Welcome to Doolan Callaghan Family Lawyers


Elise Fordham

Professional Qualifications:  

  • Bachelor of Financial Administration;
  • Bachelor of Laws;
  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice
  • Certificate II Accounting Procedures
  • Admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland
  • Admitted to the High Court of Australia
  • Member, Queensland Law Society



Elise is an experienced family lawyer, who has worked exclusively in family law related matters throughout her career. Elise has extensive experience in domestic violence, and has successfully represented clients in all areas of family law in NSW and QLD, including de facto relationships, same sex relationships, spousal maintenance, property matters, international child abduction, contravention applications and children’s matters in mediation, arbitration and litigation, all the way from the Federal Circuit Court up to Appellate level.  Elise’s approach is pragmatic, strategic and tailored for each client; whether they be low income or high net worth clients.

Elise is experienced in all areas of family law including:-

  • Property settlement matters;
  • Children’s matters;
  • Divorce;
  • Spousal maintenance;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Child support;
  • De facto relationships;
  • Hague Convention matters;
  • Superannuation;
  • Mediation;
  • Arbitration.

Elise’s financial expertise allows her to incorporate her knowledge and skills into each client’s property settlement, child support matter, estate planning or spousal maintenance matters. Elise also has international law experience, having dealt with a number of Hague convention matters, being matters where a parent takes a child overseas without the permission of the other parent, and she has also had a number of clients who have resided overseas. She takes pride in assisting clients to reach strategic commercial, practical and cost-effective outcomes in property settlement and other financial matters as well as matters involving the arrangements for children. Elise believes it important to handle every matter with a strategic and practical attitude that resolves matters as efficiently as possible, or places the clients in good stead should litigation be required.

Elise was previously with a Toowoomba firm where she handled family law matters such as domestic violence, divorce and child protection. She also worked with a specialist family law firm on the Gold Coast, where she worked with high net worth individuals, complex company and trust structures, as well as a large volume of spousal maintenance matters. Elise relishes the challenge of assisting clients reach a cost-effective resolution to their family law matters, and doing so in a timely manner.

Helen Irga

Helen is a highly experienced family lawyer and an Accredited Specialist in Family Law who is dedicated to helping her clients resolve their family law matters. Helen is keenly aware that most people who seek Family Law advice from her are experiencing an extremely difficult period in their lives. She possesses a committed approach to securing the best possible outcome for all clients as expeditiously as possible. Helen’s strong communication and interpersonal skills also ensure that the best needs of her clients are met.

Northern Beaches Solicitor Jodie Anderson
Jodie Anderson

Jodie is a Senior Associate and NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Family Law. Jodie has been assisting family law clients for more than ten years on the Northern Beaches. Jodie is committed to using alternative dispute resolution and mediation wherever possible to resolve matters quickly and efficiently without the involvement of Court. Where this is not possible, Jodie is experienced in representing clients at all stages of the court process. Jodie is passionate about family law and helping clients to find the best solution for their family.

Rebecca McLeod

Rebecca was admitted as a solicitor in 2008 and has practiced almost exclusively in Family Law since 2012. Accordingly Rebecca has extensive experience in a variety of Family Law matters, including complex and contentious property and parenting matters, divorce, child support and spousal maintenance.