Law for School Counsellors VIC 2017


One Day Seminar

Date: 24 August 2017
Time: 8.45am – 5.15pm
Venue: Rendezvous Hotel, 328 Flinders St., Melbourne
Price: $595 (includes gst – Early Bird to 27.7.17) $695 (includes gst -Standard)
CPD points: Counsellors, psychologists and lawyers attending receive CPD points

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8.00     Registration and Coffee

8.45     Welcome from LawSense

8.50     Opening Remarks from the Morning Chair

Sandra Groves, Educational & Developmental Psychologist, Boroondara/Manningham Student Support Services, Box Hill Senior Secondary College; Immediate Past-President, Australian Guidance and Counselling Association

9.00     Privacy, Confidentiality and Employment Obligations: Practical Approaches to Addressing Key Challenges and Conflicts for School Counsellors

  • Reviewing the current laws and codes affecting privacy and confidentiality obligations of counsellors in public and private schools
  • Examining employment obligations of counsellors, including counsellors who also work in private practice
  • Who can consent to release of confidential information? Can children give informed consent to release their information, including health information?
  • Examining cases and scenarios where:
    • the principal has requested information, but the student does not wish it to be provided and it potentially conflicts with your duty of confidentiality
    • parents have requested information, but the student does not wish it to be released
    • you receive a confidential medical report – to what extent can you provide this to other staff or contractors of the school?
  • Understanding and managing potential conflicts where a school counsellor also works in private practice

Nick Duggal, Partner, Moray & Agnew Lawyers

Note Taking, Record Keeping and Subpoenas: Navigating Best Practice, Rights and Obligations

  • Reviewing current laws and codes applying to note-taking and record keeping
  • Outlining common legal pitfalls for school counsellors
  • Case studies and examples:
    • examining good notes v bad notes recording meetings and conversations
    • considering good reports v bad reports
  • Amending or modifying notes or reports at a later date – what are the legal considerations?
  • Exploring best practice in storage and access to notes and reports
  • Subpoenas: understanding when you can legally refuse to produce documents or limit what you produce

Dr David Maddocks, Partner, Perry Maddocks Trollope Lawyers; Former Neuropsychologist

Student Deaths: Understanding and Dealing with Investigations and Coronial Inquests

  • Reviewing investigations and Coronial inquests – when do they occur and what is the process? How are the police involved?
  • Understanding the potential role of the school counsellor in investigations and coronial inquests
  • Reviewing key rights and obligations of the school counsellor in:
    • dealing with police
    • providing files, including your notes, to an inquest
    • writing reports
  • Appearing as a witness at an inquest: understanding your role and what to expect

Catherine Dunlop, Partner, Employment, Safety & People, Maddocks Lawyers

Dealing with Student-on-Student Sexual Abuse in Schools

  • Legal updates: reviewing laws affecting student-on-student sexual abuse and sexting in schools
  • Examining relevant offences and how the law views responsibility at different ages – from primary age to secondary
  • What steps should be taken where there are only rumours or suspicions of abuse by students and the suspected victim is not being cooperative?
  • When should a school investigate and how?
  • When should you take steps to notify authorities?
  • Handling police investigations: what are your rights and obligations in responding to police seeking to interview you or requesting documents?

Steven Troeth, Partner, Gadens Lawyers

1.10     Closing Remarks from the Morning Chair

1.15     Close of Morning Session for Lunch (45 Minutes)

AFTERNOON SESSION – 2.00pm to 5.15pm

2.00     Opening Remarks from the Afternoon Chair

Amanda Scott, Director of Student Wellbeing, Geelong Grammar School

2.05     Cyber-Bullying and Sexting Update: Exploring Options to Protect and Support Students

  • Law update: reviewing the current law applying to social media – duty of care, privacy and relevant legislation
  • Cyber-bullying case studies – what have schools done well and how can they improve?
  • Sexting cases: mitigating risks and damage and clarifying the role of the school counsellor in investigations
  • Dealing with sexting allegations – what steps can you take to limit or prevent distribution?
  • Exploring evolving technologies and platforms – what are the emerging challenges to consider in dealing with cyber issues?

