Admitted to the Legal Profession:
- Supreme Court of South Australia 8th November 2004
- Supreme Court of Victoria 23rd February 2005
- High Court of Australia 4th April 2005
- Bachelor of Laws & Legal Practice (LLB/LP) Flinders University, SA
- Mediation Theory and Practice, University of South Australia
- Family Law and Mediation, University of South Australia
- Advanced Mediation Theory and Practice, University of South Australia
- Masters Applied Law (Family Law) College of Law
- Grad Dip Family Dispute Resolution (accreditation complete in June 2015)
- Law Council of Australia – Family Law section
- South Australian Law Society
It is my job as a lawyer to clearly identify the central issues in a dispute so that ways to resolve them can appear. A sound knowledge of the law is necessary however, just as important, is a sound understanding of the work and/or personal environment in which the dispute has emerged.
As I will further explain, my life experience has meant that I have been immersed in the environments in which I now practice. I work primarily in two areas. They are Family Law including separation, divorce, children and property and Building and Construction law, both civil and residential, with an emphasis on resolving disputes by negotiation rather than court proceedings.
After raising my two daughters to an age when they no longer needed me as a babysitter, I decided to go to university to pursue a law degree. Five years later, in 2004, at just shy of fifty years of age, I was proud to be admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia.
Following admission, after three short post admission attachments working firstly at the Adelaide Magistrates Court and then with a general practitioner in Adelaide and then in Portland Victoria, I moved to Horsham, also in country Victoria, to join a substantial 100 year old country practice as a junior employee solicitor.
I completed the required pre qualification period for becoming a sole practitioner and acquired experience in client and file management and in court advocacy in a range of areas of law including civil litigation, criminal law and family law. In 2006 I opened my own firm in Portland, Victoria which is a bustling regional town of 12,000 people on the south west coast.
Clients came from the local community and within a radius of 100km taking in many small towns as well as the bigger regional centres such as Horsham, Hamilton and Warrnambool.
My main areas of practice were in Family Law and Criminal Law. I returned to Adelaide in 2009 for family reasons and joined a well known Adelaide firm as a Family Lawyer. In 2011 I decided to pursue a Masters degree and so I returned to being a sole practitioner and dropped back to a part time basis so that I could act for a small number of clients to whom I could offer a high level of personal attention.
Building and Construction
I worked alongside my husband in our interesting and adventurous civil construction business for fifteen years. The company successfully completed hundreds of both small and large civil construction projects in metropolitan Adelaide, and regional and remote South Australia before branching out to the eastern states from as far south as Lakes Entrance in Victoria to Bamaga and Thursday Island at the northern tip of Cape York in Queensland.
The projects undertaken ranged across virtually all types of construction from earthworks for small road works, subdivisions and car parks to road and railway bridges, pipelines, large sewer and water systems, major roads and dams. My son-in-law is a carpenter/builder of residential homes and industrial sheds with experience in the private market and on mining sites in Queensland. From this involvement, I have acquired a broad knowledge and understanding of the construction industry and a substantial understanding of associated contract law, including sub contract.
From the beginning, I discovered and maintained a keen interest in family law and so expanded my education to include a Masters Degree in Family Law and also post graduate study at Masters level in Mediation. The educational polish provided by this study has been highly valuable when helping and advising clients.
In common with other family lawyers, I will admit that family law is a personally challenging and demanding job, but, working in family law also provides considerable satisfaction when I am able to assist someone who is in a transition phase out of a relationship that is no longer working, or as is becoming more common, transition into a relationship with the help of legally binding agreements that help put the client’s mind at rest about financial matters. The provision of clear, reliable information and advice, tailored to the particular circumstances of the client, is essential if all parties are to adapt successfully to a new phase in their life.
I was married and divorced while still young, however I remarried and am now a wife of 32 years, a mother of two grown up girls, a grandmother of three, I am a step mother of four and a step grandmother of ten. Mine is a large and complicated family who have needed to learn and put into practice the art of getting along. My successes in this regard are owed largely to good old fashioned persistence and anything that has not, up to now, been wholly satisfactory, I think of as simply a work in progress. I consider tenacity to be one of my greatest strengths.
Community Service Volunteer
As a community service I work as a volunteer family law advisor with the Women’s Community Centre in St Peters in South Australia, the Eastwood Community Centre and the Murray Bride Community Centre. I provide information, advice and limited representation on a pro bono basis and I also conduct information seminars on family law. I also assist those who are eligible for Legal Aid funding with their application and also accept some privately funded work. I enjoy being a part of the community and so I am also a First Aid volunteer with St John’s Ambulance. I like learning new things and applying what I learn.