Judge Judy Small praises new family violence services at Dandenong Family Law Registry

Judge Judy Small praises new family violence services at Dandenong Family Law Registry

Tuesday, 4 July 2017
L–R: Peninsula Community Legal Centre CEO, Jackie Galloway; VLA Executive Director Family, Youth and Children’s Law Nicole Rich; WAYSS Ltd Manager Women's Transitional Care Management Services, Belinda Blair; Federal Circuit Court of Australia Judge Judy Small; VLA Associate Director Family Law, Gayathri Paramasivam; Relationships Australia Victoria Acting Senior Manager for Southern Eastern Melbourne, Mark O'Callaghan.

Last week saw Judge Judy Small of the Federal Circuit Court speak at an event to celebrate new family violence services at the Dandenong Family Law Registry.

New Family Advocacy and Support Services bring together social workers and lawyers to help survivors and perpetrators of family violence address complex legal and non-legal problems.

On the legal side, these problems can be complex simply because they involve the federal jurisdiction, which deals with issues like who children get to spend time with, and the state jurisdiction, which deals with issues like child protection and family violence.

As Federal Circuit Court judge, Judge Judy Small said family violence was now so prevalent in federal family law matters that its absence has now become a ‘matter for comment.’

‘I can say with confidence that family violence is the core business [of the family law court],' said Judge Small. 

She welcomed the new services now available at the Dandenong and Melbourne Family Law Registries, and expressed her deep concern and feeling of affront that family violence happens ‘in a place we should feel safest on this earth.’

As well as assisting with legal problems, the new services also make specialist family violence social workers available at court. This can involve helping survivors of family violence develop safety plans, and guiding perpetrators into men’s behavioural and other programs.

Representatives from organisations that deliver services as part of the Family Advocacy and Support Services at the Family Law Registry in Dandenong spoke at the event.

This included words from Peninsula Community Legal Centre, which provides the alternate duty lawyer service at Dandenong, and WAYSS Ltd and Relationships Australia Victoria which provide specialist family violence social support services at Dandenong. 

The Family Advocacy and Support Services has been established by Victoria Legal Aid with funding from the Australian Government.

How these services helped Kim

Find out how Family Advocacy and Support Services helped Kim (not her real name) get legal advice and other assistance with her mortgage repayments and utility service connections.

Read Kim’s experience.

About Family Advocacy and Support Services

See Family Advocacy and Support Services for more information on:

  • what this service is about
  • what help is available
  • who is eligible for help under this service
  • what steps you will need to follow in using this service.