Child Abuse and Domestic Violence: Working with Clients

Course ID CN190313_FAM1

  • Face to Face
  • 4.75
  • All

Child abuse rates are increasing every year where currently, a child is abused in Australia every 15 minutes! What is more frightening is that on average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.

Dangerous, abusive or neglectful behaviour that is present in any given family law matter is unpredictable. As lawyers, it is essential that you cannot only identify and screen for these issues, but also that you can handle them expertly, efficiently and effectively. 

From our experienced practitioners you will learn the  critical information required to identify and successfully deal with domestic violence related matters and  practice confidently in the family law space. 

By attending you will:

  • Understand the concept of parental alienation syndrome and how it constitutes child abuse
  • Learn about the impact of AVOs on family law matters and how children are affected through family violence
  • Gain vital information on how to be trauma informed in your family law practice
  • Recognise the evidentiary issues and considerations in the Children’s Court for non-accidental injury. 

Our speakers include:

Chair, Susan Warda, Partner, Mills Oakley 

Neil Jackson, Barrister, Frederick Jordan Chambers  

Bob Rosic, Barrister, Lachlan Macquarie Chambers  

Dr Susan Armstrong, Principal, Armstrong Mediation

Katie Kelso, Acting Solicitor, Domestic Violence Unit Legal Aid NSW 

Daniel Kennard, Senior Solicitor (Care and Protection), Legal Aid NSW 


50% discount for New Lawyers

New Lawyers in their first three years of practice are eligible for a 50% discount off the full price of this program. This discount cannot be claimed in conjunction with any other discounts, including the alumni/Law Society member discount. Please quote NEWLAWYER at the checkout.

Scroll down for the full program.


Full Price $480.00

Alumni/Member Price $432.00


Start date:

06 March 2019

End date:

06 March 2019


8.30am - 1.15pm


The College of Law
Level 16, St James Centre
111 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000

About This Course


8.30am: Introduction and Overview

Chair: Susan Warda, Partner, Mills Oakley


8.45am: Parental Alienation: What Constitutes Child Abuse

Speaker: Neil Jackson, Barrister, Frederick Jordan Chambers

  • Assessment of the Full Court decision of Johnson v Johnson (1997) FLC 92-764, where the concept of "parental alienation syndrome" was first considered in detail by the Full Court of the Family Court
  • The dangers of seeking the wishes of children in alienation cases with consideration of “When a Child Rejects a Parent"
  • Recent cases in relation to parental alienation 


9.45am: Family Violence, AVOs and the effects on Children

Speaker: Bob Rosic, Barrister, Lachlan Macquarie Chambers

  • The impact of AVOs on family law matters
  • Allegations of Child Abuse
  • Family Violence and the Effects on Children 


10.45am: Morning Tea and Networking Opportunity


11.00am: Trauma-informed Practice in Family Law – What Practitioners Need to Know

Speaker: Dr Susan Armstrong, Principal, Armstrong Mediation

  • What is trauma and how is it relevant to family law
  • The connection between trauma, family violence and child abuse
  • How to be trauma informed in your family law practice


12.00am: “Non Accidental” Injury in Care and Protection Matters

Speaker: Katie Kelso, Acting Solicitor, Domestic Violence Unit Legal Aid NSW and; Daniel Kennard, Senior Solicitor (Care and Protection), Legal Aid NSW

  • What is “non-accidental” injury?
  • Evidentiary issues and considerations for the Children’s Court
  • Consequences for Children and Families


1.15pm: Q&A and Close


Designed for

This seminar is ideal for solicitors in general practice, family law specialists and family law barristers. The course complies with the mandatory requirements of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and Substantive Law.


Presenter biography

Susan Warda

Partner, Mills Oakley

Susan Warda is team leader and partner in the Sydney family law practice at Mills Oakley. She is an accredited specialist in family law, and was named 2013 Woman Lawyer of the Year in Private Practice by the Women Lawyers Association of NSW. She is a founding member of the Western Sydney Collaborative Family Lawyers network, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and a Director on the Board of the Variety Asia Pacific Regional Council. Susan has been appointed as the Vice-President to the Board of the NSW Collaborative Professional Inc. in 2017. Susan has been endorsed as a Leading High-Value & Complex Property Matters Lawyer in NSW in 2018, a Recommended Sydney Family & Divorce Lawyer in Doyle’s Guide 2016, 2017 and 2018, and a Leading Australian Family & Divorce Lawyer in Doyle’s Guide 2015.


Neil Jackson

Barrister, Frederick Jordan Chambers

Neil has particular expertise in property and child-related disputes. The depth of his practice also extends to expert knowledge in the law relating to de facto relationships.

Neil maintains a strong advisory practice and regularly appears in the Family Court of Australia, Family Circuit Court and in appellate courts for a broad range of clients, including the Independent Children’s Lawyer. The breadth of his practice has also seen him appear in Family Law Court Registries outside Sydney, including Townsville, Brisbane, Parramatta, Newcastle, Canberra and interstate, such as Melbourne and Perth.

Having undertaken numerous professional courses in his fields of practice, Neil possesses widespread knowledge and technical expertise. Such knowledge extends to alternative dispute resolution, where he has obtained several qualifications in family law arbitration, dispute resolution and the representation of children. He has been appointed Mediator of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and has participated in hundreds of mediations and conciliation conferences throughout his legal career.


Bob Rosic

Barrister, Lachlan Macquarie Chambers

Bob was admitted into the profession in 1993. He remained in private practice for 16 years. In 2009, Bob approached the bench and practices predominately in criminal law, disciplinary proceedings, family law, sports law and workplace health and safety prosecution.


Dr Susan Armstrong

Principal, Armstrong Mediation

Susan is an Adjunct Professor in the Western Sydney Law School where was a researcher and legal educator for over 20 years. She has presented and published widely about family dispute resolution and is a founding member of the Australian Dispute Resolution Research Network and a committee member of the Family Dispute Resolution Special Interest Group of the Resolution Institute NSW. Sue is an accredited FDR practitioner and a Collaborative Practice coach.


Katie Kelso

Acting Solicitor, Domestic Violence Unit Legal Aid NSW

Katie Kelso is the acting solicitor in charge of the Domestic Violence Unit of Legal Aid NSW. Katie commenced her career in Newcastle in private practice working in both crime and family law. Katie then joined to Legal Aid NSW in Newcastle where she began practising solely in care and protection and family law. Katie then moved to Legal Aid Parramatta and then became a part of the relief team of Legal Aid NSW before returning a role in the litigation unit of Legal Aid, Central Sydney. Katie has extensive experience in acting for parents and children in both the Family Court and Children’s Court in complex care and family law matters. Katie has previously acted as the solicitor in charge of the Relief Unit, Care and Protection and is now the solicitor in charge of the Domestic Violence Unit of Legal Aid NSW.


Daniel Kennard

Senior Solicitor, (Care and Protection) Legal Aid NSW

Daniel Kennard is Senior Solicitor (Care and Protection) for the Gosford Legal Aid Office. He is an Accredited Specialist in Children’s Law and has worked almost exclusively in care and protection and family law since his admission. Prior to becoming a solicitor Daniel worked as a psychologist / bureaucrat for a number of different agencies including the Office the Public Guardian in NSW, the Department of Juvenile Justice in NSW, Correctional Services in the Northern Territory and the Department of Health (Family and Youth Services) in the Northern Territory. Daniel commenced his professional life delivering statutory child protection services in the Barkly region of the Northern Territory.