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  • Jane Holford

2020 Recap from the Greater Melbourne Family Law Pathways Network

Updated: May 26, 2022


Hello Greater Melbourne,

It has been a tough year for the world and Victorians. With our next phase of pandemic precautions and getting ready for the holiday season, this is a good time to reflect on where we were and where we are now despite the difficulties faced.

I really want to thank the Family Law Pathways Network – Greater Melbourne for getting a digital platform up and running very quickly, with the delivery of national webinars with our fellow States and Territories, e-bulletins, social media updates and updates to the services available on the iRefer Vic App during this trying time. Intact families had their struggles and separated or separating families and children were faced with new challenges with the restrictions and fear and anxiety that comes with a global pandemic. The Pathways Networks have made it their focus for the delivery of information to be accessible and timely, and to maintain a sense of unity amongst the professionals supporting these families. As much as we have missed the face to face interaction at events (and most certainly the diverse and unique spread of food that the Greater Melbourne Network is famous for), one thing can be said is that we remained connected.

Secondly, I want to thank all of the professionals that support Pathways and continued to do their hard work in these times. None of the work could have been achieved without a group dedicated to reaching holistic outcomes for separated/ing families. If there is more we can be doing as a Network to support the professionals in the family law system, then we welcome all input. To sound maudlin, it is one dream, one team.

Thank you Victoria for getting us through this stage and for the courage to proceed with the next.

Here’s to a wrap up of 2020 and a new start in 2021 with our new skills.

Laura Villemagne-Sánchez

Chair of the Greater Melbourne Family Law Pathways Network


To our network -

This year, as it has been for many of us, has been guided by the lockdown and social distancing policies put in place in response to COVID-19. For the Greater Melbourne Family Law Pathways Network (FLPN) this has meant an abrupt and transformative pivot to adapt our usual face to face events to the online world. This was a daunting task and yet has yielded results which has seen the FLPN grow to new heights.

Continuing Professional Development Events

Over the last 12 months we have participated in curating 13 webinars in collaboration with our national FLPN colleagues on a range of topics. To date, the national webinars have accumulated over 25 thousand views across the country with over 3,500 participants from Melbourne alone. As a result, this has seen our membership grow by nearly 250 individuals.

Additionally, we continued to deliver events exclusively to our local membership regarding working with male perpetrators of family violence. We also adapted our annual family law education series for law students to an online format. This program helps students jump start their practical knowledge of the family law sector prior to beginning their careers.

Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Groups

This year we launched a new multi-disciplinary collaborative group in the Western Suburbs following on from the success of the quarterly meetings that run in the South-East. These round table meetings with local support services provide an excellent opportunity to promote and foster links between locally based service providers.

iRefer VIC

In the background we have quietly been working on a redevelopment of ouriRefer VIC application – our referral database of over 1,000 services across the State of Victoria. Version 3 of iRefer Vic is now available for download on apple, android, desktop and via your browser at

Thank you for your support

While this has certainly been a year of accomplishments it would not be possible without the involvement of our membership and active collaboration from colleagues across the FLPN and family law sector. Thank you to all the speakers, audiences and services we have had the opportunity to engage within the last year. I look forward to seeing you all in person as face to face events recommence.

Finally, I would like to conclude with the acknowledgement of the retirement of Francesca Gerner who has been a tireless contributor to the Greater Melbourne FLPN since our inception 15 years ago. ‘Cesca’s passion for collaboration across the sector has been a significant guiding force for our network and we thank you for the many hours you have contributed towards achieving the goals of the network.

I wish you all a merry and festive holiday season.

Adam Chetcuti Project Officer


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