learn about our history

About Us



Family Relief offers parents and families a service that meets the ethical and clinical standards of the AASW and Resolution Institute. Quality processes are utilised that respect privacy, prioritise safety and meet the standards for registration with the Federal Attorney General’s office.



We will listen deeply to your concerns before we work with you to develop a plan that makes you feel your needs and the issues you are facing in the present. 

We encourage open and honest dialogue, with confidentiality assured at all times.



We understand that after agreements are settled and in place, the healing process must begin. This is crucial to maintaining long term stability and peace of mind.  At Family Relief we will make ourselves available to you as you go through this process and for as long as you feel you need our support.

Client Satisfaction 97%
Agreements sustained after 12 months 100%
Mediations resulting in agreements 92%

Our professionals

The Principal of Family Relief, Mary is registered with the AASW (Australian Association of Social Workers) as an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner with the Attorney Generals Office.

Mary has degrees in Social Science (Psychology), Social Work, Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Mental Health and Social Emotional Wellbeing, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution, foundational training in Open Dialogue and Parenting Under Pressure Therapist. With over 15 years of counselling experience with individuals, groups and families, and 5 years supporting clients in the complex area of family dispute resolutions.  Mary has worked with clients to address issues around addiction, mental health symptoms, trauma and relational needs.

Mary has a deep appreciation for people honoring the wisdom of their ancestors and welcomes the language of family values to be honored in her work with clients.

With ongoing and regular professional development, Mary is committed to providing professional support that is informed, compassionate and unique to the emotional and psychological needs of clients. Mary supports and encourages her Family Mediation clients to communicate openly, avoiding lengthy and potentially damaging and traumatic court hearings.

Mary has a special interest in domestic violence support and the rights of children.

What we believe in

Our values:


Diversity encourages us to be stronger and adaptable.


We are supportive - never controlling. We help you discover your own coping mechanisms and the resources to heal.


Do something different to create something extraordinary.


We stay curious so you can find your personal definition of happiness

Questions and Answers

Family Relief

important things you should know

 If you feel that there are safety concerns your mediator will work with you with the use of pre FDR (Family Dispute Resolution) support strategies. We are not a crisis service but we do understand that sometimes situations arise unexpectedly. We will guide you so that you don’t feel alone, although we are not available 24/7 by telephone. We can only respond to emails or booked Zoom sessions.

Yes, Mary is registered with the Attorney General’s Office as an FDRP and works within the Family Law legislation and regulations.

Please note that Judges of the new Family and Federal Circuit Court of Australia are now encouraged to consider the type of Certificate issued and can apply Section 13C or seek costs if a Certificate of Non Attendance is issued.

You can book a fee free 20 minute discussion with us, where we can discuss your needs and how we can best adapt to support you. One of our core values is the strength of difference. We are committed to providing a professional and ethical service within the broad scope of FDR (according to Resolution Institute and AASW). We are nonetheless always open to discussing your own ideas within these parameters, of how we can best help.

Family Relief works with families, parents and children, asking the tough questions to arrive at the best outcomes. The process is never rushed and not demanding. Everything we do, we do in your own time and when you are ready. 

“Where does your joy come from?”  “How can your happiness be compatible with that of those most important to you?”  These are two of our favourite questions to open the door to healing and peace of mind.

We do not offer legal advice or legal referrals. Book your 20 minute free consultation to find out.

Clients typically leave the service satisfied that we have worked hard together, assisting you to understand and engage in family relationships in a healthier way,  and become better parent as a result. A written court sactioned agreement increases a sense of overall stability. Pain, insecurity and fear are reduced and peace of mind begins to rebuild for all family members.

Family Relief is committed to creating a safe and supportive  space for us to work together. We have the qualifications, experience and understanding to present the resources  you may need to help you along the way. All we ask of you is  commitment and courage to trust the process. 

We begin with a thorough Intake session and initial guidance of where to from here. We do not (can not) offer legal advice and encourage you to seek this prior to your Intake session.This is particularly important if there are property matters to settle

Once it is deemed safe and appropriate to continue, your mediator will invite the person you would like to mediate with to an intake session. If there are independant needs that may influence the mediation, your practitioner may offer some pre FDR support work to assist along the way

A mediation will be scheduled when appropriate to all parties. This is usually a robust discussion via Zoom, with the inclusion of trauma safety practices to ensure  emotional and physical safety fof all concerned

Agreements and proposals will be documented by your mediator and emailed to both parties. Signed copies will be arranged where possible and necessary. Post FDR support can be included as part of agreements to ensure that ongoing needs can be supported as parent adapt to changes. Child Consultations are available for ongoing mediations. It is recommended that 2 or 3 mediations be scheduled to create stability and safe flexibility terms into the agreements.

Expect a process rather than an event that demonstrates integrity of the values of Family Relief and an efficient, professional and ethical service delivery model

Payment plans are available!

Once you have booked your appointment you will receive an SMS with links to forms you can complete on your phone, tablet or laptop.

Full payment prior to sessions is available, but you can also specify a weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalment if this is more affodable.