Visual Mediation

Visual Mediation

What is Visual Mediation?

Visual Mediation is an approach to mediation making use of visual communication strategies to improve understanding and engagement by clients.

Mediation Institute has been sharing the work of Lisa Aurora starting with a webinar called “Let’s get Visual” where Lisa shared with us her methodology.

Click on this link to watch the Let’s Get Visual video recording of the discussion we had about Visual Mediation.

Recent Webinar Recording

In December 2018 Lisa did another webinar in the small hours of the morning for us in Australia but you can watch the recording of that webinar.

In the webinar Lisa talks about:

  • The problem that visual communication solves for parties in mediation
  • 3 ways that visual communication can be applied to your process
  • Why visual communication is so powerful for parties in resolving issues and disputes
  • What a first attempt to work visually is like
  • Why you can work visually even if you believe you can’t draw

Family Participation Program

The Queensland Government department of Child Safety, Youth and Women has established a Family Participation Program (FPP) to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to participate in Child Protection Decision Making.

Read More »

Free Resources on Visual Mediation

Visit Lisa’s website for more information and free resources including:

  • The Visual Mediation Agenda – a visual mediation agenda template and guide that you can download for free
  • A free 3 part training series –  which helps with steps to take, and avoid, when starting out with visual mediation
  • A 5 Step blueprint: for how to take advantage of visual communication in your professional practice.

Click to visit Lisa’s Free Resources Page

Upcoming Events
Sat 23

VADR Regional Mediation Workshop

23 March @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm AEDT

Report on Child Protection in Australia

Report on Child Protection in Australia

What the report is about

The report on Child Protection in Australia explores the situation in the 2016 – 2017 time period. This report is the 21st edition of this comprehensive report.

It includes detailed statistical information about Australian state and territory child protection and support services and identifies some of the shared characteristics of children who are receiving child protection services.

Child protection is a responsibility of each state and territory for the children in their areas. The role of statutory child protection bodies is to assist vulnerable children who have harmed or are at risk of harm due to abuse, neglect or other cause of harm or who’s parents are no longer able to provide adequate care or protection for them.

Key Findings

 There are a number of key findings that will be of interest to anyone who is concerned about the well being of young people in our country.

Of these 379,459 notifications 177,056 (47%) were assessed as requiring further investigation while the rest were dealt with by other means such as referral to a support service. 

This data is not consistent around Australia due to the way different jurisdictions collect and record data and treat notifications due to different state and territory legislation and organisations.

40% of the notifications came from either police (21%) or schools (19%)

In 2016 – 2017 168,352 children had an investigation, care and protection order and/or were placed in out of home care.

This is equal to 1 in every 32 children in Australia.

74% of these children were repeat clients who had come to the attention of child protection more than once.

These numbers are not reports. They relate only to the number of reported concerns that result in a child protection agency recording a Child Protection Notification.

In 2016 – 2017 49,160 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children received child protection services, a rate of 164.3 per 1,000 children, compared with 22.3 per 1,000 for non-Indigenous children.

Indigenous children were 7 times as likely as non-Indigenous children to have received child protection services.

The rate of increase in the number of children per 1,000 has increased for all children since the 2012-13 benchmark year. The increase was from 18.5 to 22.3 for non-indigenous children and 126.9 to 164.9 per 1,000 for indigenous children.

The report identifies some of the research into why this is likely to be the case.

It appears that children in Very Remote areas are 4 times as likely as those in Major Cities to be the subject of a substantiation.

Substantiation means that there is considered to be sufficient reason, after an investigation, to believe that the child has been or is likely to be abused, neglected or harmed.

There has been a continued increase in rates of interventions. The report compares rates of key interventions between 2012 – 2013 and 2016 – 2017.

  • There was an increase in the rate of reports that were substantiated from 8.2 to 9.9 per 1,000
  • There was an increase in the number of children on Care and Protection Orders from 8.2 to 9.9 per 1,000
  • There was an increase in out-of-home care from 7.7 to 8.7 per 1,000

In 2016-2107 the national recurrent expenditure on child protection and out-of-home care services were $4.3 billion, a real increase of 8% from 2015 – 2016.

 Of the substantiated reports of abuse or neglect reported a “primary” or most severe in the sort term type of abuse or neglect was recorded.

Nationally, emotional abuse was the most common primary type of abuse or neglect substantiated for children (48%), followed by neglect (24%), physical abuse (16%), and sexual abuse (12%). However, there was some variation between jurisdictions (Figure 3.3).


 Of the substantiated reports of abuse or neglect socio-economics appears to play a role. Read the report


About 32,600 children have been in out of home care for 2 years or more.

