On behalf of the National Mediation Conference 2016 Board and planning subcommittees we are delighted to welcome you to participate in this bi-annual event. This premier conflict management conference is for mediators, dispute resolution and restorative engagement practitioners, facilitators, conciliators, educators, trainers, conflict coaches, arbitrators, adjudicators, academics, researchers, managers, administrators and anyone else who is interested in helping people in disputes.
This year our conference theme is: “Thought, Innovation and Creativity: The Next Decade". We will showcase: what we know and how we know it; think about our thinking; reflect on how we innovate, educate and train practitioners across the wide spectrum from self determination to determinative processes; how we can become more flexible and creatively facilitate processes in response to the diverse needs of our clients to provide a future of best practice in all we do to manage our own and other peoples disputes.
In this decade it is also vital that we care for ourselves as practitioners, as the work we do is challenging, so that we can remain mindful of our own reactions and the reactions of the parties we meet, to minimise potential complaints as well as our risks of burn out.
Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast provides the perfect backdrop defined by its spectacular beaches, hinterland ranges, forests, waterways and vibrant communities, for thinking outside the square, demonstrating creative techniques and innovative practice approaches together with ethical guidelines and best practice standards in diverse practice applications. Whether this is managing parties towards settlement, resolution, healing, forgiveness, rebuilding relationships or exploring hopes and goals for their future with clearer communication, less acrimony, more cooperation or collaboration, where appropriate, or respectfully severing a relationship and move out and/or on.
The conference venue is conveniently located in the heart of the Gold Coast, at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC), Australia’s largest regional convention centre renowned for its commitment to quality and service excellence. Opportunely located just metres from the pristine beaches of the Gold Coast, world class restaurants and cafes as well as access to more than 27,000 nearby accommodation options, our location should inspire thought, innovation and creativity for all.
This conference will bring together many delegates from across Australasia and the world. Our distinguished presenters represent the best practice and the latest research and developments in Dispute Resolution.
A formidable line up of some of the Australian well known and not so well known workshop presenters and speakers are expected to guide, update, inspire, skill and challenge us during the pre-conference workshops, the 3 day conference and the additional research day.
The pre-conference workshops will be held at the Sofitel, opposite the GCCEC, on Sunday, 11 September 2016.
Our final research day, which will be held at Bond University, will bring together those authors, academics, pracademics and researchers who contribute to the latest of the latest in the science and art of practicing conflict management.
The traditional welcome reception and conference dinner provides an opportunity to informally socialise, while enjoying the local specialities, food, drinks, and music in the unique environment that this part of Queensland offers us from 11 to 15 September 2016.
This Conference is THE chance to network, learn, share, debate, have fun and play as this event supports the best opportunity to develop professionally and personally in this diverse field of DR practice.
We look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and sincerely hope you do too. Don't miss out on the "wow" factor of this conference, the sea, surf and scenery as well as the entertainment provided to stimulate all the senses in this tropical paradise.On behalf of the Board, we look forward to meeting with you.
Mieke Brandon and Callum Campbell
Co-Conveners, National Mediation Conference 2016