White Kite Drawing

Practice Paper – Back to basics – what do I need to know/do when acting for parties in child protection matters?


Monday 22 August from 5.30 PM, Presentation commences at 6.00 PM 

Venue:  Hilton Hotel, Room 83, 190 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane 

Livestream ticket option available

Topic : Back to basics – what do I need to know/do when acting for parties in child protection matters? 


About this paper:

The CPPAQ are pleased to present a practice paper on ‘Back to basics – what do I need to know/do when acting for parties in child protection matters?’.  This topic will be explored through the lens of the judiciary and legal practitioners acting for parties. The paper will explore foundational matters and provide practical information and/or a refresher for those in attendance.

Panel Members:

Chief Magistrate, Judge Brassington

Chief Magistrate, Judge Brassington is a graduate of The University of Queensland-Bachelor of Laws (1990) and was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1992.

Prior to appointment as a magistrate, Her Honour worked with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

Her Honour was appointed a magistrate of the Magistrates Court of Queensland in 2005 and has served in Southport, Innisfail and as the Regional Coordinating Magistrate in Cairns.

In 2019 Chief Magistrate, Judge Brassington was appointed Deputy Chief Magistrate in Brisbane, fulfilling the role of Brisbane Coordinator until 2021, where Her Honour served as the Regional Coordinator of Queensland for a year before returning to the role of Brisbane Coordinator in 2022.

In 2022 Her Honour was appointed as a Judge of the District Court of Queensland and Chief Magistrate of Queensland.

Nigel Miller, Director of Child Protection Litigation

Nigel Miller has been appointed as Queensland’s first Director of Child Protection Litigation.  Nigel has experience across a range of fields dealing with the complex area of child protection and public family law.

Nigel was called to the Queensland Bar in 2004 and admitted as a barrister of the High Court in 2005. His legal practice has specialised in child protection and related areas of law, involving best interests and direct instructions advocacy for children and young people. Nigel has also specialised in acting for parents in the child protection jurisdiction, and since 1 July 2016, he has been the Director of Child Protection Litigation.

Nigel has practiced public family law in the United Kingdom with a London-based local authority and as an Independent Children’s Lawyer in the family law jurisdiction. Nigel has experience in criminal law services, including representing young people in the youth justice jurisdiction.

Prior to his current appointment, Nigel held the position of Assistant Director of Legal Aid Queensland’s Family Law Services, and the position of principal lawyer of LAQ’s Children and Young People team for five years.

Nigel is a founding board member of the Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland and in 2014 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to explore the establishment of a child protection law specialist accreditation program in Queensland.

His other memberships have included the Queensland Law Society’s Children’s Law Committee, representing the QLS on the Childrens Court of Queensland Case Management Committee. Nigel has also been a Member of the Forde Foundation Board of Advice.


Thelma Schwartz, Principal Legal Officer – QIFVLS

QIFVLS, an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisation providing legal and non-legal support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of family violence and/or sexual assault. QIFVLS services 80+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including the Outer Islands of the Torres Straits on the international border with Papua New Guinea.  Thelma identifies as of Torres Strait Islander heritage, alongside her German Samoan and Papua New Guinea heritage and has worked has a legal practitioner for 23 years. Thelma has worked extensively with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Northern Territory and regional and remote Qld, representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants in both the criminal justice system as well as advocating for victims and survivors of family violence and sexual assault. Thelma is also a member of the Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce.



Melissa Wilson, Senior Director, Courts Reform – People and Culture


For information about how to join or renew your membership go to www.cppaq.com.au

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