THE NETWORK BLOG

  • 5 Sep 2017 10:08 AM | Jane (Administrator)

    Vickie Magic is President of the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network in her spare time.  Her day time gig is editor/owner and publisher of Matters Magazine, a quarterly publication on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

    Vickie see’s the Magazine as a vehicle for sharing her passion of educating people to be the best version of themselves possible in both business and life.

    Vickie is proud of the accolades that she and the magazine have won over the last few years, including Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network Micro Small Business of the Year in 2011,  Caloundra Chamber of Commerce ‘Outstanding Business Person of the Year’ also in 2011 and  Business Excellence ‘Small Business of the Year’ in 2013.

    The Magazine is proud to be the go to magazine on the Coast for all things Business and Life, however Vickie shares that her major pride comes from the difference the magazine is making when it comes to the ‘Power of the Mind’. The magazine is jam packed with inspiration and motivation aimed at inspiring people to really step up and take their business and life to the next level.

    Last year Vickie took on the biggest mind obstacle in her life to date, stating that this challenge CHANGED HER LIFE FOR THE BETTER FOREVER. Completing her first and in her words, definitely her last, 42 kilometre Marathon, Vickie shares that she is living proof that if you set your mind to something (anything) and you put the actions in place to make it happen, you really can achieve whatever your mind desires.

    For the last four years Vickie has been facilitating Mindsight Retreats; these ‘women only’ retreats are about women, empowering women to support each other to design and  create the life of their dreams. Success is not success without fulfilment. Fulfilment is the only real success.

    Vickie’s favourite saying is by Henry Ford - 'If you think you can, or you think you cannot, you are one hundred percent correct’.

    Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network, Connecting & Inspiring Sunshine Coast Business Women. 

    Becoming a member of the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network is a valuable way to expand your knowledge, learn from the success of others, promote your business and create connections with others.

  • 5 Sep 2017 8:47 AM | Jane (Administrator)

    Anne Simpson - Young Living Independent Distributor
    As the world leader in essential oils, Young Living believes that everyone deserves a life full of abundance and wellness. Their vision is to bring the life-changing benefits of essential oils to every home, family, and lifestyle. Young Living's story started more than 20 years ago with a simple, home-built essential oil distillery. Today, their farms and community span the globe. Because of their proven commitment to provide nature’s best, millions trust Young Living to deliver superior essential oils. See Anne's Profile

    Hayley Trinder - Next in Finance
    I established my bookkeeping business in April 2015 as a means to provide an income whilst having flexibility to generate a work/life balance. I have a strong finance background and graduated from my Bachelor of Accounting in August 2015. I am a registered BAS Agent, hold public liability insurance and am a member of the Australian Bookkeeping Network. I have clients in the building and construction, retail/ wholesale, and hospitality industries. I am a Quickbooks Online ProAdvisor and am also proficient in the MYOB, Reckon and Xero accounting software programs. I can help with all bookkeeping needs and can offer business advice to help your business be the best it can be. But what I really like to do is financial reporting. I will analyse data, look at variances and compare income and expenses over a period of time to decipher trends, areas of improvement and business strengths and weaknesses. So, what’s next for your business?

    Meagan Cross - JAW Global
    Meagan Cross joins the network representing her CEO Kym Rayfield who is the founder and CEO of JAW Global.  Meagan is no stranger to our community and joined JAW in 2016 as their General Manager and overseas all aspects of their global network.

    JAW Global has earned the reputation for having the most comfortable, innovative and effective hand grip available.  If you get sore hands whilst working out or living life, JAW has protection for your hands!

    From humble beginnings on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, JAW Global now boasts the World’s #1 Pullup Grips and their grips, gloves and entire range is endorsed by Athletes including Tia-Claire Toomey, the 2017 Fittest Woman on Earth!

    Meagan’s passion is simply summarised in her response recently when a client asked what’s your Work/Life Balance?  With a smile, she answered… “I don’t have one…  To me all we do is Life and if we love our career, our family, our friends, community and still enjoy a glass of bubbles on the weekend, then that’s my balance”.
    To contact Meagan email her on meagan@jawglobal.com.au, visit her website www.jawglobal.com.au, or phone her on 07 5471 6087.

