Members & Committees
The team at Pacifica Congress includes our board members and committee members
The Honourable Steven Strickland QC
Steve ia a recently retired Family Court Judge having been on the bench for 22 years. He has returned to practice in the field of Family Law as a Barrister, Arbitrator, Mediator and Consultant.
As a Judge Steve made innumerable decisions resolving a myriad of family disputes including attempting to provide a better future for the children. As a practitioner he has continued to look to assist children and their families to overcome the harm that family conflict causes.
Pacifica Congress provides a vehicle for him to advocate for and to improve the lives of children and their families.
Mr Timothy McMichael
As with many in the sector, Timothy wears a number of hats; he’s a Family Law writer for Lexus Nexus, a busy FDRP and he works in a model akin to Judicially ordered parenting coordination in Aotearoa New Zealand. He’s also the Resolution Expert Oceana/Pacifica for OurFamilyWizard. He also works as a coach and assessor for Resolution Institute and in practice as a therapist. He sits on a number of Boards on both sides of the Tasman.
In these differing roles, Timothy is always able to connect with tamariki children, to help keep him grounded, and to remind him why he does what he does.
He’s stoked that Pacifica Congress can now take the lead across the sector, not just in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand but into other Pacific Nations of Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Dr Jennifer Neoh
Jennifer is a clinical psychologist whose private practice is focused on family law. She works as a single expert witness and has completed over 1000 psychological reports for the Family Court of Australia. Jennifer’s focus is on reportable non-confidential therapy which allows her to work closely with the Court to provide better outcomes for families.
Ms Kirstie Colls
Kirstie is a Director and Head of Family Law at Michael Lynch Family Lawyers in Brisbane. Kirstie gained Specialist Accreditation in 2009, certification as a Collaborative Practitioner in 2017 and certification as an accredited Mediator in 2020. She is recognised as a Leading Parenting & Children’s Matters Lawyer and in Best Lawyers since 2020.
Justice Ciara Tyson
Ciara graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia in 1994 and was admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1996. She practiced primarily in family law, across a number of firms in Australia and London. In 2015, Ciara was appointed as a Magistrate and Registrar of the FCWA, and in 2019 was appointed to serve as a judge of the Family Court of Australia.
Ms Lilia Szarski
As a Child and family psychologist, Family Report writer, Parenting Coordinator and FDRP, Lilia’s discipline and training and knowledge of the Family law sector has been important in supporting families in distress to navigate, support and resolve many of their entrenched issues though change and conflict management to build sustainable and liveable arrangements for their children.
Being part of the Pacifica Congress Board is an exciting and wonderful opportunity to engage and support good practice, research and the connection of psychology and the law to assist the families in distress who use the Family Law process.
Mr Darren Mort
I have been a Family Law Barrister over 30 years. In that time I have realized there is more than just being a lawyer, a psychologist, a Judge or social scientist. For me it is about using my skill set to accomplish something special that will advance the best interests of children; its about resisting any apathy which may result in kids being labelled as silent victims between warring parents. The imperative is about making a real positive difference for children, giving them a voice and therefore impacting upon future generations, by effecting change. This is something at the core of Pacifica Congress (‘PC’) and something that aligns with my professional goals and ideals. For me PC is a place of hope, where experienced minds from various fields gather so as to make a visible and practical difference to the lives of kids.
Ms Elizabeth Picker
Liz practices as a barrister, formerly a Solicitor for 12 years. She is a Mediator, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) and accredited Arbitrator.
Dispute Resolution is her specialty.
Liz’s preference is to preserve relationships wherever possible, be they personal, (family) or commercial (business).
In Family Law settings She feels privileged to be able to take on the role as an Alternate Dispute Resolution Practitioner which enables her to achieve the goal of keeping families out of court.
She is able to assist families to improve their communications which benefits the most important people in the equation in family relationship breakdowns – the children.
Pacifica Congress is close to her heart as a living example of like-minded Family Law professionals seeking to achieve the same end goal – Doing it for the Kids!!
Mr David Edney
David is a solicitor in practice with a specialist family law firm. His work involves the representation of children and therefore being a member of Pacifica Congress means that he has access to the most up-to-date research on children and families involved in separation. It gives him opportunities to speak with experts from Australia and overseas in the areas of psychology, psychiatry, the courts, lawyers, social work and academia. There is no other organisation in the Pacific Region that offers the depth of experience and diversity as Pacifica Congress with respect to protecting children and families going through separation.
Ms Perpetua Kish
Perpetua has been practicing family law for over a decade and advocates for a kinder, team-based approach to divorce.
Perpetua is trained in conﬂict management coaching, advanced collaborative law, mediation, parent coordination and she has post-graduate qualiﬁcations in Human Services.
She is on the board of Directors for Pacifica Congress, Co-Chair of Connecting Lawyer Mums and a committee member of the ACT Law Society’s ADR committee.
Ms Melanie Rubin
Melanie practices exclusively in family law and has done so for the better part of the last 25 years. She is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and has developed a reputation for resolving complex financial and parenting matters in a sensitive but structured way.
Her areas of practice include property matters, financial agreements – before and during marriages as well as de facto financial agreements, parenting matters and divorce.
She is a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council, the Law Society of NSW, Central Sydney Collaborative Forum, and a member of Collaborative Professionals (NSW). I have a Bachelor in Law (Dean’s Merit List) and was admitted to practice as a lawyer in NSW in 2003 after commencing practice in South Africa in 1995.
Dr Kaylene Evers
Dr Kaylene J. Evers has extensive experience, loads of common sense, broad training, skills, huge work ethic, diligence and Integrity. She is a practitioner and company director, recently becoming a member of the AICD. She has decades of experience working with individuals, children, adults and couples. She has a special interest in trauma especially sexual assault and homicide but is equally experienced in working closely with a team of providers in cases of Workover, TAC, Victims of Crime and DVA.
She is a well published researcher and conference presenter particularly in psychological aspects of multiple sclerosis, and other chronic conditions. Her PhD developed the Bio Psychosocial Model of chronic illness and a scale to measure it.
She is also an accredited Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, and Justice of the Peace.
In all her roles she endeavors to treat all persons with respect and dignity.
Dr Stella Laletas
Stella is an academic at Monash University where she lectures in child and adolescent psychology and counselling, and supervises Masters and PhD research students. Link to Monash University Profile and Activities
Stella is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA); a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and a committee member of the Prato International Research Collaborative for Change in Parental & Child Mental Health (Families-Communities-Countries-World Wide).
Ms Stephanie Reid
Stephanie is a Principal Lawyer at Ko+Reid Family Lawyers, a boutique family law firm servicing metropolitan Melbourne and Gippsland. Family and Relationship Law is an area of law that deals with real people and real issues.
Stephanie enjoys working with her clients to assist them to navigate the legal process, to understand their situation and to achieve a just outcome.
Stephanie is passionate about the rights of children. She recognises that every child and family is different, and when the opportunity arises can assist clients to understand and navigate the family law maze in a manner that honours the needs of their children.
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