For many years, my work has highlighted for me the need to help children going through family breakdown and being subjected to family violence. As a youngster I also experienced this. Children’s mental and physical health are often the first casualties when parental relationships sour. Their needs are often overlooked. Through my charity, the To Be Loved Network, we provide media such as books and film, aimed at helping children navigate the difficult experience of family breakdown. To Be Loved also provides resources for people (judges, lawyers, social workers, educators, families) who find themselves in this space.
I’ve been a Barrister in Family Law for nearly 30 years. I’ve had the privilege of being the Chair of Patterson’s Barrister List. Prior to being admitted to the Bar I was a County Court Judge’s Associate to Judge Hassett. During that time I also performed research work with other County Court Judges for the Sentencing Manual. My practice is in the areas of Family Law and DeFacto Property Law. I’m an accredited Arbitrator on the List of Arbitrators kept by the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators.
I’ve served as a Steering Committee Member on the Family Violence Taskforce headed by Chief Magistrate, Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. I’m a current Committee Member of the AFCC (Australian Chapter). In my desire to see young law practitioners succeed, I act as a Student Mentor for Melbourne University’s Law School, The University of Melbourne.
From feature films, stage productions, musical theatre, television and training videos, I have a broad experience with all things performing. My work across these areas include acting, producing, writing and directing. You name it – I’ve done it! What these experiences have shown me are that creative endeavours are food for the soul, not only for the performer, but also for the audience. I want to combine the creative and the hard core experiential (family breakdown) to assist kids going through upheavals in their home life. There is a real need for children experiencing family violence, whose health is at risk to feel empowered instead of sidelined. They have the right to be loved.
Darren MortBarrister At Law
During my time at the Bar, I have appeared in a multitude of cases in the Family Court, including Appeal Cases in the Full Court. This work has included appearances nationally. I have also appeared in Family Violence matters in the State Magistrates’ Courts.I have a great interest in the law.I am a family man, married with three children, 25, 23 & 17. My role as a parent has held me in good stead in terms of the experiences that I have had working in the Family Law State and Federal Jurisdictions and the advice that I have proffered emanating from solid foundations.
To Be Loved was born out of the need I saw for children going through family breakdown to be heard. Often these kids witness arguments, violence and are caught up in the turmoil of the family court system, confused and feeling it’s their fault.
To Be Loved uses media to develop educational resources so that kids, families and those of us working in the legal system can better help the children of family breakdown.