skip to Main Content
Session Speakers & Moderators

Sohaila Abdulali, author | UNITED STATES

Sohaila Abdulali was born in Bombay and now lives in New York. She is the author of two novels, three children’s books, and numerous short fiction and non-fiction pieces. Her latest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape, is available worldwide in seven languages.

Chief Justice William Alstergren | Family Court of Australia | AUSTRALIA

The Honourable Chief Justice William Alstergren was appointed as Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia on 10 December 2018. His Honour holds a dual commission as Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, to which he was appointed on 13 October 2017. His Honour is also the administrative head of the Appeal Division of the Family Court of Australia.

After graduating from Melbourne University in Law (and completing an LLM), Chief Justice Alstergren undertook articles in family law with Kenna Croxford & Co. From 1991 he practiced as a barrister in Melbourne and took silk in 2012. His Honour was regularly briefed in large and complex commercial, family, industrial and tax trials and appeals in the Federal Court and state superior courts.

He was a member of the Bar Ethics Committee, the founder of the Bar’s Pro Bono Duty Barristers Committee and received the Distinguished Pro Bono Service award by the Victorian Chief Justice in 2008. His Honour is a former Chairman of the Victorian Bar. Immediately prior to coming to the Bench, His Honour was the President of the Australian Bar Association.

In his spare time, Chief Justice Alstergren enjoys spending time with his family, walking his two kelpies, playing electric guitar, surfing and reading. His Honour enjoys all things Norwegian and supporting the Hawthorn Football Club.

Dr Rachel Birnbaum | King’s University College | Western, London, Ontario, Canada

Rachel Birnbaum, Ph.D., RSW, LL.M, is a Professor at King’s University College at Western University in London, Ontario. Her primary areas of teaching focus on children and families post separation and divorce, ethics and the law, and research methods. Dr. Birnbaum has extensive clinical practice and research experience in working with children and families of separation and divorce. She has presented and published with interdisciplinary colleagues both nationally and internationally on parenting assessments, access to justice, child legal representation, children’s participation in family disputes, and on the intersection between law and social work.

Dr. Birnbaum is a Member of The Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. She is the recipient of the Crowe Soberman Award of Excellence in Family Dispute Resolution, Hugh Mellon Distinguished Research Award, the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award, and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts-Ontario Excellence in Family Justice. She was the President of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) from 2005-2009; the President of the Canadian Council of Social Work Regulators (CCSWR) from 2012-2014; the President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts-Ontario (AFCC-O) from 2014-2015; and, a former board member of the Canadian Research Institute for Law & The Family, in Calgary, Alberta, from 2017-2018.

The Honourable Diana Bryant AO QC | Former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia | AUSTRALIA

The Honourable Diana Bryant AO QC is a former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia. She has practiced in family law since 1977 and retired as Chief Justice on 12 October 2017 reaching the constitutional retirement age of 70. Since, she has continued her deep interest in family law, particularly regarding matters affecting children and families.

Ms Bryant started her career as a solicitor, briefly practicing in Melbourne and London before moving to Perth in 1976. She was a Partner at Phillips Fox from 1977 to 1990, where she practiced as a solicitor and counsel specialising in family law. Ms Bryant practiced at the Victorian Bar for 10 years where she specialised in family law and de facto property disputes, particularly at the appellate level. She was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1997, Melbourne.

In May 2000 she was appointed the inaugural Chief Federal Magistrate of Australia, the head of the Federal Magistrates’ Court, and in 2004 she was appointed Chief Justice of the Family Court. Ms Bryant received a Centenary Medal in 2001 for her role in establishing the Federal Magistrates Court, and was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2012 for services to the judiciary and to the advancement of women in the law and was Patron of Australian Women Lawyers until her retirement as Chief Justice.

Since her retirement she has been Judge in Residence at Melbourne law School in 2018 and 2019.She is currently the President of the Graduate Union of the University of Melbourne. She has been chairing an international Working Group at the Hague Conference on Private International Law developing a Guide to Good Practice on the ‘grave risk of harm’ exception to the Child Abduction Convention. She is Chair of the National Centre Against Bullying as well as the Chair of World Congress on Family Law and Children’s rights Inc.

Ms Bryant also heads the Family Violence Committee for the National Judicial College of Australia and is a presenter in their workshops.

Liana Buchanan | Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People | AUSTRALIA

Liana Buchanan has been Victoria’s Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People since 2016 and is also a part-time Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission. Liana has a background in oversight and system reform for people experiencing disadvantage and those affected by family and sexual violence. Her previous roles include Director, Office of Correctional Services Review and CEO of the Federation of Community Legal Centres.

Chia Wee Kiat | Family Justice Courts | SINGAPORE

Mr Chia Wee Kiat is the Deputy Presiding Judge of the Family Justice Courts. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws from the National University of Singapore.  His previous appointments include serving as State Counsel and Deputy Public Prosecutor in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Deputy Director of Legal Aid in the Legal Aid Bureau and District Judge in the State Courts.

Mr Chia had served as Commissioner of Land Appeals, Chairman of the Valuation Review Board, Referee of the Industrial Arbitration Court and President of the Courts Martial, and was appointed Resource Person in two Committees of Inquiry in 2004 and 2011 respectively.

He currently serves on the Singapore Medical Council (SMC)’s Panel of Disciplinary Tribunal.

The Honourable Jennifer Ann Coate | AUSTRALIA

Experience and expertise: Jennifer has held a number of judicial appointments over the last 27 years, including Magistrate, Deputy Chief Magistrate, the inaugural President of the Children’s Court of Victoria, Judge of the County Court of Victoria, the first female State Coroner of Victoria. In January 2013, Justice Coate was appointed a judge of the Family Court of Australia and thereafter released onto the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, where she served as one of six Commissioners for the five years of that Royal Commission. In January 2019, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. Jennifer joined the Children’s Rights International Board in 2018.

Special responsibilities: Advice and consultation

Toby Dagg | Australian Government eSafety Commissioner | AUSTRALIA

Toby Dagg is Head of Investigations for the Australian Government eSafety Commissioner. In that role, he oversees regulatory and other investigations into online child sexual abuse material, terrorist and violent extremist content, image-based abuse, serious child cyberbullying and adult cyber abuse. In addition, Toby sits on the Board of the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE) as Vice President, and advises Westpac about online safety matters through the Westpac Safer Children, Safer Communities Roundtable. Prior to joining eSafety, Toby worked in child protection and criminal investigation roles.

Fiona Darroch | Australian Psychological Society | AUSTRALIA

Fiona Darroch is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked with children and families in a variety of settings for 30 years. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and a Fellow of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.

Fiona began her career as a Registered Nurse. After completing a Masters in Clinical Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology & Education, she spent 10 years working as a clinician and School Psychologist before developing an interest in Psychology and Family Law.
Commencing initially as a Regulation 7 Family Consultant, Fiona spent the next 10 years working as a Family Consultant attached to the Newcastle Registry of the Family & Federal Circuit Courts of Australia. She has completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Advanced Forensic Interviewing of Children and has written well over 800 reports, including reports for the Magellan Program, both as a Family Consultant and as a Single Expert Witness.

An accomplished speaker, Fiona has presented at conferences both nationally and internationally and has had many papers published, including in the APS InPsych journal and in the Family Court Review. She lectures to Post Graduate Psychology Students at the University of Newcastle on the topic of Psychology and Family Law.

Fiona is a member of the Australian & New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law as well as the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and sits on the Board of Directors of the Australian Chapter of the AFCC.

She has excellent clinical skills, including extensive experience in psychometric assessment and in assessing and treating children and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties with behaviour, attention, sleep, diet, toileting, sensory issues or problems related to parental separation. Fiona offers Post Separation Parenting Planning as well as Court Ordered Family Therapy and Single Expert Reports

 

Sarah Davies | Alannah & Madeline Foundation | AUSTRALIA

Sarah has had a broad and wide-ranging career and for the last 14 years has worked exclusively in the for-purpose sector.

