Conference Speakers

Conference Speakers


  • Children’s Court Pilot Court panel including Children’s Court Pilot Court
  • Kate Jefferies, FDV specialist
  • Dr Vicky Hovane, Aboriginal psychologist and consultant
  • Family Court Panel with Magistrate Anderson, Registrar French and Chief Judge Sutherland
  • Lived experience speaker on the journey through the Family Court.

WORKSHOP DAY - Assessing and Reducing Risk of Violence:

  • Towards Men’s Behaviour Change led by the WA Men’s Behaviour Change Program Network 
  • FDV Informed Family Assessment led by Stopping Family Violence
Malcolm Dix (Conference MC)

Malcolm is a qualified youth worker with a strong background with community sector organisations, who has also worked as a professional comedian.

With tertiary qualifications in leadership, youth work, men’s health, Malcolm is an insightful and skilled MC who has hosted a range of conferences and now works as a leadership coach and corporate educator.

Shaun Nannup (Welcome to Country)

Shaun Nannup is a Noongar man who works towards reconciliation and the healing of trauma by connecting people through stories. An artist, digeridoo player, facilitator and educator, Shaun is a charismatic and insightful speaker who will welcome us to Country.

Panel Session - Innovations and reflections of the Family Court WAChief Judge Sutherland, Registrar French and Magistrate Anderson

Chief Judge Sutherland

Chief Judge Gail Sutherland attended UWA and practised predominantly in family law. In 2008 joined the Legal Practice Board of WA as a senior lecturer in its Articles Training Program. 

Her Honour joined the Family Court in 2009 and was then appointed as a Family Law Magistrate in 2010, and as a Judge of the Court in 2018 and Chief Judge from 2019. She also received a dual commission to the Family Court of Australia on 16 March 2018.

Registrar French

Registrar Simon French attended the University of Western Australia and was admitted to practice in 1976. He was a Partner at Dwyer Durack from 1977 – practising in Family Law from 1995. Registrar French is a former President of the Family Law Practitioners' Association and was accredited as a mediator in 2013. He has been a Family Court Registrar since July 2019.

Magistrate Anderson

Magistrate Anderson was admitted to practice in 2000 and worked in private practice in WA and Queensland until he joined the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (“ALSWA”) as a senior family lawyer in 2010. He also commenced practice as an Independent Children’s Lawyer in 2008.

Magistrate Anderson was appointed manager of the ALSWA Family Law Unit in 2014. His career as a lawyer focused on family law and child protection, with an emphasis on cases involving disadvantaged and vulnerable people and children. Magistrate Anderson was appointed as a Magistrate of the Family Court in 2019.

Marilyn Metta

Marilyn was a victim and survivor of intimate abuse and coercive control who went through the family court system from 2005 with her two young children.

She is a Malaysian-born Chinese Australian who now works as a trauma counsellor and an academic at Curtin University.

Kate JeffriesSector Development Manager, Stopping Family Violence

Kate Jeffries has worked across the Family Law Service System including specialist FDV informed court reporting and ongoing training and consultation with family law service providers. She was the previous Chair of WAFLPN (2016-2018), an executive board member for the Women's Council Domestic and Family Violence (WA), and a founding member of WA Men's Behaviour Change Network.

Her broad experience across perpetrator interventions, women's specialist support services and children's therapeutic programs can translate into the practical application of practice and safety for FDV and non-FDV workforce development.    

Her current role is as Sector Development Manager for Stopping Family Violence, the peak body for perpetrator response WA and she also consults through her own business.

Professor Victoria HovaneProfessor, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia

Professor Victoria Hovane is an Aboriginal woman from Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She belongs to the Ngarluma, Gija and Gooniyandi peoples.

She has a PhD in Psychology aimed at informing a cultural dimension in psychological theories of sexual offending against children and also holds First Class Honours Degree in Psychology.

Professor Victoria Hovane is an experienced consultant and practitioner having worked in a number of social welfare, legal, victim and offender services, research projects and advisory roles and she sits on a number of boards and advisory bodies relating to Aboriginal safety and wellbeing.

Panel session: Innovative Practices in the Children’s Court Magistrate Wendy Hughes, Sean Woods - Family Engagement Worker, Melisa Cox- Court Officer , Daniel Taylor, Aboriginal Liaison Officer

Magistrate Wendy Hughes

Magistrate Hughes completed a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws at UWA and was admitted into practice in. She worked at the DPP and the then Aboriginal Legal Service including 2 years as the solicitor in charge of the criminal law unit, before going into private practice as a sole practitioner including a short time sitting on the Liquor Commission and as an Arbitrator for WorkCover. Her Honour is currently a Magistrate in the Children’s Court.

Melisa Cox - Court Officer

Ms Melisa Cox is a proud Noongar woman who is also a former child taken into care with her siblings at Roelands Mission in the early 70s. She successfully completed an Aboriginal Business Traineeship through DEET and has worked in are variety of roles at the Family Court of WA, including being Court Officer (2014- 2020) to Magistrate Mark Calverley. Melisa is currently the Court Officer to the Pilot Court.

Daniel Taylor, Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Perth Children’s Court, Department of Communities

Mr Daniel Taylor is Daniel is an Italian Noongar man whose noongar people are from the Yued region of Noongar Boodja.  He has worked in the government and non-government sectors as an Aboriginal police liaison officer, police officer, youth worker and alcohol and other drugs counsellor. He is currently the Aboriginal Liaison Officer for the Department of Communities based at the Perth Children’s Court.

Sean Woods Family Engagement Worker

Sean Wood is a Worra Worra man, whose people originate from the Fitzroy Crossing region living on Whadjuk Noongar land working as a Family Engagement Officer at the Perth Children’s Court. His work history includes working across various Court Houses in WA along with various business areas in the Department of Justice. His current duties include offering outreach support and liaison work to the families participating in the Pilot Court in Protection and Care proceedings, aiming to assist families address any issues such as housing, domestic violence, drug and alcohol and helping to bridge the gap between the Department of Communities and young families.