Just over a year ago Rosie stood with representatives of Women's Legal Services Australia in Brisbane to launch their five-step plan to put safety first in family law.
For decades women's and community legal services have been at the frontline in dealing with victims escaping violence as they try to navigate the family law system.
Their dedicated lawyers and volunteers understand all too well the systemic problems these women and children face, and so they worked really hard to present a credible plan that provided practical solutions.
Then we all stood together, tens of thousands of us around the country, and we said loudly that it was time to fix family law. We started the 'Justice for Kids' petition. We gathered at the National Press Club to inform the nation's media. We took the petition to the election campaign and presented it on Luke's birthday. And we delivered it to parliament directly into the Prime Minister's hands.
Last night, we won a huge victory.
The Turnbull government has said there will be a comprehensive review of the family law system, and announced some key measures to address safety issues. This includes:
- a commitment to legislation to prevent victims from being directly cross-examined by their abusers in the family court
- specialist units in the family court to make early intervention in cases involving family violence possible
- better resources for some community legal services to increase support for groups most at risk
You know as well as we do that there is still a long road ahead to keep everyone safe in the family law system. There are really big systemic problems that will take years to turn around.
We will look closely at the details of these announcements, work with experts and make sure they are implemented properly. We will watch closely to see the progress of this review.
But this is a huge step. We can celebrate this. We've achieved this together.
Thank you so much for being a part of it. It wouldn't have been possible without you.