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Additional part-time members appointed to support the review of the family law system

Media Release

Two additional part-time Commissioners have been appointed to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to assist with the review of the family law system.

The new part-time Commissioners will be the Honourable Michelle May AM QC and the Honourable Cheryl Edwardes AM GAICD.

Ms May, a former Senior Judge of the Appeals Division of the Family Court of Australia, and Ms Edwardes, the first female Attorney General of Western Australia, will bring significant experience and expertise to support the completion of the family law system review by 31 March 2019. The review is well underway, and is under the leadership of the ALRC President, the Honourable Justice Sarah Derrington.

Ms May has had a distinguished legal career in family law, having served for 22 years as a Judge of the Family Court of Australia, and Judge and Senior Judge of the Appeals Division of the Family Court of Australia, retiring from the court in 2017. She has held numerous senior leadership roles, including President of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and is also a practising mediator and arbitrator, specialising in family law.

Ms Edwardes has had an impressive career, spanning legal practice, politics and corporate leadership. In addition to being Western Australia's first female Attorney General, Ms Edwardes held a number of other Ministerial positions during her 16 years as the Member for Kingsley, including as the Minister for Family and Children's Services (WA). She is the currently Chairman of Vimy Resources Limited and Chairman of CropLogic Limited, and was also the Chair of the National Apology Reference Group for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

Ms May and Ms Edwardes join three other notable part-time commissioners to support the review of the family law system: the Honourable John Faulks (former Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court); Dr Andrew Bickerdike (CEO of Relationships Australia Victoria and Chair of the National Federation of Relationships Australia); and Mr Geoffrey Sinclair (preeminent family law practitioner).

The ALRC released its Discussion Paper on 2 October 2018, following extensive consultation. The Discussion Paper makes 124 proposals for reform to the family law system. More information on the review of the family law system is available from the ALRC website.

I congratulate Ms May and Ms Edwardes on their appointment and look forward to the contribution they will make to the review of the family law system.‚Äč