In March 2021 Sarah joined the Alannah & Madeline Foundation as the CEO – joining a highly committed and impactful community and team to create a safer online and offline world for children. The Foundation cares for children who have experienced or witnessed serious violence; designs and runs evidence-based programs that prevent violence, and advocates for children’s safety and wellbeing.

Her desire to work with like-minded people to ensure that children and young people are safe and secure, was forged through 18 years as a Director of Kids Under Cover, working to prevent youth homelessness, and an exciting and rewarding four years as the CEO of The Reach Foundation, working to improve the wellbeing of young people so they can get the most out of life.

Prior to joining the Alannah & Madeleine Foundation, Sarah was the CEO of Philanthropy Australia, enabling and supporting the growth and evolution of thoughtful giving to achieve more and better philanthropy.  This was not her first role in the philanthropic sector as she was the CEO of the Australian Communities Foundation for four years, enabling accessible philanthropy and matching donor interests to emerging social issues and needs of communities.

In addition to her professional roles, Sarah serves on several diverse Boards and committees.  Her current community roles include Deputy Chair of the Centre for Social Impact, Council Member of the National Museum of Australia and Director of Teach for Australia.

Sarah is an Adjunct Professor at Swinburne University of Technology, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program and a Victorian JP.

 

Michelle DeLaune | National Center for Missing & Exploited Children | UNITED STATES

Fiona Darroch is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked with children and families in a variety of settings for 30 years. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and a Fellow of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.

Fiona began her career as a Registered Nurse. After completing a Masters in Clinical Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology & Education, she spent 10 years working as a clinician and School Psychologist before developing an interest in Psychology and Family Law.
Commencing initially as a Regulation 7 Family Consultant, Fiona spent the next 10 years working as a Family Consultant attached to the Newcastle Registry of the Family & Federal Circuit Courts of Australia. She has completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Advanced Forensic Interviewing of Children and has written well over 800 reports, including reports for the Magellan Program, both as a Family Consultant and as a Single Expert Witness.

An accomplished speaker, Fiona has presented at conferences both nationally and internationally and has had many papers published, including in the APS InPsych journal and in the Family Court Review. She lectures to Post Graduate Psychology Students at the University of Newcastle on the topic of Psychology and Family Law.

Fiona is a member of the Australian & New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law as well as the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and sits on the Board of Directors of the Australian Chapter of the AFCC.

She has excellent clinical skills, including extensive experience in psychometric assessment and in assessing and treating children and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties with behaviour, attention, sleep, diet, toileting, sensory issues or problems related to parental separation. Fiona offers Post Separation Parenting Planning as well as Court Ordered Family Therapy and Single Expert Reports

 

Jarryd Dunbar | Australian Federal Police | AUSTRALIA

Jarryd Dunbar is a Detective Sergeant with 14 years investigative experience in the Australian Federal Police.

He is currently in charge of Child Protection Operations in Sydney.  He leads a team of investigators responsible for the investigation of online, transnational and domestic child abuse offences and has advocated and overseen the expansion of the team from eight members to its current capacity of 30.

 

Dr Esther Erlings | Flinders University | AUSTRALIA

Dr Esther Erlings is a lecturer in law at Flinders University, Australia. She is originally from the Netherlands and has been fortunate to have been educated in both civil and common law jurisdictions, including The Netherlands, France and Hong Kong. Much of Esther’s research is socio-legal or law-in-context, because she is curious about how the law can (or does not) work in practice, and it is often of a comparative nature. Esther takes a particular interest in principles governing parent-child relationships (parental responsibility, parental authority and parental rights), as well as parent-child dispute resolution. Her work on intra-family religious dispute resolution led her to develop a specific interest in parent-child mediation, which is now one of Esther’s key areas of research.

Esther has published widely on matters concerning family law, human rights and health law, and is the author of Religious Rights Within the Family: From Coerced Manifestation to Dispute Resolution in France, England and Hong Kong (Routledge, 2020). She sits on the Management Committee of the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand, and is a member of various other professional organisations including, amongst others, the Hong Kong Family Law Association.

Markus Erikson | Australia’s Financial Intelligence Unit (AUSTRAC) | AUSTRALIA

Markus Erikson is a Director in the Intelligence division of Australia’s Financial Intelligence Unit, AUSTRAC. Markus has worked alongside law enforcement to target the financial activity of crimes including child sexual exploitation, money laundering, corruption and foreign bribery matters. Markus has worked with Australian and international law enforcement agencies to identify criminal behaviour through money flows, embedding financial intelligence into investigations. Markus is currently overseeing Australian’s public private partnership, the Fintel Alliance, bringing together 29 government, law enforcement and financial industry partners to tackle complex financial crime and protect the community.

Alicia Eva | AFLW and AFL club the Greater Western Sydney Giants | AUSTRALIA

Current AFLW Captain and Development Coach at the AFL club the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

I have completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psych) and Graduate Diploma of Psychology, and am currently completing a Master of Professional Psychology degree.

Prior to moving to Sydney from Melbourne in 2017, I worked as Drug and Alcohol Program Support Officer and Intake Worker, followed by a Program Coordinator role providing education and training programs for ‘at-risk’ youth. I have been working as a development coach with the GWS GIANTS since 2018.

Current volunteer roles include a position on the AFL Mental Health Steering Committee and the AFLW Competition Committee. I was also recently appointed to the Board of the Ladder Foundation- a NFP organisation that provides education and training services to at-risk youth.

Whilst balancing my own football career, I have had extensive experience working in high performance development programs for young footballers- both male and female. I have a passion for youth work and enjoy providing opportunities for young people to develop both on and off-field skillsets that assist in all areas of their lives.

Jordyn Francis | Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation | AUSTRALIA

Jordyn has lived in Cambodia, working among a charity which frees girls from sex-trafficking in South East Asia and provides them with a home, skills training and a fresh start to life. Jordyn spent six months in a voluntary capacity, teaching English and dancing, and managing the café which employs some of the girls. Jordyn now works in the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, as the executive officer to Commander ACCCE, Child Protection Operations and Human Trafficking. In 2014, Jordyn was named Queensland’s Young Australian of the Year. Jordyn’s passion is to be a voice for innocent children who are unable to use their voice.

Albert Frantz | Pianist | AUSTRIA

Albert Frantz began piano studies at the unusual age of 17—years after a childhood teacher proclaimed he would never be able to play piano.

A graduate of Penn State University, he won local, state and national piano competitions and became the first pianist to be awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Vienna in nearly a decade. Albert records for the Gramola label and is a Bösendorfer Artist.

His first CD, of works by Romantic composer Charles-Valentin Alkan, was an official jury nomination for the German Record Critics’ Award, established to set the “most rigorous standards for supreme achievement and quality” in the field of music recording. His most recent album is Liszt’s complete Transcendental Etudes.

Albert is also a passionate amateur Ironman triathlete and is among the most frequent contributors to the TEDx platform. A documentary about his life and work was released by dreama.tv in 2015. In October 2016, Albert was the cover story for Toastmaster Magazine, the official print publication of Toastmasters International, the world’s largest organization for leadership and communication training in over 140 countries. He served as Head of Mission, Austria for the global think tank Diplomatic Council and continues to advocate for issues of children’s rights around the world. As a keynote speaker and activist, Albert has spoken at venues ranging from Vienna’s City Hall to the United Nations in Geneva.

