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Past webinars

  • List of past webinars

    Click the titles below to find out more about the topic and presenter. For more information on how to purchase past webinar recordings, please email

  • Webinar | 10 things you need to know about resolving conflict at work by Nina Harding and Archie Petsas, 13 December 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Nina Harding speaks with experienced HR Director, Archie Petsas, about the risks, opportunities and trends in workplace dispute resolution. Archie will share some fascinating stories that highlight the importance of dealing with disputes efficiently.

    Nina shares her observations on bullying, harassment and social discord from the coal face. Nina has mediated hundreds of workplace disputes in a variety of different workplaces. She will provide 4 essential rules for minimising damage from workplace conflict, a model for workplace mediation and tips and techniques.

    Join this fascinating discussion between experienced mediator, Nina Harding and HR Director, Archie Petsas to understand the importance of:

    • Relationship management at work
    • Impacts on health and happiness
    • Wickedly complicated and thought provoking workplace disputes

    The webinar is relevant to mediators, managers, HR partners and anyone interested in ruminations on conflict.

    About the speakers

    Nina Harding

    Nina Harding has over 20 years of experience in resolving business and public interest disputes. Nina is a law graduate and has a Master of Laws, and has mediated over two thousand disputes in a variety of different areas. She is a nationally accredited Mediator and a recognised expert in the area of dispute resolution.

    In addition to mediating disputes, Nina teaches Mediation, Dispute Resolution and Complaint Handling workshops, and runs an online training company, She regularly speaks at conferences and has taught thousands of people how to negotiate more effectively and resolve conflict. Nina Harding has lectured at numerous universities in Australia and overseas.

    Archie Petsas

    Archie is the head of People & Culture at Southern Cross Group INT. An experienced HR professional with diverse industry and technical experience across ANZ and the Asia Pacific region. Proven experience working with business leaders, developing strong relationships resulting in the development of practical HR solutions whilst keeping the commercial goals of the business in focus.

  • Webinar | Getting family law agreement across the line: tips and traps by Nichola Di Muzio, 7 December 2017

    Presentation Overview

    On 8 November 2017, the High Court handed down its long-awaited decision in Thorne v Kennedy. In allowing the appeal, the High Court made news by making it clear that it is not enough that both parties to a ’binding financial agreement’ under the Family Law Act have received independent legal advice.

    Nichola will talk about the court’s findings in Thorne v Kennedy and what to do where one party to an agreement may be at a disadvantage due to poor English language skills, age, capacity issues or other circumstances.

    The Thorne v Kennedy case highlights the level of care required by lawyers when their clients enter into family law agreements, whether those agreements are formalised by binding financial agreements or consent orders. Nichola will draw on her experience to pass on some tips about how to get an agreement ’over the line’ including reference to:

    • Consent orders;
    • Capacity issues;
    • Litigation guardians

    This presentation is relevant to mediators, lawyers and practitioners involved in family law.

    About Nichola Di Muzio

    Nichola Di Muzio heads the family law team at Thynne + Macartney and she has more than 20 years’ experience in family law. She is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Family Law and holds a Masters of Law.

    Nichola helps clients find a course through the sometimes difficult territory of parenting matters including relocation disputes, child protection and child abduction (interstate and overseas). She assists clients with matrimonial and de facto property settlements, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, spousal maintenance, asset planning (including trusts, wills and estates), paternity issues, domestic violence matters, divorce, spousal maintenance and child support.

    She completed Family Dispute Resolution studies at the Queensland University of Technology and gained advanced training in Collaborative Law. Nichola uses this training to encourage non-adversarial methods of dispute resolution although she has extensive experience in Court proceedings if needed.

    She likes to share her experience and has been involved with QUT’s career mentor program and Griffith University’s industry mentoring scheme for many years. Nichola also volunteers at Women’s Legal Service. She recently joined the Queensland Law Society list of domestic violence lawyers.

    Nichola was recently made a Finalist in the 2017 Australian Law Awards in the ‘Special Counsel of the Year’ category.

