Supporting and transforming the community of dispute resolution practice by providing leadership, direction and growth.

Minutes/Newsletter 26 May

Meeting commenced at 6.15 pm.  ADRA Board resolved that:

  1. Leading Growth and Direction:
  • Minutes of last meeting be received and accepted – Moved by Peter O’Brien Seconded by  Katherine Johnson
  • Katherine and Ann gave a summary of the proceedings at the Dispute Resolution Forum on14 May 2015.   Namely, Katherine started the Forum day with a summary of how the Forum progressed to its current phase due to ADRA’s initiative in response to the NADRAC ‘amalgamation’. Katherine is prepared to have this talk placed on the ADRA website. Following Katherine’s opening, Mary Walker chaired the morning session asking each organisation to give a short presentation of their response to the changes in the DR landscape; in particular to the mergers such as the LEADR/IAMA and ACDC/AIDC etc. Katherine, Anne and Jane each gave their own perspective on ADRA’s response as an invitee to the Forum and stressed that ADRA will not be merging with any other organization into the foreseeable future as ADRA sees itself as an important catalyst in the DR landscape which has contributed significantly to those changes and should continue to do so independently.

Laurence Boulle then gave an overview of the ‘Big Picture” which incorporated a national and international perspective of the various ‘fission and fusion’ changes over the last 30- 40 years in the DR landscape. Deborah Lockhart chaired the next session where the participants broke into 4 groups to explore the wording for the proposed Forum Charter in relation to the perceived strengths and weaknesses of each of their organisations. The aim was to consider whether the Forum Charter should be adopted and if so in what format. This was a very good session as it encompassed the disparate views and disparate wordings of the groups.

The afternoon sessions were again broken into 4 groups chaired by Alysoun Boyle, Fiona Hollier, Deborah Lockhart and Robert Angyl (assisted by Katherine Johnson). The groups were tasked to plan a way forward for the Forum based on the views presented in the morning re the vision of the Forum as a untied voice to Government. Four questions were presented to the groups (see attachment) which all the groups considered and the surprising outcome was that there were 4 different plans set for the Forum to move forward.

At 2:30pm Simon Olsen was invited to speak to the Forum participants via SKYPE to discuss the various forms of online presence. Due to the very fledgling nature of the current Forum group it was considered best to begin with a small Linked-In presence and grow from there. Simon expressed an interest to assist the group with its online presence but required a dedicated manager/coordinator for the Linked-in system which is not currently not available but may be soon. 

The day ended with firm proposals being forwarded by the groups about how the Forum should move forward. These proposals will be further clarified as a working document for the Forum Charter by the steering committee. Jeremy Gormly ended the day giving a summary of how the day unfolded and an analysis of how the development of the Forum is for a different purpose than that of the development of ADRAC, the private ‘re-incarnation’ of NADRAC.

  • Katherine then summarized the discussion that occurred at the Forum re the position of the NSW Bar Association in relation to the work of barristers under the proposed Uniform Rules. There was much discussion about this as a matter of Policy and it was decided by the Board that ADRA should support the submissions of Nigel Cotman outlining in detail all the proposed changes to the Bar rules and the impact such changes may have on barristers being able to incorporate mediations as part of their work at the Bar. Nigel’s current submissions to the AG is to seek further consultation with the appropriate bodies who were not sufficiently consulted at the time. As part of leading growth and development, the ADRA Board resolved to support Nigel’s submissions and decided to send a copy of the letters by Nigel to all ADRA members encouraging those who wanted to support Nigel to do so.
  • From correspondence received by Katherine from Laura Field a member of ADRA living in Toowoomba, Q/land, the following possibilities for growth and development were discussed.  Firstly, inviting the founders of the Family Mediation Service attached to the Q/land University of Technology Health clinics to attend an ADRA meeting via Skype/teleconference sometime later this year to determine whether a similar opportunity can be developed for newly accredited mediators to mediate real disputes. ADRA has been forwarding opportunities for newly accredited mediators to maintain their skills via the MPN, but this would be a further step along their skill development. Katherine to make contact with the founders after the AGM.
  • Secondly, Katherine to invite Dean Harrison from the National Department of Human services to an ADRA meeting preferably at the same time as the founders of QUT are online to determine whether such a scheme as that of QUT can work in NSW through the Department of which Dean is the assistant director. 
  • Thirdly, Laura was keen to consider the possibility of an ADRA branch being formed in Toowoomba. More discussions about this later. No news as yet about the Newcastle branch of LEADR becoming an ADRA member.
  • ADRA’ 30th Birthday Celebrations. Katherine has followed through with the Board’s decision to confirm the venue at the Australian Museum and to pay the deposit after 30 June 2015 and after the Treasurer’s report is submitted to ASIC.
  • Anne Ardagh has drafted a program for the 30 Celebrations  which will be sent to the Board and continues to see Penny re the possible biography for Sir Laurence in conjunction with a history of ADRA. The Board resolved that it would be a befitting start to begin the day with Simon Olsen demonstrating the ADRA website and all it can do. More work on the program is being undertaken but we already have agreement at this stage for the possible involvement of the Law Council via Mary Walker to further honour Sir Laurence.
  • Discussions also included the possibility of publishing the proceedings for 30th Anniversary through Federation Press via David Mills. David is still excited about the possibility of having some sort of biography re Sir Laurence and some sort of record of proceedings for the day. The Anniversary Dinner will honour Sir Laurence through Jessie Street as the guest speaker.