Professor Marilyn Freeman, PhD | International Centre for Family Law | UNITED KINGDOM

Marilyn Freeman is Co-Director of the International Centre for Family Law, Policy and Practice (ICFLPP), Principal Research Fellow at The Westminster Law School, London, and chairperson of the International Association of Child Law Researchers (IACLaR). She is widely acknowledged as a leading expert in the area of international child abduction and international children’s law, and publishes widely in her areas of expertise. Her current research focuses on children’s participation in proceedings affecting their lives including those relating to child abduction under the 1980 Hague Convention. She has undertaken several key research projects including those investigating: The Long-Term Effects of International Child Abduction, and The Outcomes for Children who Object to Return under the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention. She holds a door tenancy at 4 Paper Buildings, a specialist Family Law set of barristers’ chambers in London, and qualified as a Family Mediator, trained to undertake direct consultation with children, cases involving international child abduction and other international family disputes.

Catherine Giles | Nicholes Family Lawyers | AUSTRALIA

Catherine is a Senior Associate at Nicholes Family Lawyers and began at Nicholes in September 2017 shortly following her relocation to Melbourne from Darwin, Northern Territory. Catherine’s experience is in family and criminal law, and Intervention Order matters. Her specialist Family Law experience is in complex property, parenting matters and child support matters.
Prior to working in private practice in 2013, Catherine spent 12 months working as an Associate for a Supreme Court Justice following her graduation from Flinders University in South Australia.
Catherine relishes in the opportunity to assist her clients resolving their parenting and property matters post separation, placing a significant emphasis on a negotiated resolution however is experienced in litigation.

Dr Gérardine Goh Escolar | Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH)

Dr Gérardine Goh Escolar is First Secretary at the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). Her portfolios span family law and child protection, and international commercial and financial law. In family law and child protection, she has primary responsibility over the 1980 Child Abduction Convention, the 1996 Child Protection Convention, and the project on Family Agreements involving Children, as well as joint primary responsibility over the International Hague Network of Judges.

Maria Laarni Sheila S Guico | Prosecution Development team, International Justice Mission | PHILIPPINES

Maria Laarni Sheila S. Guico  is a Senior Lead of the Prosecution Development team for International Justice Mission in Cebu, Philippines.  After being admitted to the Philippine Bar, she worked as court attorney at the Court of Appeals assisting the late Justice Michael P. Elbinias. She then became a public attorney at the Public Attorney’s Office providing legal service to indigent litigants in the Philippines. Heeding the call to become an advocate for children’s rights, she joined the International Justice Mission in 2013. Sheila is passionate about strategic innovations that ensure child protection. She believes that collaboration is crucial in combatting Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC).

Her work at IJM includes prosecuting and providing consultative support to public prosecutors and law enforcement in OSEC cases. In 2019, Sheila helped secure the conviction of Europol’s Most Wanted criminal, Raheli who sexually abused young children and uploaded the photos and videos of the abuse via the dark web. To her, pursuing justice for OSEC survivors is an affirmation of their God-endowed dignity and value. In 2021, she received an award from the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC) in recognition of her efforts in securing convictions of OSEC perpetrators in the Philippines as a source-side country and facilitating perpetrator accountability in demand-side countries.

On her free time, Sheila teaches Sunday school for children. She loves nature and enjoys brisk walking by the beach.

Paul Grant | Magistrate | AUSTRALIA

Paul has an Arts degree and a Law degree from Monash University.

He was appointed a Magistrate in Victoria in August 1988, after 10 years working as a barrister and solicitor. He was the State Coordinating Magistrate from 2001 to 2003, and a Deputy Chief Magistrate and the Supervising Magistrate for Koori Courts from 2003 until his appointment as a Judge of the County Court in April 2006.

On 1 May 2006, he was also appointed President of the Children’s Court of Victoria. In June 2006, he was the recipient of an Aboriginal Community Justice Award for “his outstanding contribution to improving justice outcomes for the Koori community in Victoria.”

In 2007 and 2008, he was a member of the Reference Group that established the County Koori Court. He conducted the first sittings of that Court in 2009.

In May 2013, he completed his assignment at the Children’s Court. He was the Judge in Charge of the County Koori Court from March 2016 until his retirement in 2019.

Between 2000 and 2019, he regularly attended meetings of the Aboriginal Justice Forum representing the various courts for which he has worked. In June 2020, he was appointed the Alternate Chair of Victoria’s Youth Parole Board.

Prof David Hodson OBE MCIArb | The International Family Law Group | UNITED KINGDOM

Prof David Hodson OBE MCIArb is a co-founder partner of The International Family Law Group (iflg.uk.com), a specialist law firm representing international families.  He is an English solicitor, mediator, arbitrator, Australian (NSW) solicitor and a deputy (part time) family court judge at the Central Family Court (DDJ in the FRC at the CFC) in London.

He is a member of the English Law Society Family Law Committee, a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, a member of LawAsia, the Asian Institute of ADR Professionals, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and a similar contributor to many family law organisations around the world.  He is a regular speaker at international family or conferences around the world.  He was awarded the OBE for services to international family law.  He is the editor and primary author of the LexisNexis textbook ‘The International Family Law Practice’ (6th ed).  He is Visiting Professor at the University of Law and Honorary Professor of Law at Leicester University.  He is an Anglican lay preacher.  He can be contacted on dh@davidhodson.com

 

Paula Hudson | Australian Federal Police

Detective Superintendent Hudson’s passion for combatting all forms of human exploitation and community safety has been admirably demonstrated throughout her entire 25 year career and in recent times she has returned to the AFP Child Protection and Human Trafficking Command.

During her career in the AFP, Detective Superintendent Hudson has combined significant expertise in serious and organised transnational criminal investigations, overlaid with key senior leadership roles including the office of the Commonwealth Minister for Justice, and within Counter Terrorism, International Operations, Child Protection & Human Trafficking Commands. This has included leading the delivery crime outcomes across AFP Commands Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. A career highlight of Detective Superintendent Hudson was her appointment to Vietnam as the
AFP Counsellor for Police Liaison for four years. Significantly, during this time Detective Superintendent Hudson implemented an Australian travelling child sex offender intervention strategy across South East Asia receiving recognition by the United Nations (UN). Detective Superintendent Hudson was requested to contribute to the UN Global Study on Child Exploitation in travel and tourism the findings of the strategy, which formed part of the Global Study which remains the current evidence-based authority on the extent of child exploitation globally. Detective Superintendent Hudson spent the four years brokering joint operations, building capability and training police, industry and civil society in Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar and Indonesia in the fight against all forms of human exploitation.

In another career highlight, from 2016 to 2019, Detective Superintendent Hudson undertook an appointment as the AFP Law Enforcement Liaison Officer to the Commonwealth Minister for Justice the Hon. Michael Keenan, embedded in the Minister’s Office at Australian Parliament House. During this time Detective Superintendent Hudson worked on a daily basis to manage strategic policy, legal and operational policing matters and was privileged to be involved in the passing of Australia’s world first passport cancellation legislation in respect of registered child sex
offenders and Australia’s passing of Carly’s Law. Detective Superintendent Hudson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Justice Studies, Intelligence and
National Security and in 2018, was awarded the Wakefield Scholarship to study a Master of Studies in Applied Criminology and Police Management at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The Masters is specifically designed to provide training for senior police officers in the
study of crime and harm-reduction issues, with a strong emphasis on evidence-based policy and practice

Amanda Humphreys | Taussig Cherrie Fildes | AUSTRALIA

Amanda Humphreys is Special Counsel with Taussig Cherrie Fildes, Melbourne, Australia and an accredited family law specialist. She is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), serving as counsel to the IAFL (2018/2019) and on the Board of Governors as Asia Pacific Chapter Delegate (from 2020), a member of the AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts) and a member of MiKK (supporting the mediation of cross-border disputes).

Amanda has worked exclusively in family law for more than 20 years, including in complex parenting, property and financial disputes. She is recommended by Doyles Guide as a leading parenting and children’s matters lawyers in Victoria (2019-2021), for her expertise, abilities and experience in complex parenting / child custody issues and disputes.