    She is a member of Queensland Collaborative Law, International Academy of Collaborative Practitioners, the Family Law Practitioners Association (Qld), and the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, and is the Treasurer of Women Lawyers Association of Queensland.

  • Webinar | Mediating Commercial Disputes: How the “Big end of town” understands mediation and what they think they want with Steve Lancken, 5 December 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Commercial disputes and their resolution are usually “lawyer driven” and almost always take place in the shadow of the Courts. There is often a pre-determined “dance” in the mediation rooms where high value and commercially focused disputes are discussed.

    • Do commercial lawyers understand the benefits of interest based mediation?
    • Does the conduct of commercial mediation rely too much on shuttle, not enough on dialogue?
    • Is the mediator’s role diminished or even damaged by lawyer driven behaviour?
    • What really happens in a commercial mediation when there is big money at stake?
    • Do pushy lawyers seek to manipulate mediators and mediation?
    • Do you need gravitas and can that be misused?
    • How are authority issues managed?

    This presentation will seek to answer some of these questions while giving an insight into the room when commerce meets conflict.

    About Steve Lancken

    Over thirty years’ experience in litigation, mediation and arbitration has given Stephen Lancken a unique set of skills and insights into the world of dispute resolution. This has seen Steve become an internationally regarded practitioner, trainer and commentator in all areas of dispute resolution.

    Steve has successfully mediated resolutions in over 2,000 disputes in areas as diverse as health, insurance, banking, property, building, native title, sports, wills and estates, property, leases, rural issues, industrial relations and community consultation.

    Steve Lancken’s knowledge and skill as one of Australia’s leading mediators and ADR professionals has led him to teaching and training in mediation, negotiation, communication, conflict management and conflict in organisations at Sydney University, Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM), College of Law and Marcus Evans Asia.

    Steve’s services have been enlisted by organisations which foster a collaborative culture such as St. George Bank, Rabo Bank, Pacific Brands, Australia Post, EPA Victoria, Alcoa, Mission Australia, The Australian Industrial Relations Commission and QANTAS. He works as a mediator in the Supreme Court, the Land and Environment Court, District Court, Local Courts and Workers Compensation Commission of NSW.

    From 2008 to 2013 Steve was honoured to be appointed to the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (NADRAC).

    Steve was named Mediator of the Year at the 2017 Australasian Law Awards

  • Webinar | Elements of Outrage: A diagnostic tool for understanding people’s interests more richly by Phillip Hart, 28 November 2017

    Presentation Overview

    People locked in conflict often need our help to recognise and discuss their interests in the situation. How confident are we that we have addressed all the important elements? What might we be missing? How can we support a stronger and more nuanced understanding of people’s interests?

    Sandman distinguishes the negative consequences of a situation (Hazard) from the strong negative reactions - anger, concern, etc - that the person experiences (Outrage). Using an evidence-based approach - drawing on his extensive experience managing controversies - he identifies 12 elements that tend to contribute to people’s outrage and which he says dominate most conflicts.

    These elements provide us with a handy checklist or diagnostic tool.

    We will explore these 12 elements and road-test them by applying them to some mediation experience(s) of our own.

    About the presenter:

    Phillip Hart

    Phillip Hart is Principal of a consultancy specialising in mediation, facilitation and skills development. He has more than 15 years’ experience in a wide range of contexts in the private, public and non-government sectors.

    Phillip is drawn to helping people make progress where it seems most difficult, and trying to learn from those whom he least understands.

    He is an active contributor to the profession; his previous conference presentations include such topics as: “Conflict Specialists and Public Confrontations”, “Connecting with a Hostile Audience” and “Riding the Tiger: Resolving Complex Many-party Issues”.

  • Webinar | FDR in a multicultural & multi faith Australia: meeting the needs of Australian Muslims by Dr Ghena Krayem and Dr Susan Armstrong, 8 November 2017

    Presentation Overview

    This presentation considers the post-separation practices and needs of Australian Muslim families and how these might be reflected in mainstream family mediation or family dispute resolution (FDR). Like other members of the Australian community, more Australian Muslims are separating and divorcing than was the case for previous generations. Like Muslims elsewhere, Australian Muslims are skillful legal navigators, and the processes they engage in at this time are multi-layered and for many purposes. Some will use religious community dispute resolution processes to ensure that this important life transition reflects their faith, community, cultural and family traditions and values. Others will also choose, or become involved in, mainstream post-separation family dispute resolution processes.

