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Australian Dispute Resolution Association (ADRA)

Australian Dispute Resolution Association (ADRA) Claimed

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Firm Overview

Who we are

The Australian Dispute Resolution Association Inc. (ADRA) brings together dispute resolution practitioners to provide them with the following:

  • an opportunity to become Nationally Accredited Mediators under the Mediator Standards Board
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • networking events
  • seminars and workshops

ADRA was established in 1986 and has been at the forefront of dispute resolution in Australia. We embrace all forms of dispute resolution and we pride ourself not only in our heritage, but in our commitment to future development of dispute resolution.


ADRA has formed links with the Australian Psychological Society (APS), particularly with the APS Interest Group, Dispute Resolution and Psychology (DR&Psych), and the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (ANZAPPL). ADRA is also forging links with the Global Leadership Program at Macquarie University and hopes that it can attract the younger generation to dispute resolution.

History of ADRA

Janice McLeay

Early days – Leading growth and direction

ADRA, the Alternate Dispute Resolution Association of Australia, was established in 1987. The first committee commenced with great excitement and enthusiasm as much of what they were doing was very new. It consisted of Wendy Faulkes – President, David Newton – Vice President, Linda Fisher – Secretary, Basil Evangelinidis – Treasurer, Jennifer David – Newsletter Editor, Ruth Charlton, Micheline Dewdney, Gerald Raftesath and Janice Williams.

Of this initial group, Linda Fisher, Ruth Charlton and Micheline Dewdney are now Life Members of ADRA.

By the time of the first AGM in October 1987, when Maureen Carter, Dr Sandra Regan and Alan McDonald joined the other committee members to become the first Board of management, a Constitution had been developed, publication of the first newsletter had begun and plans for activities and functions were underway. Within the next year the Ethics subcommittee had begun work on drafting ethical standards for mediators.

There was much talk about the development of standards and whether ADRA had a role in the area of standards and accreditation, but progress was too difficult at that stage for the fledgling organisation.

After the first two years the name became ADRA, the Australian Dispute Resolution Association Inc. Members noted that while ADRA could be Australia-wide, the South Australian Dispute Resolution Association (SADRA) and the Mediation Association of Victoria (MAV) existed by that time. MAV later became VADR and WADRA was also established.

Over the years ADRA has celebrated many firsts. As well as being the first dispute resolution membership organisation and the first to develop a newsletter for mediation practitioners, ADRA was the first to hold a national conference. This was titled ‘Mediation and Domestic Violence’ and was held in the State Library in Sydney. This was followed by a document on Policy and Procedures on Mediation and Domestic Violence prepared by Margaret Burns and the ADRA Domestic Violence Committee.

ADRA initiated and facilitated the Let’s Talk group established in March 1998 to discuss issues in relation to ADR practice.

Another example of ADRA’s leadership in the field was in approaching the Law Book Company to develop the Australian Dispute Resolution Journal. This was an arrangement brokered through Jennifer David and then Ruth Charlton.

These are extraordinary achievements for an organisation of volunteers.