Private Legal Webinars Archive

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‘Burn out’ is real for workers in churches, ministries and Christian workplaces. When lines are blurred between pastoral care and self-care in light of helping hurt and needing people on a regular – mental, emotional and psychological fatigue can occur.

Addressing mental health and having policies in place to recognise injury in the workplace can help churches recognise early signs, seek help and build a resilient team.

This webinar will discuss:

  • The concern with mental health in the workplace.
  • Employees who develop a condition and/or show symptoms of a condition.
  • Receiving notice of psychological or psychiatric injury.
  • Workers compensation.
  • Avoiding discrimination.
  • Protection of privacy.
  • Developing a safe system of work.

Presented by Fran Keyes, Special Counsel.

To view this webinar, please fill out the form below.*


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‘Burn out’ is real for workers in churches, ministries and Christian workplaces. When lines are blurred between pastoral care and self-care in light of helping hurt and needing people on a regular – mental, emotional and psychological fatigue can occur.

Addressing mental health and having policies in place to recognise injury in the workplace can help churches recognise early signs, seek help and build a resilient team.

This webinar will discuss:

  • The concern with mental health in the workplace.
  • Employees who develop a condition and/or show symptoms of a condition.
  • Receiving notice of psychological or psychiatric injury.
  • Workers compensation.
  • Avoiding discrimination.
  • Protection of privacy.
  • Developing a safe system of work.

Presented by Fran Keyes, Special Counsel.

To view this webinar, please fill out the form below.*


* Your details will be added to our newsletter subscription. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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The webinar covers the following:

Commonwealth Redress Scheme for survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

  • How are claims assessed?
  • What will it cost us?
  • What about the risk of false claims?
  • Should my organisation/church join?
  • What is the Review Report saying?

Civil Liability Changes

  • Statute of Limitation and Stay Applications
  • Nominating a Proper Defendant
  • Assessing civil liability for retrospective claims
  • Assessing civil liability for prospective claims

Presenter: Alistair Macpherson, Director.

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Safety and justice are biblical principles. Investing in awareness, recognition and response to hurt people in the Church would mean churches and ministries understanding people struggling in abusive relationships? In this webinar, we discuss:

  • Recognising abuse – it is more than physical violence.
  • Current statistics.
  • Understanding the effect of domestic violence.
  • Signs and symptoms in adults and children.
  • Creating a safe environment.
  • Equipping people to recognise and respond.
  • Shaping community attitude towards domestic violence.

Presented by Eustacia Yates, Special Counsel.

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This webinar will look at understanding consent from various legal aspects including criminal law, equity, tort, contract and privacy. Churches need to know which form is applicable when dealing with a situation where consent is an issue.

Presented by Alistair Macpherson, Managing Director.

To view this webinar, please fill out the form below.*

* Your details will be added to our newsletter subscription. You can unsubscribe at any time.

n 2017, there was an increased awareness of domestic violence within churches.

This webinar will discuss the definition of domestic violence. Why the Churches role is important in playing being an active advocate against domestic violence? What is the cost of domestic violence? How to recognize and respond to domestic violence within the church?

This webinar is recommended for senior pastors, elders, leadership team and administrators charged with leadership and policy direction within the local church.

Presented by Fiona Manderson, Special Counsel.

Starting a new church? We understand that new churches are often underfunded and light on the available volunteer side.

This webinar will discuss things to consider in your church start up, including constitution composition, board members role, church management role, the role of a “mother” church, registration and compliance with the ACNC and ATO.

This webinar is suitable for church boards, church executives, senior pastors, church administrators.

Presented by Kathleen Watt, Senior Associate

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We see disputes arising in churches because of a lack of clarity in the roles of:

  • Directors;
  • Members; and
  • Senior Pastors.

This webinar will discuss who can make decisions; what powers are given to office bearers; the importance of the members register; what is the practical implication of disciplining or terminating office bearers; how do you reconcile this in church life?

This webinar is recommended for church boards, church leaders, senior pastors, elders and leadership team members.

Presented by James Tan, Senior Associate.

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There is a distinction in the employment relationship that classifies religious practitioners, missionaries, ministry workers as spiritual appointments rather than employees.

The classification of spiritual appointments will have bearing on the benefits they can claim as a spiritual appointment as opposed to a common law employee.

Church affiliated entities like schools or care facilities may not meet the test of being a religious institution because of their primary objects.