    The needs of Muslim people involved in post-separation disputes include understanding, respect, safety and support, as well as an awareness of the particular needs of their children to develop their cultural and religious identity. To what extent can or should mainstream family dispute resolution be adapted to facilitate the achievement of outcomes that will support Muslim families at this time?

    This presentation draws on available empirical evidence to illuminate the experience and needs of separating Australian Muslims. We contend that established FDR practices may be adapted to better accommodate the needs of separating Australian Muslims, as well as other cultural and religious groups, without the need for different laws or processes. We provide some practical illustrations of how family mediators might do this.

    The presentation will also consider five principles that might inform good practice in working with cultural and faith minorities in mediation. Good practice with separating Muslim families (and with other cultural and faith minority families) is ethical and relational; it prioritises the pre-mediation process; it responds dynamically to the cultural and faith context of the parties during mediation; it acknowledges children’s right to develop their cultural and religious identity; and it is sustained by communities of practice.

    About the presenters:

    Dr Ghena Krayem

    Ghena is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, the University of Sydney, teaching and researching in the areas of constitutional and public law, legal ethics, dispute resolution, the application of sharia in Australia, Muslim women and Islamic family law. She is the author of Islamic Family Law in Australia: To Recognise or not To Recognise (2014) and co-author of Accommodating Muslims under Common Law: A Comparative Analysis (2016). Dr Krayem was recently awarded an ARC grant to explore The Response of Australian Family law to Islamic community processes, which she is currently working on with colleagues from Melbourne University. She is also an accredited FDRP.

    Adjunct Professor Susan Armstrong

    Susan was a researcher and legal educator at Western Sydney Law School for over 20 years. Collaborating with family law service providers in western Sydney, she developed a model of culturally responsive FDR as well as an award-winning program to help law students better understand domestic violence. She has advised law reform commissions and federal agencies about culturally appropriate and accessible family law services. Susan is an accredited FDRP and chairs the Management Committee of South West Sydney Legal Centre.

  • Webinar | Community mediation by Wi Pere Mita, 26 October 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Community mediation

    Understanding the Maori world view is integral to resolving disputes that involve individuals from this community. In this webinar, Wi Pere will provide an overview of the Māori culture, customs and practices, and will discuss how these influence the dispute resolution processes involving Māori people.

    The presentation seeks to:

    • Increase understanding of the Maori world view and Maori DR methods
    • Equip mediators with the tools to assist Maori clients in a culturally appropriate way
    • Encourage mediators to apply Maori dispute resolution techniques, where appropriate

    Join this session to explore traditional Māori dispute resolution methods and application of these in a contemporary context.

    About the speaker

    Wi Pere Mita

    Iwi affiliations: Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Maniapoto

    Wi Pere is the Manager of Maori Legal Services at CLSST Law and has practise experience in Maori Legal Issues, Civil, Commercial and Not-for-Profit.

    Wi Pere serves on a number of governance bodies (commercial and not-for-profit) including Community Law Centres o Aotearoa, Ngā Kaiāwhina Hapori Māori o Te Ture and the Maori Justice Network. Wi Pere is also involved with the management of Aotearoa Kapa Haka Ltd the commercial arm of Te Matatini (New Zealand’s National Kapa Haka organisation).

    Wi Pere has conducted trainings and delivered presentations on Māori Dispute Resolution to Māori and non-Māori organisation nationally and internationally.

  • Webinar | Innovations in arbitration by Rashda Rana, 25 October 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Innovations in arbitration

    Dispute resolution mechanisms have been adapted, adopted and innovated in different ways over the years. Some have been immensely successful leading to efficiencies and further promotion of the advantages of ADR.

