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Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia

Family law reform lived expertise forum

Image: Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia
Where
Online
Online
See event description for details on how to connect.
When

Friday 3 December from 10am to 11:30am

Join us for a collaborative discussion with family law experts on the need for vital legal reform across Australia to better support sexual, domestic and family violence survivors.

Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia will be joined by several expert panellists to discuss this important issue and will hear from Attorney-General Michaelia Cash.

Senator Cash was a senior lawyer at law firm Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills) practicing in the areas of employment and industrial law before entering politics. She holds an Honours Degree in Law from the University of London and a Bachelor of Arts (Social Science) from Curtin University in Perth, graduating with a triple major in public relations, politics and journalism. In addition, she holds a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Western Australia.

Panellists include:

Heather Douglas: Heather is a Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne. She researches legal responses to domestic and family violence and has coordinated the National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book since 2016. Her most recent book is Women, Intimate Partner Violence and the Law, published by Oxford University Press in 2021.

Rachel Carson: Dr Rachel Carson is a socio-legal researcher with expertise in family law and qualitative research about family law disputes. Rachel is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute and is currently Acting Executive Manager of the Family Law, Family Violence and Elder Abuse Research Team.

After practising as a family lawyer, Rachel worked as a researcher in family law at the Melbourne Law School (University of Melbourne) and was awarded a Melbourne Research Scholarship to undertake her PhD in this field of research at the University of Melbourne.

Susan Heward-Belle: Susan Heward-Belle is an Associate Professor in the Social Work and Policy Studies Program within The Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney.

She has a strong interest in researching innovative strategies to address violence against women, children, and young people, which are underpinned by principles of social justice and gender equity.

Her PhD research examined the fathering practices of domestically violent men including their perception of their use of violence and coercive control, its impact on women and children and their awareness of the harm they caused family members.

Jane Matts: Jane is a law student and graduate of the Our Watch initiated Voices for Change Project with DVNSW, Jane believes she has only just started as an expert by experience in her goal to drive reform for DFV survivors.

She has continued her change focused advocacy by founding the Sisters in Law Project designed to challenge the status quo and drive legal reforms to support the safety of women and children nationally.

Her current focus is creating safer processes in family law by framing risk for stakeholders, empowering women with education and supporting for those forced to self represent with her legally guided advocacy programme.

Contact event organiser

Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia

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