    Kaitlyn Akers - PCOC Solutions
    Director and Owner of PCOC Solutions, private consultancy firm providing people, culture and operations management solutions. Kaitlyn has an enviable depth of experience in business gained from ​20 years in finance. Recently expanding into ​leading complex commercial project teams, building profitable sustainable startup business units and working with not for profit organisations to optimize their impact. Kaitlyn believes whatever business you are in, the value of building ​and honoring ​relationships ​that​ support people to grow their capability, within a framework of sound governance and future orientation​ is the key to successful outcomes. PCOC Solutions is for Kaitlyn a vision realized, a tangible way to work with​ business women to share their knowledge and build upon each others capacity ​by providing human frameworks for workplaces.​

    Zoë Sparks - Spectacular World Travel & Events
    Zoë Sparks has owned her award-winning travel, conference and event management company – Spectacular Events  – for the past nineteen years. Known as the Travel Guru : Author : Speaker : Business Mentor, Zoë has a proven track record for success and achievement and has been recognised twice as a QLD Telstra ‘Business Woman of the Year’ finalist and also the 2004 winner of Sunshine Coast Outstanding Business Woman of the Year,

    Keen to share what she has learnt with others, Zoë’s first book Strive & Thrive has rapidly become a valuable resource to people who work in small business and want to take their business to the next level.  Her second book Healthy & Wealthy was released in August 2016. Details can be found at www.zoesparks.com

    Her business Spectacular World Travel & Events offers a TOTAL travel and event management solution. The team can assist with group travel and event management options, corporate travel solutions and leisure holidays.  Check out www.spectacularworldtravel.com.au for more information or to request your quote!

    Act4Tomorrow

    ‘Experts in their field, the team at Act4Tomorrow provide a one stop shop from how to break-up, finances, refinance, support during legal appointments, brainstorming alternative ways to resolve issues which arise until you have a settlement. With them handling all the back and forth day to day messy stuff, the emotional toil is lessened, it helps individuals feel in control and empowered to make sensible decisions and move out of the separation months faster than the traditional lawyer verses lawyer approach’.

    If you’re feeling unsure where to begin, take advantage of our free, one-hour confidential consultation. Call us today to book in a no-obligation discussion, where we will listen to your circumstances, explain our services and provide you with recommendations on how to best move forward.
    PHONE / 1300 Act 4 Tom (1300 22 84 86)
    FB / https://www.facebook.com/act4tomorrow/
    WEBSITE / http://www.act4tomorrow.com.au


  • 4 Sep 2017 10:12 AM | Jane (Administrator)

    Roz White 

    Roz is Co-owner/founder White’s Grocers– Mooloolah, Bli Bli, Mt Coolum & Peregian Beach.   Over the past 23 years the supermarket business has evolved and grown from a small convenience store to 4 multi-award winning IGA supermarkets.  White’s IGA focus on supporting other local business providers, suppliers and growers which means they stock 100’s of local products. Roz is a passionate small business advocate having held leadership positions including board chair and is a professional member of various industry groups.  Roz is a regular speaker at trade and industry events including providing insights through the University of the Sunshine Coast and Innovation Centre.  She is the current vice-president of the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network and an active community volunteer having founded and organised many community events and fundraisers for over a decade.  White’s IGA have generated $100 000 back to the community through charity events, fundraisers, donations and sponsorships just in the past 12 months.  Roz is a volunteer director with Montrose Therapy & Respite Services and a volunteer advisory member of the Queensland Community Foundation (Sunshine Coast).

    ACHIEVEMENTS & AWARDS

    • 1995 - Commissioner for Declarations
    • 1998 – Foodlink Retailer of the year award – Convenience store category
    • 1998 – QRTSA Independent Retailer of the year award – Convenience store category
    • 1998 – Nightowl Franchisee of the year
    • 2007 – IGA Sunshine Coast Car Rally founder/sponsor - Leukaemia Foundation
    • 2008 –QNN IGA State Community Award
    • 2009 - QNN IGA State Community Award
    • 2009 –QNN IGA State Retail Board member (elected)
    • 2011 – Chair QNN IGA State Retail Board (elected)
    • 2011 – IGA National Council member (appointed)
    • 2011 – “Walk with Me” founding sponsor - Montrose Therapy & Respite Services
    • 2013 – Retail Guild Queensland Chair (current)
    • 2013 – Member National Retail Guild (appointed)
    • 2013 – Member of board of Directors (volunteer) Montrose Therapy & Respite Services (current)
    • 2013 – Advisory Member (volunteer)– Sunshine Coast Community Foundation (current)
    • 2015 – QNN IGA State Community Award
    • 2015 – White’s Supa IGA Bli Bli nominee Queensland Carers Award
    • 2015 – ‘Glamel Trek’ co-ordinator/sponsor- Montrose Therapy & Respite Services
    • 2015 – QNN IGA State Retailer of the Year
    • 2015 – IGA National Retail Excellence Awards
    • 2015 – SCBWN Outstanding Business Woman of the Year
    • 2016 – IGA State & National Retail Excellence Awards
    • 2016 – Australian Institute of Management Leadership Excellence Awards – Regional Winner
    • 2016- Australian Institute of Management Leadership Excellence Award – State Finalist Owner/Entrepreneur
    • 2017 – IGA State Finalist Retail Excellence Awards – Store of the Year, Community Award

    PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

    • Master Grocers of Australia
    • Golden Key International Honour Society – University of the Sunshine Coast
    • Member CCIQ Partners Program
    • Member Food & Agribusiness Network
    • Vice-President Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network
    • Mentor Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network
    • National Retail Guild Australia
    • Associate Fellow Australian Institute of Management
    • Member Sunshine Coast Business Council
  • 29 Aug 2017 10:16 AM | Jane (Administrator)

    Amy Ratcliffe

    Amy grew up on the Sunshine Coast & spent time in both Brisbane & Melbourne working in corporate Pharmaceuticals.

    She moved back to the Sunshine Coast to enjoy the lifestyle here & spent 3 years working for the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce.

    In 2017, Amy has taken the role of Operations & Marketing Manager for McGrath Real Estate Agents in Caloundra & is looking forward to expanding her skills in a new industry.

    Amy was a finalist in the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network Gala Awards in 2016 in the category of Young Business woman of the year.

    Amy also is a member of the Executive Committee of the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network & also sits on the Committee of the Friends of the Caloundra Regional Gallery.

  • 29 Aug 2017 10:14 AM | Jane (Administrator)

    Maroochydore solicitors Garland Waddington has welcomed three new faces to the firm this year - Solicitors Madeline Klein and Nicole Downs and Legal Intern, Tony Hunkin.

    Partner at Garland Waddington, Brendan Bathersby, said he was delighted to welcome three such knowledgeable, experienced and enthusiastic members to the team.

    “Our team continues to grow to ensure speed and quality of delivery of service to our client base,” Mr Bathersby said.

    “We like to call Solicitor Madeline Klein our team dynamo in commercial litigation.

    “Madeline completed her law degree in 2013 and has provided legal advice to corporate clients including receivers, liquidators, banks and financial institutions throughout Australia on a range of commercial, finance and litigious matters.”

    Garland Waddington Partner, Ken Waddington welcomed the addition of solicitor Nicole Downs as a key member of the commercial property team.

    “With more than 14 years’ experience, Nicole has spent the majority of her career practising in the commercial and residential property law areas in Queensland” Mr Waddington said.

    “She has worked with clients who own, buy and sell commercial and mixed use buildings, industrial buildings, retail shopping complexes, as well as acting in relation to residential off the plan developments. She also assists clients with Wills and Estate Planning matters.”

    “Last but not least, Tony Hunkin is our new Legal Intern having recently completed his law degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast.  Tony is extremely practical with a great sense of humour and bringing a vast amount of life and business experience to the Garland Waddington team,” Mr Waddington said.

    Tony is a qualified Pharmacist having owned pharmacies from 1995 until 2015, before he saw the light, sold his pharmacy and studied for his law degree more recently.

    “At Garland Waddington, Tony uses his 20 years’ experience at running a small business and his more recently acquired law skills to assist clients, particularly with business and commercial issues and property.”

    Mr Waddington said that having Tony on board is especially exciting for GW because it arose out of the firm’s commitment supporting the local law students at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

    “Tony came to us nearly two years ago as a law student and did work experience with us until he graduated last year,” Mr Waddington said.

    “Tony’s maturity and willingness to learn and contribute to the team was too good to pass up, so we were delighted to be able to offer him a position with the firm this year.”

    For more information about Garland Waddington, visit www.garlandwaddington.com.au.

  • 21 Aug 2017 10:18 AM | Jane (Administrator)

    Local lawyers had a fun and meaningful team day out in aid of charity when The Compass Institute welcomed the Garland Waddington team to their 20 acre organic farm in Palmwoods recently.

    Team members were taken on a tour by the farm’s Development Coordinator, DJ McGlynn, who shared the story of how the farm started five years ago, and the important role it plays in the community today by providing support for people with intellectual and/or physical disabilities.

