SPEAKERS

SPEAKERS

  • Bernard Salt

    Close
    Bernard Salt

    Bernard Salt is a futurist who uses demographic and social data to interpret how society and business is changing.  He believes that Middle Australia in particular is on the move … morphing in a new direction and having an impact on spending and work habits.  He uses demographic and social data to interpret how society and business is changing. 

    Bernard is an experienced media commentator and a regular guest on television programs. He is also a columnist with The Australian newspaper, a regular on the Australian and, more recently, European and US speaking circuits, and a business advisor.

  • Daniel Varghese

    Close
    Daniel Varghese

    Dr Daniel Varghese is a Psychiatrist with over 15years’ experience in his field. Dr Daniel Varghese is a fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) and has in the past sat as Chairperson of the Queensland branch of the RANCP.

    After graduating from Medicine at the University of Queensland he went on to specialise in psychiatry, with training undertaken in both Brisbane and Melbourne. Upon returning to Brisbane he was appointed as Consultant Psychiatrist to the Princess Alexandra Hospital and remained in that position for eight years.  He was also a previous member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal.  Dr Daniel Varghese operates his private practice in the Brisbane suburb of Spring Hill. 

  • Dianne Pendergast

    Close
    Dianne Pendergast

    Dianne has practised extensively as a family law since her admission as a solicitor in 1986.  She was a partner in a Gold Coast boutique firm before serving 14 years as a registrar of the then Family Court of Australia and then holding the statutory position of Adult Guardian Qld.  Dianne was called to the Bar in 2011 and practises in Family Law (including mediation), Wills and Estates, Guardianship and Administration and Child Protection.

  • Emma Rzoska

    Close
    Emma Rzoska

    I am a Sunshine Coast based parent of four children. I am also a Psychologist, Court Expert, Family Report Writer, Family Therapist, and Parenting Coordinator who has more than 20 years of professional experience. I have supported children, adults, and families across a variety of settings since 1998. For the last 8 years I’ve run a successful solo practice in a client centred way. My career began with Lifeline Darling Downs family support programs, and families with identified child safety concerns. Next I worked within Odyssey House Auckland, a renowned drug and alcohol therapeutic community program, where I ultimately ran the Parents Program. Following various child safety, therapeutic, and mediation consultancy positions when my children were young, I next established and managed the Parenting Orders Program in Maroochydore for Foundations CAFS. In 2009 I commenced a Family Consultant role in the Brisbane Registry. I remain a Regulation 7 Family Consultant in private practice. I have both real world and extensive professional experience with families, separated families, and the family Law Courts.

  • Fiona McLay

    Close
    Fiona McLay

    Fiona has spent the past 25 years as a dispute resolution lawyer working across the legal industry in top tier, mid tier, small firm, a NewLaw firm and in-house. Currently working as a freelance lawyer, she has an insider’s view as to how firms across the industry are actually using (or not using) tech.

    Long hours, inefficient processes and constant pressure to do more with less drove her to find ways to use tech to work more efficiently. With no budget, no IT support and (possibly because of) no innovation committee, she discovered how powerful a tech-enabled lawyer could be in litigation up against a much better resourced opponent. And with a significantly reduced risk of paper cuts.

    She regularly presents to lawyers on how to adopt new ways of working. She is writing a book that is a practical guide on becoming a tech enabled lawyer in any law firm. It offers practical framework on how to get the most out of the tech you have and how to spot the tech you need.

  • Genevieve Dee

    Close
    Genevieve Dee

    Genevieve Dee is a Partner - Lander & Rodgers and is an Accredited Family Law Specialist who has practiced exclusively in family and relationship law for 15 years. She is highly sought after for her expertise in complex property matters, including those involving taxation issues, trusts, manufacturing companies, rural issues, intergenerational wealth and family businesses, and complex corporate structures.

    Genevieve has developed a reputation as a leading family lawyer in relation to complex parenting matters, including matters involving family violence and child support issues.

    Genevieve has been recognised by her peers for her expertise in both complex property and parenting matters and was recently recognised as Leading in all categories of the 2021 Doyle's Guide, including Family and Divorce Lawyers, High-Value & Complex Property Matters and Parenting & Children's Matters. She is also recognised in Best Lawyers (Australia) for her expertise in family law and family mediation.

  • Her Honour Judge Anne Demack

    Close
    Her Honour Judge Anne Demack

    Judge Anne Demack was appointed as a Federal Magistrate at Brisbane in 2008.  The Court became the Federal Circuit Court in 2013.

    Anne was formerly a barrister in private practice in Rockhampton.  She holds degrees in law and in social work and had earlier worked as a social worker.

    At the time of her appointment she was a member of the Children Services Tribunal, which was then the Queensland tribunal with responsibility for reviewing decisions made by the statutory child protection department, and had been a member of the Central Queensland parole board. 

