The Australian Disputes Centre announces the launch of its First Nations’ Mediation Panel. “This Panel of specialist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dispute resolvers builds on ADC’s work within the community and brings additional focus and resources to the significant opportunities for culturally appropriate dispute resolution” says CEO, Deborah Lockhart.

In assisting disputing parties to resolve their issues, the Australian Disputes Centre has been appointing arbitrators, mediators and experts from its independent Panels over many decades, and more recently has been training greater numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mediators through its scholarship program. “In bringing our expertise together, this specialist Panel creates more opportunity for individuals, businesses, communities and government to readily access timely, cost-effective and culturally-competent dispute resolution,” says Ms Lockhart “and this in turn promotes access to justice for all Australians”.

In celebrating the important work of all First Nations’ mediators during NAIDOC Week, the Australian Disputes Centre highlights the significant role of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women as both informal and formal peacemakers in their families, communities and commerce.

“The NAIDOC theme ‘Because of her, we can!’ resonates powerfully in all sectors, but particularly for us in dispute resolution.” says Ms Lockhart “Over fifty percent of our trained Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mediators are female and at a personal level this means more employment opportunities for these highly skilled and talented women. At a societal level, it also means that many more people within communities are benefitting from mediation, and not just the disputing parties. If conflict moves laterally, so does peace. We know that harmony helps all families, businesses and communities to thrive.”

The Australian Disputes Centre will be helping facilitate more of this essential dispute resolution work through its First Nations’ Panel.

The Australian Disputes Centre is an independent, not-for-profit company dedicated to advancing the acceptance and function of Alternative Dispute Resolution processes across Australia, and promoting Australia’s ADR expertise internationally.


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For further information, please contact Deborah Lockhart on 61 2 9239 0700
or email