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ICL Family Law Act Reforms – What Can ICLs Expect?


Date: Thursday, 4 April

Time: 4:30PM – 5:30PM AEDT

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Reforms to the Family Law Act codify the requirement for ICLs to meet with children. The reforms resolve any confusion about an ICL’s obligation and ensure national consistency in ICL practice.

Join our esteemed panel of Judges, Counsel and senior ICLs for a Q&A session to explore the new provisions, their impact and address your questions and any concerns.




Joining the Panel are:

  • Judge Kevin Lapthorn, FCFCOA Division 2
  • Judge Kylie Beckhouse, FCFCOA Division 2
  • Eleanor Mallett KC, Victorian Bar
  • Mary Ann Huth, Assistant Director Family Law Services, Legal Aid Queensland

The Q&A session will be facilitated by:

  • Mary Alex, National Program Manager     

Registered participants will be emailed a link for the webinar within 24 hours of the scheduled start time.

A recording of the webinar will be made available on the ICL website for member viewing.

Ahead of the webinar, you can download our fact sheet to explore the reforms and helpful resources.

Submit your questions for our presenters in advance by clicking here.


Judge Kevin Lapthorn, FCFCOA DIvision 2

His Honour Judge Lapthorn, from the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) was appointed to the bench in 2005, sitting originally in the Newcastle Registry of the Federal Magistrates Court before transferring to the Brisbane Registry in 2011.
His Honour served two terms on the Family Law Council of Australia between 2010 and 2016. 

During this time, he contributed to reports on: Indigenous Clients and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse clients in the Family Law System (2012); Parentage and the Family Law Act 1975 (2013); and Families with Complex Needs and the Intersection of the Family Law and Child Protection Systems (2015 and 2016).

He was admitted to practise as a Barrister in 1989. As a Legal Officer at the Crown Law Office he conducted Regulatory Prosecutions, Care and Protection proceedings and represented the Central Authority in matters involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction.

In 1994 he moved to Legal Aid Queensland as in-house Counsel for Family Law matters, primarily as a Separate Representative for children, before going to the Private Bar in 1995.

Whilst at the Bar he practiced out of Chambers in both Sydney and Brisbane and was regularly briefed to appear in all aspects of Child Protection, Family Law, and Prohibited Employment matters.

Judge Kylie Beckhouse FCFCOA DIvision 2

Kylie was appointed to the Court in 2020 after a long career in the family law jurisdiction, with her last role being Director of Family Law services at Legal Aid NSW.

She was an accredited specialist in family law and an independent children’s lawyer. Kylie was recognised as the 2017 NSW Women’s Lawyer of the Year for services to women and the law, and in 2016 she published her research into the administration of child legal representation schemes internationally.   

Kylie has been a driving force behind both the establishment and enhancement of family violence legal services including the National Family Advocacy and Support Service.

At the FCFCOA she is a member of the Children’s and Family Violence Committees and is the Case Management judge for Div. 2 in Sydney. She is referred cases from two specialist lists; Evatt (for high-risk parenting matters) and National Contraventions. She has also served on the Family Law Council of Australia and NSW Children’s Court Advisory Committee.

Mary-Ann Huth, Assistant Director Family Law Services, Legal Aid Queensland

Mary-Ann was admitted as a Solicitor in Queensland in 1994, and initially worked in a private practice in a small suburban general law practice. She moved to a larger Brisbane practice specialising in Family law in 1996 and in 1998, commenced at Legal Aid Queensland in Brisbane, working as an Independent Children’s Lawyer in the specialist team.  

Mary-Ann took up a secondment as a Deputy Registrar (as they were called then) in the Family Court in Brisbane for 9 months in late 2001, then returned to her position at Legal Aid continuing as a specialist ICL.

Mary-Ann became the Principal Lawyer of Family law/FASS teams in 2018 until 2022, when she took up her current role as Assistant Director, Family Law Teams in Brisbane.

Mary-Ann has been a regular trainer/facilitator for National ICL training since 2002, and has been a member of the Children’s Committee of the FCFCOA since February 2020.

Eleanor Mallett KC, Victorian Bar

Eleanor Mallett joined the Victorian Bar in 2013 but has been a barrister since 1998. Eleanor has substantial experience and considerable passion for her work in Family Law and Children’s Law matters.

She has worked in both fields in the UK and Australia and has appeared in cases involving the full range of these areas, but has particular experience in complex matters involving children. 

Eleanor believes strongly in a holistic approach and welcomes being involved in matters from an early stage. She is an exceptional courtroom advocate with an emphasis on thorough preparation and a passion for cross examination. She has extensive courtroom trial experience and experience in appeals.

Since her appointment to Silk in November 2022, Eleanor continues to be strongly committed to complex parenting matters and is enjoying the new challenges of leading and mentoring junior barristers in these cases, including in the role of Senior Counsel for the Independent Children’s Lawyer.

Event Details

Date: April 04, 2024

Start time: 16:30 AEST

End time: 17:30 AEST

Venue: Online Webinar