Mediation Institute is happy to publish events being organised by members and events that members think we should share with other dispute resolution professionals.  Let us know what you think should be on the calendar!

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

VADR Regional Mediation Workshop

23/03/2019 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm AEDT

Full day professional development event in Daylesford 23rd March 2019


  1. Registration – tea and coffee available from 9:30 am
  2. Nigel White: Social Cohesion & ADR Mechanisms in rural areas from 10:00 to 10:50 am
  3. Morning Tea Break 10:50 – 11:15 am
  4. Ena Shaw: Understanding and managing difficult behaviours in mediation 11:15 to 12:05 am
  5. Vince Thorne: Mediating Dispute in the country 12:05 – 12:55 pm
  6. Lunch 12:55 to 1:50 pm
  7. Anna Leadbeater OAM: The impact of disaster on communities 1:50 to 2.40 pm
  8. Euan Ferguson: Managing community recovery needs 2:40 – 3:30 pm
  9. Afternoon Tea Break 3:30 – 4:00 pm
  10. Panel Session – Discussion / Questions (optional) 4:00 – 5:00 pm



Mediator and rural counsellor Vince Thorne will be speaking about mediating disputes largely arising in country Victoria. These include agricultural-sector disputes – between farmers and financiers or farmers and creditors, within local community groups, or involving intergenerational farm-family conflict.

Vince has practiced in a dispute resolution practice in country and metropolitan Victoria for over 20 years. A nationally accredited mediator, he is also an accredited group conference facilitator and a trained conciliator, with a degree in Agricultural Science, a Diploma of Education and a Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling). He has tutored in ADR, and currently coaches and trains new mediators. He is a member of the Agriculture Institute Australia, the Central Victorian Restorative Practice Alliance, the Financial and Consumer Rights Council, VARG and VADR.


Difficult behaviours are a source of constant struggle for any professional. Dealing with conflict involves angry people who want to vent their frustration. Managing these behaviours is important to the mediation practitioner and in assisting these people to find an agreement they can live with. High-conflict people constitute a special group and need to be dealt with in a different way. Ena will discuss how understanding and managing difficult behaviours is vital to maintaining focus and professionalism, and outline helpful strategies she has developed over three decades of practice.

A registered psychologist,  registered FDR practitioner and nationally accredited mediator, Ena was Chair of the 4th National Mediation Conference April (1998) and Chair of the Board for the 12th National Mediation Conference (2014). She has extensive experience settling disputes involving interpersonal relationships, in areas such as family law, elder mediation and the workplace. As the Family Dispute Resolution Training Manager at Relationships Australia Victoria, Ena has conducted an extensive range of mediation programs. She has also carried out training for federal, state and local government in family law, parent-adolescent conflict, workplace disputes, gender-based harassment, elder mediation and neighbourhood disputes. Ena has presented her work at national and international conferences, has taught at VUT, is currently lecturing in ADR and Mediation at RMIT, and is on the Domestic Building Disputes Resolution Victoria Panel


In rural areas, people are physically separated but enjoy a marked degree of social closeness, able when problems arise to tap into informal support from relatives, neighbours, sporting and social clubs, and the general community. People living in city areas tend to experience the opposite: geographic proximity but great social isolation. This difference, though not a hard and fast rule, tends to distinguish the way social services are delivered in rural areas, including family dispute resolution and other mediation services, family violence assistance, substance abuse programs and mental health services. Senior FDRP practitioner Nigel White will discuss how he and his co-workers have dealt with FDR in a rural context.

Nigel, whose initial degree was in architecture, has since the 1990s worked in a wide diversity of social services jobs, including parent- adolescent mediation, residential youth work, supported youth housing, public housing advocacy, private rental brokerage, Consumer Affairs advocacy (specialising in residential tenancy and small claims), youth substance abuse work with Youth Support and Advocacy Service,  and staging multicultural events for different ethnic communities, particularly in Geelong. He considers this varied background has given him a helpful degree of flexibility in his work as an FDR practitioner. He conducted his first mediation in 1995, joined Lifeworks as an FDR practitioner in 2006, worked subsequently for Family Relationship Centres in Geelong and Shepparton, and is now a Senior Practitioner with Relationships Australia in Ballarat. He has served on the Victoria Legal Aid Dispute Resolution Service chairperson panel since November 2012. Throughout his career, he has been driven by social justice principles, and considers these particularly important in his current Legal Aid work.


Recovery after a natural disaster has many perspectives across the social, economic, natural and built environment.  Managing community recovery needs to be tailored to local needs and context. In this talk, Euan will draw on his experience in emergency response and consequence management and, more recently, as Recovery Coordinator for the Northern Rivers (NSW) floods (2017) and the Tathra (NSW) bushfire (2018).  Euan will discuss the six principles of recovery, and present the approach used to engage community leaders, local agencies and interest groups, and survivors.  Aspects of shared responsibility, the relationship with insurers and with government at all levels,  and the management of community-led recovery actions will also be discussed, as well as areas needing improved community recovery, based on recent experiences.

Euan is a forester and fire/emergency manager with over 40 years’ experience. Major recent executive roles include Recovery Coordinator for the March 2018 Tathra bushfire; Recovery Coordinator for the April 2017 northern NSW floods; Special Inquirer into the January 2016 Waroona (WA) bushfire; Chief Officer of Victoria’s Country Fire Authority (2010-2015); and Chief Officer and CEO of the South Australian Country Fire Service (2001-2010). A past Chair and President of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Council (AFAC) and past Chair of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre,  Euan is currently Director of Euan Ferguson Pty Ltd.


Anne, a survivor of the Kinglake fires, will talk about the physiological and psychological impact of disaster upon individuals and their communities, how these are likely to affect the people with whom mediators may be dealing, and how mediators may best navigate the potential minefield of the post-disaster period. These include exacerbation of pre-existing problems in areas such as addiction and mental health, as well as the effects on ‘ordinary’ people, which often undermine their ability to make the many important decisions required of them after the disaster, and their ability to operate within a traumatised community.

Anne is the Director of the Leadbeater Group, specialising in facilitation and engagement, disaster recovery and community resilience. The group advises federal, state and local governments, national and local NGOs, emergency services and community groups on research, strategic planning, policy development and group facilitation. Design, coordination and delivery of disaster recovery programs and services that focus on community resilience are key elements of the Group’s work.


9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Events Categories:
Events Tags:


Daylesford Football Club
Victoria Park
Daylesford, Victoria Australia


0432 498 639

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.