30 July 2021

CEO update | July 2021 | Rounding up the conference, and reflecting on achievements in the past year




Conference review

As I’m sure you are aware, the recent Resolution Institute Conference, Resilience and Reinvention: Dispute Resolution During a Crisis and Beyond was held virtually on 15-16 July. I am pleased that so many members were able to join us at the reimagined virtual conference, which was made possible thanks to the support and commitment of our speakers, sponsors, staff, and our technology partner. The sessions were both engaging and thought provoking, and I thought it really highlighted the diversity of the Resolution Institute membership and the various areas of dispute resolution showcased at the conference.  

The feedback received to date has told us that the conference was very well received, with many attendees even stating that it was the best conference they had attended. This is great to hear considering the short timeframe in which we had to transform the conference into a virtual event, and we were incredibly pleased with the final result.

A couple of the screenshots from the conference panels are below.

The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG delivering the Keynote Address: Wicked Problems. Bright Solutions.

Dispute Resolution in the Family Law Courts: Innovations and Opportunities
Clockwise: Justin Dowd AM, The Hon Chief Justice William Alstergren, The Hon Deputy Chief Justice Robert McClelland, Anne-Marie Rice 

Small Business Mediation

Clockwise: Dr Craig Latham, Rebecca McKelvie, Ian Nosworthy, Michael Miller

Domestic Arbitration Practice and the Development of International Arbitration in Australia

Clockwise: Justin Gleeson SC, The Hon Chief Justice James Allsop AO, Prof Doug Jones AO

Restorative Justice: How it Works in Dispute Resolution

Clockwise: Margaret Thorsborne, Ruth Levy, Richard Dening, Prof John Braithwaite

Business Plenary - New Perspectives from New Technologies: A Disputes Angle
Clockwise: Brian Hartzer, Leah Ratcliff, Tim L’Estrange, Harriet Territt, Caroline Malcolm


Following the conference, the management team and I have been focusing on developing the business plan for the next 12 months, aligned to 'Our Strategy'. This has really given me the opportunity to stop and reflect on the financial year that has now passed, and all that has been achieved.

Some achievements to reflect on:

  • The Resolution Institute Nominations Policy has been redeveloped and approved by the board to reflect our streamlined process and to encourage transparency and fairness.
  • Launch of Australia’s only Expert Determination accreditation — to ensure that expert determiners on the Resolution Institute panel meet the high standards of excellence associated with the Resolution Institute brand
  • Reviewed our training opportunities and provided members with a greater variety of specialist online courses and workshops to further advance their continued professional development in the comfort of home
  • Developed an online version of our flagship five-day mediation course, specifically designed for online learning (which also meets the NMAS requirements)
  • Opened up the accessibility of our networking and CPD events nationally, running most in a hybrid way for all members
  • Reinvigorated our committee structure, giving more authority and autonomy to our state/location committees, and also established a number of trans-Tasman facilitative and determinative specialist sub committees to advise both staff and the board
  • Improved our marketing bandwidth, and have explored new ways to increase the profile of Resolution Institute and our members through various publications and partnerships
  • Developed a code of ethics that applies to all members and staff of Resolution Institute
  • On the membership front we have allocated resources to ensure that your experience when you engage with us via the telephone or email, is seamless, providing you with the right information in a timely manner. As we are all operating in the current COVID-19 era, this has increased the pace and impact of digitisation in the dispute resolution industry. In line with our strategy to increase member value and provide online and real-world tools, we launched Member Connect in November 2020. Member Connect is an online member portal that enables members to have a voice, connect and to stay ahead. In addition, acknowledging the depth of skills and knowledge of our senior members, and to ensure the development of the next generation of our newer members as leaders in dispute resolution, we have launched the Resolution Institute Mentoring Programme in May 2021 and have over 70 participants engaged

Whilst we still have lots of work to do to meet the ambitious goals in our strategic plan, I’m really pleased with the progress made over the last 12 months, especially given the challenges we faced as an organisation. Like you, we had to learn how to operate in the new world of COVID-19, and how to be agile and focus on the future to ensure our sustainability.

On a side note, I'd like to introduce members to our recently formed Public Affairs team, led by Sean Brogan and his colleague Andrew Serb. As part of the team's efforts to increase the profile of Resolution Institute through the mainstream media, they'd like to hear interesting on-the-ground stories from members. If you have an interesting story you'd like to share, please email us at

For members based in locations that are currently locked down, know that we are thinking of you. Please keep in touch and I hope to see you at an in-person event in the near future.

Until then please stay in touch through our online member networking platform, Member Connect, and do not hesitate to contact me to give your feedback and suggestions on how we can continue to deliver services for our members, and continue to drive Resolution Institute as the leading dispute resolution organisation across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Take care and stay safe,