    The process of change remains dynamic and is now beginning to harness and incorporate new technologies. In this webinar, Rashda Rana SC will examine various innovations in process & technology in international arbitration which are being adopted as well as those being forecast as becoming an integral part of the process.

    Join this webinar to gain an overview of the diverse advances in the arbitration process worldwide.

    About the speaker

    Rashda Rana

    Rashda is a commercial and construction/infrastructure lawyer with over 25 years’ experience in the legal profession. She has worked as counsel and arbitrator in a number of international jurisdictions including London, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China and under a variety of institutional and ad hoc rules. She has also held the role of General Counsel for a major global property development and construction company and is an experienced CEDR accredited mediator. Rashda has regularly been recognised for her work in global ranking guides.

    She also undertakes non-contentious work in drafting, reviewing and settling major project documentation. She has also been Adjunct Professor of Law at Sydney University.

    Rashda is the current President of Arbitral Women and the Immediate Past President of the Australian Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

  • Webinar | Why Am I Here? Remembering mediation’s core: self-determination by Alysoun Boyle, 21 September 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Why Am I Here? Remembering mediation’s core: self-determination

    Is self-determination just a feel-good catch phrase, or does it really mean something?

    Join this thought-provoking webinar by Alysoun Boyle that explores self-determination as the fundamental principle of mediation. Using disputant self-determination as a guide, Alysoun will review facilitative mediation and the role of the mediator. She will show how each step of the mediation process and each action of the mediator are designed to protect, reinforce, and maximise disputant self-determination. Attend this webinar as an opportunity to reflect on your own practice and explore in depth the true power of mediation.

    Register yourself for this skills refresher and gain valuable CPD points.

    About the speaker

    Alysoun Boyle

    Alysoun Boyle has over 20 years’ experience in the dispute resolution field in Australia, practising predominately as a mediator. She is also an experienced and respected dispute resolution trainer and educator, and has experience ind disputes system design. Alysoun holds mediator accreditation under the National Mediator Accreditation Standards (NMAS). She is also a board member of the Resolution Institute.

    Having developed Australia’s first statutory court-diversion program for opiate-dependent offenders, and overseen the creation of innovative approaches for limiting overly restrictive responses to opiate dependency, the move to dispute resolution was a natural one. Strongly committed to the principles of empowerment and self-determination, she “lives” them in her dispute resolution practice. Rather than wondering whether or not people are capable of making their own decisions, she asks: “What can I do differently that will make it easier for these people to make their own decisions?”

    She is a PhD candidate investigating the attributes of effective mediators, and is currently working on a separate research project with direct relevance to aged care dispute resolution and elder mediation.

  • Webinar | The set up to settle: how proactive lawyers get the most out of ADR by Justin Toohey, 12 September 2017

    Presentation Overview

    The set up to settle: how proactive lawyers get the most out of ADR

    Develop your ability to prepare more quickly to effectively assist parties and their representatives, so they are set up to settle. In this webinar Justin Toohey, ADR Director for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, will explore how simple preparation steps can avoid some of the most common preventable barriers to settlement.

    Lawyers are increasingly time poor and the non-binding nature of many ADR process, as well as the drive to keep costs low, can sometimes lead to less than ideal preparation. This can result in frustration when a settlement has failed because of poor party preparation.

    If you are you a lawyer who regularly represents parties in mediation or conciliation or you mediate or conciliate regularly with legally represented parties, this practical and interactive webinar will give you a range of useful tips to optimise the chances of a settlement being reached.

    About the speaker

    Justin Toohey

    Justin Toohey is the Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The ADR practices that he leads at AAT help finalize 80% of matters in the general division, eliminating the need for a hearing before a member. He has 14 years of experience in mediation.

    Justin holds a Master’s degree in law and a graduate certificate in management from the Australian National University. He received bachelor degrees in law and science from Griffith University.

    Justin has managed ADR projects as First Assistant Information Commissioner with the Office of the Information Commissioner, Queensland, and as Director of Mediation and Dispute Resolution Services for the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations. He has also been a senior legal officer, decision-maker and reviewer of administrative decisions in a range of Commonwealth agencies.