    Anne has a particular interest in parenting matters, child protection issues and parents being assisted with the resolution of their disputes.

  • Jane FitzGerald

    Close
    Jane FitzGerald

    After more than 10 years as a solicitor with large national and international firms, Jane commenced practice as a barrister in 2009.  As an advocate she has a broad practice including commercial, insurance, personal injury, professional negligence, medical negligence, building and construction, administrative, estate and family disputes. As a mediator she has worked with public, corporate and private clients involved in a range of family, commercial, personal and interpersonal disputes.

    Jane appears alone and as junior counsel in applications, trials, appeals and other hearings in both State and Federal jurisdictions.  She holds degrees in Law and Business (Accounting) from QUT, as well as a Master Advocate Designation from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy in the US.  She is nationally accredited mediator, an accredited farm debt mediator and an FRDP. She has chambers in Brisbane and also on the Gold Coast.

    In addition to her practice at the Bar, she has taught advocacy and trial skills to trial lawyers and barristers in Australia, Bhutan and the US since 2010.

  • Jeff Bunning

    Close
    Jeff Bunning

    Jeff Bunning is barrister in a private practice in Brisbane. He practices exclusively in family law and regularly appears before the Court in Interim Hearings, Trials and Appeals both in Brisbane, throughout Queensland and interstate.

    He has over 19 years’ experience in family law and has practiced the entirety of his legal career in family law.  Jeff is also an accredited Mediator and Arbitrator. 

    Jeff has been consistently named as one of the recognised Junior Counsel in Queensland’s on the Doyles Guide in the area of Family Law.  For the year 2021 Jeff was recognised as preeminent Junior Counsel in Queensland and was named in the Australian list of recommended Junior Counsel.

    Prior to his call to the bar in 2011, Jeff was a solicitor at a boutique family law firm in Brisbane and practiced exclusively in family law.

    Jeff is a former member of the FLPA board, has presented papers for FLPA and has been a long-time volunteer at the Caxton Legal Centre. 

  • Joseph Box

    Close
    Joseph Box

    Joseph is a Partner in Grant Thornton’s forensic practice and provides expert opinion in relation to financial disputes, including valuation disputes, assessments of commercial loss, losses from insurable events, sale and purchase agreement disputes and investigations into the nature of financial transactions and the form and accuracy of financial statements.

    Joseph regularly has given evidence in the Federal Court of Australia, Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia, Supreme Court of Queensland and New South Wales, the District Court of Queensland and New South Wales and Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

    Joe is a Chartered Accountant, and is accredited by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand as a Business Valuation and Forensic Accounting Specialist and holds a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Studies.

  • Joshua Treviño QC

    Close
    Joshua Treviño QC

    Joshua commenced his career in the law working as a Judge’s associate in the Supreme Court of Queensland. In 2005, he moved north from Brisbane to commence practice at the bar in Cairns. He was appointed Queens Counsel on 26 November 2020.

    Joshua is regularly briefed across multiple practice areas and jurisdictions. He has extensive experience in the field of criminal law and has conducted a large number of serious and complex trials and other hearings. He is also called on to provide advice and advocacy services in a broad range of matters including commercial disputes, personal injuries, planning, succession and family law.

    Joshua is available to be briefed in advice and appearance work throughout Queensland; including all its regional centres.

  • Judge Steve Middleton

    Close
    Judge Steve Middleton

    His Honour was admitted in NSW, Qld and in the High Court in 1995.  He worked as a solicitor in NSW for four years before moving to live on the Sunshine Coast, continuing to work as a solicitor and partner of a law firm there until 2007.  In 2007, His Honour went to the Bar and practised primarily in Family, Crime, Civil litigation and Alternate Dispute Resolution. 

    Away from the Law, Judge Middleton volunteered in Cambodia for approximately 4 years as a teacher in the far North West of Cambodia. He also lectured and was a tutor in Business and Law at the Sunshine Coast University.  Judge Middleton is an avid runner and has completed many marathons including an ultra-marathon in the Sahara Desert over 6 days. He competes in triathlons and has completed many events including the Australian Iron man at Port Macquarie.

  • Justice Catherine Carew - Profile Image Coming Soon

    Justice Catherine Carew

    Close
    Justice Catherine Carew

    The Honourable Justice Catherine Carew was first admitted to practice as a solicitor in 1981 in Queensland and as a solicitor and barrister in Victoria in 1983. Her Honour was called to the Queensland Bar in 1992 where her Honour practised in all jurisdictions. In later years her Honour specialised in family law appearing in both the trial and appellate divisions. In 2013 Her Honour was appointed Queen’s Counsel. Prior to her appointment to the Family Court of Australia in March 2016, her Honour was also an accreditor mediator and arbitrator.