In addition to her work in domestic cases, Amanda has worked extensively in the field of international family law, including in jurisdictional disputes, child abduction proceedings, international relocation and parenting cases, with the registration of overseas orders and making of “mirror orders”, international child support and maintenance issues and cross-national property matters. In 2015, Amanda participated in cross-border mediation training in Japan (as a lawyer, rather than a mediator) with a focus on the mediation of Japanese-Australian family disputes and particularly child abduction cases.

Amanda has written and co-authored a number of published articles in relation to international family law issues, was a contributor to the International Parental Child Abduction Legal Resource published by the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia in 2015, and regularly presents on international family law topics in Australia and overseas.  She co-authored and presented papers at the WCFLCR in 2013 (Sydney) and 2017 (Dublin) and is looking forward to this year’s World Congress, albeit attending virtually.

Dannielle Kelly | ACCCE Prevention and Engagement Team

Dannielle (Danni) is the Team Leader of the ACCCE Prevention and Engagement Team which has oversight of all ACCCE stakeholder engagement initiatives whilst also focusing on new research, international best practices, and prevention and deterrence programs. Prior to her role within the ACCCE, Danni has worked in AFP Reform and Workforce Diversity, the AFP Futures Project as well as media roles within the AFP and other government departments. Having been awarded the 2016 ACT Mother of the Year, Danni brings a passion for advocacy of children to her role including driving long term prevention initiatives to combat child sexual exploitation.

Dr Eamonn Kelly, Australian Barrister | AUSTRALIA

Dr Eamonn Kelly is an Australian barrister, with a broad practise encompassing public and administrative law, commercial and common law disputes, and criminal and quasi-criminal matters. He is regularly briefed in respect of proceedings in the Victorian Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Victoria, and the County Court of Victoria. He has appeared in a wide range of other courts, tribunals and jurisdictions, including the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the Family Court of Australia, the Children’s Court of Victoria, the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia.

He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, where he completed a Juris Doctor and a Master of Laws. Alongside his legal qualifications, he holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford, as well as management and research masters qualifications and first class honours bachelor degrees in Arts and Music.

Eleanor Lau | Lander & Rogers | AUSTRALIA

Eleanor is an Accredited Family Law Specialist who practises exclusively in family & relationship law. She advises clients on all areas of family law including property settlement, spousal maintenance, parenting matters, financial agreements, child support, and international family law matters. She has particular expertise in financial matters involving complex structures such as trusts, companies and partnerships, including where assets are held both within Australia and overseas. She is also experienced in complex parenting matters, particularly in cases that cross international jurisdictions. Eleanor has represented clients in Australia as well as various other countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, China, United States, United Kingdom and the UAE.

Eleanor is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), a worldwide association of practising lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries. She is also a member of the Specialist Accreditation Family Law Advisory Committee, which oversees and assesses other family lawyers in gaining their specialist accreditation. She is one of only a small number of Cantonese and Mandarin speaking family lawyers in New South Wales who have attained specialist accreditation in family law. She is also an accredited arbitrator and mediator, assisting clients in resolving their property and financial disputes outside of traditional court proceedings.

Eleanor is recognised by Doyle’s Guide for her expertise in family & divorce law, and parenting & children’s matters.

Leisha Lister | World Congress on Family Law & Children's Rights | AUSTRALIA

Leisha is an experienced law and justice specialist who has worked in partnership with agencies such as UN Women, UNICEF, World Bank Justice for the Poor, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the UK Human Dignity Trust, to support governments and the judiciary in the Asia Pacific region to develop legal frameworks and justice systems that comply with international standards. Leisha spent 17 years as the Executive Adviser of the Family Court of Australia where she managed and coordinated the development of policy, research and significant projects focussed on improving access to justice for women, children, and marginalised groups. Leisha’s recent experience has been in capacity development in the justice sector where she works to strengthen justice institutions and to improve access to justice for women and children. Leisha’s work has focussed on family law, ending violence against women and children, prevention of child marriage, counter trafficking, victim sensitive courts, child-friendly court processes, and diversion and restorative justice. Leisha is also a Board Member of the World Congress on Family Law & Children’s Rights.

Yarni Loi | Family Justice Courts | SINGAPORE

District Judge Yarni Loi earned her LLB (Hons) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and obtained her Postgraduate Diploma in Singapore Law from the National University of Singapore. After being called to the Singapore Bar, she spent the bulk of her career in private practice as a corporate litigation lawyer in a top tier law firm in Singapore where she was Director.

In 2011, whilst still practising as a litigation lawyer, she started pursuing part-time studies in counselling. She was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling by TCA College (accredited by the University of Wales) in 2013. As part of her counselling studies, she did a full-time counselling internship at a Family Service Centre for 6 months where she was actively involved in providing social work and counselling services.

She joined the Legal Service and was appointed District Judge in the Family Justice Division of the State Courts, now Family Justice Courts, in March 2014.

Donald Lowe | Humanoeuvre | AUSTRALIA

Don is the Principal of Humanoeuvre, a performance consultancy focused on improving organisational performance through the development of leadership at all organisational levels.

A feature of Don’s approach to individual and organisational development is his repertoire of developmental and facilitation techniques including; case-in-point learning, individual and team ‘Immunity to Change’ workshops, group discussions, ‘Thinking Environment’ conversations, group case consultation, debates, and ‘power-hours’, along with more traditional methods including coaching, mentoring, workshops, guest speaking and public presentations.

Don specialises in:

  • Organisational Diagnosis – developing individual and organisational capacity to diagnose and make progress on, organisational challenges that don’t respond to the application of formal authority and habitual responses.
  • Personal Transformation – helping people understand and manage their ‘default settings’ – long-term, conditioned responses that often help, but sometimes hamper, personal and organisational effectiveness.
  • Facilitation – challenging, supporting and developing individuals and organisations, through a variety of theoretical, practical and experiential interventions.

Susan Jane Marshall | La Trobe University | AUSTRALIA

Experience and expertise: Sue is currently the  Director of Clinical Legal Education and Professor of Clinical Practice in the Law Faculty, La Trobe University. Previously she was Manager of Education and Stakeholder Engagement, Neighbourhood Justice Centre, Melbourne, and former Director of the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University.

Special responsibilities: As a Board member of CRI Sue has had extensive involvement with its Cambodian program and managed the development of the Strategic Plan for the Implementation of the Juvenile Justice Law from 2016-18 and it’s actual implementation since that time to date.

Damon Martin | International Social Service (ISS) | AUSTRALIA

Damon Martin is the Deputy CEO, International Social Service (ISS) Australia.

Damon has worked for ISS Australia since 2008, managing the NSW Government funded services as well as ISS Australia’s previous Commonwealth funded Intercountry Adoption Services.

Damon is a qualified social worker who graduated in 1998 and became an accredited family dispute resolution practitioner in 2012.

Before working for ISS Australia, Damon worked in statutory child protection and adoption services for 10 years in NSW, England and New Zealand.

Damon is deeply committed to supporting and connecting vulnerable children, adults and families affected by cross border issues.

ISS Australia is a national, not-for-profit organisation. They view that all people have an inalienable right to belong and to know who they are. For the past 80 years, ISS Australia has been dedicated to supporting and providing services to children, families and individuals impacted by a range of cross border issues, including post adoption tracing and reunification services.

 

Simone McKeough Australian Federal Police | AUSTRALIA

Simone is the Team Leader of the Online Child Safety Team with the. In this position she manages and implements initiatives for educating the community about online child sexual exploitation, including through the ThinkUKnow and Playing IT Safe programs.  Simone brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position coming from a solid background in Child protection, communications, media and policy.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon | Supreme Court | SINGAPORE

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on 6 November 2012. Chief Justice Menon graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from the National University of Singapore in 1986 and a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School in 1991. He was admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore in 1987, and as an attorney and counsellor-at-law in New York in 1992. After he was called to the Bar in Singapore, he practised with major local and international law firms, primarily as an advocate, in the fields of commercial litigation and arbitration, construction law and insolvency law.