2.         Policy Issues:

  • In line with ADRA’s basic theme namely ‘Building Community through DR’, the Board noted that its support of Nigel Cottman’s submissions was a policy issue in that it highlights the need for DR as an essential component of all litigation –especially at a time when the Courts are turning more to DR to resolve disputes hence the need for barristers’ involvement.  
  • An active succession plan for 2016 is being encouraged. We look forward to hearing from executive members who may be interested in taking the role of President in June 2016.
  • A discussion was held to include a new category of membership to honour those ADRA members who have contributed significantly to the broader DR landscape over the years but do not yet qualify for the level of life membership which includes a significant contribution to the ADRA Board. It was unanimously resolved that this new category be termed a ‘Fellow’ of ADRA; and two significant candidates to be honoured with the first ‘Fellowship” Awards at the 30 June 2015 AGM would be Laurence Boulle and Anne Ardagh. Both candidates are significant contributors to the field of DR and need very little introduction as to their respective contributions.
  • A further discussion was held about the possibility of including the category of ‘Advanced Mediator’. There was some discussion about this but due to lack of time further discussions will be held at the July meeting.
  1. Finance:  Treasurer's Report: 
  • As Nathalie was not in attendance we did not have the latest figures. The latest figures on record are $6,586.28   for the working balance.
  • A deposit will be required shortly for the 30th Birthday Event at the Australian Museum to be held on 30 June, 2016, but we have not as yet received an invoice. Katherine to follow up.              
  • ADRA is mindful that it needs to submit the Treasurer’s report as required 28 days after holding our AGM which will be held on 30 June 2015. Notification of the AGM date will be sent three weeks in advance – ie by 9 June 2015 along with nomination forms for executive positions.
  • Nathalie will no longer be treasurer after 30 June 2015 as she has accepted a position overseas. ADRA warmly thanks Nathalie for her support and work as treasurer during the past few years. Nathalie will pass on the credit card for ADRA to our new Treasurer after 30 June.
  • Campaign monitor fees have now been reduced to $9.90 per month inclusive of GST. This is cheaper than our previous rates which included a fee per each distribution which was approximately $8.00 for each one.
  • ADRA has collected $848 from Paypal from new memberships and from MPN participants. We thank Simon for making ADRA more financially viable.
  • The Board resolved to pay for the dinners for Andrew Wong, Anne Ardagh and Laurence Boulle. Katherine has already contacted Silks and costed the dinner at $60 per person. The cost to ADRA for the three proposed dinners will be $180.00 In addition, the board resolved that a trophy for the award of ‘Fellow’ be given to Anne and Laurence the cost of which will be approximately $100 each.
  • Bank statements for the months of March, April and May 2015 for our working account and our term deposit account were received by Katherine and sent to Nathalie Birt’s home address.
  • Still no finalization for the issue of the Post Office key. Hopefully resolution may occur after 30 June 2015. Peter o’Brien to follow–up with Margaret McCue.
  • Margaret McCue made contact with Stuart Fowler re giving a talk about financial difficulties in Family Law matters.  The date set is 15 October 2015 at the Law Society. Katherine agreed to confirm the venue at the Law Society. Many thanks Margaret.
  • Wendy will follow-up with Deborah MacFarlane’s now that she has the phone number to discuss advertising our events in their newsletter, named “ADR events update” (VADRA); namely ADRA’s 30 b/day celebrations along with our AGM on 30 June 2015, the MPN sessions and our seminars.
  • Peter O’Brien still to follow-up with Pauline re placing her notes on ADRA’s website under ‘Professional Matters’.  
  • An email was received from Northern Territory FDRP re a job opportunity for ADRA members which Katherine forwarded to Simon to advertise pending Board approval through the subcommittee of Naomi Holtring, Margaret McCue and Anne Fieldhouse who will evaluate the advertisement. ADRA looks forward to assisting other community-minded organisations.
  • Simon contacted Katherine re GIO insurance availability to ensure a permanent contact within GIO to assist our members. Katherine has sent details for Cathie Thompson to Simon but he has yet to follow through.
  • Simon has received the job template from Margaret McCue and placed an advertisement of that kind  on  the ADRA website.
  •  An email was also received from Melissa McCurdie to say that she paid for three people mistakenly.  Nathalie has paid Melissa the refund she required.
