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 Speakers from our 2018 Conference

Leanne Bamford

Leanne graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Tasmania as a mature age student in 1995.  Her twenty plus career has seen her involved in the areas of Youth Justice, Child Protection, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, working for the Australian Defence Force and the Family Court.  Leanne served as Acting Manager of the Northern Tasmania Domestic Crisis Service in 1999.

Leanne also worked in the area of Disaster Management and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and was involved in debriefing survivors and professionals after the Port Arthur Disaster in 1998.

During her employment with the Australian Defence Force, she debriefed Defence personnel after a number of critical incidents including debriefing flight crew and medical teams who responded to the Bali Bombing. 

Her extensive experience of working with individuals and families ensured her employment as a family consultant with the Family Court in Brisbane in 2003.  After 11 years with the Court, Leanne went into private practice as a family report writer and therapist working with families and individuals experiencing separation and divorce. Her previous experience in the Domestic Violence arena has assisted Leanne in the preparation of family reports and with working with separated couples wishing to improve their post-separation communication and parenting along with protecting their children from further exposure to adult conflict and domestic violence.

In recent years Leanne has also taken an interest in Neurobiology and the impact that trauma can have on the brain. In particular, she has been interested in highlighting the negative impact that trauma has on brain development of children, which is particularly relevant to children who witness and experience domestic violence.  This interest and knowledge has assisted her in providing trauma-informed assessments for parents, legal representatives, Independent Children’s Lawyers and the Judiciary in regard to applying a child focussed approach to the deleterious impact of on-going adult conflict and domestic violence.

Helen Baker
Helen Baker

Helen Baker has a background as a “fixer” in business and takes the same approach with her client’s situations to help them make smart decisions with their money.


Helen is well qualified to advise, holding a:

• Masters in Financial Planning

• Masters in Innovation and Change Management

• Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting


Helen is also a well-known and respected speaker on financial planning (especially for women) and over the last seven years has been presenting her unique style of financial message to industry and corporate audiences across Queensland, with occasional appearances in Sydney and Melbourne.


With this background Helen is experienced presenting conference keynotes as well as interacting with small groups in a workshop-style setting.


Her style is engaging, frank and informative. Helen has captured the essence of her advice in her book “On Your Own Two Feet- steady steps to women’s financial independence” (proceeds are donated to rescue girls from slavery in developing nations) and she has appeared in regular metropolitan radio segments and has been quoted in multiple publications including the Australian Women’s Weekly (How Busy Women Get Rich issue), bmag (Brisbane’s largest lifestyle magazine) and The Savings Room (Australia’s #1 savings blog).


Helen’s brand is On Your Own Two Feet


Established nearly 10 years ago, On Your Own Two Feet specialises in working with professionals and women with complexity in their financial affairs and wealth management.


The On Your Own Two Feet team has particular expertise in sensitive areas including clients managing divorce, being widowed, and those who are terminally ill. In most cases clients need to feel they are not only given safe advice, but can also rely on someone who genuinely cares for them.

Chrissy Leontios

Chrissy is the Principal Lawyer, Mediator, and Owner of CLEON Legal and Mediation Services – a boutique family law and domestic violence law firm. It is the only private specialised domestic violence firm in all of North Queensland, and is one of about five in Australia. Chrissy is one of Australia’s leading domestic violence lawyers.


Chrissy moved to North Queensland from Sydney (and a short stint in Brisbane) to live about 4 years ago, and has lived on Magnetic Island for the entire time. She sought to have a better work life balance and wanted to live a more simple, happy, and tranquil life, whilst following her dreams to have her own law firm that was innovative, inspiring, refreshing, and part of the Newlaw movement.


The move for Chrissy was a new start – the chance to live somewhere truly inspiring which inspired the birth of her law firm which she has successfully run, grown, and evolved for the past 2.5 years –a law firm that focuses on assisting predominantly women, and working within the space of female empowerment, and operating within a feminist and domestic violence informed framework.


Chrissy’s professional background has been in the space of human rights, civil liberties, prisoner rights, and women’s rights, and teaching law students and social science students at James Cook University, Deakin University, and the College of Law, and researching and writing for the Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution program.  




  • Bachelor of Arts;

  • Bachelor of Laws;

  • Master of Laws;

  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice;

  • Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution; and

  • The Practice Management Course.


Chrissy has been part of course development for the Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution, and researched and wrote the curriculum and assessment questions for the students of the FDR program at a vocational training organisation.


Chrissy also has significant training and professional development in working with high conflict families and domestic violence, screening for domestic violence, conducting risk assessments for domestic violence, working with clients using a trauma informed lens (in the capacity as both a lawyer and mediator), domestic violence frameworks, and the impact of trauma, violence, stress and conflict on brain development and functioning.