    The Compass Farm provides work experience and supported employment opportunities for a wide number of social enterprises including market gardens, animal husbandry, bee keeping, site services, fruit orchards and more.

    Partner at Garland Waddington, Brendan Bathersby, said it was a unique and meaningful team building experience to see the Compass Farm first hand and learn about the many and varied social enterprises it has created for those in need.

    “I’ve known about The Compass Institute and the good work they are doing in the community for a few years now, but it was a humbling experience to see and experience the farm with our own eyes and hands and learn about the budding and successful social enterprises they have established,” Mr Bathersby said.

    “We learned that almost every trainee who attends Compass plays some role in the social enterprises – directly or indirectly.

    “This is so evident when you meet them and see the pride they take in their work and the confidence they gain that then flows over to their lives.”

    After a tour of the farm, the Garland Waddington team visited Compass’s retail outlet where they sell a wide range of items made by Compass trainees, Wabi Sabi, in Palmwoods for some retail therapy, followed by lunch at the Compass Connections Café in Nambour. This café is a collaboration with Cricks Nambour and provides flexible employment and skills training.

    Compass Development Coordinator, DJ McGlynn, said most people identify very closely with their work and take great satisfaction from performing their role to the best of their ability.

    “Access to stable long term employment in the mainstream in Australia for people with disabilities is quite limited,” Mr McGlynn said.

    “At Compass, we recognise that everyone benefits when they can identify with some type of work and the more varied and meaningful that work is, the more value it lends to their lives.

    “The more the work provides an interface with the broader community, the more acceptance they gain and the more the community is educated to the capacity of people with a disability to fill a valued role in their society.”

    The Compass Institute is just one of a number of community organisations that GW supports across the Sunshine Coast. More information about The Compass Institute, visit http://www.compassinc.org.au/index.php/enterprises/compass-farm/ or for more information about Garland Waddington, visit www.garlandwaddington.com.au

  • 18 Jul 2017 10:20 AM | Jane (Administrator)

    Nicola Butler

    She's a well-dressed corporate legal secretary by day, but what most don't know about Nicola Baker is that after hours, she is a rural firefighter.

    Nicola has been part of the GW team for more than eight years and we thought it was high time we profiled her and the selfless community work she does.

    Nicola joined the Eudlo Bush Fire Brigade in 2009 and she is part a strong team of more than 30 volunteers who work very hard to keep Eudlo and the surrounding communities fire safe.

    The volunteers train up to twice a month and Nicola's role as the Lady Chair of the management committee sees her put a number of hours in each month working on the administration and grant writing for the essential community organisation.

    Since Nicola has been part of the team, the organisation has built and paid for a new shed, they are currently renovating their old shed and they are currently awaiting for formal notification on a federal government grant for a new command vehicle.

    Last weekend, Nicola was on duty undertaking a hazard reduction burn, where she and her team went to a local person's property to conduct a burn to reduce future fire risk and promote new vegetation.

    When asked about how often she gets called out unexpectedly, Nicola said she can go for months without a call, and then in fire season, it can be as often as every week. The last incident she was called out for was a wild fire up behind Maleny in the Conondale area in mid-May. The incident was well managed thanks to the bush fire brigade's back burning skills (and a little bit of rain from the gods also helped to keep it under control too).

    We're very proud of the work Nicola does in our community and we look forward to profiling more the work our valued GW team members and the work they do behind the scenes to make our community such a wonderful place to live.


  • 12 Jul 2017 10:22 AM | Jane (Administrator)

    Tony Hunkin receiving his USC Highest Achievement Award from award sponsor, Ken Waddington of Garland Waddington Solicitors.

    AFTER 20 odd years of owning and managing a well-known Maroochydore pharmacy, Tony Hunkin was thirsty for a new challenge and an approach by some fellow pharmacists two years ago to join them in studying law sparked an unforeseen new career path.

    With a supportive wife, their high-school aged son and daughter and a devoted German Shepherd (Gemma) by his side, Tony enrolled in legal studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2014 and he is now in his final year of a Bachelor of Laws.

    Mr Hunkin admitted that at the mature age of 44, this pursuit seemed a little scary at first and it was a long way from pharmacy but he was confident that even a few law subjects would assist him in whatever else he decided to pursue in life.

    “Despite my initial fears of taking such a big leap of faith, I’ve greatly enjoyed the steep learning curve and the student lifestyle,” Mr Hunkin said. “My wife and family have been extremely supportive and assisted me to make this big change in all of our lives.”

