David Mitchell

Mitchell Mediate

Contact Details

Mitchell Mediate
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My lived Experiences

I am a qualified and accredited mediator. I work, weekly, within the Adelaide Magistrates Courts in two capacities:
  (1)As a tutor and co-mediator with Adelaide Law School students.
  (2) As a Pro Bono mediator for claim/disputes in the Adelaide  Magistrates Court.


I am the ‘Thought Leader’ for the SA branch of the Resolution Institute and produce a monthly, well-researched, challenging and thought-expanding publication for the Resolution Institute Pulse Journal ( see attachments for examples). These articles are being transported to a web-based Mediator's learning portal :

An internet/cloud-based, readily available resource for mediators from newly accredited to experienced members of Resolution Institute.

The learning portal contents will be divided into a number of categories

1.Mediation Mastery

a. Process skills

·         Techniques for opening, mediatees’ narrative, summarising, agenda, breakouts, negotiating, closure etc

·         Conflict, power issues

·         Confidentiality, voluntary impartial

·         Respect for mediatees’ autonomy and self-determination

·         Accreditation/future requirement for competency assessment

b. Styles/practices of mediation

·         Facilitative

·         Narrative

·         transformational

·         evaluative

·         eclectic

·         others

·         ADR

·         conflict resolution

·         Family Resolution

·         Workplace Mediation

·         Elderly Mediation

·         Restorative Justice   etc

c. Personal development

·         Developing a persona that projects trustworthiness, integrity and acceptance within a mediation.

·         Reflection, self -reflection, supervision

·         Self-compassion, compassion (not empathy)

·         Meditation practices

·         Relaxation practises

·         Acquired knowledge of psychology, sociology, and cultural behaviour for oneself and as a component of interpersonal communication within a mediation

·         Mentoring as a novice mediator then life-long, regular, reflective supervision

·         Active participant in communities of  practice,(CoPs.

·         Collaboration within peer groups

    2.   Further study:

·         Reference Books on mediation and personal development from Australia, US   and Britain and elsewhere.

·         A mini Wikipedia of reference articles on a myriad of subjects relevant to mediation

·         Appropriate video dissertations on mediation

Background to the need for a Mediator’s Learning Portal

Mediators gain initial accreditation by attending a 5 day course somewhere in Australia and pass a live mediation simulation. The course and the 100 point marking system are process driven. Nowhere is the mediator taught to be a mediator. It is assumed that because a person wants to be as mediator, they can be by learning a process -by-rote.

Yet mediation is “by the people, with the people, from the people”. It needs to pass what the politicians call “passing  the Pub test”. It is not conducted within the rigid codes of the law, nor in the adversarial, “muscle” negotiations, and client bias, of lawyers (see Barbara Wilson[1]). Mediation needs to be given to the people and a mediator needs the personal and interpersonal & communicative skills to be a part of a triadic conversation.

If mediators want their community to be defined by relationality, dynamism and shared responsibility, rather than by hierarchies and formal rules, they need to be able to articulate that vision and fight for it’[2]

 a good mediator requires the intellect to hear, feel and understand each participant’s actions, reasoning, and emotions, process this practically and objectively, and reflect back understandable, credible, even compassionate, non-judgemental information. Simultaneously, the mediator’s cool, calm, collected and compassionate demeanour is meant to be comforting, emotionally levelling and removing ‘stinking thinking’ in the participants. However, there are no given ways or means of accessing or enhancing any such qualities in mediation articles and manuals.[3]

Feedback in Scheirer’s research on mediator training in EQ deduced that it is part talent, part gift, part personality, part experience, part training.... but most of it is life experience. You can’t just act like a mediator; you must live your life that way[4]

Bowling & Hoffman talk of “the transition from feeling that “I am someone who mediates” to realizing that “I am a mediator””[5]


There are close similarities between Bowling & Hoffman quote from Boulle[6] and Aristotles moral and Intellectual virtues[7]. Both authors attest that these personal characteristics can be learnt or enhanced, by imitation, practice (habituation) and study.

Boulle suggestions for a successful mediators

Aristotle’s Moral and intellectual Virtues in an eudemonic good person




Righteous Justice








Proper ambition/pride






Wittiness – humour, joy

common sense

Practical Wisdom/Nous


Scientific Intelligence

Added by Hoffman & Bowling


Charisma, style

Technical Knowledge

Technical Intelligence (Techne)

Once we have learned the basic principles and skills of mediation, and practiced them to the point where they feel natural, the next frontier of learning and development is within ourselves.[8]

[1] Barbara Wilson No trace of a footprint

[2] Jonathan Crowe 2017 Two Models of Mediation Ethics. Sydney Law Review VOL 39:147

[3] David Mitchell Would Aristotle make a good mediator? Pulse 2019

[4] Schreier, L. S. (2002). Emotional intelligence and mediation training. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 20(1), 99–119. doi:10.1002/crq.13

[5] Bowling and Hoffman5 ibid

[6] Boulle quoted in Bowling, D., & Hoffman, D. (2000). Negotiation Journal, 16(1), 5–28. doi:10.1023/a:1007586102756 

[7] Mitchell 3 ibid

[8] Bowling, D., & Hoffman, D. (2000). Negotiation Journal, 16(1), 5–28. doi:10.1023/a:1007586102756 

In March 2019, I successfully completed, as a full-time student, a Masters of Health Management, (University of New England), majoring in Health Policy, Health Strategy, Systems Management and Inter-professional Collaboration (IPC).


Prior to that I had been, for 43 years, a GP specializing in Personalised Medicine, focusing on the uniqueness of each individual, their symptoms and ill-health.

I was an accreditated mentor for the Monash Medical School (Viv) and for the Australian Medical Acupuncture College