Over the past two years Chrissy and her firm have enjoyed being recognised in National Legal Awards for being leaders in the legal profession and female business profession in Australia. These include: Sole Practitioner of the Year (2016), Regional Lawyer of the Year (2016), Regional Law Firm of the Year (2016), Boutique Law Firm of the Year (2017), Regional Lawyer of the Year (2017), Regional Law Firm of the Year (2017), Newlaw Firm of the Year (2017), Thought Leader of the Year (2017), and Executive of the Year (2017).


Chrissy is regularly featured in the media for her work within the domestic violence space, such as: Townville Bulletin, Daily Telegraph, BDmag, and Whimn Online news.


Chrissy always hopes to be a source of inspiration to other women and lawyers – to show up, be authentic, and to serve clients with empathy, compassion, and kindness- because she strongly believes there is space in the legal profession for these qualities, particularly in the family law space.

Christina and Juris Vinters (Canada)

Christina Vinters and Juris Vinters are the co-founders of Modern Separations, an innovative family mediation firm supporting healthy transitions.


Christina is a Chartered Mediator, gratefully non-practicing Lawyer, Author of Pathways to Amicable Divorce and the DIY Divorce Manual, and Host of the Divorce Well Podcast. She also facilitates Mastermind groups and retreats for divorce professionals who aspire to transform their practices.


She has a Juris Doctor from the University of Victoria and an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.


Juris Vinters has a diverse background in international business, sales, and the study of human emotion which he brings to his role as the firm’s Intake Manager. 


He has a Master of Arts from Indiana University (Bloomington) focusing on the History of Human Sciences and an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in Philosophy and Psychoanalytic Thought.

Dr Tina Sinclair R Psych
Dr Tina Sinclair R Psych (Canada)

Having over 40 years in clinical/counselling psychology, mediation and collaborative practice, Tina’s experience is broad. She completed an undergraduate degree in Hobart, Tasmania, a Masters degree in Calgary, Alberta Canada, and her Ph.D. at Cambridge, England.

Along with being a co-Founder of MELCA, Tina has a private practice in Calgary, and is Founder and Director of Peacemakers for Families She provides individual, couple, and family psychotherapy, as well as relationship conflict resolution (mediation and collaboration).

Tina has worked with children and teens, as well as individual adults, couples and families, in occupational, domestic, clinical and institutional settings. She has worked with corporations and academic institutions as an organizational consultant as well as a therapist and mediator. She has taught at the undergraduate and graduate level in counselling programs and Continuing Legal Education.


Tina’s recent teaching has focused on training collaborative professionals (family lawyers, psychologists and financial advisors) in how to work in interdisciplinary teams in collaborative practice, the powerful ADR approach to separation and divorce. Through trainings, conference presentations and workshops, Tina’s reputation as a skilled and innovative collaborative practitioner is known within Canada and overseas – Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Europe.


She also provides mentoring and supervision to relationship counsellors, mediators, and mental health professionals in the collaborative movement.

Marguerite Picard
Marguerite Picard

Marguerite Picard is an Accredited Specialist Family Lawyer, collaborative lawyer and trainer, mediator and arbitrator.


She is driven by a passion to help families flourish after separation, and to keep them out of court.


To create a new standard in divorce, Marguerite established MELCA in 2009 with financial planning and psychologist colleagues, so divorce can be seen as an emotional crisis with financial and legal consequences, rather than as a strictly legal problem. The depth of resolution and the quality of family law settlements created by integrated interdisciplinary teams is far removed from court-based solutions. The financial planners, lawyers and psychologists are all able to do their best work for families in this model of practice, which is used in mediation and collaboration at MELCA, and is all about the preparation.

Michael Keogh

Michael is a Nationally Accredited Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.


He operates his own mediation practice in Cairns, North Queensland.


He is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and collaboratively trained practitioner.


He has practised as a family lawyer for over 30 years

Natalie Armstrong-Motin (St. Pierre en Auge, France)

Natalie has been involved in the Resolution (ADR) industry as both a practitioner and a marketer for more than two decades.


Her company, Golden Media is dedicated to promoting and marketing the conflict resolution industry.

Golden Media have:

  •  Designed and developed hundreds of campaigns for private practices, educational institutions, authors, organizations and associations around the world.

  • Been personal consultant to many of the premier providers in the ADR industry

  • Have positioned and promoted practices to see an 80% to 800% increase in business within 18 months.

Natalie oversees client consulting and campaigns, course curriculum, budgets, marketing, blogging, seminars, and human resources. She is a frequent instructor, guest professor, speaker, and writer and has given hundreds of seminars.

Natalie is the author of “The Essential Guide to Marketing Your ADR Practice”. She is frequently invited to speak across the United States, in South America and the European Union on the successful marketing strategies of the resolution industry, the legal industry, professional consulting industry, and the construction industry.

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