The MAREAA Conference 2017 has come and gone – and it was a great success! All the preparation, calling for abstracts, sourcing speakers, building the program and the months of discussions and conversations and planning… and now it is almost Christmas!

As the peak conference for Marriage and Relationship Educators and a key networking and knowledge sharing event – with each MAREAA Conference, we build on the previous conference, bringing together thought leaders and linking it in to current issues and opportunities for our members. We were very proud to bring you the ‘Voices in the Family: Children, Men and Women’, and the significant role Marriage and Relationship Educators play every day in delivering our services.

MAREAA 2017 Conference Recap

With 70+ registered in attendance at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) this year, we heard from national and international speakers exploring the well-being of Children, Men and Women, Families and Communities in Australia.

MAREAA tag teamed with Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) who held their National Conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. MAREAA would like to thank Jackie Brady and her wonderful team on the success of their conference – we appreciate the support from FRSA in achieving a very successful conference.

MAREAA 2017 Presentations

Click on the ‘Speaker’ tab below and download the presentation of each speaker at the MAREAA Conference 2017. Please note that some presentations are not available or able to be published.

11:35 AM – 12:00 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS 3: Harry Benson

The family stability paradox: less divorce, yet more breakdown

12:00 PM – 12:45 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS 4: Lea Waters

Unlocking your child’s potential through strength‐based parenting

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS 5: Chloe Shorten

Take Heart: A Story for Modern Stepfamilies

2:15 PM – 3:00 PM
1A: Supporting Adolescents

Kate Selimanovic and
Nerida de Bono
Relationship Matters:
supporting adolescents to build
great relationships!

1B: Relationship Breakdown and Post-Separation

Shelby Timmins
Divorce without court – how
Collaborative Practice is
changing the way families
separate or divorce!

1C: Family Stability, Parenting and Resilience

Mandi Smith, Director
I loved you more before we were
parents: The transition to
parenthood for couples. A time
of great excitement however the
challenges and demands can
lead to a decline in martial

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS 6: Amanda Lambros

Disconnect to Reconnect

4:15 PM – 5:00 PM
2A: Partnering and Cohabitation

Robyn Donnelly, Co‐ordinator
Marriage & Relationship
Catholic Care Social Services
“Building Intentional
Relationships” ‐ Applying theory
to practice

2B: Facilitation, Learning Styles and Group Dynamics

Frederika Davies, Manager,
Clinical Training, and Marion
Dunn, Manager, Relationships
Education, Relationships
Raising the Bar: using a self reflection
tool to improve
facilitation skills in relationship

2C: Family Stability, Parenting and Resilience

Georgena Stuckenschmidt
Through innovation,
collaboration and research,
Innovative Resources creates
materials and delivers training
to help empower people to make
choices and take action

Thursday, November 23, 2017

7:00 AM – 8:30 AM Alison Campbell Rate: Boat Builders Breakfast

What have broken eggs got to do with resilience?

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM KEYNOTE ADDRESS 7: Dr Bruce Smyth and Prof Daryl Higgins

Education for Family Life in Australia: A recent snapshot

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM KEYNOTE ADDRESS 8: Harry Benson

Marriage Foundation UK
What mums want: and dads need to know

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
3A: Facilitation, Learning Styles and Group Dynamics

Maya Broers, FuelBox Australia
We have never been more
connected and disconnected

3B: Family Stability, Parenting and Resilience

Justin Miller, VP, Strategic
Planning and Business
Marriage in 21st Century

3C: Men and Fatherhood

Andrew King, Practice Specialist
Group Work and Community
Education, Relationships
How to better engage with men
to increase their motivation to
access further support to
address family violence issues

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS 9: Tim O’Leary

Men & Closeness ‐ the Holy Grail of relationships & fatherhood

2:15 PM – 3:00 PM
4A: Relationship Breakdown and Post-separation

Lisa Moloney and Robyn Parker
Relationship Breakdown and

4B: Family Stability, Parenting and Resilience

Dr Diana Borinski
Stress and Relationships: Recent
Research Findings

4C: Relationship Breakdown and Post Separation

Narelle Williams and Anne‐Maree
Separation and Divorce Recovery

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
5A: Children

Helena Deacon‐Wood and
Alexandra Barbas
Relationships Australia
Storybooks assisting children in
family violence

5B: Facilitation, Learning Styles and Group Dynamics

Cathy Dixon, Catholiccare
Mindfulness ‐ small investment,
big returns

Conference Partner
The Department of Social Services aspires to be Australia’s pre-eminent social policy agency. Our mission is to improve the lifetime wellbeing of people and families in Australia.


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