  • Webinar | Mediating with diversity of sex, gender and sexuality – taking “inclusion” from theory to practice by Dr Olivia Rundle, 29 August 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Mediating with diversity of sex, gender and sexuality – taking “inclusion” from theory to practice

    DR professionals work with clients who are of diverse sex, gender and/or sexuality. You may never know that a client is trans, gender diverse, intersex and/or a sexuality other than heterosexual and it may never be necessary for you to know this information about the client. On the other hand, it will always be necessary for dispute resolution practitioners to practice in an inclusive way with all clients to welcome, support, avoid alienating, and otherwise provide an effective service to people of diverse sex, gender and/or sexuality.

    In order to work effectively with clients whose sexuality is other than heterosexual and/or who are gender diverse, it is essential that practitioners have an understanding about the social and legal issues that such clients face. It is also essential for practitioners to reflect upon their own backgrounds and prejudices, and take care not to bring bias into the mediation room. Mediators should be well informed about the available evidence about the wellbeing of diverse families, the way legal frameworks do and don’t apply to clients of diverse sex, gender and/or sexuality, and particular opportunities for power-play within relationships that include a trans, gender diverse, intersex and/or non-heterosexual person. Inclusive practice requires an open mind and an open heart – working with clients’ own priorities, experiences, fears and lived realities.

    Join Dr Olivia Rundle for this presentation on addressing underlying prejudices of service provision and the law and how to use sensitive and inclusive language when working with trans, gender diverse and/or non-heterosexual clients.

    About the speaker

    Olivia Rundle

    Dr Olivia Rundle is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania. Her work includes research, teaching and community engagement in family law, dispute resolution, and civil procedure. Dr Rundle practised law until 2000, and has since worked as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and a nationally accredited Mediator.

    She was awarded the Tasmanian 2013 LEADR Practitioner Award for Significant Contribution to ADR, for her contribution to the professional development of others, particularly acknowledging the contribution made by the book Mediation for Lawyers, co-authored with fellow mediator, Samantha Hardy and published by CCH.

    Dr Rundle co-authored with Samantha Hardy and Damien W Riggs the 2016 book Sex, Gender, Sexuality and the Law, published by Thomson Reuters and co-authored with Samantha Hardy and Damien W Riggs. Sex, Gender, Sexuality and the Law helps to prepare professionals for working with diversity of individuals, couples and families, by drawing together sociological, psychological and legal literature, legislation and case law to explore the lived experiences of people of diverse sex, gender and/or sexuality.

  • Webinar | Cross-cultural community mediation: insights for mainstream practice by Sarah Blake, 10 August 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Cross-cultural community mediation: insights for mainstream practice

    Drawing on over 20 years of experience working in remote and cross-cultural landscapes, Sarah Blake will explore with you a case study on some of the challenges of complex, multi-party, whole-of-community mediations.

    In cross cultural settings, it is important that mediators facilitate decision-making that engages with and respects the cultural norms and systemic needs from multiple perspectives. It is often complex involving many parties, support people, lawyers and mediators all wrestling with being effective in this space. This ethical dimension weaves a curious influence, shaping the mediation process beyond mere formula into something unique.

    This presentation draws together such challenges, presenting an opportunity to reflect on issues such as confidentiality, legal protections, power and capacity.

    Sarah will share some of her insights into how these challenges have shaped her mainstream practices. As well, Sarah frames the conversation to encourage cross-fertilization across different types of conflict resolution practice, asking about:

    • Purpose – what you are doing?

    • Legitimate authority – how you are doing it?

    • Responsibility – who (you, them and us)?

    Sarah will provide a case study ahead of the session to encourage you to engage in the topic and actively participate.

    About the speaker

    Sarah Blake

    Sarah is passionate about helping people in complex situations make good decisions.

    Sarah has more than 20 years’ experience, in governance and delivering mediation and conflict management services. Sarah’s expertise in the field of multi-party mediation and cross-cultural decision-making allows her to customise services that bridge cultural, commercial and legal divides. Her innovative approach to designing and delivering cross-cultural training across Australia and internationally has earned Sarah considerable respect. In 2016, Sarah was the winner of the 2016 Australian ADR Young Mediator of the Year Award.

