Monday, 19 July 2010

Taking a break...

I am taking a break for a few weeks into August. I am off to the US, where I'll be:

  • attending the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence conference. There will be a segment there about same sex domestic violence which I am hoping to attend. One of the speakers is Terra Slavin. Terra is an attorney working at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center- dealing with same sex domestic violence. I had the privilege of meeting Terra in 2006. She acts for both gay and lesbian survivors of violence.

  • visiting human rights memorials and museums.

  • meeting collegaues

  • going on patrol with police. I am looking forward to that. So no posts for 3 weeks, then back into it.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Dandenong project to improve collaboration

Ministerial media release:

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, today launched a new pilot project aimed at improving collaboration in the family law system.

The ‘Dandenong Project’ establishes new case management powers for the Federal Magistrates Court to actively manage all matters filed at Dandenong Registry. It also features a ‘triage’ process to establish up front the issues in dispute and whether a matter is suitable for dispute resolution.

The Project also aims to assist self-represented litigants by working closely with community legal assistance providers to ensure sufficient information and support is provided.

“To get the help they need separating families often need both legal and non legal advice and support. By bringing together a range of professionals, the Project will ensure that people get the advice and support they require,” Mr McClelland said.

The Project involves the Federal Magistrates Court and the Victorian Family Law Pathways Network assisted by Victoria Legal Aid, the Peninsula Community Centre, local providers of family relationship services and students from Monash University Family Law Assistance program. 

These organisations will provide information, referrals and links to a broad range of community services to help families address a wide range of complex needs.

“The Court has worked very closely with local legal practitioners and community agencies to develop this project and we are looking forward to implementing the initiatives,” Chief Federal Magistrate, John Pascoe said.

The Dandenong pilot will run until the end of December 2010, following which the Project will be evaluated for possible roll-out in other locations.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Brisbane LGBTI legal service starts tonight 6pm to 9pm at QAHC Helen St Newstead for free legal advice for LGBTI people.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

New Award to recognise Indigenous Lawyers

It's a bit off-topic, but I thought this Ministerial Media release was a topic about striving for excellence and I ought to blog it:

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland and Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today invited nominations for the inaugural Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year Award.

“This new annual award provides the opportunity to highlight the significant contribution made by Indigenous legal professionals to Australia’s justice system,” Mr McClelland said.

The award will recognise outstanding Indigenous lawyers who have made an especial contribution to the rights of Indigenous persons in the legal environment or who have an exceptional commitment to providing legal representation, advice or assistance.

The Award recipient will receive $5,000 to further their professional development in the law.

Nominations are open to any Indigenous person admitted as a barrister or solicitor in Australia, and can be made by the nominee or their employer. Nominations must be accompanied by a statement of claim addressing specified selection criteria.

The Government will work with the Law Council of Australia to establish a shortlist of candidates from which the award recipient will be selected.

The Award will be announced by the Attorney-General at the National Indigenous Legal Conference in Canberra on 1 October 2010.

Information on how to nominate can be found at, or by emailing

Nominations close on 6 August 2010.
Facebook remains a goldmine for divorce lawyers. it can be very, very useful!