Long service awards presented to Wide Bay mediators

Nine Wide Bay based mediators received long service awards at a special ceremony in Hervey Bay last night (26 April).

Mediators Geoff Godfrey, Georgina Rickard and Christine Mills were presented with their
15-19 year service awards while Catrina Gibson, Colleen Campbell, Carol Pavey,
Bev Carruthers-Turner, James McCrea and Jayde Redgen were given 10-14 year service awards.

Executive Manager of the Dispute Resolution Branch, Lindsay Smith, said the mediators had been helping people resolve conflicts ranging from neighbourhood disputes to court-ordered matters as well as workplace, family and parenting issues since the Wide Bay office first opened 19 years ago.

“The Wide Bay Dispute Resolution Centre opened in 1997 in an office at the back of the Hervey Bay Court House with one member of staff, Ashley Eastall,” Ms Smith said.

“Nineteen years later, it is now located in the Brendan Hansen Building in Pialba with two staff and a panel of nationally accredited mediators covering Gympie, Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Bundaberg regions.”

“It has also become the busiest regional office across Queensland.”

Award recipient and Coordinator of the Wide Bay Dispute Resolution Centre, Catrina Gibson, said it was very rewarding to have both her own and colleagues’ mediation skills and commitment recognised at last night’s ceremony.

“Our mediators experience genuine satisfaction in helping community members, such as neighbours in dispute with each other, resolve their misunderstandings and move forward with a more peaceful life,” Ms Gibson said.

“Some of the disputes which have been resolved by the Centre have been ongoing for many years, have become deeply entrenched and have caused those involved considerable stress and anguish.”

“To see the change in people’s attitude towards each other through mediation is certainly gratifying.”

The Dispute Resolution Branch has provided free and confidential mediation services through its six Dispute Resolution Centres across Queensland for the last 25 years.

Mediation allows people the opportunity to resolve their disputes in a safe environment with mediators using processes that help people in conflict to reach their own resolutions.

More information on mediation and the services of the Wide Bay Dispute Resolution Centre can be accessed at www.justice.qld.gov.au/mediation or by contacting the Centre on 4125 9225.