    Sarah holds accreditations under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) and the International Mediation Institute (IMI). She provides mediation, negotiation and conflict management in workplace, commercial and community settings. Sarah also offers boards, particularly in the NFP sector, decision making and communication services. Her capacity development services incorporate design, risk assessment and recovery–focussed training. Sarah is a member of a range of mediation panels including Aboriginal Mediation Service, Department of Justice WA and the Federal Court of Australia - Native Title Mediator Panel.

    For more information about Sarah Blake, please visit

  • Webinar | Elder mediation and screening for elder abuse by A/Prof Dale Bagshaw, 31 July 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Elder abuse is an under-researched and hidden problem. It occurs across the spectrum of our society and is often unrecognised, unreported and hard to detect. Some families and/or cultures do not recognise that their behaviour is abusive or label it that way.

    The World Health Organisation defines abuse of older people as ‘a single, or repeated action (commission) or lack of appropriate action (omission), occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person. It is a violation of human rights and a significant cause of injury, illness, lost productivity, isolation and despair’.

    Elder mediation involves an older adult, or contains issues that have a particular impact on older adults. It is a focused, preventative, respectful process – usually multi-party, multi-issue and intergenerational.

    From a human rights perspective, elder mediators must ensure that the voice of the older person is heard, directly or indirectly, and respected. This applies to older people with and without capacity.

    Join Associate Professor Dale Bagshaw’s webinar presentation on models of elder mediation, including specific screening tools to:

    • assess whether or not the mediator can accommodate for any disabilities, especially those related to capacity, competency and communication

    • detect signs and risks of abuse or intimidation of the older person in pre-mediation intake sessions.

    About the speaker

    Associate Professor Dale Bagshaw (BA, Dip Soc Stud, M Soc Admin, PhD, Cert.EM.)

    Dale is a practicing Certified Elder Mediator with the Elder Mediation International Network (EMIN) and an adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia where she was previously Head of School, the Director of Postgraduate Studies, Program Director for the Masters/Graduate Diploma in Mediation and Conflict Resolution and the Doctor of Human Service Research, and the Director of the Centre for Peace, Conflict and Mediation (1973-2009). In 2007, she led the research team that wrote the first South Australian Government’s ‘Strategy to Prevent the Abuse of Older South Australians 2007-2014’ and is a member of the Steering Committee, Office for the Ageing, Department of Health and Ageing which reviewed the plan and produce the report – ‘Strategy to Safeguard the Rights of Older South Australians 2014-2021’. She continues on the Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of the new plan.

    Dale convened the 6th World Summit of Mediation with Age-Related Issues in Adelaide in 2013, is the convener and Chair of the Elder Mediation Australasian Network (EMAN), which she developed post-Summit, and has developed and maintains a comprehensive resource-rich website for elder mediators, older people and their families (see She is a member of the Board and Certification Committee of the Elder Mediation International Network (EMIN) and has worked with the latter committee to develop international certification standards for elder mediators that are relevant to Australasia. Since April 2015 she has delivered many training programs for elder mediators in Australia and New Zealand, which in part meets the EMIN certification requirements.

    For more information about Dale Bagshaw’s extensive background and work in elder mediation visit

  • Webinar | From the trenches - using restorative conferencing practices to repair high conflict family disputes by Jodie Grant, 18 July 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Entrenched and unresolved family law disputes can result in years of ongoing, destructive expansive, and protracted disputes, and years of recidivism in formal court processes and in community service agencies - particularly at family dispute resolution services. These unrelenting conflicts can damage families, destructively impacting healthy social, emotional, physical and psychological development, and eroding energies of children and adults. Additionally, these families pay a personal high price for this unrelenting acrimony and the social cost for the community is dear.

    Providing family dispute resolution processes to resolve disputes is powerful, effective and impactful. As a professional industry, we need new, thoughtful and creative practices focussed on addressing these unmet, unaddressed and unresolved needs. Yet for some who remain hooked into their narratives and battles, they need a way of disengaging, particularly from their negative relationship, emotions and behaviour.

