Indigenous family law

THE first Aboriginal Australian appointed to a federal court was in Tamworth late last month for a family law presentation aimed at the region’s indigenous population.

Judge Matthew Myers is based in Newcastle with the Federal Circuit Court, which deals with more than 80 per cent of all family court matters nationally.

He was in Tamworth last year to speak to local family law and community service providers and yesterday returned as part of an Aboriginal family law roadshow that was in regional NSW for the first time.

The event was hosted by Centacare New England North West (NENW) and the Tamworth Family Law Pathways Network and included information on how to help the local Aboriginal community access the best family law options and how to do it in a culturally-appropriate way.

About 70 social welfare service providers and legal experts were given a fresh insight into the family law system, the NSW-based care and protection system, and the NSW criminal system with a focus on apprehended domestic violence orders and access to children.

“It’s about incorporating key factors such as environment, Aboriginal culture, safety, social wellbeing and finding out what court system may benefit them most,” Centacare NENW chief executive officer Fergus Fitzsimons said.

Other presenters included Singleton-based lawyer Joplin Higgins and roadshow facilitator Rick Welsh.

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