Geoffrey Sinclair

Immediate past Chair of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia

Geoffrey has practiced solely in Family Law since 1988. He has a particular interest in the law relating to child abduction, including international aspects together with complex property settlement matters. Geoffrey was a co-contributor to the Superannuation Section of the Family Law and Practice CCH and has published various other articles on issues relating to bankruptcy law, family law and international child abduction matters. Geoffrey contributes to LexisNexis Practical Guide to Family Law.

Qualifications & Memberships

Executive Member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, 2002 to date
Chair of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, 2009 to 2012
Accredited Family Law Specialist
Director of the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators
Director of the Advisory Board of the World Congress for Children’s Rights
A Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Law
Former Secretary and Executive Member of Family Law Practitioners’ Association of Queensland
Member of the Family Law Practitioners’ Association
Former member of Queensland Child Support Agency Liaison Group
Member of the Queensland Law Society
Bachelor of Laws

Sally Nicholes

Board Member and Vice-Chair

Sally Nicholes works at Nicholes Family Lawyers practising in all aspect of family law; with a specialist expertise in international Family law and complex property proceedings. Sally also acts for the Department of Human Services in their delegated capacity as State Central Authority in Victoria for implementing the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction(the Child Abduction Convention). Sally is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria and an active participant in the LIV’s International Steering Committee and Children and Youth Issues Committee.

Sally has published in family law in the LIV Journal, Family law Journal, Melbourne University law review, and has presented papers at international forums on Australia’s obligation under various international treaties including the Inter-country adoption Convention and Child Abduction Convention. Sally has spoken and participated in resolutions reached various Best Practice Forums for the Child Abduction Convention such as those run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, USA.

Leisha Lister

Executive Adviser, Family Court of Australia

Leisha Lister is the Executive Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Family Court of Australia where she manages and coordinates the development of policy, research and advice to the court. Leisha has managed a number of significant projects for the Family Court including the Mental Health Support Project (Integrated Client Service); the review of the Magellan Programme involving cases of serious child abuse; the Less Adversarial Trial Education project; and more recently the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research project looking at issues facing Indigenous Australians access to the Family Law Courts.

Leisha is the Court’s programme manager for the Indonesia/Australia Court to Court Legal and Judicial Reform Programme. She assisted with the 2007 access and equity study for the Religious Courts undertaken in collaboration with the State Islamic University (PPIM UIN) and PEKKA and the 2009/10 access and equity study for the General Courts on family law and birth certificate issues in Indonesia. Leisha has previously worked in the areas of community development, HIV/AIDS education; child protection, and the prevention of trafficking of women for the purpose of prostitution. She holds qualifications in law, business and applied science.

Justin Dowd

President of the Law Society of New South Wales for 2012

He is also Deputy-Chair of the Specialist Accreditation Board; Trustee of the NSW Public Purpose Fund; Director of Law Council of Australia; Chair of NLAF RRR Working Group; Member of the European of Justice Family Observatory; Associate Member of the Hong Kong Law Society; and a Member of the Law Society of England & Wales.

In 2007, Justin joined the Council of the Law Society and has served on a number of committees, including the Indigenous Issues; Professional Conduct; Family Issues; Dispute Resolution; Audit, Finance; and the Executive Committee. Justin was accredited by the Law Society as a specialist in family law in 1994.

Since 1995 Justin is a Partner at Watts McCray, a specialist family law practice which has grown to be one of the largest specialist family law practices in Australia. He specialises in international family law matters and is a member of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Collaborative Lawyers, and an associate of the International Family Law Group, based in London.

Justin is a long standing member of LawAsia, including LawAsia’s Family Law and Children’s Rights Section, as well as the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia. He is a Public Notary and accredited as an arbitrator in family law. He has also been the primary convenor of the Australasian Family Lawyers Conference for over 15 years. He is a member of the Board of the World Congress on Children’s Rights and Family Law, an international congress convened to highlight and progress children’s rights internationally.

Justin is an author of the family law section of Halsbury’s Laws of Australia, Australian Practical Forms and Precedents and the principal author of the Lexis Nexis online service, Practical Guidance in Family Law. He has written many articles and presentations on family law, nationally and internationally.

Peter Murphy

Honourable Justice

Justice Murphy began his legal career as a solicitor in 1978. He went to the Bar in 1990 and took silk in 2004. He was appointed a judge of the Family Court of Australia on 11 October 2007. He later became the Co-ordinating and Case Management Judge for Queensland before being appointed to the Appeal Division of the Court in September 2012. Prior to his Honour’s appointment to the Bench, he practiced predominantly in family law but also in criminal and discrimination law. Prior to his appointment as a judge, his Honour was a part-time member of each of the Anti-Discrimination and Legal Practitioners Tribunals in Queensland. His Honour was also an accredited mediator and arbitrator. His Honour was a member of the Executive of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and of the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators.

He was until recently an alternate member of the National Judicial College of Australia Council and is currently the Family Court’s representative on the Governing Council of the Judicial Conference of Australia. Justice Murphy was a contributing editor to the Lexis Nexis Family Law in Australia series and has written and presented many papers on family law and advocacy throughout Australia. Justice Murphy is currently involved in the trilateral partnership between the Family Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of Indonesia and the Federal Court of Australia working with the Indonesian judiciary in the area of improving access to justice for marginalised and vulnerable people.