28 May 2018

2018 Michael Klug award and Luminary award night

Held on 15 May 2018 in Perth, this event acknowledged two extraordinary individuals for their work and achievements: Sarah Blake, the winner of the 2018 Michael Klug Award and Margaret Halsmith, Immediate Past Chair of Resolution Institute. Attended by the Attorney General of Western Australia, the Hon. John Quigley and the Chief Justice of Western Australia, the Hon. Wayne Martin AC, and joined by Resolution Institute colleagues, friends and family, the event was a huge success. Resolution Institute board chair Gary Ulman and Chief Executive Officer Fiona Hollier were also present to honour the award recipients.

Chairman of Partners of Jackson MacDonald, Richard Sandover, welcomed guests, indicating that Jackson MacDonald is pleased to be able to host this and other Resolution Institute events. In introducing the Chief Justice, Richard highlighted the Chief Justices’ commitment to ADR.

The Chief Justice as the guest speaker commented that his views align with Resolution Institute in considering that “alternative” is not an appropriate descriptor for non-curial dispute resolution. "The vast majority of disputes which emerge in our community are resolved consensually without reference to external agencies", he said. "Last year we [Supreme Court of Western Australia] conducted approximately 550 mediations as compared to around 70 civil trials."  The Chief Justice also shared observations relating to dispute resolution within Aboriginal communities in Western Australia, which provided a context for the work of the Michael Klug awardee Sarah Blake, who he said “has demonstrated her capacity to provide effective dispute resolution services in a cross-cultural environment - which is extraordinarily difficult. She has shown exemplary skills and demonstrated the personal qualities required to bring people from different cultures along with her in the march towards harmony and resolution.  Finally, the Chief Justice acknowledged Margaret as "the face of non-adjudicative dispute resolution in Western Australia and Australia for decades" and "matriarch of a thriving profession." Read the complete comments from the Chief Justice here>>

The Chair of Resolution Institute, Gary Ulman, in presenting the Resolution Institute Michael Klug award to Sarah said that, "the Board was extremely impressed by her intervention and peace-making skills in a local aboriginal community". He added "Sarah also made a significant contribution in helping communities better understand their conflict context so that organisations such as Legal Aid would be better able to intervene, respond and resolve community conflict." Michael Klug, who was overseas at the time and couldn’t be available at the event, conveyed that he has met Sarah and “regard(s) her as a fine recipient of the award”.

Acknowledging the five current Luminaries - Gerald Raftesath, Michael Klug, Alan Limbury, Michael Mills, Oscar Shub - Gary honoured the sixth Luminary and Honorary Life Member, Margaret Halsmith. Gary commented on Margaret’s numerous achievements during her 10 year tenure as the Chair of Resolution Institute, including completing two integrations - one between LEADR and LEADR NZ (November 2013) and one between LEADR and IAMA (November 2014), growing membership from 1600 to about 3200 and making the financial health of the organisation more robust. Sharing his personal experience with Margaret he said, "I have only known Margaret for a relatively short time but I soon learned to value her careful and considered views and the measured way in which she dealt with matters. I personally have placed great store in her very wise counsel." Read the complete comments from the Chair of Resolution Institute here>>

In the closing comments for the formal part of the evening Resolution Institute CEO, Fiona Hollier extended her thanks to Richard Sandover and the partners of Jackson McDonald for making their offices available for this and many other events and for their long-standing support. Fiona then reiterated Resolution Institute’s congratulations to Sarah Blake and Margaret Halsmith as extraordinary peacemakers. Their passion and commitment to dispute resolution will inspire Resolution Institution and its members for years to come.