The Victorian Chapter offers events and opportunities for networking.
Victoria Chapter Committee for 2013
Jeanette Kinahan (Chair)
Mediation rooms in Melbourne
Rooms are available at the Victorian County Court facility in William Street.
Continuing professional development (CPD)
Victorian Chapter end of year party
Chapter annual meeting Followed by:
Cultural diversity: making the most of every encounter
Mediation horrors and how to handle them
Half day workshop
Good conduct in mediation with Professor Tania Sourdin
Wednesday 27 June
The LEADR Victoria Chapter, in conjunction with The Australian Centre for Court and Justice System Innovation (ACCJSI), hosted this thought-provoking session. Extremely well attended by mediators and interested professionals from diverse walks of mediation, it featured some valuable comments and perspectives relating to high conflict behaviour, good and bad faith, and the behaviour of advocates in mediations.
Professor Sourdin's fascinating stories and case studies captured the important issues for consideration where mediation players have differences of perspectives about what is acceptable in a mediation setting. She defined the elements of good and bad conduct, and explored some of the reasons that they arise, including differing ethical understandings and mediator responses to these. Professor Sourdin then shed light on the legislative frameworks which have created systemic supports in many jurisdictions, providing examples of instances where it promoted good behaviour, as well as instances where it was less effective in doing so. She highlighted the new legal requirements arising from the new Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and prompted participants' consideration of what amounts to acceptable lawyer behaviour in negotiation and mediations.
Professor Sourdin canvassed some suggestions for mediators in order to support good conduct, including improving micro skills, providing process explanations, utilising systemic support, encouraging cultural change and education. This fascinating evening took place at the ACCJSI campus, providing an extremely pleasant setting for this important event.
A podcast of this presentation is available to members in the members area of the website.
Tuesday 3 April 2012
The first event of the year was a well-attended (53 participants), thought-provoking exploration of mindfulness in mediation. Dr Richard Chambers challenged the group with a William Kunstler quote, “We are blind to the depth of our own prejudice” and focused our attention on the pitfalls of being on ‘automatic pilot’. Richard highlighted that neutrality and impartiality are active processes that require us to recognise our own biased based thoughts/emotion.
Richard posed mindfulness as a ‘commitment to being fully present moment-to-moment, with an attitude of openness and acceptance’...‘paying attention to what you are doing as you are doing it’ – demonstrating this effectively with a group breathing exercise where we observed and labeled distracting thoughts and consciously ‘let them go’. Mindfulness being ‘awareness of intentional focus’.
Richard highlighted research that shows that the practice of mindfulness increases the thickness of the brain regions associated with self-awareness and sensory processing (Lazar et al 2005). In addition, Richard spoke of the value of mindfulness in the treatment of depression and anxiety – particularly in preventing reoccurring depressive episodes.
Sally Wiencke shared – through a case study – that using mindfulness in her coaching and mediation practice helps her to be ‘at her peak and best’, and ‘to be present and aware’ with clients which in turn encourages the same from them.
Two smaller groups facilitated by Sally and Adelaide Barbon shared similar experiences and spoke of informal current practices to achieve similar effect.
The evening left us reflecting on our own practices, intending to become more self-aware so as to be truly present with our clients – and indeed our own lives!
Resources recommended by Dr Richard Chambers:
A podcast of this presentation is available to members in the members-area.
Root cause analysis of complaints – the new tool in the ADR toolkit with Nicole Cullen
Tuesday 22 November 2011
Nicole Cullen presented about root cause analysis (RCA) and its valuable role in problem solving and dispute resolution. Focussing largely on workplace scenarios, Nicole led the group through the RCA process, using the example of the recent steeple mishap where a “horse off the course” trampled bystanders. Acknowledgement of multiple causes which may exist in any given problem situation preceded an explanation of the RCA process, which comprises various steps, including consideration of goals, statement of the problem, brainstorming of causes, logic trees, implementation of actions, and evaluation. The notion of blame as being less useful compared with this forward looking RCA process was a feature of the conversation, and further discussion about acknowledgment of the impact on individuals rounded out a wonderful evening which provided great insight into this cutting edge area of dispute resolution. An enjoyable evening was had by all, and was followed by a dinner in the charming suburb of Carlton.
Process, place, purpose: can mediation be stretched into change management and collective bargaining? with Anna Booth
Wednesday 12 October 2011
Drawing on her own experience and journey as a mediator and former trade union official, Anna focussed on whether mediation can be stretched into change management and collective bargaining. She cited examples of the sometimes superficial and confrontational processes of conciliation which occurred when the Conciliation and Arbitration Act was first crafted. She then showcased the progress of workplace dispute resolution practice, noting that today it is used successfully to address relationship issues in change management and in many different commercial settings where is it important to ensure that parties' interests are explored. Participants joined in a conversation and shared their own observations and experiences, resulting in a vibrant evening of discussion and reflection.
Workshop: Mediation or investigation?
The Victorian Chapter of LEADR hosted a workshop which explored the merits and purposes of mediation versus investigation in the face of workplace complaints. Facilitated by Keith Greaves, the session featured case studies and content from Mike Jensen, Leta Chen and Sally Wiencke who reflected on their practice areas and explored the priorities, concerns and interests of the employer when consider addressing workplace issues. They presented definitions, challenges and benefits associated with mediations, investigations and the merits of informal and formal processes, by putting themselves in the employer's shoes and analysing the relevant options.
Staged as an amicable "debate", the first session provided the pros and cons of the various processes, highlighting the sensitivities which would arise in a workplace and highlighting the importance of considerations where very serious workplace rights have been breached. Introducing a framework which highlighted the most important first steps when faced with workplace issues – containment, analysis, respecting and educating, they invited the audience into the frame of reference of the employer and the consultant called in to assist. The audience then had a chance to get involved via a revolving conversation, before being grouped with their peers for further discussion.
The evening was engaging and insightful, providing real and practical tools for dealing with workplace disputes. A fun night was had by all!
Managing integrity in ADR processes
The Victorian Chapter Committee was privileged to have Professor Tania Sourdin address them at their most recent members' event. Professor Sourdin welcomed the audience with acknowledgement of their passion for ADR and credited this passion as responsible for our community's commitment to integrity in our ADR processes. Tania also encouraged the members to engage with her on the topic of integrity in ADR as a mechanism for feedback to NADRAC, whose recent report she explored with the group. Professor Sourdin highlighted the significant parts of the report which related to integrity, including practitioner immunity, good faith requirements and confidentiality of the process. The evening gave rise to interesting discussions around the importance of the role the practitioner in ensuring integrity, balanced with confidentiality. In all, it was a stimulating and engaging session and a wonderful opportunity to hear and reflect upon developments which will affect ADR practice, ongoing.
The three 'languages' parties speak and how to bridge them
Queries? Let us help
Contact us for more information or assistance.
Telephone: 02 9251 3366