This webinar will discuss spiritual appointments, its meaning, practical application and benefits.

Presented by Alistair Macpherson, Director & Michael Burgess, Lawyer.

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We find that churches are becoming increasingly concerned and fearful about what they can or cannot preach about from the pulpit.

The purpose of this webinar is not to educate pastors on what should or should not be preached, or what is appropriate during a Sunday Service, but rather we will cover a number of cases where allegations of vilification, discrimination and defamation have arisen within Church context for sermons that offend congregations.

The webinar is suited for senior pastors, church elders, church leaders.

Presented by Natasha Duff, Associate and Michaela Vaughn, Lawyer.

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In times of Church difficulty, as lawyers we have had to review the governing documents to ensure that the parties in dispute have standing and that there is a process to be followed to settle the dispute quickly. More often, we find that churches have not updated their governing documents so that when crisis arises there is no direction forward.

Governing documents for recent times need to be stringent in identifying decision making parties, address dispute resolution process, enforcement options, and termination.

The importance of the church membership register being up to date and mechanisms to remove members who might have left the church are also highly significant.

This webinar is recommended for church boards, church administrators, church leaders.

Presented by Kathleen Watt, Senior Associate & Jessica Lipsett, Senior Lawyer

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On 8 December 2017, the Australian parliament passed a Bill that amended the law relating to the definition of marriage and protect religious freedoms. The amendment allowed same sex marriage in Australia and this came into effect on 9 January 2018.  This webinar will discuss the new legislation for same sex marriages, practical terms and implication for the church, celebrants, pastors and congregation.

The webinar is suited for senior pastors, church leaders, church executives, Church administrators.

Presented by Jessica Lipsett, Associate

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The missional activities of the church are becoming increasingly diversified. From the more traditional missions, such as setting up a Christian college, to care arms, building funds, cafes and publishers.

We discuss setting up a separate entity to act as deductible gift recipients to raise funds for the mission work of the church and how to structure and use such entity to protect claims being made against the church.

We cover steps that a church can take to ensure that it has the right people in the right positions running these arms (diversity and composition on the boards of these entities), and look at some of the risks of bad legal structures and old governing documents that create issues down the track.

This webinar is recommended for church boards, church executives, senior pastors, elders and leadership team members. This is part 2 of a 2 part series.

Presented by Nina Brewer, Senior Associate and Miriam Sadler, Lawyer.

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This webinar will discuss the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. Of particular note will be the 10 Child Safe standards as recommended to all religious institutions in Australia. The recommendations for the adoption of the 10 child safe standards include working closely with oversight bodies, child safety training for church members, prevention education and the implementation of an annual performance appraisal.

The webinar is suited for senior pastors, church leaders, church executives, and church administrators.

Presented by Alistair Macpherson, Director and Natasha Duff, Associate

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In recent times, Church restructure has moved church entities from the traditional method of being an unincorporated association to a structure of being a church entity that is limited by guarantee.

Whilst this structure is recommended, there are a number of structures churches can consider.

In this webinar, we discuss the various church restructure options available, the advantages and disadvantages of those structures; and how to use a structure to protect the personal property of leaders and church property from claims made.

This webinar is recommended for church boards, church executives, senior pastors, elders and leadership team members. This is part 1 of a 2 part series.

Presented by Andrew Lind, Director and Callum Gibson, Lawyer

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Conflict within the Church is sadly not an uncommon occurrence. Churches can be caught in the middle, and have to deal with a variety of allegations, from bullying to inappropriate behaviour.

We consider the various strategies available to churches to deal with which disputes (including negotiation, mediation and Christian arbitration), and consider when a Church might be justified in instigating legal proceedings.

Presenter: Alistair Macpherson, Director

Conflict within the Church is sadly not an uncommon occurrence. Churches can be caught in the middle, and have to deal with a variety of allegations, from bullying to inappropriate behaviour.

We consider the various strategies available to churches to deal with which disputes (including negotiation, mediation and Christian arbitration), and consider when a Church might be justified in instigating legal proceedings.

Presenter: Alistair Macpherson, Director

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Allegations of negligence and abuse are becoming increasingly frequent in the church community.

Our webinar looks at what are some of the difficult situations that have arisen where pastors, volunteers and employees have not been appropriately screened, and the consequences that have arisen.