From 2006 to 2007, he served as a Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2008. In 2010, he was appointed the 6th Attorney-General of Singapore, a post he relinquished in 2012 shortly before his appointment as a Judge of Appeal. He was appointed to the Presidential Council for Minority Rights upon his appointment as Attorney-General in 2010 and was later appointed as its Chairman in 2012, upon his appointment as Chief Justice. He is also the President of the Singapore Academy of Law.

Chief Justice Menon is married with three children.

Justin Mohamed | Aboriginal Children and Young People of Victoria | AUSTRALIA

Justin Mohamed is a Gooreng Gooreng man from Bundaberg in Queensland who currently is the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People of Victoria.

Justin has worked with Victorian Aboriginal communities for 20 years before moving to Canberra to take on national positions as Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and Chief Executive Officer of Reconciliation Australia. Prior to his move to Canberra, Justin held positions based in the Shepparton region as the Inaugural Director of the Academy of Sport, Health and Education (ASHE), CEO and later Chairperson of Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd.

He chaired the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and chaired the Hume – Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Council (RAJAC). Justin has held positions on multiple community, state and national working groups, committees and boards and continues to be a Director of Supply Nation, Co-Chair Cricket Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee and Board Member of Kaiela Institute.

The Honourable Justice Dato’ Setia Dr Mohd Na’im bin Mokhtar | Department of Syariah Judiciary of Malaysia | MALAYSIA

The Honourable Justice Mohd Na’im bin Mokhtar presides as the Syariah Chief Justice and the Director-General of the Department of Syariah Judiciary of Malaysia from 1 April 2019 until now. Before his appointment, Mohd Na’im has had a long career in Malaysia’s Syariah legal and judiciary. His outstanding services include as a Syarie judge of the Syariah Court of Appeal, the Chief Syarie Judge of Selangor, Director of Family Support Division (BSK) at the Department of Islamic Judiciary Malaysia (JKSM), a Syariah High Court Judge for the state of Selangor, a Senior Syarie Prosecutor in the Federal Territory, and a Judge in a Syariah Subordinate Court.

Due to his expertise, Mohd Na’im has been awarded distinguished titles from the Royals of the country. The awards are Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Selangor (DPMS) by His Royal Highness Sultan of Selangor (2015), Darjah Bentara Setia Mahkota (BSK) by His Royal Highness Sultan of Kelantan and Ahli Mangku Negara (AMN) by the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Supreme Head of Malaysia (2010) and Dato’ Setia Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (S.S.I.S) by His Royal Highness Sultan of Selangor and Yang DiPertuan Negeri Selangor Negeri Darul Ehsan (2020).

Currently, he is a committee member of the Islamic Religious Council of The Federal Territory (2021-2024), an Islamic corporate body in the Federal Territories of Malaysia that takes care of Muslim affairs. He is also a member of the Royal Council for the State of Selangor, Malaysia (2019 to 2022). Mohd Na’im is actively involved as a member and consultant to many steering committees to develop Syariah legal and judicial industry. The committees include the Malaysian Qualifying Agency (MQA), member of National Islamic Council of Malaysia, member of “Focus Group on Enforcing Maintenance”- Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) and Industry Advisory Panel for International Islamic College (KUIS) and Syariah Court Practice Direction. He has also been appointed as a member to the Technical Committee on Islamic and Civil Law (2019-2020), Malaysian Consultative Council For Islam (2016-2018), Muamalat Specialist Committee for the Department of Islamic Development (2016-2018), Reviewing and Upgrading Law of Syariah Court Evidence (2016 – 2017), Chairman of the Hakam Rules Committee (2015-2017), Chairman of Syarie Lawyer Committee (2015-2017), Chairman of Syariah Court Rules Committee (2015-2017), Islamic Affairs for State of Selangor, and Selangor Falak. Mohd Na’im facilitates the training of judges from other Muslim countries. He is also an adjunct professor and a visiting lecturer in several local public and private universities.

He also sits on several Shariah Advisory Boards of local and foreign Islamic banks and takaful companies. As a researcher, some of his notable achievements include appointment as a Malaysian Chevening Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre For Islamic Studies, Oxford University (2008/2009) and as a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Law School, Harvard University (2012/2013).

Darren Mort | Association of Family & Conciliation Courts | AUSTRALIA

Darren graduated in Law/Science at Melbourne University and was later admitted to practice law in 1986 after concluding his Articles of Clerkship in Melbourne. He then worked as a Judge’s Associate for 2 years, including work on the Sentencing Manual with Senior Judges.

In 1990, he was admitted to the Victorian Bar and was mentored by Judge Mason. Darren has specialized in areas of Family Law/De Facto Law and Family Violence. He has involved himself in training advocates and served on the Reader’s List committee and is a Mentor to Melbourne University Law Students.

He has also fulfilled the role of Secretary of the Family law Bar Association and was a member of the Chief Magistrates’ Taskforce Committee reporting to the Royal Commission on Family Violence.

Darren has also served as Chairperson on his List of Barristers and has trained several Mentees. In 2019, he was a finalist in the category of Barrister of the Year for the Australian Law Awards and Social Entrepreneur of the Year in the Third Sector Awards.

Darren is also a professional actor/producer. His recent short film on Family Violence “Degree of Separation” won 7 international film awards, including Best Foreign Film in Hollywood and several Outstanding Excellence Awards.

Darren is a Director of a charitable foundation, “To Be Loved Network”, which produces resources advancing the best interests of children navigating conflict in parental separation and divorce (www.tobeloved.org.au)

Darren is an advocate for victims of family violence, including children and is a strong supporter of Safe Steps.

Darren has recently published a book, “Tommy & Tiger Terry” and has launched a short film on children and family violence “TOMMY” in August, 2019, “TOMMY” – both projects are under the auspices of the To Be Loved Network and aimed to create resources to assist kids and separated families. TOMMY has just been selected from 3500 entries in this years Academy Awards and BAFTA qualifying Flickerfest International Film Festival 2020 in the best short film category, after recently scoring 6/6 on Movie Boards.

Darren is recently appointed a Director of AFCC (Association of Family & Conciliation Courts).

Sarah Napier | Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation | AUSTRALIA

Sarah Napier is a Principal Research Analyst in the Streaming and Child Abuse Material (SACAM) Research Program at the AIC, where she conducts research into child sexual abuse material offending. Ms Napier has also conducted research into juvenile sexual offending, the effectiveness of public sex offender registries and sex offender treatment programs, domestic violence and drug use. Ms Napier is currently Chair of the AFP’s Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) Research Working Group.

Sally Nicholes | Nicholes Family Lawyers | AUSTRALIA

Sally is the founder and Managing Partner at Nicholes Family Lawyers. She has practised exclusively in Family Law since 1995 and is recognised within Australia and internationally as a leading family lawyer.

Sally is the Deputy Chair of the Board of the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights. She is also a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV), the LIV Children and Youth Issues Committee, the Collaborative Law Section, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.

Whilst Sally has extensive experience in all areas of Family Law, she has particular expertise in international Family Law disputes, and financial settlements including complex property matters.

As well as acting for a range of corporate, institutional and private clients, Sally and her firm have a strong and active commitment to pro bono work, both at home and abroad.

Sally’s specialties include:

  • Family law disputes dealing with complex corporate and trust structures and financial restructuring combining succession planning/estate planning with corporate restructures – both within Australia and internationally
  • Complex property settlements and litigation
  • Same-sex relationship, parenting or financial agreements
  • De facto cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements
  • Complex parenting arrangements, including multi-party or high conflict disputes
  • Child support matters
  • International child abduction
  • Inter-country adoption
  • International and domestic relocation disputes
  • Complex child welfare issues including special medical procedures such as gender reassignment or body tissue donations
  • Collaborative law

Sally has extensive involvement in international child abduction matters and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the United States National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and the Australian Federal Police for her work on an operation that resulted in the successful location of an abducted child. Sally also has extensive involvement in special medical procedure applications, handling out-of-court settlements of both financial and children’s Family Law matters and handling contested hearing and appeal cases.

