Vale - Stephen Thackray 1955 – 2020

May 03, 2020

ADRAC mourns the death of a good friend of dispute resolution, Stephen Thackray, who from 2007 until early 2019 was the Chief Judge of the Family Court of Western Australia.  Stephen made DR practitioners personally welcome in the Court as well as welcoming their contribution to Court practices. He was a leader among dispute resolvers: moving with and ahead of the times. As the paradigm shift from distributive to integrated justice gained validity and energy, Stephen embraced the opportunities this presented in the interests of the clients of the Court, promoting and accommodating Family Dispute Resolution at every opportunity. After retiring from the Court  in 2019, Stephen brought his competencies, compassion and commitment to mediation where he quickly established the fine reputation that he had had throughout his legal and judicial careers.

The thoughts of the Chair and Members of ADRAC are with Stephen’s family, his colleagues and his friends.

On behalf of ADRAC, Ruth McColl AO SC, as Chair of ADRAC, is pleased to announce the release of ADRAC’s Conciliation Discussion Paper.

Australia has proven to be a large user of conciliation since the 19th century. Conciliation is embedded in the Australian Constitution as an ADR process. Parliaments across Australia have picked up conciliation as a dispute resolution mechanism, embedded in over 90 pieces of legislation.

ADRAC’s Discussion Paper is the culmination of almost three years work. It is the largest known study of conciliation in Australia.

The Paper includes the results of literature reviews, an extensive study of Territory, State and Commonwealth legislation, interviews and workshops with conciliators and conciliation managers, reviews of conciliation material on websites of conciliation entities, online surveys, a study of advertisements  for conciliators, and focus groups of conciliators in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.


ADRAC publishes here its Discussion Paper on Conciliation in Australia. The Appendix to the Discussion Paper can be found here

ADRAC seeks submissions from any interested person or entity, before publication of a final report. Submissions should be addressed to and received by 4.00pm, 1 December 2019.

Telephone enquiries may be made by ringing Jeremy Gormly (a member of the ADRAC Council), on 0400 19 09 53.

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January 29, 2019

ADRAC seeks Expressions of Interest for appointment to its council.  In all, seven new members from across Australia, are being sought. Four new members will replace retiring members, and three are sought to expand the Council from 11 to 14 members....

November 16, 2018

On 2 October 2018, the Australian Law Reform Commission published a Discussion Paper as part of the Review of the Family Law System.  

On 13 November 2018,  ADRAC submitted its response to the Discussion Paper. You can read it here.

June 18, 2018

ADRAC has an acute interest in dispute in the family field and has a number of family subject experts on its Council.

Following the retirement of Shirli Kirschner from the Council, ADRAC sought a further family expert in the form of a respected family...

June 14, 2018

ADRAC decided last year to examine Conciliation in some detail. Early scoping work suggested Conciliation was a widely used and incompletely described DR process. It seemed usually associated with legislation but differed in some basic ways from medi...

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ADRAC acknowledges the Traditional Owners, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation. We also acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands we represent and thank them for their custodianship of Country.