We also make recommendations on what steps you can take to ensure that you have adequately screened your pastors, volunteers and employees.

Presented by Michaela Vaughn, Lawyer and Alistair Macpherson, Director

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Allegations of negligence and abuse are becoming increasingly frequent in the church community.

Our webinar looks at what are some of the difficult situations that have arisen where pastors, volunteers and employees have not been appropriately screened, and the consequences that have arisen.

We also make recommendations on what steps you can take to ensure that you have adequately screened your pastors, volunteers and employees.

Presented by Michaela Vaughn, Lawyer and Alistair Macpherson, Director

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This is an exclusive webinar for Queensland Baptist Churches. When is it the right time to consider creating a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) arm for your church to attract tax deductible giving? Structuring options for your PBI and how to keep the control in the hands of the church. Limits around the movement of money from the PBI to the Church. What contractual arrangements should be in place between the Church and the PBI? Presented by: Andrew Lind, Director and Nina Brewer, Associate.

This is an exclusive webinar for Queensland Baptist Churches.

When is it the right time to consider creating a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) arm for your church to attract tax deductible giving?

Structuring options for your PBI and how to keep the control in the hands of the church.

Limits around the movement of money from the PBI to the Church.

What contractual arrangements should be in place between the Church and the PBI?

Presented by: Andrew Lind, Director and Nina Brewer, Associate.

Social media and online marketing are powerful modern tools that the church is utilising to promote its activities. These tools are able to generate rapid distribution of information, and also efficiently collect information.

It also creates concerns for churches, as individuals may take issue or offence with content published.

We have also seen social media used as a platform to “cyber-bully” or spread inappropriate content about pastors or leaders.

We discuss some of our experiences in dealing with difficult situations where social media has been misued by, or against, charities, and what steps can be taken to minimise liability.

Presenter: Matthew Shearing, Lawyer & Alistair Macpherson, Director

Social media and online marketing are powerful modern tools that the church is utilising to promote its activities. These tools are able to generate rapid distribution of information, and also efficiently collect information.

It also creates concerns for churches, as individuals may take issue or offence with content published.

We have also seen social media used as a platform to “cyber-bully” or spread inappropriate content about pastors or leaders.

We discuss some of our experiences in dealing with difficult situations where social media has been misued by, or against, charities, and what steps can be taken to minimise liability.

Presenter: Matthew Shearing, Lawyer & Alistair Macpherson, Director

The webinar discussed our observation of Churches expanding their income streams in new and inventive ways.

From leasing their Church buildings to undertaking commercial activities, to starting up alternative activities such cafes, child care, book sales, music sales and English classes, to even crowd-funding projects by the congregation.

Some churches are even “partnering” with for profit investors in unit trust type structures to seek to access capital and increase charitable services.

We discuss some of the new activities Churches are entering into to raise monies for their charitable purposes, and discuss what steps can be taken in terms of structuring, and protecting the Church’s reputation and assets.

Presenter: Andrew Lind, Director

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The webinar discussed our observation of Churches expanding their income streams in new and inventive ways.

From leasing their Church buildings to undertaking commercial activities, to starting up alternative activities such cafes, child care, book sales, music sales and English classes, to even crowd-funding projects by the congregation.

Some churches are even “partnering” with for profit investors in unit trust type structures to seek to access capital and increase charitable services.

We discuss some of the new activities Churches are entering into to raise monies for their charitable purposes, and discuss what steps can be taken in terms of structuring, and protecting the Church’s reputation and assets.

Presenter: Andrew Lind, Director

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This presentation discussed:

  • Dealing with transgender issues;
  • Understanding exemptions for local churches and faith based institutions; and
  • Dealing with staff, leaders, members and parishioners in these matters

This was webinar was presented by Alistair Macpherson, Director.

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In this presentation, our Eduardo Cruz (Senior Associate) and Alistair Macpherson (Director) discussed:

  • The Limitation of Actions (Institutional Child Sexual Abuse) and Other Legislative Amendment Act 2016 (‘the Act’) was passed on 8 November 2016 and assented to on 11 November 2016; and
  • The Act was prompted by the Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (‘the Commission’) and its release of the Redress and Civil Litigation Report (‘the Report’).

This webinar is recommended for senior pastors, elders, leadership team and administrators charged with leadership and who deal with conflict against the local church.