  1. Correspondence:
  1. Practitioner Support: Membership Officer:
  • ‘Member profiles’ are now being developed on the website for ADRA members. Dennis Nolan, Anne Ardagh and Katherine Johnson have sent details for the profiles. A ‘Jobs Tab’ for ADRA members has also been developed thanks to Simon and Margaret McCue as has a link facility to other DR organisations. The Board has yet to decide what links ADRA will join. Volunteers are still sought to take responsibility for these updates.  
  • Ongoing membership drive events include: the use of Linked in groups; connecting with all past and unfinancial members to renew; offering invitations for organizations to join; offering online referrals; continuing the use of MPN with a ‘buddy system’; providing  regional workshops etc; information about tenders involving mediation when they are published; information regarding opportunities for membership on panels; relevant changes to legislation affecting any area of mediation or case law etc; information from the MSB after meetings. Such information can be provided by a link to the relevant website or from the content of an email with quarterly publishing and using social media to attract ADRA membership.  Please feel free to contact Katherine on 0421 321 276 or Wendy on 0411 284 808 should you be interested in taking responsibility for one of the above membership drive suggestions.
  • Margaret McCue and Wendy Buchanan will be the coordinators for the October MPN where they will discuss how to improve interview skills for mediation jobs. Many thanks Wendy and Nathalie for accepting the June MPN and Many thanks to Jane and Paula for accepting 3 sessions this year. Much appreciated.
  • Current volunteers for MPN sessions:
    • March - Peter O’Brien
    • April – Wendy Buchanan and Margaret McCue
    • May - Paula Castile and Jane Houselander
    • June - Wendy Buchanan and Nathalie Birt
    • July- Paula Castile and Jane Houselander
    • August  - Mark Brady and Dennis Nolan
    • September - Mark Brady and Dennis Nolan
    • October – Interviewing Skills with Margaret McCue and Wendy Buchanan
    • November – Paula Castile and Jane Houselander
    • December - Mark Brady and Dennis Nolan
  • Many thanks to the volunteers
  • The Board resolved that Dennis Nolan be our new membership officer to which Dennis agreed.  Dennis has effected the peer-buddy system in an excellent manner by contacting a new member of ADRA just after they join to allocate that member to an  executive for peer support. The executive will receive an email with the new member’s phone number and will contact them within a week to introduce themselves as the buddy. The executive will accommodate the needs of the member and encourage the member to participate in ADRA events and/or meetings. The aim is that the member has a sense of belonging and has a contact point in case of any questions they may want to ask. For those executives who are not sure what they should be saying please contact Dennis Nolan who has done an exceedingly good job with ‘caring’ for his group by asking how the member can best contribute to meeting their own needs (- eg by promoting a paper they have written for ‘Professional Matters’) or by giving a talk on a topic on which they would like to receive some feedback; etc.
  • Another consideration discussed was the possibility of extending the ‘buddy system’ to MPN members who are regulars. Conveners are encouraged to mention this at MPN meetings.
    • Katherine has contacted Kayley Bowman again to confirm the documents for menu selection for the 30th Anniversary event to send to the Executive for selection.  
  1. MPN Sessions
  2. The Mediation Practice Network Sessions are held on the first Monday of the month except where there is a public holiday in which case it is on the 2nd Monday of the month. These sessions give members the opportunity to practice and improve their skills with the supervision of a senior Mediator. These two hour sessions are held at the Law Society Offices 170 Phillip Street, Sydney at 5.30 for prompt 6pm start. The cost for the session (light refreshment available) is $10.00 for members and $25 for non-members.  Those attending need to be in the building by 5:45 pm as the building is locked at 6:00pm. 
  3. The May Session was conducted by Paula Castile and Jane Houselander on 4 May was successful with 5 participants including the conveners. Things to note: We need: 1. a pool of scenarios to role play; 2. Accreditation forms for national accreditation through ADRA; membership application forms for ADRA; a receipt book for those paying by cash; and contact phone number for Katy to ensure water is available for the group as well as the fruit platter. Please note that Conveners SHOULD CONTACT KATY the function organizer, on arrival at 5:15pm by requesting her presence at reception to ensure that all requirements are met.
  1. Peer Support/Mentoring Groups
  1.  Upcoming Events

