Open Forum

  • 1.  Responding to comments on the art of the simple in mediation.

    Posted 06-05-2022 03:48 PM

    Thank you Nina, Colin, Alana, Geri, Jessica, Christopher and Anna for your comments on the art of the simple in mediation.

    I agree with Anna that we should continue this discourse on the intangible aspects of practice.  

    How about a mediation conference or a colloquium? It would be great to get our trans-Tasman mediation family together again in the flesh.  It's always great fun to be around mediators and coffee in a beautiful setting.

    I am concerned that many mediators who started practising in the 1990s are nearing retirement. All that wealth of experience will be lost if it's not captured in some form. That's partly why I'm trying to get my thoughts down now. We need to balance the fluid theory of practice with some of the more static academic theoretical writings.

    I'm not dishing standard mediator theory. It is important to be aware of it but also to realise that they are one-dimensional concepts free of context. Mediation practice is a multidimensional environment totally in the action of the moment. It is fluid and unpredictable.  Fundamentally it's all about flow.  

     More generally, we hope to return to the Tuscany mediation retreat next year. We have called for expressions of interest and hope to make a decision in the next few months.  We just need to be comfortable that travel, health and wars have settled. Fortunately, Lucolena in Chianti, where we hold the retreat, has survived the pandemic very well.  It will be the ninth time we have run the retreat there. See

    In our Covid hiatus Margaret and I have developed a mediation studio and gardens on our property in the Adelaide Hills.  It will allow us to run workshops and retreats here in a wine/tourist region that has many similarities to the Tuscan hills.

    Our first workshop will be on Humanistic Mediation drawn from the approach of French mediator Jacqueline Morineau who we have worked with at her villa just outside of Paris. A radically different approach to the role of the mediator.

    I have also recorded a hard money commercial mediation that I conducted some time ago. I have reprised my role as the mediator with actors playing the parts of the parties and their lawyers. I will run it as a half day webinar at various international time zones. It will provide an opportunity to critically examine my role as the mediator as well as the broader dynamics of flow on the parties, the lawyers and the outcome.

    Greg Rooney
    Bridgewater SA

  • 2.  RE: Responding to comments on the art of the simple in mediation.

    Early Adopter
    Posted 07-05-2022 10:48 AM
    Hi Greg and all,

    First, very interesting article that makes one think about what tools we have in the toolbox, the theory behind their use as well as  the art of mediation and the flow that sometimes cannot be well-defined.

    In addition to, or parallel with, a conference, a  vade mecum or collection of essays to collect and memorialise such vast  experience of seasoned mediators would be  most welcome in the profession.

    I also really like the commercial mediation webinar proposal. As mediators, unless we co-mediate, we work to some extent in ivory towers. For newer mediators, it would be invaluable  seeing an experience mediator 'in action'. When I teach, I try and use concrete examples of my experience, but that is not the same as seeing a mediation from start to finish.

    Just a few Saturday morning comments to add to the online debate while awaiting some of those in-person meetings.


    Donna Ross
    International ADR Practitioner
    Donna Ross Dispute Resolution
    Melbourne VIC
    +61 0412060854