Patrick Parkinson is a Professor at the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, where he served as Dean from 2018 – 2021. He holds a BA degree in Law with first class honours from Oxford University, a LLM from the University of Illinois and a LLD from the University of Sydney.
Prof. Parkinson is a nationally accredited mediator and arbitrator in Australia, specialising in the resolution of family property disputes.
He was President of the International Society of Family Law from 2011-14 and remains on its Executive Council. He has had considerable influence on the development of family law in Australia. He served from 2004-2007 as Chairperson of the Family Law Council, an advisory body to the federal Attorney- General, and chaired a review of the Child Support Scheme in 2004-05 which led to the enactment of major changes to the Child Support Scheme. He also conceived the idea of Family Relationship Centres, successfully pitching the proposal to the Prime Minister of the day, John Howard, in 2004. These government-funded centres now operate all over Australia, providing mediation on parenting disputes and supporting parents going through relationship difficulties in a variety of other ways.
His books include Australian Family Law in Context (7th ed, 2019), Tradition and Change in Australian Law (5th ed, 2013), Family Law and the Indissolubility of Parenthood (2011), The Voice of a Child in Family Law Disputes (with Judy Cashmore, 2008), Child Sexual Abuse and the Churches (2nd ed, 2003) and Principles of Equity (editor, 2nd ed., 2003).
Professor Parkinson is also well-known for work concerning child protection. He has been a member of the NSW Child Protection Council, and was Chairperson of a major review of the state law concerning child protection which led to the enactment of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.