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Development   /  Jonathon Dutton

Reimagining Separation

Reimagining Separation takes an in-depth look at family separation and how we can reduce the impact and trauma of it.


Impact areas






  • DIRECTOR Jonathon Dutton

  • PRODUCER Jonathon Dutton



Reimagining Separation will take an in-depth look at separation from the perspective of separating families, as well as those working in the ‘family law system’, with a particular focus on how this impacts parents, children and society. The series will do so through the lens of an expert design team who intend to go one-step further than recent government reports, and develop a solution designed to help families navigate conflict, separation and the family law system.

Support this project

5.02% funded
  • $500,000.00

  • $25,100.00

  • December 2021

  • 3

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Anonymous $15,000.00
Geraldine Johns-Putra $100.00
Anonymous $10,000.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

50% of first marriages end in divorce and of those, 47.1% involve children under 18 years. When children are involved in the conflict of separating parents, the impacts can be devastating, and many families can exacerbate this conflict by getting unnecessarily caught up in the adversarial family law system. This series will reimagine what the system could look like for those most impacted and by doing so, we’ll show there is a better way to separate, as well as provide compelling evidence to lawmakers and government about why change can and should happen.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Not only do we want to show separating couples why they should avoid the adversarial system, but as part of the making of the film, our expert design team will create a solution designed to help people navigate the human side of separation. The larger outreach campaign will see the film used to lobby lawmakers and government by offering a roadmap for change, as well as compelling reasons for existing practitioners to engage in change.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

The short-term outcomes we hope to see is a shift for audiences in terms of what they would do or advise their friends and families to do, if they are separating or considering separating. For those who have experienced separation, we would like to see them give voice to why our solution is important.

The medium-term outcomes we hope to see are ongoing views and engagement with our series and community after the initial release, as well as widespread adoption of our solution by separating families and those embroiled in conflict. In simple terms, this solution will be for all separating couples - no matter their background - to navigate and resolve their conflict as peacefully as humanly possible.

The long-term outcomes we hope to see would be legislative. For example, we would like to see either our solution, or something comparable, be mandated as the first step for separating couples before they can engage a lawyer.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

As part of the narrative of the film, we will be following an expert Human Centred Design team led by Dr Melis Senova from Huddle. They will explore the experience of children, parents, psychologists, lawyers, judges and alternate dispute resolution (ADR) professionals, before developing a solution(s) designed to reduce the impact of separation.

The solution development is just as important as the film, as it will show what change looks like based on the human needs of today. In other words, the audience will be privy to the development of a solution(s), while the film articulates why it’s needed.

We believe this combination is critical for us to create change and achieve the desired outcomes; a solution to a problem, supported by a comprehensive rationale.

In addition to the development of our solution, the learnings and outcomes of this process will inform the focus of our impact and outreach campaign.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

This project was inspired during the creation of a 30-minute film (Family is Family) to celebrate ten years of the MELCA. MELCA practices a form of ‘Collaborative Law’, a type of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR). The goal of Family is Family was to tell the story of separation and how ADR can minimise the impacts of family separation. Below is a link to the extended trailer:

MELCA is the first ‘friend of the project’, and they have been supporting the project from the very beginning.

Additionally, Reimagining Separation will take this issue into what could be ground-breaking territory through our partnership with Dr Melis Senova and her team at Huddle. Our collective goal is to not only come up with valuable solutions to this issue, but to demonstrate the value of building out solutions based on the needs of the humans affected, also known as, Human Centred Design.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

1. We want audiences that are in the process of separating (or experiencing conflict) to be encouraged to make better choices.
2. We want audiences who know those affected by separation and the family law system to recommend our film and the solution (if relevant) we develop.
3. We want organisations and practitioners who work with children to be inspired and empowered by what we uncover.
4. We want relevant audiences (e.g. schools and organisations whose primary audience are parents) to hold screenings or promote the series as a result of what we reveal.
5. We want influencers to reference and support our series and resources during relevant news cycles, to help keep the national conversation on point.
6. We want universities to use our film to inspire legal professionals to see family breakdown as more than just a legal issue.
7. We want audiences and their networks to help us champion and drive meaningful legislative change.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

The short-term indicators will be measured via the engagement with the series and solution, as well as the growth of our community. We would also use some qualitative measures to get a sense of how the film and the solution is translating; what information is being retained; as well as the user experience of the solution. This will help us understand and explore what else we could be doing to enable us to achieve our goals.

The medium-term indicators we will be looking at is growth in the use of our solution and the outcomes of those that are using it. We will also be looking at the influence of our community, as well as how the film is being used by organisations and universities.

The long-term indicators will be a direct result of government and lawmaker interest and action based on the solution we develop.