A full day conference focusing on the latest family law issues

The Law Society’s Family Law Committee invite you to the annual Family Law Conference, focusing on the latest issues family lawyers are grappling with.

2024 Family Law Conference


Session Title 


Registration opens


Welcome and Introduction

9:00am - 10:00am 

The Complaints Process and more
Presented by Gavin Howard
1 point in core area 1

This session will explore the process for complaints against solicitors and look at a number of cases in ACT & NSW which have been dealt with by tribunals or the courts. In addition, there will be a discussion about some specific matters in the Solicitors Conduct Rules. 

10:00am – 10:15am 

Morning Tea 

10:15am - 11:15am 

A Practitioner's Preparation for a Mediation: Common Factors in Property and Children Matters
Presented by Justice John Faulks
1 point in corea area 3

This session focuses on essential mediation preparation for practitioners in property and children matters. Topics include identifying key issues such as trusts and superannuation in property disputes, and addressing current arrangements and practical considerations like schooling and health in children matters. Learn effective problem-solving strategies, define client goals, and plan for logistical challenges, including family violence concerns. Gain practical insights to enhance mediation outcomes.

11:15am - 12:15pm 

Latest and Greatest
Presented by Kasey Fox and Jacquelyn Curtis
1 point in core area 4

Family lawyers Kasey Fox and Jacquelyn Curtis will present on some of the recent Family Law decisions, with a particular focus on Canberra matters. 

12:15pm - 1:15pm  


1:15pm - 2:15pm  

Mindfulness for Busy Minds
Presented by Megan Layton
1 point in core area 2

Have you ever tried to meditate and decided that your mind is too busy? Have you tried a mindfulness app and a) found it calming, but it didn’t last or b) decided it’s not for you? 
If you’re interested in reducing anxiety and stress and moving from surviving to thriving, then this session is for you. We’ll explore what mindfulness is, how it works, some of the science and we’ll try a range of mindfulness exercises. This session will explore how and why mindfulness helps reduce stress and anxiety, increases wellbeing, happiness and improves health, mental health, performance, relationships and wellbeing. Most importantly it will give you a taste of mindfulness and some ways to begin adapting practices. Sometimes people get put off simply because they haven’t been supported to adapt the practices to meet their unique needs – their mind, body and life. It’s just like exercise, there’s not much point just talking about it, we need to actually practice it.  

2:15pm - 3:15pm 

Protection Orders in the ACT
Presented by Magistrate Glenn Theakston
1 point in core area 4

In this session, Magistrate Theakston will delve into Protection Orders in the ACT, covering their legislative framework, jurisdiction, tests and considerations, standard conditions, and pre-hearing procedures such as mediation and disclosure. The discussion will address how these orders support unrepresented parties and manage their interaction with existing parenting orders, offering valuable insights from the bench for lawyers familiar with the basics of family violence proceedings.

3:15pm - 3:30pm 

Afternoon tea 

3:30pm - 4:30pm 

Preparation and Running of Property Matters in the FCFCOA
Judge Kate Hughes and Judge Gavin Mansfield
1 point in core area 4

4.30pm - 5:00pm  




  • When: Wednesday 21 August  I  9:00am - 5:00pm (registration from 8:30am)
  • Where: The Boat House, Grevillea Park, Menindee Dr, Barton ACT 2600
  • Cost: Members - $450, Non-members - $630
  • CPD: Members will receive 6 CPD points, 1 point in CA1, 1 point in CA2, 1 point in CA3 and 3 points in CA4
  • RSVP: Friday 9 August

Reduced rates may be available to some of our members to ensure equal training opportunities. Please make contact to discuss your eligibility.







Gavin is a barrister at Blackburn Chambers, Canberra. He specialises in Family Law. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1993 and was called to the Bar in 2010. He is also a member of the ACT Law Society’s Family Law Committee (since 1999) and the Professional Standards Committee – previously known as the Complaints Committee (since 2013) as well as chair of the Bar Association’s Family Law Committee since 2020. He is a regular presenter on Family Law and Ethics topics.





