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Getting ready for mediation      

Preparing for mediation doesn't need to take a lot of time and energy. Taking just a few steps to prepare can make a big difference on the day.

CJC's brochures and fact sheets can help you to prepare. The infomation below will also help you get ready for your mediation.

    Take time to find out about the process

    Prepare yourself by finding out what will happen at your mediation session. This will reduce your stress on the day. Ask CJC staff for more information if you have any questions.

      Image of CJC's mediation referral form.

    Think about the issues

    Prepare to discuss the issues you want to raise and the issues you think others might raise. These may involve difficult conversations, so think about how you might express yourself in advance. Be ready to share your ideas and give some thought to various options that may bring about a solution. Brainstorming beforehand with a friend or relative might help.

    What are your key concerns?

    Think about how you feel about the issues in dispute. Write a list of your key concerns. Remember: at the mediation session you can discuss whatever issues you like and will have a chance to respond to any issues the other person (or people) involved in the dispute raise. Everyone involved in the dispute sets the agenda, not the mediators or CJC.

    Think about agreements you might consider

    Think about any agreement you might be willing to make. What are the minimum conditions you will accept in order to come to an agreement? Take time to consider what will happen if the mediation is unsuccessful. Think about what you are willing to live with. Come prepared with several options in mind and a willingness to be flexible when considering options put forward by others.

    What about the other person?

    Consider the other person's interests and needs and think about what minimum agreement they may be seeking. Look for things you might have in common. Think about things that you would be willing to compromise on to help achieve agreement.

    Think about your feelings

    Take into account the fact that you or other people involved in the dispute could be feeling anxious, worried, angry or otherwise emotional and that this may affect how you or they behave. How can you help the discussion stay calm and focussed?

    Collect relevant information

    There may be receipts, bills, reports, plans, diagrams or documents relating to the dispute. The mediators will not look at these or use them to make decisions or recommendations about your matter. However, you may wish to bring these along to help you and the other person or people to clarify the issues and to be specific about what you want and why you want it.

    Understand your legal rights

    Because you will be negotiating for yourself, it may be important that you understand your legal rights and responsibilities before mediation. Although you may decide to make an agreement that is different from those legal rights and responsibilities, it may still be to your advantage to understand your options first. CJC staff can tell you how to get legal information before your mediation session

    You can also call LawAccess on 1300 888 529 or visit their website at

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    Preparation tips

    Stay open-minded about how the dispute may be resolved. New ideas that are worth considering might emerge during the session.

    Be flexible and give yourself plenty of room to negotiate. Don't back yourself into a corner by issuing ultimatums - new information may come to light that will make you want to change your position.

    Be willing to give and take - you will be expecting the other party to compromise to meet your needs, be prepared to do the same.

    Stay calm and focussed. Show respect for the other party and the mediator when you communicate.