Cate Banks


Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Cate Banks is a trauma-informed lawyer, mediator and sociolegal researcher who worked in both the community and in universities for over 30 years. 

Cate's strength in trauma-informed work laid the groundwork for her expertise in health justice partnerships and interdisciplinary collaborations with social work, medical, nursing, linguistic and interpreting services. Her work aims to interrogate the law and access to justice in innovative, therapeutic and preventative ways. Her work provides clients with client focused, wrap-around services with other professional disciplines. 

Cate is a committed teacher, role model, and mentor. She believes that we learn by doing, and her role as a senior supervising lawyer in the first health justice partnership she set up at Monash Law Clinics is testament to that work. In that legal clinic, Cate teaches students to apply trauma-informed skills to assist clients that live on the precipice of disadvantage.  

Cate took a significant break from full-time employment during 2000 - 2018 juggling her roles and being mother to her family.  

Research interests

Cate's research interests are at the intersections of social, health and law particularly

  • substituted decisionmaking 
  • family and gender violence
  • Family law and social policy
  • Child protection
  • Non-adversarial justice (particularly restorative processes)
  • Access to justice
  • Dispute resolution
  • trauma informed practice
  • ethics and professional responsibility

University Service

Cate is a member of: 

  • Faculty Research Committee
  • Wellbeing Committee

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Law, Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution

Award Date: 1 Feb 2011

Family Law, Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution, Australian Institute of Social Relations

Award Date: 1 Oct 2010

Law, Doctor of Philosophy, Lost in Translation - A History of Moral Rights in Australian Law, Griffith University

Award Date: 2 Feb 2005

Law (Hons), Bachelor, Griffith University

Award Date: 16 Dec 1996

Politics and Public Policy, Bachelor, Griffith University

Award Date: 16 Dec 1996

External positions

Director of the Board, Dugdale Trust for Women and Girls

5 May 2020 → …

Director of the Board, Victorian Women's Benevolent Trust

5 May 2020 → …

Director of the Board, Victorian Women's Trust (VWT)

5 May 2020 → …

Facilitator - Defence Ombudsman, Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman (CO) (Australia)

3 Jul 20172021

Director of the Board, Elder Mediation Australasian Network

1 Jan 2013 → …

Panel Member - Dispute Resolution Panel, Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG) (Queensland)

5 Sept 20082021

Past President and Chair, Domestic Violence Action Centre

Research area keywords

  • Family Violence
  • access to justice
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Family Law
  • Mediation
  • Trauma informed care
  • guardianship
  • interdisciplinary research
  • Interdisciplinary Education
  • Preventative Intervention
  • therapeutic jurisprudence

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or