MEET OUR MEMBERS
RUTH MCCOLL AO (CHAIR)
McColl worked as a solicitor in the NSW Crown Solicitor's Office from 1976-80.
In 1980, McColl was admitted to the NSW Bar. She was appointed Senior Counsel in 1994. From 1981 until 2001 McColl was elected as a member of the Bar Council of the NSW Bar Association and from 1999-2001 she was President of the New South Wales Bar Association - the first woman to serve in that position. From 2001-02, McColl was President of the Australian Bar Association.
McColl has also served as Vice-President of Australian Women Lawyers (1996–99) and President of NSW Women Lawyers (1996-1997). She has been a part-time Commissioner of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission, President of the Public Interest Law Clearing House (1999-2002), Assistant Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (1998-2000), and Counsel assisting the Coroner in relation to the inquest into the 1997 Thredbo landslide.
In 2003, McColl was appointed a Judge of Appeal of the NSW Court of Appeal. She retired from that position in January 2019.
ALYSOUN BOYLE, PhD
Alysoun Boyle resides on the unceded lands of the Ngarigo Peoples. She is a Senior Mediator Member of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and a member of the Mediator Panel of the ACT Supreme Court. She also practices privately, and has been a NMAS accredited mediator since the system’s inception.
For more than 20 years, Alysoun has worked as a respected educator, trainer, and researcher in the broad scope of dispute resolution/conflict management. Her core research interest is in the techniques, approaches, attributes, and behaviours of effective mediators and conciliators. She is an active proponent of recognition for the customary methods and approaches used by First Nations peoples in managing conflict.
She is currently Chair of National Mediation Conferences Ltd, a member of the ADR Research Network, of the Law and Society Association (USA), and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
DR ANDREW BICKERDIKE
Dr Andrew Bickerdike is CEO of Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV). He holds tertiary qualifications in economics and psychology and a Doctorate in Dispute Resolution. Andrew has experience and specialist training in individual, couple and family therapy, and family dispute resolution and has practiced as a mediator and family dispute resolution practitioner for over 20 years. Andrew is a former member of NADRAC (National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council). He is also a Director on the Mediation Standards Board, a Board member of the Australian Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and is a current member of the Family Law Council.
In 2018 Andrew was appointed as a part-time Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission to the Review of the Family Law System. Andrew has an interest in research and evaluation and has initiated and implemented many research projects examining the efficacy of family services programs in the naturalistic setting. He is an Industry Partner in past and current Australian Research Council Linkage research projects. Collectively these research activities have attracted national and international interest and have influenced the design of models of DR practice.
Ms Helen Shurven was appointed by the Governor General of Australia as a Member of the National Native Title Tribunal in 2010. She is an accredited mediator under the Australian National Mediator Standards and has been mediating since 1993. At the Tribunal, Helen conducts mediations between multiple parties, in city and country locations. Helen also conducts arbitrations in matters where parties cannot reach agreement. Tribunal arbitral decisions can be subject to appeal to the Federal Court of Australia.
Helen has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology from the University of Western Australia and a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Education from Murdoch University. She was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1997.
Helen is on the Mediator and Arbitrator panel of the World Intellectual Property Organisation. She is a member of the Australian Mediation Association and has been an adjudicator for the Schools Conflict Resolution and Mediation Program since 2003. She has also been a member of the Council of Australasian Tribunals since 2013. She was a Board member for Relationships Australia (WA) from 2008-2016, serving as President for three of those years.
DR JAMIE ORCHARD
Dr Jamie Orchard is the National Director of Legal Services of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and was previously the Executive General Manager (Resolutions) of the Financial Ombudsman Service and a Director of Enforcement of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Jamie is a lawyer of over 30 years standing who has practiced primarily in the fields of litigation, regulatory law and dispute resolution. His doctoral thesis involved research into how dispute resolution bodies can most efficiently and effectively meet their natural justice obligations. Jamie has a particular interest in the operations of regulators and dispute resolution bodies and has significant experience in implementing new approaches within such bodies to ensure the most effective resolution of disputes and complaints.
Susan was admitted to practice as a solicitor in 1984 and since then she has practised exclusively in Family Law. Her work has involved all aspects of family law and a large part of her current practice involves appointments as an Independent Children's Lawyer. She has been accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria as a specialist in Family Law since 1990.