 

The Honourable Alastair Nicholson | AUSTRALIA

The Hon. Alastair Nicholson was an Australian judge for 22 years during which time he served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia and for 16 years, as Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia. Since 2003 he has been an Honorary Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne, currently attached to the Faculty of Law. He has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to human rights and the rights of children and youth at many Australian and international conferences. He has been heavily involved in the planning and development of child justice programs in Cambodia and Vietnam and in urging a new and enlightened approach to issues associated with Indigenous people in Australia. In particular he has joined with the former Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Fraser AC in criticising regressive Australian Government policies towards Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.

He is currently acting as a consultant to the Queensland Government on the issue of the legal recognition of traditional adoption amongst Torres Strait Islanders. Since 2003 he has chaired the National Centre against Bullying of children in Australia and has spoken and written on the law relating to bullying.

Dr Anna Nylund | Faculty of Law, University of Tromsø | NORWAY

Anna Nylund is Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Tromsø – the Arctic University of Norway. She earned her doctorate degree in law at the University of Helsinki, Finland. In 2007 she joined the ranks of the University of Tromsø in Norway. She holds a certificate in mediation from the University of Texas School of Law and in family mediation from Hamline University, Minnesota.

Dr. Nylund has several publications on conflict resolution, mediation and family mediation. Her work focuses on children’s participatory rights in child-custody mediation and how the design of child custody dispute resolution systems influences the mediation process and the care arrangements. She has also been the co-PI of the research project “Children’s Constitutional Rights in the Nordic Countries”. She is member of the Child Law research group at UiT, and of the International Association of Child Law Researchers. She is also a member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Dr. Nylund’s other main research interests and areas of expertise are civil procedure law and comparative law. She has done research related to Europeanization of law, alternative dispute resolution and fair trial rights. She is member of the board of the Nordic Association of Procedural Law and a council member of the International Association of Procedural Law.

The Honourable Justice Debbie Ong | Family Justice Courts | SINGAPORE

ustice Debbie Ong joined the Supreme Court in 2014 as Judicial Commissioner, and was appointed Judge of the High Court on 30 September 2017 and Presiding Judge of the Family Justice Courts on 1 October 2017.

 

Justice Ong began her legal career as a law academic at NUS’s Faculty of Law in 1989. A published writer, her works are prolific in the law on the family, children and international issues in family disputes. While teaching in the law faculty, she also assisted the Family Courts as a court mediator and the Supreme Court as amicus curiae. She was a member to various boards and councils, including the Review Board constituted under the Children and Young Persons Act.

Justice Ong published the book entitled International Issues in Family Law in Singapore in January 2015, and has contributed numerous articles in local as well as international scholarly journals. She currently remains a member of the International Advisory Board of the Child and Family Quarterly Journal (UK) and the Singapore Academy of Law’s Publications and Legal Education Committees.

As Presiding Judge of the Family Justice Courts, Justice Ong is a specialist Judge responsible for much of the recent legal jurisprudence in family law.

Justice Ong co-chaired the inter-agency Committee to Review and Enhance Reforms in the Family Justice System and currently oversees the implementation of various reforms and the building of a problem-solving family justice system.

Andrew Perkins | Australian Federal Police | AUSTRALIA

Detective Superintendent Andrew Perkins joined the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in 2002. Andrew’s career in the AFP has included serving in Australia’s embassies in the Philippines and Indonesia as AFP’s representative working with jurisdictional and foreign law enforcement
partners to prevent, disrupt, and respond to transnational criminal threats that has the potential to impact on the South East Asian or Australian regions. This includes Andrew’s current appointment in 2019 as the Senior Officer responsible for the AFP Post in the Philippines.

Andrew’s experience within the AFP has additionally included peace-keeping deployments in the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste and positions held within the Counter Terrorism, Organised Crime, Professional Standards, Crime Operations and Intelligence streams.

Prior to the AFP, Andrew worked as a business analyst for Bankers Trust and J.P. Morgan in Sydney and London, as an accountant for Ord Minnet in Sydney, and studied a Bachelor of Business degree at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Sarah Phillimore | Family Team, St Johns Chambers | UNITED KINGDOM

Sarah was called to the Bar in 1994 and began to specialise in public law child protection proceedings in 1999 after working at the Law Commission and City University in London. She has been a member of the Family Team at St Johns Chambers in Bristol since 2010. In 2014 Sarah founded the website ‘Child Protection Resource’ which aims to provide up to date information and discussion about the child protection system in England and Wales, for all of those involved. In 2015, 2016 and 2018 she organised three multi disciplinary conferences to examine the aims and purpose of the child protection system. In 2020 Sarah was named ‘Family Law Commentator of the Year’ for her work. Sarah has a keen interest in issues of child protection and how to balance the tension between a need to keep children safe yet respect and promote their growing autonomy.

Brett Pointing APM | Australian Federal Police | AUSTRALIA

Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing joined the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in 2020 and has responsibility for the Operations portfolio which includes the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation.

Prior to joining the AFP, Brett was a Deputy Commissioner in the Queensland Police Service (QPS), where he held the Regional Operations and Strategy, Policy and Performance portfolios. Brett joined the QPS in 1978 and over a forty year period worked in a diversity of roles including community policing, criminal investigation and training and development. Whilst Deputy Commissioner Pointing was a member of the QPS, Brett led the reforms to the way police investigated Domestic and Family Violence and was the Champion for Indigenous issues.

As a member of the QPS, Brett was appointed the Disaster Recovery Coordinator in the wake of ex‐tropical Cyclone Oswald and also led QPS Operation Resolute – the taskforce established to combat criminal motorcycle gangs in Queensland.

Deputy Commissioner Pointing was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2008.

Deputy Commissioner Pointing has a Bachelor of Arts (Policing) and a Master of Education (Leadership and Management).

Brett is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.

Jeremy Prichard | University of Tasmania | TASMANIA

Jeremy Prichard was trained in law and psychology and is an Associate Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Tasmania. He collaborates with multiple disciplines to develop novel strategies to reduce the harms of crime. Jeremy has researched the market for child sexual abuse material since 2011. He has recently conducted a series of experiments that show how online messages can be used to prevent the viewing or sharing of child sexual exploitation material.

Carol Ronken | Bravehearts | AUSTRALIA

Appointed in 2003, Carol Ronken is responsible for leading the program of research at Bravehearts, a non-government organisation that aims to educate, empower, and protect children from sexual assault and exploitation. Carol is passionate about ensuring Bravehearts is actively involved in research, policy and legislative development that aims to prevent, respond to, and reduce the incidence of child sexual assault in the community. She is a member of several working groups, including the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation Research Working Group, the Twitter Trust and Safety Council (Australia) and the Australian Child Rights Taskforce. Her professional memberships include the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology, the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and the Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland. Carol is also a Visiting Fellow in the School of Justice at Queensland University of Technology and holds degrees in Psychology and Social Research

The Honourable Justice Judy Ryan | Family Court of Australia | AUSTRALIA

The Honourable Justice Judy Ryan is a judge of the Appeal Division of the Family Court of Australia.  Justice Ryan was an inaugural appointee to the now Federal Circuit Court (2000) and to the Family Court of Australia in July 2006. She has a long career in social justice and was the Director of the Family Law Division at Legal Aid NSW and was instrumental in the implementation of the accredited Independent Children’s Lawyer programme in New South Wales, Australia.  Justice Ryan is a member of the Chief Justice’s Policy Advisory Committee, the joint Family and Federal Circuit Court’s Family Violence Committee, the Court’s Rules Committee and is on the National Judicial Conference of Australia’s steering committee for judicial education concerning family violence.

