13 August 2021

MEDIA RELEASE: Dispute resolution the key to resolving long-held family disputes

Resolution Institute's 2021 Dispute Resolution Conference

13 August 2021

On the 15th and 16th of July over 400 delegates descended virtually on to the  Resolution Institute 2021 international conference, Resilience and Reinvention: Dispute Resolution During a Crisis. Distinguished guest speakers included Her Excellency the Hon Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW and The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG who delivered the keynote address, titled Wicked Problems. Bright Solutions.

Other speakers appearing at the event included key influencers and stakeholders from the business, government, law, judiciary, commercial and academic sectors.

Kay Feeney, a long-time family-law dispute resolver and lawyer, chaired a panel titled “Family Law Disputes: Solving the Problem in the Moment” which looked at the underlying motives which often form the centre of family law disputes, as well as how a mediator must position themselves before, during and after a mediation.

“Often, the problems with family law require a mediator to take up positions both of compassion and professional distance. Family break ups, especially those involving children, are often complex and very difficult to navigate. Our job is to find an even ground that both parties are happy to work with. Sometimes this is easier said than done, so compassion and a level head are required,” said Ms. Feeney.     

With the merging of the family law court into the Federal Circuit Court occurring in the next month, dispute resolution procedures in family law are more important now than ever. Dispute resolution has been highlighted by the courts as an essential tool to creating a smooth merger and allowing for quick, cheap, and just outcomes for family disputes.

“As chairman I found the discussion between us as colleagues to be very nourishing. The curiosity of the panel and the engagement with the topic and demonstrated the commitment to our community and expanding the discussions and skills, which is a good sign.”

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the local and global economies, significant challenges are apparent. For both private enterprises and public institutions, priorities are rapidly shifting under increased pressure and for organisations in dispute prone sectors, the efficient resolution of disputes is now more important than ever in order to maintain business and rebuild community confidence and harmony.

Resolution Institute is the peak industry body across dispute resolution disciplines in Australia and Aotearoa, New Zealand. We are a vibrant community of mediators, arbitrators, expert determiners, adjudicators, restorative justice practitioners and other dispute resolution professionals. We value integrity, excellence, innovation, collaboration, diversity, and influence. We reflect these values in our work for and with our members.


Sean Brogan, Public Affairs Manager: 0477 102 303