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In this presentation, our Fiona Manderson (Special Counsel) discussed:

  • What is Domestic Violence? Isn’t it just hitting or kicking?
  • Why is your role so important?
  • What is the cost of Domestic Violence?
  • The victim–
    where to access support?
    what needs to be done for immediate safety?
    what need to be done for medium and long term safety?
  • The children –
    they are more at risk than you might think
    when to speak to the children and when not to
  • The alleged perpetrator –
    where to access support?
  • Agencies – who does what when?
  • Police
  • Child safety
  • Courts
  • What if there is a reasonable suspicion and the family is in your church?

This webinar is recommended for senior pastors, elders, leadership team and administrators charged with leadership and policy direction within the local church.

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In this presentation, our Alistair Macpherson (Director) discussed:

  • The Faith Based Charity (FBC)
  • Mission, Vision and Values which drives its relationships and service delivery
  • Challenge – maintaining the Christian distinctive in a secular environment
  • The legislative hurdles – Anti-Discrimination Act (Qld) (ADA), Sex Discrimination Act (Cth) (SDA); Fair Work Act (Cth)
  • Exemptions – not uniform with the onus on the charity
  • Judicial interpretation: Walsh v St Vincent de Paul; OW & OV v Wesley Mission Council; Christian Youth Camps v Cobaw Community Health Service
  • Tension between protection of individual rights and freedom of religion
  • Public Policy and Legal Arguments for and against the exemptions
  • The Path Forward

This webinar is recommended for senior pastors, elders, leadership team and administrators charged with leadership and policy direction within the local church.

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Discussed in this webinar:

  • Do we really need a Foundation entity?
  • How does a Foundation entity relate to the College Council?
  • Who are the controlling minds to a Foundation entity?
  • The problem of unmaintained Foundation entities and how to fix them
  • DGRs under the Foundation entity – how this works and how to move money back to the College?

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In this webinar, our Andrew Lind (Director) & Kathleen Watt (Senior Lawyer) discuss:

  • typical Lutheran School structure;
  • what entities / activities may not be under the governance oversight of the College Council? (Early Childhood, After School Care, Sporting Clubs, Parents & Friends, Foundation, DGRs) ;
  • what needs to be housed under separate ABNs?
  • Separate ABNs – separate Charity registrations, reporting and Tax Concessions ;
  • Problems of moving surplus from one to another?
  • Are there restructuring options – for common governance oversight and empowering delegated autonomy?
  • How to deal with Common employees, i.e. are there employees, being used in more than one entity?

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In this webinar, Alistair Macpherson (Director) and Jacques Nel (Special counsel) discuss when Schools sign local council contracts:

  • Key clauses to consider,
  • Insurance expectations, and
  • Risk Management.

This webinar is recommended for teachers, executive members and other relevant school staff and administrators charged with operating a local school.

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In this webinar, Eduardo Cruz (Senior Associate) speaks on responding with care & wisdom to physical or emotional injury inside and outside the Church.

In his presentation, Eduardo discussed:

  • Does the location of the injury affect the Churches response?
  • When is it OK to admit fault or say ‘Sorry’?
  • What is the Churches response under Workplace Health and Safety legislation towards staff, volunteers and parishioners

This webinar is recommended for senior pastors, elders, leadership team and administrators charged with responding to injury within the local church.

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In this webinar, Andrew Lind (Director) and Kristel Winkler (Senior Associate) speak on church structuring and property holding options ACC member churches may want to consider in the face of a church restructure.

This webinar is recommended for senior pastors, elders and leadership team members charged with decision making of their local church.

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In this webinar, Andrew Lind (Director) touches on the main developments in the regulatory and compliance environments as well as reiterate the perennials in the now ever changing demands upon churches.

This webinar is recommended for senior leaders as well as administrative staff charged with effecting these outcomes in the local church.

Presenter: Andrew Lind (Director)

Presenters: Andrew Lind & Graham Corney.

This one hour webinar will provide practical assistance to pastors and church boards for putting together and leading healthy boards. Topics covered will include:

  • The Importance of Boards (Legally and Practically);
  • How to Select and Appoint Board Members;
  • Roles and Responsibilities of Board Members;
  • Ongoing Professional Development of Board Members;
  • Running Board Meetings that Attract and Keep High Capacity People and more.

Presenter: Alistair Macpherson

This Webinar is a summary of the Royal Commission into child abuse which contains important lessons that will enable churches to better ensure the safety of children in their care.