    A firm believer in making the most of one’s life, in 2002, Mr Hunkin was working up to 84 hours a week in his pharmacy when his first daughter was born. “My daughter’s birth was the reality check I needed and she altered my perspective on life,” Mr Hunkin said.

    “I decided to take 12 months off from the coalface and during this time, I relearned how to appreciate a non-stressful great day and not put so much emphasis on the almighty dollar,” Mr Hunkin said.

    “During this time I took up rugby and broke my collar bone in two places. I then subsequently took up hockey which saw me with a broken tibia, bone graft and several knee operations. And then I reverted to cycling, which is a whole other story!”

    As if Mr Hunkin hadn’t experienced enough sport-related injuries in his life. In October last year, fate would have him fall off his bicycle riding home from Uni.

    “I broke my neck (C2, C3), back (T4) and finger,” Mr Hunkin said. “Luckily my bike survived (the chain fell off though) and I only received relatively minor spinal cord damage - although I won’t know the extent for some time,” Mr Hunkin said.

    “This had a profound effect on myself and my family. I was in various neck braces for nearly four months, including a halo, and only managed a couple of hours sleep sitting up per night, for a lot of this time.

    “I was also unable to drive. Fortunately, my lecturers at USC were most accommodating and permitted me deferred oral exams. I studied and sat my exams for Uni in a neck brace, with considerable discomfort.

    “The accident provided me with an opportunity to reflect on my coping mechanisms and watch a considerable amount of late night TV…. and I also learnt a great deal amount about myself during this time and the comfort that food provided to me meant there was a lot more of me to learn about,” Mr Hunkin said with a smile.

    As the saying goes, you can’t keep a good man down and any doubts he was on the right path were swept away recently when Tony was awarded the Garland Waddington Solicitors Property Law Prize at the USC annual Awards for Excellence ceremony for the highest achieving student in several law subjects.

    “I was very proud of this achievement especially since my final exam in Law 206 was done in trying circumstances,” Mr Hunkin said.

    “I am also appreciative of Garland Waddington for their sponsorship of the award. The prize provided great recognition for a considerable amount of work, and hopefully a good example for my children as they pursue their academic careers.”

    Partner at Garland Waddington, Ken Waddington, said he was delighted to be able to present the inaugural excellence award to Tony, who he coincidentally knows quite well because Tony did part-time work experience with the firm last year.

    “We were fortunate enough to have Tony undertake some work experience with GW last year and he was the ideal role model of an outstanding law student,” Mr Waddington said.

    “Tony has a real enthusiasm for the profession, a passion for assisting people, ability to quickly adapt to a new work environment, and outstanding communication skills – all key qualities for a successful lawyer and team member.”

    “Once Tony completes his degree, he is required to complete PLT (practical legal training) to gain a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and we are already having the conversation with Tony about doing that with our firm.”

    Looking to the future, Mr Hunkin says he’s extremely excited about a new career in law.

    “This new career path allows me to continue to learn, assist people, apply myself to a variety of circumstances to mentally challenge myself and to improve my understanding of the way society functions,” Mr Hunkin said.

    For more information about Garland Waddington, visit www.garlandwaddington.com.au

  • 4 Jul 2017 10:27 AM | Jane (Administrator)

    With divorce rates close to 40 percent, Australia’s Family Law system has never been under greater pressure, with many cases taking up to three years to be resolved through the courts.*

    For those involved in separation, drawn out and often acrimonious proceedings have serious and lasting consequences for families, both emotionally and financially.

    In particular, highly litigious divorce and property settlements can create long-term impacts on the children affected by marriage breakdown. Research shows that these children are more likely to earn less, have babies at an earlier age, and live in multiple relationships.*

    Maroochydore family lawyer Micaela Chomley of Garland Waddington Solicitors, conducted a seminar on the new approach this month showing attendees there was now an alternate option for resolving separation disagreements, without the associated costs, delays and emotional hardship of seeking a judicial ruling.

    Ms Chomley is the first Sunshine Coast lawyer to work in the field of Collaborative Law, which supports divorcing couples to come to mutually-agreed financial and custody outcomes without court proceedings.

    “Around 40,000 children each year are affected by divorce, this approach is important in helping mimimise the devastating impact that separation can have on a family,” Ms Chomley said.