     

  • Justice Michael Jarrett

    Close
    Justice Michael Jarrett

    Mr Jarrett has practised at the Queensland Bar since 1991. He has a diverse practice which includes matrimonial disputes, care and protection litigation in respect of children, trade practices litigation, criminal work and prosecution work for statutory authorities in Queensland.

     
  • Leanne Bamford

    Close
    Leanne Bamford

    Leanne graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Tasmania as a mature age student in 1995.  Her twenty six year career has seen her involved in the areas of Youth Justice, Child Protection, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, working for the Australian Defence Force and the Family Courts of Australia. 

    After 11 years with the Australian Family law Courts as a Family Consultant, Leanne commenced private practice as a family report writer and therapist working with families and individuals experiencing separation and divorce.  Leanne applies a trauma-informed approach to her practice and has recently shared her knowledge of the issue of Coercive and Controlling Abuse and the Impact on Children, and Applying a Trauma Informed Approach to Family Law, both here in Australia and overseas.  Leanne is trained in Collaborative Practice and is also a trained Parenting Co-ordinator.

    Her varied and extensive experience has assisted Leanne in the preparation of family reports and with working with separated couples wishing to improve their post-separation communication and parenting, along with protecting their children from further exposure to adult conflict and the impact of separation and divorce.

  • Lisa Foley

    Close
    Lisa Foley

    Lisa Foley is Managing Director at DA Family Lawyers. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) from the Queensland University of Technology and has worked exclusively in family law, including international family law and international child abduction matters, and child protection law since her admission in 2006.

    Lisa is a qualified collaborative law practitioner and is a strong advocate of collaboration and mediation as successful alternatives to litigation.

    Lisa is an existing board member of the Family Law Practitioners Association of Queensland.

    Lisa was recognised in the following categories of the Doyles Best Lawyers Guide for 2021:

    • Leading Parenting & Children’s Matters Lawyers – Brisbane – Leading
    • Leading Family & Divorce Lawyers – Brisbane – Recommended
  • Matt Black

    Close
    Matt Black

    Matt Black was called to the private Bar in 2010 and practices out of Brisbane’s Quay 11 Chambers. He advises and appears for a range of private and government clients in both state and federal jurisdictions, with a broad practice encompassing disciplinary law, personal injuries and workers’ compensation. Matt has a particular interest in administrative law, and regularly appears in tribunal review proceedings and in judicial review matters. Before coming to the Bar, Matt was an in-house lawyer with what is now known as Services Australia.

  • Matthew Hempstead

    Close
    Matthew Hempstead

    Matt is a senior associate at Barry.Nilsson Lawyers. Matt has specialised in family law since his admission in 2011. In 2017, Matt gained his Specialist Accreditation in Family Law with the Queensland Law Society. He has experience in a diverse range of family law matters, including property, domestic violence, child support and spousal maintenance. An experienced advocate, Matt has a particular interest in complex property, child support and parenting matters.

    Matt was named as a Family Law Rising Star In the 2019 to 2021 editions of Doyle's Guide.

     

  • Megan Mahon

    Close
    Megan Mahon

    Megan Mahon was appointed the Legal Services Commissioner for Queensland from 16 October 2019.

    Commissioner Mahon has a Bachelor of Laws degree with Honours from Bond University and was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1996 after completing five year Articles. Megan’s distinguished career in private practice has been recognised by her peers in being awarded the WLAQ Woman Lawyer of the Year in 2009 and the 2017 Queensland Law Society President’s Medal. In 2011 she was appointed a Notary Public, and the following year was bestowed as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

    Megan is a former President of the Queensland Law Society and Executive Director of the Law Council of Australia, and further served the profession as a legal practitioner panel member of QCAT for the hearing of disciplinary matters until her appointment as Commissioner.

    The Commissioner is responsible for the Legal Services Commission in discharge of its statutory duties, which includes dealing with complaints about the conduct of practitioners, lawyers and unlawful operators and ensuring appropriate standards of the profession are maintained.

  • Penny Feil

    Close
    Penny Feil

    Penny was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia in 1982. Penny is the Principal of Accord Mediation. Since 1991, Penny has conducted thousands of mediations throughout Queensland and interstate in parenting, child support and property disputes.  She has been engaged as a mediator for private and public sector clients in the areas of commercial law, workplace facilitations, Family Provision Applications and retail shop disputes. Penny has been a panel mediator with Legal Aid Queensland since 1991. Penny was engaged by the Child Support Agency as a Senior Case Officer conducting reviews of child support assessments for 13 years. Penny is engaged by Bond University and QUT as a mediation coach and an assessor of students undertaking their accreditation as mediators. She has been recognised by her peers in the Doyles List as a recommended Family Law Mediator in 2017 and 2018, and as a Leading Family Law Mediator in 2019 and 2020. She is a past member of the Queensland Law Society Alternate Dispute Resolution Sub Committee. In 2009, Penny was appointed as a sessional member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), the successor of the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal (GAAT) and Children Services Tribunals, of which she was a member. Penny was appointed to GAAT in 2002. Penny was a member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal from 2005 to 2017. Penny is a member of the LifeFlight Sunshine Coast Regional Advisory Committee.

