9 June 2020

MEDIA RELEASE: Western Australian dispute resolver, Margaret Halsmith named as Member of the Order of Australia in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Margaret Halsmith, stalwart of dispute resolution has been made a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to the law, and to dispute resolution organisations.

The Governor-General announced this year’s recipients for the Queen’s Birthday Honours list on 8 June 2020. Margaret was one of 933 Australians who received an award and joins the list with names such as Tony Abbott and Bronwyn Bishop.

Margaret is no stranger to being acknowledged for her service to dispute resolution. She is a Luminary and Honorary Life Member of Resolution Institute, conferred for her selfless, sustained, and significant voluntary contribution to the organisation. Resolution Institute is home to over 3000 experienced and dedicated dispute resolvers who all have one thing in common — to resolve disputes peacefully.

Margaret was delighted to be recognised and said that it validates the commitment and passion that she has for peaceful dispute resolution and for professionalism, including accountability of dispute resolvers.

“It is a highlight of my career that I am able to be a flag bearer for cooperative dispute resolution in general and for all the many people who have enabled me to sustain my commitment to respectful and peaceful interaction in families and schools; cities and countries,” she said.

Current Chair of Resolution Institute, Russell Thirgood said that Margaret was highly deserving of this award.

“In 2015 I served on the first board of Resolution Institute with Margaret, who was my chair. She led our organisation with integrity and distinction for a decade. Margaret’s contribution to dispute resolution has been outstanding and I have no doubt that many thousands of people have benefited from her wisdom and skill. She is very deserving of this award. I am proud now to call her my friend,” said Thirgood.

Margaret has over 25 years’ mediation experience, is a nationally accredited and registered mediator and an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. Before semi-retiring she mediated disputes and facilitated decision-making about complex matters in a wide range of circumstances including workplace, business-to-business, interpersonal and family (including property settlement) settings totaling over 30,000 hours.

She has been running her own business, Halsmith Dispute Resolution since the mid-90s, as well as serving on many boards including being the Chair of LEADR from 2007–2015, serving on the Executive Committee of the Western Australian Chapter from 2002–2017 and then continuing as Chair when LEADR became Resolution Institute from 2015–2017.  In her role as Chair of the Board of LEADR, Margaret led the successful integration of LEADR and LEADR New Zealand during 2013–2014, and the integration of LEADR and IAMA in 2014–2015 to form Resolution Institute. Margaret endorses the adaptability of Resolution Institute through regular strategic planning and continuous business planning. Margaret emphasises that a constant checkpoint for her for each initiative of Resolution Institute is the foundation value of altruism.

Not one to rest on her laurels, she has been a Founder and Convenor, Schools Conflict Resolution and Mediation (SCRAM) competition, 2000–2006; Vice-Chair, Independent Standards Commission, International Mediation Institute, 2009–2017; Director of the Regional Arbitration Institutes Forum from 2014–2015; a member of the organising committee for the National Mediation Conference 2019, and the list goes on. In 2008 Margaret was invited to join NADRAC and in 2013 Margaret was one of the inaugural members of ADRAC (Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council).

About Resolution Institute

Resolution Institute is the largest dispute resolution membership organisation across Australia and New Zealand, with over 3000 mediators, arbitrators, adjudicators, conciliators, restorative practitioners, and other dispute resolution professionals as its members. It supports its members through providing educational tools, networking opportunities and access to robust accreditation and grading systems.

Please direct media queries to:

Amanda Dollman

Marketing Manager, Resolution Institute (Australia)

Email:; Phone: +61 2 9252 3366