    Restorative engagement practices provide a forum to effect recovery and build insights into behaviour. Guided by trauma-informed practices, these restorative processes enable a gradual redrafting of the narrative into a new story. Paralleling family dispute resolution processes alongside restorative engagement processes allows the illumination of practices, processes and facilitative strategies and tools. This engenders the evolution of an emerging model that borrows from both disciplines that can generate a shift and emergence into a new narrative.

    This presentation brings together two streams of practice and will refer to the specific clinical practice that Jodie Grant was engaged in.

    About the speaker

    Jodie Grant

    Jodie has accreditations as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (AGD), Mediator (under the NMAS) and is a Restorative Engagement Facilitator with the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce.

    Jodie is currently Program Leader – Family Dispute Resolution and Mediation Education, Relationships Australia Victoria (Inc.). Her teaching focuses on the Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution which equips participants with the skills required to be a family dispute resolution practitioner (FDRP) and eligible to accredit and register with the Attorney General’s department, and the 5 day Mediation course which equips participants to be nationally accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS).

    Her background is as a Social Worker working primarily with Melbourne’s homeless populations in the inner city for nearly 10 years. She attained her Masters of Conflict Resolution, initially working as a Family Law Mediator/Conciliator at Catholic Care. Jodie has worked simultaneously in both training and clinical roles for Relationships Australia (Vic.) (RAV) for the past 13 years. Jodie holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Work, Masters of Conflict Resolution (specialising in Family Law Mediation), Vocational Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution, and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

  • Webinar | Using dispute resolution processes in matters where there is a history of domestic and family violence by Professor Rachael Field, 30 May 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Using dispute resolution processes in matters where there is a history of domestic and family violence

    The dynamics resulting from a history of family violence can severely compromise the safety and efficacy of outcomes reached through Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).

    Of Australian women who experience family and domestic violence, more than half have children in their care.1 NZ Police recorded a family violence investigation on average every five and a half minutes in 2014.2 76% of family violence incidents are NOT reported to Police.3

    Join Prof Rachael Field as she presents findings from the Coordinated Family Dispute Resolution (family mediation) process piloted in Australia between 2010 and 2012. Dr Field will discuss the use of dispute resolution methods in contexts where there is a history of family violence, in both Australia and New Zealand, comparing and contrasting the application of a specialised model of facilitative mediation with restorative justice models of conferencing.

    Australian research estimates the combined health, administration and social welfare costs of violence against women to be $A21.7 billion a year, with projections suggesting that if no further action is taken to prevent violence against women, costs will accumulate to $323.4 billion over a 30 year period from 2014-15 to 2044-45.4 In New Zealand, family violence is estimated to cost the country between $4.1 and $7 billion each year.5

    The webinar will highlight the skills that DR and FDR practitioners already have in their professional toolbox, and identify important skills that can be developed through ongoing professional development, or harnessed through interdisciplinary approaches.

    The webinar will conclude with the argument that internationally, governments around the world have a responsibility to invest resources in the safe practice of DR and FDR in contexts of family violence.


    1. National Crime Prevention (2001) Young people and domestic violence: National research on young people’s attitudes and experiences of domestic violence, Crime Prevention Branch, Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, Canberra; and Cox (2015), Violence against women: Additional analysis of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey 2012

    2. Statistics New Zealand. (2015). New Zealand Police recorded crime and apprehension tables. Retrieved 9 April 2015 from

    3. New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey: 2014 (2015). Retrieved from

    4. Price Waterhouse Coopers (2015) ‘A high price to pay: the economic case for preventing violence against women’, report prepared for Our Watch and the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth).

    5. Ministry of Justice (2015). 2014 New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey (NZCASS): Main findings report.

    About the speaker

    Rachael Field

    Dr Rachael Field is a Professor of Law in the Bond Law School. Her areas of research expertise include dispute resolution, family law and domestic violence and legal education.

    Rachael is a Resolution Institute member, founder of the Australian Wellness Network for Law, and a co-founder of the Australian Dispute Resolution Research Network. She has a portfolio of more than 75 scholarly publications and is a co-author of four books.

