31 March 2021

CEO update | March 2021 | Conference registrations now open, and more updates




Dear members, 

In March, I was fortunate enough to be involved in a number of fantastic events. One of note was a Resolution Institute webinar (facilitated by Evatt Styles, a member of both the NSW Facilitative and QLD Committees) on ‘Resolving disputes post COVID-19 for small businesses and commercial leasing’ involving the Small Business Commissioners from QLD and VIC, Michael Miller, Director of Mediation in the NSW Small Business Commission and Donna Ross, a member and mediator for the VIC Small Business Commission. This has been an area where mediation has proved to be an effective pathway for resolving disputes quickly and in a cost-efficient way in what has ultimately been one of the most challenging times in recent history for many small businesses. I was pleased so many members were able to attend, and I am encouraged by the way government has embraced mediation in these difficult times.  

Another fantastic event was our celebration of International Women’s Day with The Hon. Sharman Stone and member Ana Lenard. We had a robust discussion on gender equity and reflected on progress that has been made, celebrated the courage of those who have walked before us to pave the way and talked about next steps for equality in all its forms. I was also honoured to present an award at the Lawyer's Weekly Champions of Pride Excellence Awards held recently. Congratulations to our member Cassandra Kalpaxis and her boutique law firm Kalpaxis Legal for being nominated and coming third in the Boutique firms category.  
March has seen us open back up for face-to-face events, having run face-to-face mediation courses in Wellington, Melbourne, Hobart and Perth, as well as hybrid CPD events where people were able to attend both in person or online. It has been great to once again be able to connect in person with colleagues. However, we know we are not past the COVID-19 challenges and are thinking of our Brisbane-based members and colleagues who are currently in lockdown.  

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners of the inaugural 2021 Resolution Institute Certificate Awards. These awards celebrate outstanding contribution and practice across the dispute resolution spectrum, and I was so pleased to see the quality of the nominations we received. Congratulations to Nicole Davidson, Lynn Booker, Wi Pere Mita, Matthew Clayton, Chris Morrow, Ruth Charlton, Muaausa Pele Walker, Samantha Hardy, Delcy Lagones de Anglim and Professor Jeffrey Waincymer. I look forward to personally congratulating the winners when they are presented with their award certificates at our upcoming conference in Sydney in July.  

Through the challenges that we have faced in 2020 and now also into 2021, we here at Resolution Institute have been working hard to support our members to ensure that we have been providing you with the tools and knowledge you need in a period that has been for many, a very difficult time. At the same time, it was important that staff also remained healthy and were able to learn and grow throughout this period. As community sentiment starts to look more positive with the gradual roll out of the vaccination, we are now turning to the future with optimism and considering how we will shift once again to support our members into the post (hopefully) COVID-19 environment. We will be talking to members over the coming months to determine what this may look like and how we can best provide this support.  

On this note, I am excited to announce that we have now opened the conference to be held in Sydney in July 2021 for registrations. COVID-19 has proved to all that the effective and efficient resolution of disputes is now more important than ever to maintain business and rebuild community confidence and harmony. The July 2021 conference, Resilience and Reinvention: Dispute Resolution During a Crisis and Beyond will showcase the dispute resolution community, our members and the important work that we do. At this stage the program comprises 27 specialist sessions and six plenaries, bringing together over 90 speakers addressing developments and emerging trends across a wide range of sectors. 

I invite you to join us for this event and I hope to see you there to discuss how we continue to rebuild and enable meaningful access to justice and dispute resolution. To find out more and to register, please visit the conference website.  

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Easter,