Weekly Snapshot Issue: 25 – 26 April 2019

Case we’re discussing … 

The extents some people go to just to be vexatious genuinely surprises and saddens us at times. In the recent case of Bradford & Donnellan [2019]; the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia heard an appeal application brought by the father. The father appealed the primary judges’ decision on 10 equally perplexing grounds – ranging from complaints that the ICL “didn’t talk to him” to claims that he has mental health issues and so couldn’t understand the trial process. He cited lower back injuries and being affected by anti-depressants as well as claims that the mother was not credible because she allegedly received Centrelink benefits to which she was not entitled. None of these grounds were substantiated with any evidence; nor did he provide any financial disclosure throughout the three-year court process. 

When asked why he did not provide proper evidence by way of Affidavit during the trial (his Affidavit contents comprised of one paragraph only calling on his father to provide evidence relating to parenting and property) he simply protested that “I am not a lawyer and I did not understand”. In his findings, Judge Harman (the primary judge) reminded the father that ignorance of the law was no excuse and went on to find that whilst he doubts the father had misunderstood what was required of him; he certainly had the means to obtain legal advice and representation.

The father also appealed on the grounds that the primary judge failed to decide the matter according to the parties’ application. The Full Court reiterated the well-established principle of the Family Court that a judge is not bound by the proposals of the parties but must make whatever orders the judge finds is in the best interests of the children. The primary judge made no contact orders and the Full Court on appeal found that there was no error in the primary judges’ findings. 

The unfortunate reality is that the Family Court is clogged up with many of these vexatious cases, often involving egotistical individuals who are prepared to do all that is possible to exasperate the other party. In addition to the wasted funds and time spent on these cases and the toll it takes on the courts’ resources – the ultimate toll is borne by the children involved who are forcibly and unnecessarily dragged along in these proceedings.

Modern Adventurer we’re amazed by…

In a world obsessed with and literally shackled to their phones (glute activation videos and “how to decorate cupcakes” still making the rounds on Instagram); the idea of someone sailing solo around the world for 5 years conjures for us images of Christopher Columbus or Ibn Battuta…  definitely not of a 26 year old fresh faced Breton adventurer sailing with his robust brown hen around the world. 

Between January 2014 to December 2018 Guirec Soudee did precisely that with his hen, Monique. Without a phone, beacon, or radio – the duo were completely cut off from the world and immersed in nature. Guirec talks of meeting Inuits and watching their amazement at having met a hen for the very first time. They also sailed to Greenland where temperatures dipped to -60C and the duo would witness each night the Northern Lights and arctic foxes in their natural state. Interestingly, it’s the relationship he bonds with Monique the hen that is most beautiful (and yes, this amazing hen managed to lay eggs for Guirec throughout the journey). 

Word of the Week…

Scurryfunge (v.) to hastily tidy a house. It is when you see your neighbour coming and by the time she has knocked on the door you’ve tidying your home. ‘My friend called to let me know she was coming, so I had to scurryfunge like a lunatic’

Article we have read …

Embrace the Positive’ is an article in the most recent Breathe Magazine. In this article, author Elizabeth Bennet discusses the significance of changing negative thought processes into positive ones. She writes that the more we engage in positive experiences and thought, the more we are activating our Reticular Activating System (RAS), which is at the base of the brain. This in turn creates a pattern where we prioritise information with positive qualities. 

Six Positive practises she recommends to develop a more positive mindset:

1.     Meditation 

2.     Write meaningful affirmations 

3.     Spend as much time with positive people as possible. 

4.     Celebrate your small wins

5.     Keep a daily gratitude journal, and 

6.     Create a positive playlist. 

Drink we are enjoying …

To up your water intake, jazz up your water with this infusion:

Lavender water with Blueberries

1.     Juice of 1 whole lemon

2.     1 litre water

3.     300g blueberries

4.     1 tbs lavender flowers, dried or fresh.

Instructions

1.     Lightly crush the blueberries to burst their skin or, if they are very large, cut the berries in half. 

2.     Place the lavender flowers in the muslin bag or small ball- shaped tea infuser, 

3.     Place all the ingredients together in a jar. 

Leave to infuse for at least 12 hours in the fridge before serving. 

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