Proposed Seminars :

  • ADRA’s AGM is on 30 June 2015. Laurence Boulle has agreed to be the guest speaker for the event. Laurence will discuss the changes he sees in the current DR Landscape Laurence was present at the DR Forum held on 14 May 2014 and again in 2015. He is in an excellent positon to give us his summary of how the whole DR industry is unfolding.
  • FIRST ADRA FELLOWSHIP AWARDS TO LAURENCE BOULLE AND ANNE ARDAGH – Please attend to witness this historic event with a dinner to honour our guests at a cost of $60 which includes a two course excellent meal (either entrée and main or main and dessert) with some drinks included. Vegetarian options also available. Please see website to organize your preferences as from 8 June 2015.
  • Melissa Martin to speak about how DR and the re-feminisation of Women soldiers in the Tamil army. Melissa is passionate about the topic which will prove to have everyone interested. The seminar will occur on 20 August 2015 at the Law Society, level 3.
  • 24th September - Dr. Eman Sharobeem  CEO of the Immigrant Women’s Health service at Fairfield. Eman is an extremely engaging speaker who is passionate about the need to educate the public re specific problems particular women’s groups face and will forward a topic to us about how DR can assist to better assist such women to build a community of support that can enrich the larger community. Katherine will contact the Law Society to book the venue.
  • Stuart Fowler on the finances in family law disputes on 15 October at Law Society, 170 Phillip Street, Level 3.
  1. Website Updates
  • The workshop to learn Campaign Monitor on 23 May was cancelled due to lack of attendance last minute. Those interested to learn campaign monitor need to contact Simon directly on 0416742 142.
    • A Discussion was held about the 14 boxes that are stored, half with Anne Ardagh and half with Katherine. Suggestions included hiring Andrew Wong for two days to go through the boxes and develop a template to salvage as much material as possible for ADRA’s records and for possible placement on the website. Another suggestion was that Katherine and Anne could assist Andrew to sort out what is valuable for ADRA and store it in some way. The rest of the material could be discarded as there is no room for on-going storage and ADRA does not possess sufficient funds to store the material professionally.  Anne brought in examples of things that were in the boxes and a decision was made to discard or hand over any stationary to those who could make best use of it. The Board resolved for Katherine and Anne to go through the remaining 7 boxes and discard whatever was not useful.
  1. Other Business
  • Next meeting for ADRA is on 30 June 2015 at 4:30pm for a 5:00pm start at the Law Solciety, 170 Phillip Street, Sydney, followed by an AGM dinner and AWARDS for Anne Ardagh and Laurence Boulle at SILKS, 170 Phillip Street Sydney at 6:30Pm. May meeting concluded at 8.30 pm.  Many thanks to those who participated. We look forward to implementing our new plans.
Last modified onWednesday, 10 June 2015 11:44

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