Recent submissions

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  • Submission to Joint Select Committee on Australia's Family Law System – January 2020
    This submission presented findings relevant to the Terms of Reference set out by the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System. Data were drawn from numerous AIFS studies of the family law system. They addressed nine of the 10 Terms of Reference and demonstrated the need for a system that: is trauma-informed and child-inclusive; provides effective client support and dispute resolution services; is delivered by family law professionals with the requisite skills to secure the safety and best interests of children and their families.
    View submission as PDF [1.23 MB]

  • Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health - January 2020
    This submission was a response to the Commission’s draft report, released in October 2019. It identified numerous knowledge and research gaps to address mental ill-health among the general population and specific sub-groups in Australia. Expansion of Australia’s research capacity and expertise is an important step to addressing such gaps and to improving mental health and wellbeing in Australia.
    View submission as a PDF [769 KB]


  • Submission to ALRC Discussion Paper 86: Review of the family law system – November 2018
    Presented findings from the Institute’s research program relevant to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) Discussion Paper 86. Identified a need for the family law system to give clear and up-to-date information about the family law system to adults and children, together with timely access to advice or support services; adopt child-inclusive approaches that enable children to participate in decision-making that affects them; adopt responses to family violence which are responsive to contemporary understandings and experiences; facilitate core competencies among family law professionals.
    View submission as PDF [1.1 MB]

    Submission to the Inquiry into the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bills (2018) – November 2018
    Response to the inquiry into the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018 and Federal Circuit and the Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendment and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018 (‘The Bills’), introduced into the House of Representatives on 23 August 2018. Outlined AIFS’ research into the complexity of family law matters and the prevalence of matters in family courts involving allegations of family violence or safety concerns. Emphasised the importance of ensuring that judicial and court personnel have the experience and skills to handle and determine complex and high-risk matters. Recommended a holistic approach to family law which takes into account risk factors, safety concerns and the complex dynamics of family violence and abuse. Recommended that reforms make the system accessible to parties who may face additional challenges in engaging with the system.
    View submission as PDF [1.2 MB]

  • Submission to the Australian Government Department of Health: Draft Charter of Aged Care Rights – October 2018
    Provided general comment on the proposed Draft Charter and reflections on specific rights in the Draft Charter. Noted that the broad language of the Draft Charter may impact on the ability of service providers and individuals to understand what aged care rights entail. Highlighted the need for further explanatory information (including definitions of the terms) to strengthen the legal protection of rights and clarify service providers’ obligations. Also suggested ongoing monitoring and evaluation after implementation.
    View submission as PDF [ 742 KB]

  • Submission to the House of Representatives Select Committee on Intergenerational Welfare Dependence – Inquiry into Intergenerational Welfare Dependence - September 2018 
    AIFS’ submission highlighted 'the importance of service systems that are responsive to the needs of vulnerable families – and the particular value of coordinated, responsive systems in the context of communities that experience high levels of social and economic disadvantage’.
    The submission advised that ‘[w]hile encouraging greater workforce participation is one way of addressing poverty and disadvantage, the story around families and joblessness is not straightforward’.
    It recommended that ‘complex issues require policy and service responses which are tailored to the experiences and aspirations of families themselves’.
    View submission as PDF [823 KB]

  • Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission – Review of the family law system - August 2018
    AIFS’ submission ‘highlighted the prevalence of complex issues characterising families that access the family law system’. It emphasised that there ‘needs to be a strong focus on securing the safety and best interests of children, and on supporting families in addressing safety concerns via timely and effective support services and dispute resolution.’
    ‘AIFS data point to the need for a system that is both trauma-informed and whole-of-family in its focus; that aims to support families in addressing their underlying issues; and a system that prioritises the best interests of children via child-centred and child-inclusive approaches.’
    View submission as PDF [3.9 MB]

  • Submission to the National Children's Commissioner, Children’s rights – August 2018
    Presented findings from AIFS’ research program since 2012 relevant to the issues and challenges faced by children and young people in Australia and Australia’s progress with its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Emphasised the importance of facilitating the participation of children and young people in decisions that affect them. Highlighted the need for a strong evidence base to inform policy and practice, and in particular having research informed by the voices of children and young people.
    View submission as PDF [11.1 MB]

  • Submission to The Senate Environment and Communications References Committee Inquiry into gaming micro-transactions for chance-based items - July 2018
    This submission to the Federal Government reviews the role of chance-based microtransactions in online multiplayer video games and the consumer protection and regulatory challenges posed by these new and emerging products.
    View submission as a PDF [568 KB]



  • Inquiry into the 2016 Census - September 2016
    Commonwealth of Australia Senate Standing Committees on Economics

  • Settlement experiences of recently arrived humanitarian migrants – Insights from the first wave of the Building a New Life in Australia Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants - March 2016
    Response to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection discussion paper: Australia’s Humanitarian Programme 2016-17

  • Inquiry into surrogacy: Oral evidence given at public hearing in Canberra - March 2016
    Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs

  • Submission to Gaming Machine Arrangements Review by the Victorian Government - February 2016

  • Inquiry and report in relation to the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Sports Betting Reform) Bill 2015 - February 2016
    Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications, Parliament of Australia






  • Response to the consultation paper on best practice principles for use in parenting disputes when family violence or abuse is alleged - May 2011
    Family Court of Australia. Federal Magistrates Court

  • Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2011 - April 2011
    Parliament of Australia. Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs

  • Submission to the Attorney General's Department on the Consultation Paper 'Children's Contact Services' - March 2011
    Attorney General's Department

  • Inquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices - February 2011
    Parliament of Australia. Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs

  • Submission to the Attorney General's Department on the discussion paper 'Forced and servile marriage: legal and service-based responses' - February 2011
    Family Court of Australia. Federal Magistrates Court

  • Response to the exposure draft of the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2010 - January 2011
    Attorney General's Department




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