18 November 2016

Support provided by Court Network volunteers to families involved in family law proceedings is incredibly valuable. Volunteers are the unsung heroes of the court system and many have been helping people in the Parramatta registry of the family law courts for the past 32 years.

Involvement in family law proceedings can be extremely stressful and emotional, and while the desire to have volunteers available to lend a friendly ear continues to grow, unfortunately the number of volunteers has declined over the past few years.

Parramatta Registry Manager, Paul Le Large believes that the contribution of mature-age volunteers within the court complex is vital.

"The benefit of having court network volunteers in the registry cannot be understated. On a busy day, there could be up to 100 court clients who just want to have a chat or a cup of coffee and a biscuit and their demeanour toward the volunteers has always been of deep gratitude,” he said.

“Lawyers and court clients in particular, really respect and value the volunteers for their care and non-judgmental smile,” Mr Paul Le Large added.

The Parramatta Family Law Courts comprise the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and it is a busy hub of activity, with dozens of family law cases seen each day.

The demands placed on the Parramatta Family and Local Court Support Group is becoming harder each day.

"There are currently approximately 70 members in the group but we need about 90-100 male and female helpers to properly provide the care we want to, but we're running short,” said volunteer coordinator Margaret Wigmore.

“Our core role is to provide tea and coffee facilities, a smiling face, and an ear for those in distress. Volunteers spend about three hours at court, from 9.00 am to 12 noon, once a month and donate their time to serve tea, coffee and biscuits for those involved in Court proceedings.”

To find out more information about what is involved in becoming a volunteer in the Parramatta registry, please contact the volunteer coordinator, Margaret Wigmore, via email: wiggy46@optusnet.com.au or mobile 0407 436 642.

Media contact: Denise Healy, National Media and Public Affairs Manager
Telephone: 03 8600 4357 or 0409 743 695
Emaildenise.healy@familycourt.gov.au