What is mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process which helps people:

  • Identify issues in dispute;
  • Think of ways to resolve the issues;
  • Consider alternatives, and;
  • Work together to reach an ageement.

The mediators do not take sides or sit in judgement but control how the mediation is run so that you can focus on your dispute and take responsibility for the outcome.

How does the Service work?

Simply contact us via phone, email or fax and experienced staff will:

  • Talk to you about the issues and discuss ways that you can resolve the dispute yourself;
  • Provide you with relevant information or referral to other agencies.

If you decide that mediation is the best option for you, we will:

  • Contact the other person and invite them to attend a mediation;
  • Arrange a time and place that is convenient for all involved.

Assistance can be arranged for:

  • People with no transport to attend;
  • Language and sign language interpreters.

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What happens in mediation?

The mediators follow a structured seven step process which involves.

Introduction: Mediators welcome both parties and explain the process.
Statements: Each person gives a brief statement about the dispute.
Agenda: The main issues are listed on a whiteboard.
Exploration: Everyone fully discusses their issues/concerns.
Private session: Each person or group speaks with the mediators privately (this is confidential).
Negotiation: Options are discussed for the future.
Agreement: Voluntary agreements are made verbally or are written down.

Who are the mediators?

Mediators have undertaken lengthy, nationally accredited training and are regularly supervised and their skills updated.

They are specifically selected for each dispute from a panel comprising people from many different backgrounds, ages, social and cultural groups.

Two mediators mediate every dispute to increase impartiality and maximise service quality.

All CRS mediators are accredited according to the National Mediation Accreditation Standards and registered with the Mediation Board Standards.

For more information see Registration and Selection of Mediators.

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When and where are the mediations held?

Mediation can be arranged during or after office hours or on Saturdays.

They generally take between 3-4 hours.  The time taken in mediation depends on may factors such as the number of issues to be discussed, complexity of issues, number of people in the mediation, how well people are communicating about the issues etc.

Most mediations (including shuttle and phone mediations) are held at our office at Level 3 Griffin Centre Canberra City. We can arrange to hold mediations at other venues when required.


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How much does Mediation cost?

The service is free for disputes involving neighbourhood, family, friends and adolescents. CRS also offers free services for those on a low income no matter what type of issues involved.

Charges apply to:

  • Separating couples (property/parenting arrangements)
  • Workplace disputes
  • Civil and small claims
  • Residential landlord and tenant
  • Business/commercial.

Charges are based on:

  • Sliding scale of gross income.
  • For separated couples, each party to mediation is charged separately.  CRS does not disclose what an individual is charged to the other person in the dispute.

Fees are not applicable for any preliminary contact or interviews CRS has with you prior to or after mediation.  Charges only apply for any time spent in a mediation session.

A $50.00 cancellation fee will apply for clients who have agreed to mediation but who do not attend without notifying CRS at least 24 hours before the mediation.

For current fee schedules please contact CRS Dispute Assessment Officers.

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