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Member Spotlight for January 2022 - Vesna Cvjeticanin

  • 1.  Member Spotlight for January 2022 - Vesna Cvjeticanin

    Posted 21-01-2022 01:21 PM

    Name : VESNA CVJETICANIN, LLB, NMAS Mediator, NAATI Certified interpreter,8 Canberra ACT.

    Briefly describe your career journey:

    Vesna arrived in Canberra with her young family in 1990, at 29 years old.  In her life and career before then, Vesna had worked as a lawyer in legal aid and taxation roles in her home country of Yugoslavia (present-day Serbia).

    Upon arriving in Australia, Vesna started learning English through the On Arrival English Course, which was part of the then-federal government's migrant support programs. In 1995 Vesna decided to, once again, pursue a career in legal practice. A few years later, she found herself holding more legal qualifications than she would ever end up using in her life – law degrees, practising certificates and multiple additional legal diplomas in both Yugoslavia and Australia. Vesna was admitted to the Roll of the ACT Supreme Court and the High Court as a barrister and solicitor in 2003.

    While obtaining her Australian legal qualifications, Vesna also worked in the Australian public service.  Once admitted as a lawyer, Vesna worked in private practice with a medium-size law firm in Canberra, but interesting senior management opportunities kept arising for her in the Commonwealth and ACT public services. For two decades from 1997, Vesna worked in legal policy and regulatory roles in various government departments, overseeing the development, enactment and reform of a number of different acts and legislative regimes. Vesna resigned from full-time work in the public service in late 2018.

    In the years before resigning from the public service, Vesna had turned her interests towards organisational behaviour and workplace culture, which led her naturally towards alternative dispute resolution. She always felt there must be a more appropriate way of resolving disputes than taking them straight to courts and when she came across mediation, it was love on the first sight. Vesna completed the mediation course with the Australian Mediation Association, finding her true interests. Based on her long-term involvement with her own ethnic community, she realised that elders in the society generally, and in particular from multicultural backgrounds, are often left without guidance on their rights and options when faced with difficult late-life choices. To support mediation work in this area, Vesna joined the Elder Mediation Australasian Network and is a member of the Resolution Institute's Elder Mediation Sub-committee. Vesna is also a member of the Mediator Panel of the ACT Conflict Resolution Service.

    Today, in addition to practicing mediation, Vesna provides professional interpreting services in her mother tongue, Serbian, and is involved in cultural and support programs for Elders in her ethnic community. Vesna also runs a couple of programs on Canberra's community radio station, 2XX 98.3FM, including Mediation Today, a weekly program in which Vesna interviews experienced mediators from all over Australia.

     Career Advice:

      Think about what you really enjoy doing, and then go for it.  Had I not decided to pursue another law degree when I arrived in Australia, I would have always regretted it – and it ended up leading me down a wonderful career path.  Although the stars do not always align, if you pursue what you enjoy, you can always look yourself in the mirror and say: I did it!

      Favourite way to unplug from work:

      I have an artistic streak in me. I love creating, making and producing: whether it's knitting, cooking, drawing, painting or gardening, I get a lot out of working with my hands.  My second love is writing. I write poetry, mostly in Serbian. That's how my poetic soul presents itself in its most powerful way.

      Sharing some of my poems:


      Whether writing poetry
      or mediate your cases,
      Do No Harm and Listen Deeply -
      words do not come cheaply.

       Disruption of beliefs
      Makes us all too queasy,
      People create stereotypes,
      and attitudes don't change easy.

       Humour is a mirror
      Of various mental states,
      We use some clever metaphors
      to lighten our verses!

      No-one can eradicate
      Undue family influence –

      You have to work around it

      to keep a professional credence.

      Mediation needs clear principles
      Determining capacity,
      As Powers of Attorneys
      Are fraught with uncertainty.

      Standards that we demonstrate

      On many levels matter,

      Valuing goodness and truth

      Makes mediation greater.

      Phrases that we use

      Have rich and noble meanings
      Structure of lines, Repetitive sounds,

      Mediators, poets are special human beings!

      Community question.

      How do you make sure that you bask in, and enjoy, the feeling of success when a mediation goes BEAUTIFULLY?  I'd love to hear that deeply positive, often overlooked, side of our services, when people leave us happy, with a solution they had not even dreamt would be possible.

      david chin
      Membership Manager
      Resolution Institute