Inside Family Law with Zoë Durand
A discussion with Rachel Brace from Relationspace about Max’s Divorce Earthquake

A discussion with Rachel Brace from Relationspace about Max’s Divorce Earthquake

November 8, 2019
  • History of Rachel Brace’s career
  • Reason for creating Max’s Divorce Earthquake
  • How this book helps normalise the separation and helps children verbalise their feelings about their parents’ separation and encourage conversation between children and parents about the separation.
  • How Max’s  Divorce Earthquake can also help parents – helping parents to support their children.
  • There is no right or wrong way to feel. There are no “bad” or shameful feelings. Feelings will pass. Feelings and emotions are temporary states, not permanent traits.
  • Having mixed feelings about divorce.
  • Tips for parents who are separating.
  • Really listen to children – even if it is difficult to hear what they are saying.
  • Try not to project your own feelings onto children.
  • Children have their own unique self and personhood. Zoe refers to “your children come through you, but are not of you” from Kahil Gibran
  • Upcoming project: a book on blended families and having step parents and steps siblings.

See www.kinshipbooks.com

Or reach Rachel through the Relationspace

Max's Divorce Earthquake Illustrated by Angela Perrini and written by Rachel Brace.

Inside Family Law Podcast launch: 5.30pm, Wed 25 Sept - meet the interviewees behind the podcast, sponsored by Clarence Workspaces for Professionals & Legal Home Loans

Inside Family Law Podcast launch: 5.30pm, Wed 25 Sept - meet the interviewees behind the podcast, sponsored by Clarence Workspaces for Professionals & Legal Home Loans

September 15, 2019

Inside Family Law Podcast launch

You are warmly invited to the launch of the Inside Family Law Podcast:

At Mediation Answers, Level 21, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney

From 5.30pm, Wednesday 25 September 2019.

Around 6pm: Short speeches by Zoë Durand and The Hon. Peter Rose AM QCfacilitated by ABC journalist Katherine Gregory

Enjoy an evening of champagne, drinks, nibbles and networking with interviewees from the podcast and book and your colleagues. 

If you would like to be on the Inside Family Law podcast, be there or be square, as we will be bringing our booking schedule and filling spaces for the next 6 months on the evening.  Also any sequel to the book will be taken from these podcasts, so now is your chance!

Copies of the Inside Family Law book will be available for purchase, so you can grab an autograph from your favourite Inside Family Law podcast or book interviewees on the evening.

About the Inside Family Law Podcast

The Inside Family Law podcast continues the interdisciplinary conversations from the Inside Family Law book, which was seen on the ABC, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, A Current Affair, 9News, 10Daily and 9Honey and awarded the APAC Award for Family Law Publication of the Year 2019. Zoë was recently the official AFCC correspondent reporting on the ground at the Sydney AFCC conference via her podcast. Watch for future reporting via the podcast at other family law conferences around the world.

Interviewees from the podcast and book include: The Honourable Diana Bryant AO QC, The Honourable Stephen Thackray, Judge Tom Altobelli, Judge Alexandra Harland, Judge Joe Harman, Registrar Brett McGrath, The Honourable Mark La Poer Trench, The Honourable Peter Rose AM QC, Robyn Sexton, Stephen Scarlett, Trevor Tockar, Darren Mort, Tom Hutchings, Dr Jenni Neoh, Vincent Papaleo, Dr Antony Milch, Alison O'Neill, Linda Campbell, Rachel Brace, Brian Pickup, David Bird and Mark Lipson. 

Beyond those who work directly in family law, this event may be of interest to those who work in other adjacent areas, but wish to meet and network with family lawyers.

Listen in to the podcast at https://zoedurand.podbean.com/ or on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/13tbYOANgI7w9R6svg9tH2?si=36Oku1yiRgiJNyHoSZUNGw

To get in touch with  Zoë see www.mediationanswers.com.au or email zoe@mediationanswers.com.au.

The evening is being kindly sponsored by Clarence Workplaces for Professionals and Legal Home Loans.

 “The lens that you have” -  Dr Robert Simon (United States Forensic Psychologist) on understanding families around the world and  children’s views. AFCC series.

 “The lens that you have” -  Dr Robert Simon (United States Forensic Psychologist) on understanding families around the world and  children’s views. AFCC series.

August 25, 2019

 “The lens that you have” -  Dr Robert Simon (United States Forensic Psychologist) on understanding families around the world and  children’s views. AFCC series.

  • Why Dr Simon supports the AFCC, interdisciplinary nature of AFCC: Talks that leave you “Wondering and imagining.”
  • International perspectives on family law, example regarding Hawaii and the role of the grandmother in that family, without understanding Culture you may see things through a “lens that did not see it properly”.
  • Experiences in San Diego; military families.
  • Allowing the family to educate you about their family: honouring the family when you work with them.
  • Children’s views and perspectives.
  • Allowing children to have their views matter, but not over exposing them to adult issues: a complicated dance. It is about intention.
  • All parents make mistakes: a learning opportunity to show children how it is okay to make mistakes and own them.
  • Children’s voices in the Court process: “The prime stakeholder.” The child’s voice needs to be heard, as it is a matter of respect. Children have their own rights and personhood.
 “The answers for themselves” The Honourable Stephen Thackray on working with Aboriginal Australians to make family law more accessible. AFCC series.

