Putting families first
Senior Associate, MacDonnells Law
Words By Janie Barton
Photo By Minori Ueda
Like many southerners who holiday in Cairns, MacDonnells Law Senior Associate Catherine Ross made the decision to move to Cairns in 2004 after a visit here.
Catherine grew up in Sydney, where she attained her law degree, and came to Cairns with her dive-loving husband for a holiday. It wasn’t long after they returned from their vacation that they made the decision to move here.
“My husband loved Cairns and when we got back from our holiday we had the holiday blues,” she said. “It is such a beautiful place.”
After moving to the city 13 years ago Catherine joined MacDonnells Law as a young solicitor, and under the mentorship of Susan Thomson, became an Accredited Family Law Specialist in 2009. Catherine says this is one of her proudest achievements.
“Gaining your accreditation is a career achievement not only because of the peer reviews you undertake, but also the advanced teachings you learn and in turn develop into well-informed and practical advices for clients,” she said.
Catherine’s experience includes all aspects of family law matters including property settlement on separation and children’s issues, and she is also experienced in mediation, assisting parties to negotiate resolutions as well as litigating.
“One of the best things about my job is that people share their lives with you, and they’re going through a period of change. It’s pretty special that I’m in a privileged situation where people share that with me, and I can help them on their journey to the next stage of their lives.”
Catherine also practises in collaborative law, Work and Heath Safety, inquests and domestic and family violence. She has completed Queensland Collaborative Law training, which sees trained practitioners including counsellors, psychologists, lawyers, accountants and financial planners work together through settlement processes to with the aim of reaching mutually agreeable outcomes between the parties.
“Collaborative law minimises the stress on both parties and their children,” Catherine said. “It’s a more a holistic approach in helping people reach a win-win situation.”
While moving to Cairns has its benefits for the mother of three, it’s also hard to work full time without having family close by who can help.
“I’m lucky though because the people at MacDonnells Law are like my family,” Catherine said. “I have made lots of good friends here.”
MacDonnells Law | Ph: 4030 0636 | www.macdonnells.com.au