Online Meeting Resource

Meeting Structure

Meeting typically lasts 2hrs. Generally, once we start no new people are admitted. 


Facilitator introduces the meeting & rules
Meeting code issued by facilitator; attendee’s sign in at PBB.FAMILY
Empty chair (1 min silence)

First half: 

Welcome statement. Take turns (no interruptions) sharing what is going on for us, how we feel.
Pause to reflect on what has just been shared between attendees

10 mins break

Second half: 

2nd half statement & structured group discussion or, a workshop on relevant subjects

Check out & close


1. Preparation

The meeting host should be on a computer (not mobile phone).

Start the Zoom meeting session: 

Log into your allocated PBB Zoom account (15 mins before meeting start time)
Select your meeting
“Start Meeting”
“Join with Computer Audio”
Check your Audio
Manage Participants”

Welcome attendees: 

As people start to connect, they will appear in the “waiting room”
Check that their displayed name is correct
“Admit” them into the meeting from waiting room

Test everyone’s AV

Check that everyone has video turned on
Check that everyone can hear you
Check that everyone can be heard

Start on Time

Announce meeting is beginning
Put participants on mute
Start with the Meeting Rules (section 2)



2. Meeting Rules

Sign in at  PBB.FAMILY  using the 3 digit code provided by your facilitator

Meeting are CONFIDENTIAL !
Strictly no recording of any kind  (i.e. video, screenshots, audio, written).
Be on time!  Preferably, join 10 mins early, so we can all check our sound & video, etc 
To avoid speakers being interrupted, once the meeting starts, new attendees are not admitted
Be in a quiet space away from others (especially kids) and always stay on mute unless talking.
If leaving early, let a facilitator know. We just want to know you’re okay. 
Be present for others.   i.e. no web browsing, TV, texting or chatting in the backgroundPhones on silent.
No drugs. Attendees must be sober.

Most of all, be kind. We’re all doing our best.

Q: What other rules do you need to feel safe at this meeting?

Visual signals (useful as should mostly be muted).
Yes = thumbs up 👍
No = thumbs down 👎
Agree = clapping👏
Can’t hear = point to ear 👉👂

Everyone: thumbs up 👍👍👍 to agree confidentiality & other rules.

3. The Empty Chair (1 min silence)

We mark one minute of silence to think about those who couldn’t be with us today.
In a way, they are with and amongst us by occupying the ’empty’ chair.

Maybe they do not know that we are here to help them yet.
Maybe they cannot yet cope with reaching out for help.
Maybe they are no longer with us.
Maybe they are at the other side of their journey and no longer attend the meetings.
Maybe, today they have their kids with them.

The empty chair is also an invitation to new members to join us.

Take this minute to think about the empty chair, and about what you’d like to share when your turn comes around.

1 minute silence



4. Welcome Statement

Link to “MIDS_Welcome” click here

Shared just ahead of the first half / sharing circleUsually ‘guest read’ by an attendee

“Welcome to our meeting.
Please join us in helping to make it a different place in our lives. It has a different purpose to the rest of our lives.
Here, between the time we form our check-in circle and the time we check-out at the end of the group, we give one another a lot more time to be ourselves than we usually get.

At first it can feel uncomfortable as it is rare to have such an opportunity.

Here we really listen to each other, or at least we don’t interrupt or jump in quick to say our piece or even give what we may think is just the best and most important piece of advice.

Instead we give respectful attention. We don’t try to rescue someone who is feeling sad or feeling anything because we know that really they are okay. Or maybe we still have to learn—that really—they are okay.

Here, we get to know ourselves. We get to really hear ourselves and one another, without the usual distractions.

The simple way we do it is not easy to begin with, but it soon will be. We simply take our turn in going round the circle leaving space between, and instead of jumping in with whatever we may feel; we sit quietly with our feelings, just letting them be, until our turn comes round again.

Soon enough we will be ordinary with one another again, but maybe not as ordinary as we were before.




5. Sharing Circle

If more 2 facilitators and more than 10 participants, you might consider splitting into “breakout rooms”

The facilitator (or named attendee) will hand out the ‘virtual’ rock to signify who shares, one at a time.

Sharing is optional. If you’d rather not share, just say that when invited.

Allow the person sharing to do so uninterrupted; remain silent (muted) until it is your turn to share.

We have a respectful pause between sharers to consider what they said. Thumbs up 👍 to thank the sharer.

If you are a regular, maybe focus on what is happened for you since the last meeting.

If it’s your first time, feel free to share as long as you need and start with your name, kids names and ages.



6. Ten Minute Break

Back in 10 minutes

Switch off cameras and mute yourself during the break

Use the time to think of questions / subjects for the 2nd half, and add them to the chat box



7. Second Half Opening Statement

Not used if 2nd half is a workshop
Shared just ahead of second half commencing
Usually ‘guest read’ by an attendee

“We have arrived at the 2nd Part of the meeting. Experience shows that the best outcomes are gained by having a positive focus, rather than negative collusive energy between attendees.

Recognising  that the only thing I have control over is myself; not the system, nor past relationships, my children, nor even past behaviours – only my actions into the future, the second part of the meeting is for us to respectfully share relevant experiences to help each other move forward.

We are not here to teach or advise, but to offer alternatives, to share wisdom, not anger. To keep ourselves level we watch the language we use, and build on our strengths, not our problems.”



8. End of Meeting Check Out

Each take a turn sharing three pieces of information before nominating the next person to check out

One word (or very brief statement) how you felt coming into tonight’s meeting
One word (or very brief statement) how you feel now as the meeting comes to an end
One thing that you:
– Will take away with you that you have learned tonight, or
– Will focus on this coming week, ahead of the next meeting, or
– Are grateful for at this time.



9. Meeting Close

Join any (or all!) other online meetings through the week and check out our other support services:
– Dads (only) meetings are listed at
– Mums (only) meetings are listed at

Additional help:
– Telephone helpline on 1300 853 437 (8:30am-5pm aest, Mon-Sat)
– Safe/free online forum at   (‘The Virtual Verandah’)

– We support extended family via The Virtual Verandah (i.e. new partners, siblings, grandparents etc.)
– Let others know that we’re here and that they can find safe/free support. 
– Feedback for head office:

– Meeting facilitators should take time to reflect on how they themselves are feeling
– Post a ‘debrief’ onto PBB Workplace
– Be honest about how you are feeling. Burned out or otherwise affected by the stories? Reach out for assistance.
– Call the helpline 1300 853 437
– Or contact your meeting lead, mentor or operations manager and let them know how you are feeling.



Parents Beyond Breakup not only supports parents experiencing trauma through family breakdown and separation but also acknowledges the specific issue of parent-child contact and custody battles commonly termed ‘parental alienation’, a factor closely linked to stress, anxiety, depression, isolation and suicide in Australia.

Every child deserves to have a relationship with both of their parents …..