
119 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
(GPO Box 9991, Brisbane QLD 4001)

Cairns

Commonwealth Government Centre
Level 3 and 4, 104 Grafton Street
Cairns QLD 4870
(PO Box 9991, Cairns QLD 4870)

Rockhampton

Virgil Power Building
Ground Floor 46 East Street (Cnr Fitzroy Street)
Rockhampton QLD 4700
(PO Box 9991, Rockhampton QLD 4700)

Townsville

Level 2, Commonwealth Centre
143 Walker Street
Townsville QLD 4810
(PO Box 9991, Townsville QLD 4810)

South Australia

Adelaide

Roma Mitchell Commonwealth Law Courts
3 Angas Street
Adelaide SA 5000
(GPO Box 9991, Adelaide SA 5001)

Tasmania

Hobart

Edward Braddon Commonwealth Law Courts
39–41 Davey Street
Hobart TAS 7000
(GPO Box 9991, Hobart TAS 7001)

Launceston

Level 3, ANZ Building
Cnr Brisbane and George Streets
Launceston TAS 7250
(PO Box 9991, Launceston TAS 7250)

Victoria

Dandenong

53–55 Robinson Street
Dandenong VIC 3175
(PO Box 9991, Dandenong VIC 3175)

Melbourne

Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts
305 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
(GPO Box 9991, Melbourne VIC 3001)

Western Australia

Perth

Family Court of Western Australia
Peter Durack Commonwealth Law Courts
150 Terrace Road
Perth WA 6000
(GPO Box 9991, Perth WA 6848)
08 9224 8222

Appendix 7

Information required by other legislation

Legislation

Page reference

Bankruptcy Act 1966

11

Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989

11, 49

Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988

11, 49

Courts Administration Legislation Amendment Act 2016

4, 11, 26, 80, 79

Courts Legislation Amendment (Judicial Complaints) Act 2012

45

Family Law Act 1975

5, 10, 42, 49, 58, 60, 70, 76, 79, 102, 116, 126

Freedom of Information Act 1982

87

Marriage Act 1961

11

Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010

80