She has been a member of numerous other committees, including as Consultant to Prince of Wales Children’s Hospital Child Protection Unit, Member reference group Australian Law Reform Commission enquiry in to the Federal Civil Justice System, Member NSW Law Society Family Law Committee, foundation member Law Council of Australia’s Child Representative’s Committee and national training program and the Family Law Council (2001 to 2004).

 

Sonya Ryan OAM | The Carly Ryan Foundation | AUSTRALIA

Sonya’s daughter Carly was 15-years-old when she was murdered by an online predator. It was the first crime of its type in Australia, occurring in 2007 when social media was a new phenomenon and paedophiles were really starting to infiltrate the online space. Determined to help prevent harm to other innocent children and families and to help them navigate their online journey safely, Sonya incorporated The Carly Ryan Foundation (CRF) in 2010.

Fitria Villa Sahara | PEKKA Foundation | INDONESIA

Fitria Villa Sahara (Villa) has over twenty years experience as a community organizer, facilitator, trainer, and gender development consultant with a focus on the economic and political empowerment of women.

Villa starting her career as a field worker at the Center for Women’s Resources Development (PPSW), a women-focused NGO in Indonesia. She later joined the Women Headed Families Empowerment Foundation (PEKKA Foundation) as a Program Coordinator to develop the framework and coordinate the implementation of the women’s legal empowerment program (WLE) which paved the way for PEKKA’s women’s legal empowerment program to date. In 2013, Villa focused on developing the organizational strengthening strategy for PEKKA Foundation for women-headed family’s organization at local, district and national level and the Union Federation at national level, to realize the organization’s vision, namely Participate in creating a prosperous, gender-just and dignified society, maintaining the vision for the advancement and sustainability of the women-headed family’s movement. In early 2021, Villa was entrusted to lead the PEKKA Foundation organization as Co-Director, until 2025.

Villa is a graduate of the University of Canberra, Australia having completed the Masters in Community Development.

 

 

Keturah Sageman | Nicholes Family Lawyers | AUSTRALIA

Keturah is the Senior Partner at Nicholes Family Lawyers and is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. Her practice covers all areas of Family Law, with expertise in complex property and financial settlements, prenuptial agreements, parenting disputes (including interstate and international relocations and abductions) and child support issues. While experienced in litigation and appearing regularly in the Family Court, she also negotiates out-of-court settlements and undertakes mediations to help clients resolve their disputes amicably.

Keturah has over 20 years of specialist experience in Family Law. She has gained admission to practice as a lawyer in NSW, WA and Victoria. Prior to joining Nicholes Family Lawyers in 2012, Keturah was based in Sydney where she held senior roles in two of Australia’s leading family law firms, representing high net worth clients. Keturah coaches and mentors junior lawyers, is an active member of the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria and has presented Family Law papers at conferences.

Dr Robert A Simon, PhD | UNITED STATES

Robert A. Simon, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized leader in forensic psychology consulting.  Based in San Diego, CA, and Maui, HI,  Dr Simon is retained by attorneys throughout the country to consult on custody cases and provide expert witness testimony.  Dr Simon is an immediate past member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts and serves on the editorial board of the Family Court Review.  He is a member of the Board of  Directors of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Chair of the Board of Fellows of the National Center for Juvenile Justice.  He is the co-chair of the International Advisory Committee of the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s rights and a member of the Executive Committee of the California Bar Court.  He is formerly a member of the Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct of the California Bar Association  and formerly a senior member of the Ethics Committee of the California Psychological Association. Dr Simon does a great deal of international consulting, teaching and lecturing.  He has provided training to mental health professionals, attorneys and judicial officers in America, Australia, Singapore and Italy.  He was invited by the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia to be a lead trainer in their 2016 national conference of the court’s Family Consultants.  He is the co-author of the book “Forensic Psychology Consultation in Child Custody Litigation: A Handbook for Work Product Review, Case Preparation and Expert Testimony” and is widely published in scholarly journals. In the coming year in addition to a busy teaching and lecturing schedule in the United States, if international travel allows, Dr Simon will be teaching and lecturing in Germany, Australia, and South Africa.

Bindu Sharma | International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children | SINGAPORE

Bindu Sharma is Managing Director, Asia Pacific, at the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), a U.S. headquartered NGO. Based in Singapore, she brings over 20 years of experience in Asia and the US across the private and social sector. She leads the ICMEC program in the region to expand ICMEC’s policy, advocacy and research agenda; and establish multi-stakeholder partnerships and programs that enhance and enrich frontline practices in child protection. Bindu chairs the Asia Pacific Financial Coalition Against Child Sexual Exploitation, a pioneering collaborative initiative with the financial payments and technology industry, regulators and law enforcement.

Bindu authored, “Contextualizing CSR in Asia”, a broad survey detailing the history and practice of corporate social responsibility, published by the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Singapore Management University.

Bindu serves on the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), USA and is a member of the Audit Committee. Bindu has previously served on the ICNL Board, 2004-2010, as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Nominations Committee; and 1994-1997.

Bindu holds Master of Arts degrees, in Public Policy and International Development, from the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, USA, and in Economics, from the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. And a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the Jesus & Mary College, Delhi University, India.

Leong Shengyu | Family Justice Courts | SINGAPORE

Ms Leong Shengyu served as a psychologist in the Family Justice Courts since 2016.

In 2008, Shengyu commenced her career with the Ministry of Education in the field of Educational Psychology, where she was involved in the assessment and diagnosis of students with developmental disabilities, planning and providing consultation on interventions as well as developing policies in this area. She subsequently practised as a psychologist in the private sector before assuming her current role in the Family Justice Courts.

Phil Shepherd | AUSTRALIA

Phil is an experienced leader, facilitator and coach and is passionate about helping individuals and teams unlock their true potential. For more than a decade, Phil has been designing and delivering innovative and transformative leadership development programs, bespoke workshops and forums.

In his previous role as Director of Leadership Education at the Australian Institute of Police Management, Phil was responsible for the development and delivery of a range of leadership programs for senior and executive police, emergency services and government personnel. Phil developed and contributed to a range of international leadership programs, with specific focus on executive leadership, coaching leadership, leadership in crisis, ethical leadership, team leadership and counter terrorism leadership.

During his 26-year career with Victoria Police, his diverse experience included a degree of expertise in homicide investigation, a range of senior management roles and helping to establish the ‘Airlie’ Leadership Development Centre where he was responsible for the design, development and delivery of a variety of culture and leadership programs for police and commercial clients.

Hilda Sirec | ACCCE, Child Protection and Human Trafficking | AUSTRALIA

Commander Hilda Sirec began with the AFP in 2001, assigned to ACT Policing after recruit training at the AFP College. During her 18-year career she has worked in dedicated roles within ACT Policing, International Operations and Counter Terrorism. These have included working in general duties policing, adult and child sexual assault teams, in the Office of the Chief Police Officer, and the City Beats Team. She also served in the people smuggling and counter terrorism areas, and held a pivotal role in the AFP’s assistance following the downing of Flight MH17 in the Ukraine. She was recently Coordinator of the Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) in the Brisbane Office, prior to becoming AFP Senior Liaison Officer in Islamabad, Pakistan. Commander Sirec now leads the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation.

Darryl Soh | Family Justice Courts | SINGAPORE

District Judge Darryl Soh joined the Singapore Legal Service in July 2009. He has been serving as a District Judge and Assistant Registrar of the Family Justice Courts since 1 July 2015.

He was first posted to the Supreme Court where he served as a Justices’ Law Clerk. He subsequently served in the Attorney-General’s Chambers in 2011 where he was gazetted as a Deputy Public Prosecutor and State Counsel. His areas of responsibility included appearing on behalf of the Public Prosecutor in the High Court for Magistrate’s Appeals and Criminal Revisions, and specialised in intellectual property related crimes.

