A family counsellor must not disclose a communication made to the counsellor
Statements made by a person, including a child, during family counselling and family dispute resolution, are usually confidential. This means that the family counsellor or practitioner cannot disclose the information in the statements to anyone, except in certain circumstances.
- (1) A family counsellor must not disclose a communication made to the counsellor while the counsellor is conducting family counselling, unless the disclosure is required or authorised by this section.
- (2) A family counsellor must disclose a communication if the counsellor reasonably believes the disclosure is necessary for the purpose of complying with a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory.
- (3) A family counsellor may disclose a communication if consent to the disclosure is given by:
- (a) if the person who made the communication is 18 or over--that person; or
- (b) if the person who made the communication is a child under 18:
- (i) each person who has parental responsibility (within the meaning of Part VII) for the child; or
- (ii) a court.
- (4) A family counsellor may disclose a communication if the counsellor reasonably believes that the disclosure is necessary for the purpose of:
- (a) protecting a child from the risk of harm (whether physical or psychological); or
- (b) preventing or lessening a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of a person; or
- (c) reporting the commission, or preventing the likely commission, of an offence involving violence or a threat of violence to a person; or
- (d) preventing or lessening a serious and imminent threat to the property of a person; or
- (e) reporting the commission, or preventing the likely commission, of an offence involving intentional damage to property of a person or a threat of damage to property; or
- (f) if a lawyer independently represents a child's interests under an order under section 68L--assisting the lawyer to do so properly.
- (5) A family counsellor may disclose a communication in order to provide information (other than personal information within the meaning of section 6 of the Privacy Act 1988 ) for research relevant to families.
- (6) Evidence that would be inadmissible because of section 10E is not admissible merely because this section requires or authorises its disclosure.
Note: This means that the counsellor's evidence is inadmissible in court, even if subsection (2), (3), (4) or (5) allows the counsellor to disclose it in other circumstances.
- (7) Nothing in this section prevents a family counsellor from disclosing information necessary for the counsellor to give a certificate of the kind mentioned in paragraph 16(2A)(a) of the Marriage Act 1961 .
- (8) In this section