62% were wards of the state with 24% living with a carer who had long term legal responsibility for them.

Sad child

Preventative Early Intervention Strategies

As mediators we are most interested in what the report says about early intervention. The best way to manage child protection is to remove the risks to them by supporting families to be functional and supportive of their children.

The report identifies that in August 2017 the Community Services Ministers from the federal, state and territory governments agreed on two key focus areas.

  1.  To provide stability for children in child protection
  2. To ensure that the right services are available to prevent children entering child protection.

We hope that means work towards eliminating the need for child protection although the report identifies only initiatives that focus on strategies to make out of home care more stable. For example removing legal rights from parents and placing them with the state or long term care givers.

Raw Data on Children Receiving Child Protection Services

The report has much more detailed information and explantation of what the categories mean and how they are counted.

See the report for more information about the data.

Career opportunities

There are a range of career opportunities open to qualified mediators. They approach or approaches you take will depend on your personal goals, experience and attitude to work.

Option One: Working for someone else

There are a number of different services that employ people how need dispute resolution qualifications.

  • Family Dispute Resolution Services – they will require you to have or be completing qualifications to become FDR Accredited.
  • Community Mediation Service – these may offer FDR or more general mediation requiring NMAS Accreditation
  • Ombudsman services – require people with dispute resolution skills
  • Court mediation services – require NMAS Accredited Mediators
  • Private mediation business – may employ or contract mediators 
  • Mediator / dispute resolution role – larger businesses have dispute resolution roles within a business or organisation. These may be dedicated roles or as part of another role.
  • Employee Assistance Programs – many employee assistance programs now offer dispute resolution as well as counselling.

Option Two: Working for yourself

  • Contracting to one of the types of organisations above
  • Running your own Family Dispute Resolution Practice
  • Working with others to run a FDR or Mediation business
  • Providing contract mediation services to organisations
  • Dispute resolution consulting and training

Interact Support

Interact Support was established by a group of Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners and Family Lawyers including Mediation Institute Directors Joanne Law and Paul Kenna. It’s mission is to prevent family violence by helping people who have issues and disputes to resolve them before they escalate into violence.

The main services it provides are information (Interact Family Law Options Consultations), family dispute resolution by video mediation or referral to independent FDRP’s and legal advice and strategy sessions by referral to family lawyers. The not-for-profit provides internship opportunities for Mediation Institute students and the potential for ongoing contract work depending on demand.

Work Placement

Mediation Institute encourages students to make use of work placement opportunities to establish networks, gain experience and prepare a pathway to paid employment / work opportunities as a mediator.

Jobs Directory

Mediation Institute scans the job ads for mediation related jobs as well as posts information about panels and other opportunities for dispute resolution practitioners for the benefit of members.

You can find the Job’s Board Archive under the News and Event’s Menu on any page on the website. The expired jobs there will give an indication of some to the roles available.

Angela Franklin


Angela is an experienced Family Group Conference Facilitator and Nationally Accredited Mediator (NMAS Mediator) located in the Coffs Harbour region of New South Wales.

Would you like to work with Angela?

Use the form below to email her.

Angela Franklin


  • NMAS Accredited Mediator
  • Advanced Diploma of Systemic Therapy – Family Group Conferencing
  • Cert IV in Project Management
  • Cert IV in Frontline Management Person Centred and Inclusive Practice
  • Diploma of Systemic Couselling Skills – Effective Group Leadership

More about Angela

I have had 28 years of industry experience working across both Government & the non-government sector sector leading best practice in complex casework in Disability, Family & Community Services.

I am also an NMAS Nationally accredited Mediator & Family Group Conference facilitator working with complex scenario’s to negotiate sustainable agreements for children & adults.

I have led a number of State-wide projects leading to Innovation & significant reform in the sector for children & young people with complex disabilities, in project management roles advocating for change & recognition of the strengths within extended family networks.

I am very passionate about quality practice development within agencies & supporting individuals, families & staff to think creatively & use the resources they have to develop confidence, self-determination & skills to explore all opportunities to improve their lives.

TED Talk Julie Dhar – How to disagree productively and find common ground

This TED Talk by Julie Dhar talks about how to disagree productively and find common ground.

We feel it will be of value for Mediation Institute Members.

Click the image below to watch on the site


TED Talk - how to disagree productively
Click the image to watch

Mediator Musings with Sally Curtis

Sally’s vast knowledge of marketing, networking & efficiency makes her the perfect person to help organisations grow. Using proven techniques to increase sales, leverage resources, build connections, and manage time effectively both on and offline!

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