Between October 2012 and June 2015, Darryl served as an Assistant Director and subsequently Senior Assistant Director in the International Legal Division of the Ministry of Law where his areas of responsibility included bilateral engagements, human rights, extradition, and mutual legal assistance matters.

Dr Philip Stahl, forensic psychologist | UNITED STATES

Dr Philip Stahl is a Board certified forensic psychologist in private practice, living in Southern California, who provides consultation and expert witness testimony in child custody litigation throughout the United States, North America, and Australia. His primary area of specialty is relocation, including complex international relocations.

Dr Stahl is licensed in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Michigan. He conducts workshops and training throughout the United States and internationally for lawyers, child custody evaluators, and others working with high conflict families of divorce. He is on the faculty of National Judicial College, teaching domestic violence to judges since 2000, and regularly speaks at state judicial colleges.

Along with his teaching, Dr. Stahl has written extensively on high-conflict divorce and custody evaluations. He is the author of Conducting Child Custody Evaluations: From Basic to Advanced Issues, (Sage Publications, 2010) and Parenting After Divorce, 2nd Edition (Impact Publishers,
2008) and is co-author, with Dr. Robert Simon, of Forensic Psychology Consultation in Child Custody Litigation: A Handbook for Work Product Review, Case Preparation, and Expert Testimony, (American Bar Association Section of Family Law, 2nd Edition, 2020).

His most exciting project has been his book, written with his daughter Rebecca Stahl, JD, LLM, titled, Representing Children in Dependency and Family Court: Beyond the Law, published by the ABA Family Law Section in 2018.

Dr Stahl can be reached for questions, consultation, expert witness work, or speaking at conferences via:

philipstahlphd@gmail.com
www.parentingafterdivorce.com

Cate Sumner | Law & Development Partners | AUSTRALIA

For 25 years, Cate Sumner has worked in the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, focusing on access to justice, human rights and judicial reform. Her career spans working with the international law firm Baker & McKenzie in Cairo, the United Nations (UNRWA) as both a Refugee Affairs Officer in the Gaza Strip and as Legal Officer in Jerusalem, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, and the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) in their offices in Manila and Sydney.

In 2005, Cate established Law & Development Partners to work on access to justice, legal identity and judicial reform programmes across Asia and the Pacific. Its focus is on improving access to justice for women, people with a disability, and vulnerable children. A particular focus has been on how these groups are able to access the formal justice system and civil registration systems.

Cate has worked as an adviser on access to justice programmes in Asia since 1998 and in the Pacific since 2011 with bilateral development programmes supported by the Governments of Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States as well as programmes supported by the EU, UNICEF and UN Women. Cate has also contributed analytical and policy papers to a range of international organisations and policy think-tanks ranging from the Centre for Global Development, UN Women, the World Bank Justice for the Poor Series and the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

In December 2019, Cate was awarded a Churchill Trust Fellowship to research how corporate, government and philanthropic funding can support integrated health and legal services for women and children.

Prof Nicola Taylor | Faculty of Law at the University of Otago | NEW ZEALAND

Professor Nicola Taylor, BSW (Hons), CQSW, LLB (Hons), PhD, is the Director of the Children’s Issues Centre in the Faculty of Law at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She also holds the Alexander McMillan Leading Thinker Chair in Childhood Studies. Nicola is a leading socio-legal researcher and has undertaken many studies with children, parents and professionals on family justice and children’s rights issues including post-separation care arrangements, relocation, international child abduction, children’s views and participation, child-inclusive practice, family dispute resolution, relationship property division and succession law. Her research findings have been invaluable in informing legislative, legal policy and professional practice developments within New Zealand and internationally.

Ann Thomas | The International Family Law Group | UNITED KINGDOM

Ann Thomas  is Managing Partner & Co-founder of The International Family Law Group. She has advanced accreditation in international family law and children (Law Society). She handles complex cases with an international element and is a leading expert in child relocation cases. She is also a mediator, qualified also in direct involvement of children into the mediation process and collaborative lawyer. Her dedication to her work is exemplary.

Ann is a formidable tactician with a high level of success for those wishing to relocate and those opposing a move. So much so that she has also taken on cases where a relocation has been refused at first instance and has developed an innovative method to deal with a subsequent application. Her method has been the subject of seminars by Counsel and is now adopted by practitioners.

In addition to her work in international child relocation, Ann also has extensive experience of cases involving arrangements for children, custody/residence, contact/access (domestic and international), child abduction, reciprocal enforcement of foreign orders and jurisdiction disputes.

She is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, who are recognised specialists by their peers as specialists.  Ann has been involved in training family law Judges in Serbia in the mechanics of the Hague Convention and international aspects of family law. She is also co-author (with David Hodson) of ‘When Cupid’s Arrow Crosses National Boundaries: A Guide for international families’ and is author of the chapter on relocation in the definitive international practitioners’ text ‘The International Family Law Practice’  Hodson [LexisNexis] now in its 6th edition.

‘Ann Thomas is a lawyer, smart and compassionate. Highly recommended for her work in children and relocation cases’ The Legal 500

David Truex | Expatriate Law | UNITED KINGDOM

Born in Washington, DC, David Truex was raised mostly on US army camps then somehow got an LL.B from Melbourne Law School. Admitted to practise 1974 in Australia, 1990 in England & Wales. In the 1980s, while working as a family lawyer at the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria, he often acted as a separate representative for children. As chair of the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria he initiated Australia’s first family law mediation service and first lawyer specialist accreditation program. After 10 years as a legal aid lawyer in Melbourne he moved to London in 1989, establishing the world’s first specialist international family law firm, International Family Law Chambers. He is the only lawyer working outside Australia who is an Australian-accredited mediator and family arbitrator. He is dual-qualified in Australia and in England &Wales and is a Resolution accredited family law specialist. David is a consultant with Expatriate Law, London, working virtually between England and Australia. The corporeal David is currently locked down in Melbourne.

David’s previous work is summarised at www.internationalfamilylaw.com.

Natalie Walker | PartnerSPEAK | AUSTRALIA

Natalie Walker founded PartnerSPEAK, the organisation which she now leads as CEO. Ms Walker was compelled to launch the very first grassroots iteration of PartnerSPEAK in 2004 in response to Operation Auxin. Ms Walker is known for raising awareness of the profound impact on the intimate partners and close family members of perpetrators of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in Australia, making Australia one of few countries in the world that has a therapeutic response specifically for this cohort of secondary victims. Despite common misconceptions, this is not niche work. Internationally, 2-4% of all men have deliberately accessed CSAM and up to fifty per cent of perpetrators have an intimate partner and children.

Ms Walker is a world leader in PartnerSPEAK’s innovative and trauma-informed response to families affected by CSAM. PartnerSPEAK delivers a pioneering model of Intentional Peer Support for which she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship ‘to explore intentional peer support as a trauma-informed response to families of perpetrators of child sexual abuse material’ (USA, New Zealand).

Ms Walker has raised the profile of the families affected by CSAM through consistent lobbying of state and federal governments, close working relationships with law enforcement agencies, an extensive and continued media campaign and through quality service delivery which gives PartnerSPEAK its excellent reputation amongst both the families requiring support and its many, diverse stakeholders.   Ms Walker is leading international conversations about the intersection of CSAM offending with other social issues and crime types such as domestic violence.

Ms Walker is regularly sought out for her expertise by the media both in Australia and abroad. Media publications where Walker and PartnerSPEAK have been featured include BBC, Radio NZ, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, Studio Ten, SBS Insight, 60 Minutes, ABC 7.30, ABC Conversations, Radio National and ABC radio stations and local newspapers.

Ms Walker holds graduate qualifications in Domestic Violence, Sex Offending and Mediation.

Back To Top