In March last year, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (the Courts) launched a Specialist Indigenous List (SIL) operating from the Lismore registry in NSW. The SIL was designed to better meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parties and children, and to adopt an appropriate degree of informality in relevant family law proceedings.
To mark the 12-month anniversary of the commencement of the SIL, and to officially launch an educational video that explains the benefits of the List, the Family Law Pathways Network Northern Rivers NSW is hosting a local event in Lismore on Monday 5 February 2024.
The event will provide an opportunity for representatives from the Courts to share insights and important information about the List, including the processes involved and client referrals. It will also be a great opportunity to hear directly from legal professionals who provide invaluable support to local Indigenous families involved in family law proceedings.
Speaking at the event electronically, the Courts’ Chief Executive Officer and Principal Registrar Mr David Pringle PSM said, “the establishment of the SIL in Lismore and its success over the past 12 months is testament to the dedication of the local staff, Senior Judicial Registrar Flintoff and Indigenous Family Liaison Officer, Ms Kygim King, who work closely with Judge Turner.
“Importantly, we also acknowledge the incredible support that has been provided by the Northern Rivers Family Law Pathways Network, Relationships Australia, WDVCAS, as well as Legal Aid’s Family Law Service for Aboriginal Communities and the Aboriginal Legal Service,” Mr Pringle said.
The video, developed by FLPN, is aimed at service providers, legal practitioners and the wider community and will be accessible from https://northernrivers.flpn.com.au/.
Chair of the Northen Rivers Family Law Pathways Network, Julie Marshall, said that having had the honour of sitting on the steering committee that helped with the inception of the Special Indigenous List, I have been able to see first-hand how this Court has helped the community and our Mobs far and wide.
“I have also been able to see the recognition of culture and the importance it can play in family law matters but more so the difference that can be made when culture is put at the forefront of litigation and the Court is mindful of cultural issues that in the past may have prevented families from engaging with the process. The increase of family engagement and a keeping child with family, two worlds strong with access to culture considered in Court orders has been an amazing example of how things can work better when tailored to each family, child and their communities,” Ms Marshall added.
The Lismore SIL is managed by Senior Judicial Registrar Flintoff who has conducted 24 Specialist Indigenous List days over the past year in Lismore and in Coffs Harbour.
The Courts’ Indigenous Family Liaison Officer, Ms Kygim King, has played a pivotal part in the success of the List by supporting families in the lead up to, and on, the day of the hearing. Ms King also helps parties to understand and engage with court processes and connect parties to legal and other support services.
For more information on the Specialist Indigenous List in Lismore, refer to the Courts’ website: Indigenous list | Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (fcfcoa.gov.au)
Denise Healy, Director – Media & Public Affairs, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia
m. 0409 743 695 e. email@example.com