Keynote – The ALRC’s Review of the Family Law System


Dr Andrew Bickerdike,
Part-Time Commissioner, Australian Law Reform Commission
Thursday November 22 2018

Time: 9:40am – 10:20am

Room: Grand Ballroom

Keynote Address

The ALRC’s Review of the Family Law System


In late 2017, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) was tasked with conducting an extensive independent review of Australia’s family law system, the first such review since the passage of the Family Law Act in 1975.

This presentation reports on the ALRC’s recently released Discussion Paper, which is seeking stakeholder input in response to a wide-ranging set of proposals for reform. The presentation will focus on how these proposals – which cover issues of law, service delivery, dispute resolution and professional practice – seek to address the growing concerns about the financial and emotional costs of engaging with the family law system for separating families.

Watch the full Keynote below:


Dr Andrew Bickerdike was appointed as a part-time Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission in June 2018, to the Review of the Family Law System. Andrew is also CEO of Relationships Australia Victoria and Board Chair of Relationships Australia National. He holds tertiary qualifications in both economics and psychology and a Doctorate in Dispute Resolution. Andrew has experience and specialist training in individual, marital and family therapy, and family dispute resolution and has practiced as a psychologist, mediator and family dispute resolution practitioner for over 20 years. Andrew is a former member of NADRAC (National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council). During his term as a part-time Commissioner Andrew has stood down from several other Board positions including, ADRAC (Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council), the Mediator Standards Board and the Australian Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Andrew has a particular interest in research and evaluation and has initiated and implemented many research projects examining the efficacy of family services programs, and in particular mediation services, in the naturalistic setting. These have resulted in many conference papers and journal articles addressing the evidence for effective practice in counselling, family violence prevention and mediation services. He is an Industry Partner in three recent large Australian Research Council Linkage research projects. One of these is examining the effects of family violence on the process and outcome of mediation. Collectively these research activities have attracted national and international interest and have influenced the design of models of practice.