Pathways Forum 2015: “Conflict, Trauma & Everything in Between”

On Friday 8 May 2015, the South Australian Family Law Pathways Forum held its annual conference, “Conflict, Trauma and Everything in Between”, at the Hotel Chancellor on Hindley Street to great success once again.

Approximately 130 delegates attended, including private lawyers, legal aid and community legal practitioners, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners and others who work with families. There were a number of excellent presentations, managed by Master of Ceremonies, Graham Russell, Chair of the SA Family Law Pathways Steering Committee and Manager of the Family Law Division of the Legal Services Commission.

The day was launched beautifully with a Welcome to Country from Uncle Lewis O’ Brien, who not only made delegates feel welcome but also reminded them about the importance of listening and the value in continuing education.

Associate Professor Bruce Smyth, ARC Fellow, Australian National University, kindly provided two presentations, the first of which delved into the largely unchartered waters of parents who experience high conflict and may be living with ‘loving hate’, and how behaviour stemming from those emotions impact on families. In his second presentation, Bruce Smyth managed to discuss Child Support reforms in an interesting way, which was no mean feat!

Following morning tea, Dr Cathy Celezman from Adults Surviving Child Abuse provided a thought- provoking presentation about how practitioners who work with families can become more informed about people who have experienced childhood trauma and ways to better manage those clients in every day practice models.

Dr Jamie Lee also provided delegates with a new approach to clients with mental health issues and suggestions for screening tools in doing so.

Overall, the Forum was an overwhelming achievement for SA Pathways and we thank all members who continue to support the program.

To find out more information about the Pathways Network, or to submit your suggestions for next year’s Forum, visit the website here.

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