    Under the client-driven process, separating couples and their lawyers sign a Participation Agreement which ensures full transparency, respectful behaviour and a commitment not to go to court.

    “We then hold face to face meetings where separating partners and their lawyers can discuss all matters in an open, non-confrontational way, with the aim of coming to a fair settlement in the best interest of the whole family.”

    Unlike in some other dispute resolution methods, collaboratively-trained lawyers take a problem-solving approach to supporting negotiations, and provide more than just legal advice.

    “We bring in other professionals such as accountants, financial advisors, psychologists and counsellors, when necessary, to assist with whatever issues may come up along the way.”

    While the Collaborative Law approach to dispute resolution can be used by married, de facto or same sex couples when separating, it is not for everyone.

    “We find that this process works best for people who want to spare their children from the emotional damage of the breakup and create the best outcomes for their families,” Ms Chomley said.

    “The collaborative approach requires dignity and respect, so does not suit couples in abusive relationships, those with a ‘win at all cost’ mentality, or those who are not willing to be open and transparent about financial matters.”

    Garland Waddington Solicitors will host another seminar on Collaborative Law in April. For more information, go to www.garlandwaddington.com.au

    Sources
    * Australian Bureau of Statistics, Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2014, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3310.0 (25/11/2015).
    * Australian Institute of Family Studies, Family Matters No. 30 Effects of changing family structure and income on children, https://aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-30/divorce-change-and-children

  • 20 Jun 2017 10:29 AM | Jane (Administrator)

    A growing number of Queensland couples are changing the way they separate in an attempt to do away with protracted legal battles and minimise the impact on their children.

    Emotional warfare is how separation has been described in recent times. New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics puts the 2014 divorce rate at 38%, with more than 40,000 children impacted in that year alone. *

    Courts are overwhelmed with cases in relation to matrimonial property settlements and custody of children. This means people can wait up to two years for a hearing and then have to wait again for the judgement of the Court to be given. This is a long time to be ‘on hold’ and is exhausting and expensive for everyone.

    However, there is a silver lining. Much like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s famous ‘conscious uncoupling’ approach, more people are trying to reach agreement with goodwill instead of animosity, a change which has lead to the development of a new branch of law known as Collaborate Law.

    Recently 74 Queensland lawyers underwent further training to use the Collaborative Law approach, which is considered to be the ‘friendlier’ approach to solving separation issues.

    The first Sunshine Coast based Lawyer to work in the Collaborative Law field is Garland Waddington family lawyer Micaela Chomley. She says the adversarial nature of traditional legal processes in a marriage or relationship can be detrimental to ongoing relationships.

    “Parental separation disrupts the lives of one in five young Australians*, whether that’s financially, physically or emotionally,” Ms Chomley said.

    “Parents may not realise it at the time, but they are writing the story their kids will tell about their childhood. Most people don’t want their kids to remember those years for the endless bickering that happened in and out of the Courts.

    “Couples these days realise they will always be linked by their children and, because of that, there is a desire to resolve disputes quickly and smoothly.”

    In Collaborative Law, each partner works with a specially trained Lawyer and agrees to a collaborative contract which ensures transparency and respectful behaviour.

    “We hold four-way meetings in which everyone works together and gives full and frank disclosure in relation to property and discusses what the praties want to achieve. We also discuss what is in the child’s best interest in order to come to an agreement that both parties are satisfied with,” said Ms Chomley.

    “The parents are present at all times during negotiations and are empowered to participate in their own negotiations. The clients drive the process instead of the lawyers, resulting in greater ownership of the outcome as they address their specific needs, issues and those of their families”.

    “The parties sign an agreement that the parties will not use the threat of going to Court in order to reach an agreement. This approach advantages both parties and disadvantages neither.”

    However Ms Chomley stresses that just like every family, every family law matter is unique and people should seek tailored advice for their circumstances.

    “Obtaining the correct advice at the time of your separation, or even before you separate, can minimise the devastating impact separation has on the family unit.”

    Ms Chomley will be hosting a series of free information seminars on Collaborative Law in February 2016. If you’d like to find out more and reserve your seat at a seminar, contact Garland Waddington direct on 5443 4866.

    For more information in relation to a family law matter or to obtain professional advice, visit www.garlandwaddington.com.au

    *Australian Bureau of Statistics, Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2014, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3310.0 (25/11/2015)

    *Australian Institute of Family Studies, Family Matters No. 30 Effects of changing family structure and income on children, https://aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-30/divorce-change-and-children

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