    Rachael has volunteered on the management committee of Women’s Legal Service, Brisbane since 1993, and has been president of the Service since 2004. In 2013 Rachael was named Queensland Woman Lawyer of the Year.

  • Webinar | It’s all your fault: working with difficult personalities and clients who blame everything on others by Dr Anne Purcell, 26 April 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Tips, tools and what NOT to do

    You know the drill: some clients are just harder work than others. What is it about some personalities that make working with them such a challenge?

    We often encounter clients who cannot see their own part in a conflict; escalate to fury when challenged, or cannot see past their own emotions in order to develop options for negotiation. Finally, recent findings from neuroscience have provided us with some clues about how we can adjust our processes to assist these challenging clients.

    This entertaining but informative session gives mediators and negotiators an overview of working with clients with high conflict or borderline personalities or those who are shell-shocked or traumatised by their conflict. It will provide a guide to understanding your client, and importantly yourself so that you can avoid them triggering you and throwing you off your game.

    In this session, we will cover:

    Identifying difficult personalities traits early

    The hijacked amygdala: What neuroscience can teach us about how conflict and emotions can jeopardise decision-making

    Developing a ‘tool box’ of mediator strategies to shift clients towards solution-focussed thinking.

    This is ‘must-have’ information for any serious dispute resolver who recognises that our work and our clients can be difficult and for those who would finally like to be able to answer the question, ‘How do you do this every day?’.

    About the speaker

    Dr Anne Purcell

    PhD (UQ), M Ed (Harvard), B Ed St (Hons), Dip T, AACM (TD), FDRP, FRI Ad Med NMAS, TEPFDRP, FRI Ad Med NMAS, TEP

    Anne Purcell is a dispute resolution specialist focusing on the psychology of communication and conflict. She is founder and CEO of Resolution Partners, an innovative alternative to traditional mediation and dispute resolution services and training.

    Dr Purcell holds a PhD in Developmental Psycholinguistics and a Masters of Education, Human Development and Psychology. She did her graduate studies at Harvard University in the US and The University of Queensland in Australia.

    Anne’s main areas of expertise are educational psychology, conflict and communication patterns - especially in high conflict and difficult personalities, and using neuroscience to inform the evolution of dispute resolution processes.

    Anne has worked with more than a thousand families experiencing divorce and separation, estate or will disputes, or interpersonal family conflict. She also assists companies, corporations and NFPs to identify and manage workplace conflict and increase productivity.

    Dr Purcell is a Fellow of Resolution Institute, currently sits on the on the board of Qld Collaborative Law (QCL), and is a faculty member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). She is the sole representative for the Southern Hemisphere.

    Most recently, Dr Purcell has been named a finalist in the Australasian Law Awards 2017 under the Resolution Institute Australian Mediator of the Year category.

  • Webinar | Addressing conflict in apartment living: the benefits of skilled mediation by Dr Kathy Douglas, 16 March 2017

    Presentation Overview

    Apartment living is booming in Australia and New Zealand. With this increase in vertical living comes many challenges including significant conflict.

    Disputes arise because residents are living in close proximity and managing shared assets. Apartment blocks and other developments such as town house and master planned estate developments may require shared infrastructure and will often include jointly owned assets such as swimming pools and gyms. The legal entity that holds the shared assets may be known as an owners corporation, a body corporate or some other similar title. A committee of management often employs a manager who may informally mediate the conflict. There is scope within legislation to regulate conflict more effectively which would result in residents feeling more satisfied in the process.

    This presentation will analyse data from a mixed method study that included managers and owners corporation committees and will discuss conflict resolution strategies, including employing a professional mediator, that may assist with dispute resolution to meet residents’ needs.

    About the speaker

    Kathy Douglas

    Associate Professor Kathy Douglas is Deputy Head, Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University. She researches and teaches about conflict and dispute resolution in the Juris Doctor at RMIT. She has published widely regarding mediator practice and education and conflict in planning. She has over 20 years experience as a mediator and teacher.