Susan has been a practicing mediator since 1992. In 1994 she completed her Graduate Diploma in Judicial Administration and Alternate Dispute Resolution, and in 2008 a Graduate Vocational Diploma in Family Mediation. Susan is a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation Scheme, and since 1993 as a specialist in mediation by the Law Institute of Victoria. She is also a trained Arbitrator with AIFLAM and a trained Conflict Coach by Cinergy Conflict Management Services and Resolutions Institute.
Susan regularly provides mediation training and coaching. She provides supervision for family dispute resolution practitioners, and since 2011 she has been an adjunct lecturer with the College of Law.
In 2005 Susan established her own business, undertaking private mediations, conflict coaching and conferences for the Family Dispute Resolution Service operated by Victoria Legal Aid. She has a keen interest in facilitating outcomes to suit the individual needs of families, and is currently exploring additional tools to assist in this task including recent developments in the digital world. She is the principal of Creative Family Law Solutions.
Susan's efforts in the practice and promotion of Family Dispute Resolution were recognised in 2017 when she was awarded Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner of the year at the Australian ADR Awards.
Jovanka is a senior in-house lawyer with over 15 years’ experience in dispute resolution. She served as an accredited mediator with the Community Justice Centres, a mediation and conflict resolution service which is part of the Department of Justice’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Directorate. She has mediated a variety of disputes, including workplace disputes, commercial disputes, family mediations and neighbourhood disputes.
She served as the inaugural Research Ombudsman for a federal publicly funded research agency, where she investigated and mediated disputes on research ethics, research fraud, animal ethics and research misconduct. She was responsible for establishing the Research Ombudsman function within the agency to provide a forum to more effectively manage research disputes.
She is interested in the development of dispute resolution policy and how appropriate conflict resolution interventions can assist with de-escalation of organisational disputes. She has diverse experience managing conflict across multiple dispute areas and has provided strategic advice in the management of disputes in large organisations, including management of commercial disputes.
DR KATE CHETTY
Dr Kate Chetty is the Director of the Office of the Chief Counsel in the Department of Defence. She is responsible for providing high quality and strategic legal advice on complex and sensitive matters, including personnel management and complaints involving members of the Australian Public Service and Australian Defence Force. She is committed to resolving disputes through practical and pragmatic solutions. Kate also leads complex legal reform workstreams as part of the maintenance of the Defence legislation program, and provides advice on legislative reform proposals across Government.
Prior to her current role, Kate worked for the Department of Finance in various policy advisor roles including in the Government Shareholder Advice Unit and Land Policy Branch, and was seconded to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a Compliance, Risk and Governance Officer.
Kate contributes to government, academia and thought leadership through a number of other roles. Kate is a Squadron Leader in the Royal Australian Air Force Reserves, and provides advice on operational and intelligence law. For over a decade Kate worked as a sessional academic at the University of Canberra, including as a lecturer, unit convenor and post graduate research supervisor. Most recently she has lectured in access to justice issues. She is also an active volunteer in her local community.
Kate’s post graduate tertiary qualifications include a Master of Laws and a Master of Business. Her PhD related to the scope of the constitutional defence power and threats to human rights. Her research interests and publications relate to constitutional rights and the separation of judicial power.
DR LOLA AKIN-OJELABI
Dr Lola Akin Ojelabi is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Programs (LLB) in the School of Law, La Trobe University, Australia. She is admitted to legal practice in Nigeria and Australia and a nationally accredited mediator (Australia).
Lola has researched extensively in the field of conflict resolution, particularly focusing on culture and alternative dispute resolution processes, alternative dispute resolution and access to justice, ethics and justice in mediation and conflict resolution and international law. Her research projects have included evaluation of the Broadmeadows Family Relationship Centre focusing on cultural appropriateness and family violence issues, the use of ADR by Community Legal Centres as a means of improving access to justice, justice quality and accountability in mediation practice, ethics and justice in mediation.
Lola is also interested in the role of international law in promoting global peace and justice particularly, how underlying values of the United Nations' Charter may assist with resolution or management of seemingly intractable conflicts.
Her academic writings can be found in high quality journals and she is co-author of Ethics and Justice in Mediation (2018) and Dispute Resolution in Australia: Cases, Commentary and Materials (2018).