 “The answers for themselves” The Honourable Stephen Thackray on working with Aboriginal Australians to make family law more accessible. AFCC series.

August 25, 2019

 “The answers for themselves” The Honourable Stephen Thackray on working with Aboriginal Australians to make family law more accessible. AFCC series.

  • The Honourable Stephen Thakray’s career path through the family law process including having been a Chief Justice of the Family Court of Western Australia, and Senior Judge of the Appeal division of Family Court of Australia and Acting Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, his current work as a mediator and prior to all that, in his words, “a boy from country WA.”
  • Work in Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and new processes for Aboriginal Australians in county WA created in consultation with Aboriginal people in that region. Including the removal of forms and more flexibility around Court attendance times.
  • Parties having a lawyer and interpreter.
  • Feedback from clients who have used the service: “The only thing that matters is what the clients think.”
  • The Hon Thackray’s school years side by side with Aboriginal Australian students (the majority of students in his school).
  • “What I didn’t know at the time Zoe, was that the children I was going to school with were part of the Stolen Generation. They all lived on a mission and we were told that they were all orphans and that they were being looked after by white people. And it was only later that I learned that they were not orphans. I have thought very deeply about the dispossession of our Aboriginal people in Australia and that we have an obligation to do a lot more than what we have done in the past.”
  • “To ask Aboriginal people what will work for them.”
  • “We don’t have the answers for other people, they are much more likely to come up with the answers for themselves”.
  • Discussion of the Indigenous list in Sydney and work of Robyn Sexton (former Federal Circuit Court Judge).
  • To try to do things differently because people are different: “We don’t need to proceed on the basis that everyone is white, everyone is rich or everyone is educated or everyone speaks English. We need to accept the differences in our community and then look to how to work with them.”
  • “Everyone has something to contribute”.
  • New Zealand family law experience and Maori people.
  • The importance of having enthusiasm for making family law better for our clients.
  • Judges who are being appointed need to have an understanding of family law, but also some “sympathy for it and a feel for the area”. Judges need to understand family violence and also child development.
  • There need to be enough Judges so they can have the time to make decisions and Judges need to be well supported.
  • Court should be a place of last resort, but some cases do need an agreement to be reached in court.
  • Cross referrals to other supports; drugs, alcohol, violence. People need support for the real issue.
  “A voice not a choice” – The Honourable Diana Bryant AO QC (former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia) on what is working well, what could work better and ideas for reform. AFCC series.

  “A voice not a choice” – The Honourable Diana Bryant AO QC (former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia) on what is working well, what could work better and ideas for reform. AFCC series.

August 25, 2019

 “A voice not a choice” – The Honourable Diana Bryant AO QC (former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia) on what is working well, what could work better and ideas for reform. AFCC series.

  • The Hon Diana Bryant’s career path in family law.
  • Family law reform. ALRC report and Diana’s personal views about family law reform.
  • Education for parents and also possible education for children at school about divorce and separation. Increasing awareness about how to be child focused during separation.
  • Importance of incorporating the children’s voice in a better way in family law.
  • Need for standardisation of the way Court Appointed Independent Children’s Lawyers work.
  • Importance of children having “a voice, not a choice” and importance of children knowing that their voices are heard and respected.
  • Diana’s discussion with school students about their experiences through the family law process.
  • Diana’s view that the Government should focus on education for parents more broadly about how conflict can damage children. “The government should get into the space and have a campaign.”
  • Better streaming and triaging of matters and categorisation of lists – ie simpler and more complex matters.
  • ICL’s, mediation and ADR in family law.
 “Things we can do now” - Judge Alexandra Harland on making positive changes on the ground. AFCC series.

 “Things we can do now” - Judge Alexandra Harland on making positive changes on the ground. AFCC series.

August 25, 2019

 “Things we can do now” - Judge Alexandra Harland on making positive changes on the ground. AFCC series.

  • Why Judge Harland is drawn to the AFCC. The positive efforts of the AFCC and family report writer training.
  • Family law as intersecting with many different areas and professions.
  • Perspective that change can happen at the coalface with those who work in the area of family law.
  • Increasingly better coordination between the different professionals in family law.
  • Family Court and Federal Circuit Court and coordination that has already been occurring between the Courts and streamlining court rules and processes.
  • Tips and words of support for parents who are separating.
  • Children’s difficulty with transition and the damage that even silence, not just negative comments, can do.
  • Standardised training for family report writers launched by AFCC.
  • History of AFCC and joining the AFCC.
“Focus on the kids and think long term” – Judge Tom Altobelli on the AFCC, the importance of collaboration and insights for parents who are separating. AFCC series.

“Focus on the kids and think long term” – Judge Tom Altobelli on the AFCC, the importance of collaboration and insights for parents who are separating. AFCC series.

