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Mediator Standards Board awards 2022 research grant

The Mediator Standards Board (MSB) has awarded its 2022 Annual Research Grant, providing $30,000 to the University of Newcastle.

user iconLauren Croft 10 October 2022 Big Law
Mediator Standards Board awards 2022 research grant
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The University of Newcastle (UON) research team, who won this year’s grant, will investigate “the ways in which First Nations approaches to peacebuilding and peacemaking can be recognised in association with the NMAS”.

The grant provides $30,000 of funding to the UON team, whose research will investigate and collate First Nations’ approaches to conflict and conflict management among their communities, according to Helen Bishop, a senior researcher in the UON team.  

“This project will create precedents for a richer appreciation of and support for First Nation peoples’ ancient and contemporary approaches to conflict and its management,” she said.


“They are humane ways in which we heal relationships, connect with each other, protect our communities’ social and emotional wellbeing, and support mental health.”

The project will be led by Newcastle Law School dean Professor Tania Sourdin and include the collaborative efforts of several senior researchers in the dispute resolution field, including Dr Alysoun Boyle, Ms Bishop and Dr Bin Li.

“There are many valuable studies that have expanded our knowledge about our First Nations colleagues’ approaches to conflict and the deeply cultural methods they apply to its management among their communities,” Dr Boyle said.

“This will be the first time that we have them all co-located into a database.”

The research team said this is also an opportunity for First Nations students at the university to be immersed in an important research project, which ultimately aims to create a knowledge base that will become an invaluable resource to guide future work in this area as well as for the Mediator Standards Board itself.

Dr Peter Condliffe, head of the MSB’s research subcommittee, noted that there were a number of high-quality applications for the grant this year.

“The MSB was heartened by the level and diversity of applications for the Annual Research Grant this year. The successful project put forward by the UON team was one that really fitted into the board’s plans and aspirations for the coming year,” he said.

“It will be of great assistance in our ongoing project to revise and improve the National Approval and Practice Standards, particularly as they apply to First Nations. We also consider that it may inform training and CPD offerings and requirements.”

In terms of the significance of this project, the UON research team also noted that researching this particular aspect of dispute resolution had been in the pipeline for some time, “since it became clear that current mainstream approaches do not recognise or support the extraordinary depth and diversity of First Nations’ approaches and methods”.

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