A former DCJ of the Family Court of Australia; a judge for twenty-two years; before that a barrister for a short time and a solicitor (primarily a solicitor advocate) since 1969. Former president (and other offices) of the Law Society and the Law Council of Australia.  Formerly and currently a member of the Family Law Council.   Adjunct Professor at UC. Occasional lecturer at ANU.    Currently a mediator and last but not least, the Chair of the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature.





Chair of the ACT Law Society Family Law Committee,  Kasey Fox has worked exclusively in family law for the whole of her career and has been a director of Farrar Gesini Dunn for more than 10 years. Specialising in complex financial cases and agreements, as well as multifaceted children's matters, Kasey has extensive experience in both litigation and out of Court solutions. Kasey often recommends Binding Financial Agreements (also known as pre nups) to her clients as a means of asset protection and avoiding future litigation.



Jacquelyn Curtis, a director at Parker Coles Curtis, is an esteemed legal professional recognised for her expertise in family law. Her accolades include multiple recognitions by Doyle’s Guide, where she has been named a Leading Lawyer for Parenting, Children, and Custody Matters in the ACT (2021-2024), as well as a Leading Family and Divorce Lawyer (ACT, 2021-2024). Jacquelyn is an Accredited Specialist in Family Law, having completed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at ANU following her dual degree in Communications (Journalism) and Laws with Honors. She plays an active role in the Family Law Committee and the Family Law Pathways Network Steering Committee.





Megan Layton is the Director of Simply Mindful, a senior Meditation and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, Yoga, Self-compassion and Positive Neuroplasticity teacher. She’s also a brain science enthusiast, Mental Health Social Worker and therapist with 30 years experience, supervisor and consultant.
A warm, skilled and insightful facilitator, passionate about helping individuals and organisations to thrive, Megan discovered mindfulness as a young mum when she was on the road to burnout. Convinced by the research and some personal glimpses of the potential, she signed up for the 8 week MBSR course and has never looked back. Since then meditation has been embedded in her life.





Glenn Theakston was appointed as a magistrate in the ACT in 2016.  He has degrees in Science and Laws.  He has worked in the Criminal Section of Legal Aid ACT and as the National Coordinator of Counter-Terrorism at the Commonwealth DPP.  He also practiced at the private bar, in criminal, civil and family law.  During 2019 and 2020 he served as Acting Chief Magistrate.  Magistrate Theakston is also a reserved legal officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and has served in various roles and deployed on operations.  Magistrate Theakston has two adult children and enjoys exercise, including running.

Event registration terms and conditions

ACT Law Society invoices have payment terms of 14 days. Fees are payable upon registration. A 1.2% surcharge may be incurred on payments processed via credit/debit card. The Society reserves the right to cancel or alter events at its discretion, and in such circumstances, attendees will be notified via email. 

Definitions — 'Registration' means any booking given to the Society in writing, on our website, or by phone. 'Member' means any member of the ACT Law Society, including associate members and honorary members. 'New Lawyer' means any member who has held a practising certificate for five years or less. 'CLC' means any member working for a recognised community legal centre, or holding a volunteer practising certificate. 'Student' means any member holding a student membership.

All cancellations must be made in writing, and all cancellations will incur a fee, however, no charge will be incurred for substituting another person. Outside of the cancellation periods given below, a $10 administration fee will be incurred for any cancellation made. If a registered attendee fails to attend without notifying the Society in writing, no credit or refund will be offered and 100% of the total cost will be retained by the Society. 

CPD Events — In the case of CPD events held at an venue other than the Law Society, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event. In the case of CPD events held at the Law Society, for cancellations made up to two working days prior to the event, 50% of the total cost will be retained by the Society as a cancellation fee and the balance may be used as a credit towards other CPD events or be refunded. If you choose to keep a credit it will remain valid for 12 months from the event date, after which time it will expire. For cancellations within two working days of the event, no refunds or credits will be applicable. 

Webinars — In the case of live or on-demand webinars, as connection details are sent when registration is completed, no refund or cancellation is available. 

Social events — In the case of social events, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event.

Attendees of events consent to filming, photography and sound recording as members of the audience. By registering and attending this event you agree to being filmed or photographed which may be used for marketing or promotional purposes




Member Registration $450.00(GST incl.) Register
Non-member registration $630.00(GST incl.) Register



Sponsors & Supporters