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About the Family Law Section

FLS Executive

Country Committee

Australian Family Lawyer

Privacy Policy

About the Family Law Section

The Family Law Section (FLS) of the Law Council of Australia is the professional association for practising family lawyers in Australia. Its membership consists of more than 2,000 family law practitioners, from all Australian States and territories.

FLS was established in 1986 under by-laws passed pursuant to the Constitution of the Law Council of Australia and is now constituted as a section of Law Council of Australia Limited. Its affairs are managed by a Section Executive and it forms policy with the help of its specialist committees.  

FLS Executive

The role of the Executive is to further the interests and objectives of family law and family lawyers in Australia. The Executive is also involved in many activities aimed at improving the standard of knowledge and professional service provided by legal practitioners in this difficult area of law.

The Executive promotes professional discussion and consultation, as well as preparing position papers and submissions on a range of matters affecting the family law jurisdiction.  FLS has developed a reputation as a source of sound advice to those responsible for framing family law legislation and for determining policy and organising the administration of family law in Australia.

Members of the Executive sponsor and deliver value for money Continuing Legal Education on a National basis. This is considered important particularly given the history of the Government and the Court making regular major changes to the areas of Family Law and Child Support.

The Executive meet on a regular basis with various Government and other agencies. These meetings are an important part of the Executive's work and provide an opportunity for FLS to have input into a wide range of matters which affect family law in Australia. Such agencies include:

  • The Family Law Forum (formerly Chief Justice's Consultative Council)

  • The Judges' Rules Committee

  • The Family Law Council

  • The Attorney-General's Department

  • Other constituent bodies of the Law Council of Australia

  • Federal and State Government Committees

  • The Child Support Agency.

The FLS Executive consists of -

  • one barrister and one solicitor from each of NSW, Victoria and Queensland

  • one practitioner from ACT, SA, WA and Tasmania

  • the immediate past Chairman of the Section Executive

  • the Editor of Australian Family Lawyer

The members of the FLS Executive are elected by members of the FLS by postal ballot, with the poll being declared at the FLS AGM.

The FLS Executive has a Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Treasurer, elected by majority vote of the Section Executive.

The current members of the FLS Executive are listed below. Click on the member’s name for further biographical details.

Name Office Representing
Ian Kennedy AM Chairman
Australian Family Lawyer
Anne Rees Deputy Chair NSW Bar
Martin Bartfeld QC Immediate Past Chairman
Denis Farrar Treasurer Australian Capital Territory
Paul Cronin Member Victorian Bar
Paul Fildes Member Victorian Solicitors
Thomas Altobelli Member NSW Solicitors
Michael Foster Member Tasmania
Rick O'Brien Member Western Australia
Maurine Pyke QC Member South Australia
Geoffrey Sinclair Member Queensland Solicitors
Peter Murphy SC Member Queensland Bar

Country Committee
Heather McKinnon (Chair) Coffs Harbour


22.gif (2410 bytes) The Section publishes a highly regarded journal Australian Family Lawyer, 3-4 times per year.  

The journal is available free to members of the Family Law Section. Subscription is also available - for further information on subscription please email the Section Administrator.

If you are interested in advertising in the journal please email Advertising-Australian Family Lawyer.
Privacy Policy Click here for information about the Law Council of Australia Privacy Policy.

Family Law Section - Law Council of Australia
GPO Box 1989, Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: (02) 6246 3788 - Facsimile: (02) 6248 0639 - International: +616 246 3788 or email