August 25, 2019

“Focus on the kids and think long term” – Judge Tom Altobelli on the AFCC, the importance of collaboration and insights for parents who are separating. AFCC series.

  • History of Judge Altobelli’s career.
  • Judge Altobelli’s views about why he is a member of the AFCC.
  • The importance of collaboration between professionals in the family law system.
  • Issues particular to Wollongong registry including socio-economic disadvantage of some of the parties.
  • Supportive insights for those going through a separation.
  • “As unpredictable as the journey might be, keep your focus on what is best for your children. Focus on the kids and think long term”.
“You know, but you don’t know” – Albert Frantz (concert pianist, entrepreneur, social justice advocate, Vienna) on being a donor conceived child and identity as a human right. AFCC series

“You know, but you don’t know” – Albert Frantz (concert pianist, entrepreneur, social justice advocate, Vienna) on being a donor conceived child and identity as a human right. AFCC series

August 25, 2019

“You know, but you don’t know” – Albert Frantz (concert pianist, entrepreneur, social justice advocate, Vienna) on being a donor conceived child and identity as a human right. AFCC series.

  • Albert’s personal history as a donor conceived child.
  • Sperm donation in the 1970’s.
  • Identity as a human right – the rights of a child and open sourcing of identity.
  • Psychological impact of growing up not knowing one’s biological family: “I fell from the sky”.
  • Existential debt – expectation that donor conceived people and also adopted people should be perpetually “grateful”.
  • “Here’s a common theme amongst donor conceived people; you know even when you don’t know.”
  • “Nobody is actually keeping track, nobody even knows exactly how many donor conceived people are out there and whether they know that they are donor conceived and for that reason it is impossible to conduct proper studies on this.”
  • “But there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from adopted and donor conceived people saying that there are significant psychological and emotional issues surrounding identity and who are we and where do we belong in this world.”
  • “Still is this feeling of being rootless. And it is probably impossible to describe what that feeling is unless you experience it.”
  • “You can be grateful for your life and the parents who raised you and there can still be a gaping hole that you need to fill in because of this fundamental, existential uncertainty that you have about who you are.”
  • Bio ethics issues.
  • Albert’s personal views about sperm donor conception and surrogacy in different circumstances.
  • Albert’s Jewish heritage and the significance of this living in Vienna.
  • Birthrights that Albert feels have been taken from him.
  • Albert’s career as a concert pianist and his wondering about where this talent came from.
  • Nature vs nurture.
“A different way of thinking” - On parenting Coordination overseas and recently in Australia with Dr Astrid Martalas and Craig Schneider, South Africa. AFCC Series.

“A different way of thinking” - On parenting Coordination overseas and recently in Australia with Dr Astrid Martalas and Craig Schneider, South Africa. AFCC Series.

August 25, 2019

“A different way of thinking” - On parenting Coordination overseas and recently in Australia with Dr Astrid Martalas and Craig Schneider, South Africa. AFCC Series.

  • What is parenting co-ordination?
  • How long does parenting co-ordination last?
  • High conflict matters and court resources.
  • Powers of the Court not usurped by parenting coordination – judicial authority and parenting coordination?
  • Role of parenting coordinator to assist, facilitate and empower the parties.
  • Education by the parenting coordinator.
  • Transforming the way parents relate to each other so ultimately, hopefully they can resolve their disputes directly.
  • Parenting coordination as a logical extension of the mediation process in Australia.
  • Parenting coordination is not therapy and is not legal advice, a new profession of the “parenting coordinator.”
  • Training and qualifications to become a parenting coordinator.
  • Domestic violence and parenting coordinator.
  • Including an order in Consent Orders for parenting coordinator.
  • Recommendations by the parenting coordinator can be used in Court proceedings.
  • South African experience with parenting coordination and the use of PC clauses in consent orders and parenting plans and how it grew and developed organically.
  • Research in Canada and America on the reduction of re-ligation.
  • History of parenting coordination.
  • Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, UK and Australian training.
  • America, Canada and South Africa and the history of parenting co-ordination.
  • Australian WA experiences of parenting coordination.
  • Will there be resistance to parenting coordination in Australia? Recent judgment regarding several aspects of PC.
  • Breaches of orders and contravention applications and how PC may reduce this.
“They count for something” –  Darren Mort (Barrister, actor and director, Melbourne) on  Child focused separation including the book and film ‘Tommy’. AFCC Series

“They count for something” –  Darren Mort (Barrister, actor and director, Melbourne) on  Child focused separation including the book and film ‘Tommy’. AFCC Series

August 25, 2019

“They count for something” –  Darren Mort (Barrister, actor and director, Melbourne) on  Child focused separation including the book and film ‘Tommy’. AFCC Series

  • Darren’s career history of acting, producing and working as a barrister in family law.
  • The story of Tommy – Film and children’s book about Tommy whose parents are separating.
  • To Be Loved organisation, creating resources to support parents and children through separation.
  • Darren’s personal views about how courts should not be used as a forum to abuse an ex partner and children having a more adequate presence in the court

Tobeloved.org.au