Jason Newman, Partner, Gilchrist Connell Lawyers; Board Member, Australian and New Zealand Education Law Association; Leading Lawyers List, Doyle’s Guide

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Examining Key Learnings to Date for School Counsellors

  • Reviewing developments affecting school counsellors from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • Understanding the implications for counsellors:
    • evaluating the school counsellor’s role and obligations in light of the Commission
    • identifying duties in dealing with school management and providing input into school policy
    • managing confidentiality obligations
    • mandatory reporting and engagement with external authorities
  • Managing the role of the school counsellor to meet learnings from the Royal Commission

Daniel Creasey, Partner and Head of Pro Bono and Responsible Business, Colin Biggers and Paisley

Family Breakdown, Conflict and Court Action: Examining the Impacts and Navigating Your Duties, Obligations and Risks

  • Examining the options available to parents on separation and how they impact the school’s obligations: informal arrangements, parenting plans, Court orders
  • Exploring the behavioral impacts on children exposed to adversarial parents and a Court process – how does the Court assess the impacts and respond?
  • What particular legal obligations and duties should you be aware of as a school counsellor in dealing with children caught in parent conflict?
  • How are your duties affected by Court action and what are the Court’s expectations of school counsellors?
  • Navigating the legal risks and exposures for counsellors dealing with children of parents in conflict
  • Learning from case studies and scenarios

Wendy Kayler-Thomson, Partner, Forte Family Lawyers; Chair Family Law Section, Law Council of Australia; Accredited Family Law Specialist

Dr Ben Jones, Consultant Forensic Psychologist, Vincent Papaleo & Associates; Regulation 7 Family Consultant

5.10     Closing Remarks from the Afternoon Chair

5.15     Close of Seminar

LawSense is the Preferred Event Partner of:


Presenters / panelists include:

Nick-Duggal-webNicholas Duggal has worked in the area of workplace relations for the past 13 years.  He provides practical solutions that enable employers to resolve employment issues commercially and expeditiously. Nick’s clients include publicly listed and multi-national companies, Government instrumentalities, insurers, law firms and schools.


David Maddocks.webDr David Maddocks has extensive litigation experience and has been involved in the defence of numerous claims against health practitioners. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he worked as a Neuropsychologist for over 10 years in a number of hospitals (including the Royal Children’s Hospital).


Catherine-Dunlop-webCatherine Dunlop is one of Australia’s leading lawyers in the areas of inquests, government inquiries and Work Health and Safety (WHS),. She has been recognised in Occupational Health and Safety in Best Lawyers Australia since 2013 and was named Victorian Safety Lawyer of the Year for 2017. She has 20 years’ experience acting for Commonwealth, State and Local Government clients, and acting in a range of significant hearings, including major inquests and Royal Commissions

Steven Troeth_editSteven Troeth has extensive experience in the education sector, including acting for independent and Catholic schools.  He advises on employment, student and parent issues, including staff and teacher disputes, discrimination, bullying, cyber and social media issues, enterprise agreements and contractual disputes.

jason_newman_edit pic
Jason Newman’s practice includes the defence of claims in the education sector.  He has advised many insurers, schools and teachers on claims and potential claims against them.  His clients include Catholic Church Insurances, several major brokers and Lloyds Syndicates.


Dan-Creasey-webDaniel Creasey has extensive experience in responsible business, pro bono, poverty and public interest law, community engagement and dispute resolution in the areas of commercial disputes, personal injury, professional indemnity, general liability and management liability.


Wendy-Kayler-Thomson-Web-EditWendy Kayler-Thomson has practised exclusively in family law since 1993 and is an Accredited Family Law Specialist. Wendy is the Chair of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the peak representative body for family lawyers in Australia. In that role she has been actively involved in training and education of family lawyers. 


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