NSW Woman Lawyer of the Year for 2017 Kylie Beckhouse will be the special guest speaker at the Hume Riverina Community Legal Service (HRCLS) Women in Law Breakfast on Thursday 17 May. This popular event brings together women from the legal profession on the NSW-Victorian border, as well as women with an interest in the law.
Ms Beckhouse’s distinguished career has spanned more than two decades. She is currently Director of Family Law at Legal Aid NSW, overseeing the largest family law practice in Australia. As an accredited specialist in family law and an independent children’s lawyer, Ms Beckhouse is passionate about the delivery of family law services to the most vulnerable in our society, particularly children and victims of domestic violence.
The Women In Law Breakfast topic this year is ‘The rise and fall of the Australian family court system’, with Ms Beckhouse speaking about how the pioneering system has evolved since its inception.
“When the Family Law Act was passed in 1975, it was heralded for its new approach to resolving family law disputes post-separation,” Ms Beckhouse said. “For decades after, our family law system was considered a showpiece of how a modern and innovative jurisdiction deals with some of its most vulnerable clients. Leap forward 40 years and the gloss has disappeared.”
Ms Beckhouse said the family law system was “under siege”, and the current Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry could pave the way for change.
“The family law system is being criticised for being painstakingly slow, prohibitively expensive, and overlooking the rights of victims of violence and children,” Ms Beckhouse said.
HRCLS senior lawyer Karen Keegan said hosting Ms Beckhouse as part of Law Week 2018 was important for the service to fulfil its aim of keeping people informed about the legal system.
“We pride ourselves on educating the community about key aspects of the law, and Law Week is an opporutnity for us to bring quality speakers to talk on topics relevant to our area,” Ms Keegan said. “Law Week is another chance for us to link our community with the law. We value the partnerships we’ve created within our community and this event helps increase the strength of our relationships.”
The Women in Law Breakfast will be held at the Hovell Tree Inn, Albury. Bookings are limited and tickets are $25 each. Please register at Eventbrite.