Name, Position and Company.
Tom Stodulka, Owner, TomStodulka.com
Career Journey and Highlights.
Began career after graduating in Law at The University of Sydney in 1974 and spent time in the Navy as the Director of Legal Services. Worked for many diverse organizations including the following:
- NSW Public Trustee.
- Legal Aid Division of the NSW Law Society.
- ACT Housing Review Committee and Health Complaints Commission.
- NT Attorney General's Department.
- Federal Merit Protection and Review Agency.
- Consultant Defence Abuse Response Task Force.
- Consultant Uniting Church Interim Redress Panel.
- Held senior positions in Government including National Director of Naval Legal Services, Deputy Ombudsman (NT), Anti-Discrimination Commissioner (NT), Chair Health Complaints Review Committee (NT), Principal Community Visitor (NT) and Policy Director Attorney-General's Department (NT).
Since then, worked alongside the pioneers of mediation that have allowed it to become what it is today. This includes:
- Being the mentee of Sir Laurence Street, the 14th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
- Received further training from David Newton & Nina Harding of Accord Group
- With even more training under David Syme and Rhian Williams; with Resolution Institute's Joanna Kalowski and Sue Duncombe; the Conflict Resolution Network trainers; Ross McSwan at Resolve Anglicare, Professor Dale Bagshaw at the University of SA, Bond's Professors Boulle, Wade and Cavanagh and a long list of other colleagues, associates, and friends.
- Mediated over 4,500 disputes throughout Australia ranging from workplace, family law, and multi-million-dollar commercial transactions, conciliations for the Federal Magistrates Court, the Conflict Resolution Service (ACT), the Qld Dispute Resolution Branch and Resolve (NT), LAQ, LANSW, LAACT, LANT to franchise disputes for the National Office of Mediation Adviser, and multi-party disputes involving remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.
- 2003 established the Brisbane ADR Forum.
- 2005 co-facilitated the long-standing conflict surrounding the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.
- 2007 co-facilitated the Queensland Police Conference on Workplace Harassment-Don't Cop It.
- April 2005 presented a workshop on dealing with disputes in Aboriginal communities at the University of Queensland Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies Conference and has written articles for the QLD University of Technology Law and Justice Journal, ADRJ, Alternative Law Journal, LEADR, ADR and ADRA Bulletins.
- 2006 presented a paper on Conciliation in the Federal Magistrate's Court at the 8th National Mediation Conference in Hobart
- Accredited as a specialist and senior mediator and mentor with the Resolution Institute, the QLD Law Society, the Defence Department, the Australian Mediation Association and ADRC.
- Supported hundreds of new mediators starting their ADR journey, through coaching, assessing, supervising and mentoring.
- 2006 accredited to mediate disputes under the Federal Government's Workplace Relations legislation and registered as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and nationally accredited mediator.
- Accreditation with the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the Indian Institute of Arbitration and Mediation, APCAM, the PNG Supreme Court, and the NZ Dispute Resolution Centre and the NZ International Arbitration Centre.
- Fellow – Resolution Institute.
- Fellow - Bond University
- 2019 – Australasian Law Awards – Mediator of the Year.
- 2020 – Australian ADR Awards – Facilitator of the Year.
- 2021 – AM (Member of the Order of Australia)
Share a piece of career advice.
- Genuinely loving people and leveraging this to open successful communication channels.
- Keep honing your skills and perfecting your craft.
- When starting out don't think about how much money I can make. Grab every opportunity to get experience even if it is on a volunteer basis.
- Networking is important, constantly connect and widen your network.
- Don't take the issues personally and always bring something different to the mix.
What do you enjoy outside your work?
- Love writing and poetry – Written 3 books – Life is a Drama, Be Calmer, Life is a Dance and Storm Clouds and Silver Linings – My Journey.
Poem Memories are precious by Tom Stodulka 2 February 2018
It was my friend's summer house.
Now just a vacant block awaiting another Gold Coast high rise.
The memories of childhood just come flooding back.
So many memories- the good ones, the bad ones.
We all have them.
The good ones hopefully remain despite time passing,
Passing us all by.
Change is a constant. It is the reality of life.
Like time and the tide;
It waits for no-one.
The memories are precious,
Keep them close
As the years are not always kind.
Age and circumstances are factors affecting us all.
Rich and poor and all those in between.
Be kind to yourselves
Know yourselves better
Don't judge others too harshly.
Keep a smile for those around you,
Even the not so good.
Those undeserving can often respond well.
Believe in yourself.
Try to forgive, even forget.
The bad thoughts and bad memories may need to be put aside,
As they become dead weights and prevent you from moving forward.
They can prevent the positive occurring.
They hold you in the negative.
Enjoy the happy memories.
May there be many and may they always be there to help your coping skills.
Is mediation its own domain? To enter the world of mediation, I always encourage new mediators to take off one's legal and social science hats.