The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (the Court) runs a specialised Indigenous List, or modified case management processes to accommodate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander litigants, in 10 locations:
- Alice Springs
- Coffs Harbour
- Sydney, and
The 2019–2021 Reconciliation Action Plan strives to translate the Court’s commitment to equal access to justice for all Australians into practical approaches and policies that deliver equitable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and families. The Indigenous List is part of the Court’s commitments under the Reconciliation Action Plan, and aims to provide greater access to justice for people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and have a family law issue to resolve.
Indigenous Lists differ from other court lists as they adopt a degree of informality, there are specialised support services available on the day, and the judge may decide to close the courtroom to the public, if considered appropriate. In some locations, Indigenous Family Liaison Officers help parties to understand and engage with court processes, and connect parties to legal and other support services.
In registries where the list operates, matters may be transferred to the list where parties have identified on their Initiating Application or Response to Initiating Application that they identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. If, during a proceeding, it becomes apparent that the applicant, respondent or child/children identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, the judge or judicial registrar has the discretion to transfer the matter to the list.
If you would like to seek inclusion within a specialist Indigenous List, or access modified case management processes, it is best to identify your status as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander on the Initiating Application or Response to Initiating Application. In the event this does not happen, please email a request to either of the following:
- Adelaide – associate.JudgeKelly@fcfcoa.gov.au
- Brisbane – associate.JudgeWillis@fcfcoa.gov.au
- Cairns – associate.JudgeCope@fcfcoa.gov.au
- Darwin and Alice Springs – associate.JudgeYoung@fcfcoa.gov.au
- Lismore & Coffs Harbour – associate.SJRFlintoff@fcfcoa.gov.au
- Melbourne – associate.JudgeStewart@fcfcoa.gov.au
- Sydney – associate.JudgeBoyle@fcfcoa.gov.au
- Townsville – associate.JudgeBowrey@fcfcoa.gov.au