  • Philip Looney QC

    Close
    Philip Looney QC

    Philip was first called to the Bar in 1996 and took silk in 2012. He has a diverse practice with a focus on family law, tax and commercial litigation.

    Prior to coming to the Bar, Philip had a 14 year career as a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience both in Australia and overseas. He worked mainly in the insolvency, corporate and forensic accounting areas, having held various positions at a senior level. Philip’s career took him from Brisbane to Sydney, London and Hong Kong working mainly for KPMG or its predecessor firms.

    Philip has been a member of 19 Inns Chambers in Brisbane for 25 years.  In mid-2016, Philip also joined French Quarter Chambers on the Gold Coast, which chambers have expanded the services available to the growing Gold and Tweed Coast area.

    Philip is an accredited mediator and Family Law arbitrator.  He is regularly called on to act as a mediator, particularly in family and commercial disputes. Philip is a member of the Family Law Arbitrations Group (Qld) (FLAG (QLD)).

  • Robert Gordon

    Close
    Robert Gordon

    Robert Gordon is a barrister at the private bar in Brisbane. He practices in family law and is recognised in Doyles Guide. He appears before the Court in Interim Hearings, Trials and Appeals and practices throughout Queensland and Australia.

    Prior to coming to the bar, Robert was a solicitor at Arnold Bloch Leibler and an Associate to the Honourable Justice May QC in the Family Court of Australia.

    Robert holds a Master of Laws (Merit) from the University of London, Kings College, a Bachelor of Business/Laws from the Queensland University of Technology and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (Merit) from the Australian National University. He is an accredited mediator and has presented at various conferences.  

  • Steve van Aperen

    Close
    Steve van Aperen

    Steve van Aperen is an author, speaker, media commentator and trainer. He is known as an expert in the field of behavioural interviewing, reading body language, detecting deception and changing behaviours through rapid induction hypnosis. He can hypnotise most people in less than 5 seconds! He has also conducted behavioural interviews on 82 homicide and 2 serial killer investigations and consults his services to fortune 500 companies, police departments, intelligence agencies and government departments throughout the world.

    Steve has appeared on CNN, Access Hollywood, The News Room and many other programs and is affectionately referred to as the “The Human Lie Detector”.

    As a former police officer having trained with the FBI, LAPD and the US Secret Service he has emerged as a leading authority on reading and analysing human behaviour. Today Steve devotes his knowledge to helping businesses thrive by increasing profits, changing behaviours, improving human rapport, building trust and reading their clients.

    Today Steve will show you why his friends never lie to him about their golf scores!

  • The Honourable Colin Forrest SC

    Close
    The Honourable Colin Forrest SC

    The Hon. Colin Forrest SC has been a family lawyer for thirty three years. 

    As a Trial Judge of the Family Court of Australia assigned to the Brisbane Registry, Mr Forrest served the Court as a member of Chief Justice Diana Bryant’s Court Policy Advisory Committee, as Brisbane Registry Case Management Judge, as Brisbane Registry Magellan Judge and Brisbane Registry Hague Judge. Mr Forrest was also the Family Court’s nominated representative on the Joint Court’s Children’s Committee and the Brisbane Registry’s nominee on the Queensland Court’s Indigenous Policy Committee as well as the Family Court’s Indigenous Policy Committee.

    Mr Forrest resigned his Judicial Commission in early 2021 after having written over five hundred judgments and has returned to practice at the Bar as a barrister, a mediator and an arbitrator.  Due to protocol, as a recently retired Judge, Mr Forrest is unable to appear in the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court before 2026. However, he willingly accepts instructions to mediate or arbitrate in family law matters and succession matters anywhere in Australia and will appear in coronial inquests or commissions of inquiry. He is an accredited arbitrator and an accredited mediator and member of the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators.

    Mr Forrest has presented at many conferences and continuing professional education events in Australia and internationally throughout his career.  

  • Tony Phillips

    Close
    Tony Phillips

    Tony is a well-respected legal practitioner with over 30 years’ experience in family law as well as an Accredited Specialist in family law.

    Tony’s expertise is in high value & complex property divisions, including intricate trust and corporate structuring, large rural properties, farming ventures and businesses in addition to experience in multifaceted and high net worth property division.

    Since forming Phillips Family Law in 2013, Tony Phillips and his team have continued to be recognised for achievements by the Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession, and he has also been recognised as a Preeminent Queensland Family Lawyer from 2014 to 2021, and as a Leading Australian Family Lawyer from 2015 to 2021.