Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers
Robert A. Simon, Ph.D. Forensic Psychologist and Author, USA

Robert A. Simon, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized leader in forensic psychology consulting in the area of child custody disputes and family law. Based in San Diego, CA, and Maui, HI, He is the author of the book entitled “Forensic Psychology Consulting in Child Custody Litigation: A Handbook for Work Product Review, Case Preparation, and Expert Testimony” published by the American Bar Association. He has also published articles for academic journals such as the Family Court Review and the Family Law Quarterly. Dr. Simon is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Chair of the Board of  Fellows of the National Center for Juvenile Justice, and an immediate past member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the chair of the International Advisory Committee of the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights and a member of the Executive Committee of the California Bar Court. He serves on the editorial board of the Family Court Review.   

Judge Judy Small AMJudge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, retired

The law is Judge Small’s third profession. She began her working life as a psychologist working with drug and alcohol addicted clients and survivors of sexual abuse. She then spent 16 years travelling the world as folk singer/songwriter – a childhood dream. She was awarded Membership in the Order of Australia in 2013 for her significant contribution to folk music. She completed her law degree in 1989 but did not serve Articles until 1998, being admitted to the profession in May 1999. She thinks she holds the record for the length of time taken between beginning law school and admission – in her case 19½ years. Judge Small’s practice has always been in Family Law and, which is not surprising given her previous experience as a psychologist, and she became an Accredited Specialist in Family Law in 2005. She spent six years in private practice before joining Victoria Legal Aid in 2004, and was appointed as Director of Family, Youth & Children’s Law in 2010. Judge Small was appointed to the bench of the Federal Circuit Court in March 2013. She has a passion for children’s welfare and particularly for protecting children from the impact of family violence and child abuse. She is also concerned to ensure that self-represented litigants are treated with the same respect and dignity of any represented litigant and that their voices are clearly heard in the court. She has a keen sense of humour and has embraced the notion of being called “Judge Judy” on the principle that “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”.

Justice Simon MoncrieffJudge of the Family Court of WA

Justice Simon Moncrieff currently holds a dual commission as a Judge of the Family Court of Australia and the Family Court of Western Australia; his Honour was appointed to the Court in 2009. Justice Moncrieff graduated from the University of Adelaide with an LLB (Hons).  Following his admission in 1975 he practised as a barrister and solicitor, and was called to the Bar in South Australia in 1991, where he practiced until 1999 before joining the Western Australian Bar in 2000. Justice Moncrieff was appointed Senior Counsel in 2008. His Honour has also served as a member of the Royal Australian Naval Reserve (as a specialist legal officer); a delegate of The Child Support Registrar (1992-2005) and on various community and professional boards and committees. Justice Moncrieff currently represents the Family Court of Western Australia on the National Children’s Committee and National ICL Stakeholders Committee.

Robin CohenIndependent Children's Lawyer, Legal Aid WA

Robin is a Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation woman from Newfoundland, Canada. She has lived in Western Australia for approximately 25 years and feels a strong affinity with Australian Aboriginal people. Robin is a Senior Independent Children’s Lawyer at Legal Aid Western Australia who spent 12 months as an Acting Magistrate at the Family Court of WA. Robin has an interest in refuse/resist dynamics and proceedings where sexual abuse allegations are made.

Judge Tom AtlobelliJudge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

After 25 years in legal practice Dr Tom Altobelli was appointed as a Federal Magistrate on 13 November 2006 and is currently sitting as the Federal Circuit Court Judge in Wollongong, a regional city south of Sydney, Australia. He holds a Master of Laws and Doctorate in Juridical Science, and is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Law, Western Sydney University. Before his appointment, Tom was accredited as a specialist in the areas of Family Law, Children’s Law and Mediation. He was, formerly, Special Counsel at Watts McCray Lawyers, one of Australia’s largest family law firms, and an Associate Professor at the University of Western Sydney. He was also a member of the Executive of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia. Tom has authored four books on family law and dispute resolution as well as 50 articles in Australian and International Journals. Tom is involved in a number of Court and external committees dealing with Judicial Wellbeing and Judicial Education. Tom sits on the Board of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.