Over a 10month period Sarah worked with a remote Indigenous community that had suffered regular cycles of violence which resulted in a trigger event. With pressure on the judicial and corrections systems, the community decided it was time for mediation.
Relationships between families, traditional owners and services were complex and was handled expertly by Sarah who had the ability to bridge the cultural divides with respect and authority. Sarah’s approach focused on capacity development during all stages of mediation resulting in significant outcomes.
RESULTS: Due to hard work and an innovative approach to peace-making, this community re-established traditional peace-making mechanisms and designed a cross-culturally appropriate mediation model. There was a marked decrease in violent outbreaks and an increased willingness to seek early intervention. In particular, Sarah’s work with local legal services has contributed to early resolution of community conflict and delivery of targeted education.
Sarah’s unique approach to community conflict combined mediation and conflict management processes allowed services to come together. In exchange, she upskilled and empowered the team to became supporters of peace-making. Sarah delivered strategic practices never applied in WA communities in response to conflict, including:
- Conflict Mapping to better understand the context
- Community consultation with Elders & significant people to identify traditional mechanisms for dispute resolution
- Collaborative process design for cross-cultural mediation
- Stakeholder consultation and coordination