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About

About

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Lisa is the Director and Primary Family Consultant/Child Expert at the Family Law Parenting Centre in Highett. Lisa opened the Family Law Parenting Centre in 2011 after renovating this property with the needs of separated families being at the forefront of planning. Over the years Lisa has been operating as a Family Consultant/Child Expert in the family law arena seeing families who are about to/in the middle of/finishing up the process of going through the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. Over the years Lisa has gained invaluable experience in all areas of family law both therapeutically and through the preparation of hundreds of family reports taking on the role of Expert Witness for the Courts. 

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Education

Lisa obtained her 1st degree in Social Science/Art in 1988 at La Trobe University before moving onto her 2nd degree, Bachelor of Social Work in 1992 from Monash University. In 1996, Lisa undertook further studies obtaining a Certificate in Advanced Family Casework through the Australian Association of Social Work. Following this, in 1998, obtaining a Graduate Diploma in Adolescent Health and Welfare from the University of Melbourne, courtesy of a scholarship from the Brighton Rotary Club.  

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Experience

Lisa gained extensive experience in Child Protection, holding the position of Unit Manager in the Department of Human Services (now knows as the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing – DFFH), Southern Metropolitan Region. Recognised for extensive expertise working with adolescents in both the protective and juvenile justice system, Lisa was offered the position of Executive Officer in the Child Death Inquiry Unit within DFFH, Head Office. This position led to numerous recommendations presented to Parliament that included legislative changes to the system designed to protect our most vulnerable.

With an ongoing interest to strengthen and improve the care and protection of our most vulnerable children, in 2001 Lisa then moved onto the Family Court (now known as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia – FCFCoA) in the position of Family Consultant. As a result of this special interest and expertise Lisa was often involved in Magellan and complex matters, which in many cases, resulted in the dispute being resolved without any need for further litigation. Lisa has been recognised for her expertise in this field, including the invitation in 2018 by the ABC to be filmed for a series of training modules for Legal Aid who provide online training for Independent Children’s Lawyer’s to legal practitioners.

Lisa was instrumental in introducing Child Inclusive Counselling into the Court processes, to ensure child’s voices were considered from the onset, and was invited to present internationally as a co presenter with an Australian Judge and Registrar at the Annual AFCC Conference, Boston, in 2017, titled, Dilemmas & Decisions in High Conflict Divorce – a unique focus on children’s voices in seeking outcomes, a multidisciplinary dialogue from the Australian Perspective.

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Family Law

After 10 years as a Family Consultant with the FCFCoA, Lisa now operates in private practice as a Family Consultant/Child Expert with a special interest in Family Law matters. During this time, Lisa has continued to provide expert advice to the Courts in both family law and children’s law matters, by completing countless family report evaluations over 20 years, including her ongoing private practice that was established in 2011. Lisa has focused on providing clear, concise, well-formulated recommendations and strong direction in reports provided, that includes the engagement of the child, their experience of their parents’ separation, and wishes.

Lisa has continued to provide support to the Court not only by way of family reports but also reportable counselling. In addition, there is the establishment of the unique ‘Parenting Enhancement Program’ (PEP) which is a program designed to provide therapeutic intervention for those children who steadfastly refuse to have a relationship with a parent. Lisa presented the outcomes of PEP nationally at a conference in Adelaide, 2018, and was invited to present the unique program internationally at the AFCC 57th Annual Conference, Boston in 2020. Lisa was also expected to present at the 8th Family Law & Children’s Rights Conference, Singapore, 2020, however, both events were cancelled due to Covid restrictions.

With a strong focus on the best interests of children and assisting families to reach an agreement on arrangements that will best meet their children’s future care and avoid ongoing legal proceedings, Lisa has partnered with Vincent Papaleo and developed a unique innovative counselling program, ‘Therapeutic Inclusive Intervention Conferencing’(T.I.I.C), that provides expert advice, clear direction and engagement with experts in an intensive six-week program. Please see the website for further details.

Lisa’s greatest joy and skill is spending time with the children and holds strong views that they are always wonderful, unique, insightful and adoring characters. However, they are also often the most vulnerable, conflicted, sad and confused. Lisa’s primary focus is the care and protection of children, as she understands that parents often can agree that their children are wonderful, smart and important. Therefore, not wanting all the love and attention they have provided their children over many years to be lost, Lisa is committed to assist parents to ensure their unresolved disputes and tensions do not impact on their children’s development and happiness, as Lisa is aware, that the aftermath of their parent’s dispute can become a source of anguish for many years.

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Lisa’s greatest joy and skill is spending time with the children and holds strong views that they are always wonderful, unique, insightful and adoring characters. However, they are also often the most vulnerable, conflicted, sad and confused. Lisa’s primary focus is the care and protection of children, as she understands that parents often can agree that their children are wonderful, smart and important. Therefore, not wanting all the love and attention they have provided their children over many years to be lost, Lisa is committed to assist parents to ensure their unresolved disputes and tensions do not impact on their children’s development and happiness, as Lisa is aware, that the aftermath of their parent’s dispute can become a source of anguish for many years.