This month in summary
The Commission is deep in writing mode this month, with the release of the Consultation Paper planned for late April. But we have still managed to fit in some further excellent consultations. In particular, we had a second roundtable discussion with the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse, one of the key stakeholder groups listed in our Terms of Reference. One of the particular challenges that emerged in this and other consultations is the extraordinary breadth of Commonwealth laws with which family violence engages, including laws concerning workplace relations and social security. While a consideration of such areas is outside the Commissions’ current remit, there is a clear opportunity for the Government to initiate an inquiry into how family violence is treated in these and other legislative schemes. It is only by thoroughly drawing upon all the excellent work to date, and continuing to press the inquiries further, that some progress in improving the safety of women and children can be achieved.
Issue in focus — Child protection
Each FVI e-newsletter highlights an issue in focus, providing an opportunity for you to have input into particular issues as our work progresses.
Q1: Is it (or could it be) important for a state/territory Children’s/Youth Court to be able to determine matters of parental responsibility with respect to a child? Why?
Q2. What has been your experience in getting a family law court to focus on the enforcement of contact orders made in state care proceedings?
Please respond via the online comment form.
You can still contribute to previous Issues in Focus:
- Role of the police
- Variation and revocation of family violence protection orders
- Vulnerable witnesses
In November we announced via this newsletter that the ALRC had received funding from the Government 2.0 Taskforce to run an online stakeholder consultation pilot, with the help of a consultancy group, Headshift. The project was to provide a case study of how an agency can improve its online engagement capabilities by following best practice in the use and management of Web 2.0 tools and community management practices. More detailed information about the project, and Headshift’s report, are now available on the Government 2.0 Taskforce website.
As the pilot draws to a close this week, we would like to publicly thank the participants – approximately 30 – enlisted from women’s legal services around Australia. Their contribution to this Inquiry has been significant. The quality of dialogue and case studies exchanged via the forum was high and provided us with a real sense of issues being dealt with on the ground and useful material as we write the Consultation Paper.
The ALRC looks forward to building on the experience gained from this pilot and anticipates hosting another online consultation with selected FVI stakeholders in the coming months.