Learning & events

PDG event | The importance of the preliminary conference: An opportunity for the parties and the mediator

with Nina Harding and Catherine Davidson

Thursday 21 November 2019 | Sydney

Catherine Davidson and Nina Harding will lead this interactive discussion and demonstration on the importance of the Preliminary Conference.

A well-managed preliminary conference has numerous important benefits including, building trust in the mediator and the mediation process, identifying issues that will arise in the mediation, setting the expectations of the parties and establishing a timetable for exchange of documents. But there are many more benefits that the preliminary conference can deliver including, helping the parties to think differently about the situation or their behaviour, identifying power, violence or good faith issues. Meeting the parties enables the mediator to identify specific needs such as disability, mental health and cultural. It offers an invaluable reconnaissance opportunity for the mediator. A good preliminary conference can help the process, the mediator’s approach and the outcome.

The presenters will talk about the tools they use, theory and their approach in commercial and workplace mediations. Please join us for an interactive, engaging session on the importance of the preliminary conference.

About the presenters

Nina Harding

Nina Harding has worked as a full-time mediator and facilitator for over twenty years. Nina has mediated more than two thousand disputes and is accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS). Nina is a mediator under several different schemes including the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (National Franchising Panel), The Commonwealth Ombudsman, the NSW Workers Compensation Commission and the NSW and Qld Farm Debt Mediation Act. Nina is the Australian Film Code Conciliator.

Nina has mediated hundreds of workplace disputes involving a multitude of complex issues. Nina is a co-author of the Workplace Conflict Guide. Nina studied law and holds a Master of Laws. Nina was the first full-time employee of the Centre for Dispute Resolution in London and she helped to establish Australia’s first private firm of commercial mediators in 1992. Nina is a casual lecturer at The University of Technology, Sydney and has taught at numerous other universities including Hong Kong University.

Catherine Davidson

Catherine Davidson is a nationally accredited mediator (NMAS) and is certified by the International Mediation Institute (IMI). Catherine practised commercial litigation in London and Sydney. A mediator for sixteen years, Catherine has mediated over seven hundred commercial and workplace disputes.

Catherine mediates under several industry schemes including the NSW Small Business Commission, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (National Franchising Panel), and The NSW Farm Debt Mediation Act. She is also a panel mediator for the Australian Disputes Centre.

Catherine has mediated a broad range of workplace disputes in both the public and private sectors, including tertiary institutions, professional services firms and hospitals.

Catherine is a trainer for the Australian Disputes Centre Mediation Training Workshops in Australia and Asia. Catherine has delivered negotiation and mediation workshops in a number of law schools in India and China.