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Voices from the Outback

I live in New Zealand, just 3 hours plane ride from the buzz of global cities like Sydney and Melbourne or the golden sands of Queensland.

Yet many here know almost nothing about the Australian mediation scenery.

There are possibly two reasons for this.
First, our two countries do most of their talking on the sports field, with Australia speaking much louder of late, I’m afraid.

Second, reactive devaluation is in play here (and our Canadian cousins will know what I mean) – so if they suggest it; we’ll ignore it.

But Australia has a lot to say about mediation, with a number of world class commentators increasingly being heard above the din.

These from the recent the 9th National Mediation Conference 2008 held in Perth this month:

1. Hilary Astor – Professor of Dispute Resolution, Faculty of Law, Sydney University;

Transforming the landscape of mediation (podcast 27 mins) – a journey from mediation’s inception in Australia through to her personal vision of the landscape 10 years hence. She began by acknowledging contributions of the indigenous peoples and Australia’s own elders of mediation.

Prof Astor’s publications here

2. John Wade – Professor at the Faculty of Law, Bond University;

Persuasion in negotiation and mediation (podcast 38 mins) – offering a framework for patterns of behaviour and persuasion observed in high conflict negotiations in civil and family disputes.

More Australian voices from the conference here


Geoff Sharp

Geoff Sharp is a Commercial Mediator from Wellington, New Zealand. Geoff works in the Asia Pacific region, including New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand and Pacific Islands. He is a mediator resolving business problems. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and mediates complex and hotly debated litigation covering… MORE >

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