MARGARET HALSMITH AM
Margaret Halsmith AM is semiretired from her practice in which she mediated for business, government, families and individuals. Since the mid-1990s she has held numerous governance positions in a variety of Dispute Resolution organisations and taught Dispute Resolution at a number of universities. She continues to provide online professional clinical supervision for mediators.
Ms Halsmith was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2020 ‘for her significant service to the law and to dispute resolution organisations’.
Throughout her years of practice Ms Halsmith obtained accreditations and maintained her registrations as a mediator under a number of schemes including Resolution Institute, Advanced level, the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS), Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP), International Mediation Institute (IMI) among others. She holds Bachelor degrees in Psychology and Arts and has introduced and for over ten years, taught Dispute Resolution at Edith Cowan University, the University of Notre Dame Australia and Curtin University as well as providing guest lectures at Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia.
Among the governance positions that Ms Halsmith has held are Chair of LEADR, Chair of Resolution Institute, a Vice Chair of the Independent Standards Commission, known as the ‘think tank’ of the International Mediation Institute, based in the Hague, deputy convenor of the Western Australian Dispute Resolution Association, convenor of the sub-committee responsible for NMAS, member of the executive of the inaugural board of the Elder Mediation Australasia Network (EMAN).
Ms Halsmith was invited to join NADRAC (National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council) in 2008 and became an inaugural member of ADRAC in 2013.
Mr White holds degrees in Law and Computer Science. He has acted as mediator, arbitrator and expert witness in numerous substantial commercial disputes. Mr White's resume can be found here.
Mr White was the arbitrator in four reported matters under the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW) . His award was upheld in each case. Those cases are: Larkden Pty Limited v Lloyd Energy Systems Pty Limited Larkden Pty Limited v Lloyd Energy Systems Pty Limited Larkden Pty Limited v Lloyd Energy Systems Pty Limited Larkden Pty Limited v Lloyd Energy Systems Pty Limited. Those cases were cited with approval in in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v ACN 135 183 372 (Administrators Appointed) (formerly known as Energy Watch Pty Ltd), Hopkins v AECOM Australia Pty Ltd, Kruger v Kruger, In the matter of THO Services Limited, Phoenix Institute of Australia Pty Ltd v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, \yundai Engineering & Steel Industries Co Ltd v Two Ways Constructions Pty Ltd, Pybar Mining Services Pty Ltd v Challenger Gold Operations Pty Ltd, Hill v Esplanade Wollongong Pty Ltd (subject to a deed of company arrangement), Creenaune v WorkCover Queensland, Welker & Ors v Rinehart & Anor (No 2), Rinehart v Welker, Lin Tiger Plastering Pty Ltd v Platinum Construction (Vic) Pty Ltd and Australian Gypsum Industries Pty Ltd v Dalesun Holdings Pty Ltd
His arbitral decisions enabled the intellectual property rights in relation to solar technology in dispute to be sold to a third party within 12 months.
Mr White is a nationally accredited and experienced mediator acting as mediator in numerous substantial matters. For more information please visit www.mediator.com.au
TOM HOWE QC PSM
Tom Howe QC is former Chief Counsel, Dispute Resolution, with the Australian Government Solicitor, having retired on 30 June 2022. In representing the Commonwealth for over 30 years Tom has established a reputation as an outstanding advocate and adviser. He has extensive experience in representing the Commonwealth and its agencies in many fields of Commonwealth and public law before a wide range of courts and tribunals, including the High Court and Federal Court.
He was appointed to the Commonwealth Queen’s Counsel in early 2007 in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to Australian law and the Australian Government. He has a special interest in ADR in the government sector, and was a member of NADRAC for a number of years.
Joe Petry is a lawyer working within the Australian Government Solicitor’s Dispute Resolution practice. He acts in complex litigation for the Commonwealth in a broad range of law enforcement and information protection matters. He has experience providing legal advice on questions of international law, administrative law, privacy law, evidence, and legal policy.
Joe has past experience in negotiating and settling commercial disputes for a broad range of commercial clients.
Joe holds bachelor's degrees in law and communication from the University of Newcastle.
Shirli Kirschner is a nationally accredited mediator, facilitator and dispute system designer. She is the principal of Resolve Advisors established in 1996. She has sat on a number of not for profit boards including the former NADRAC.
Shirli practices as a commercial mediator specialising in multi-party disputes. She has worked in Australia, the USA, Israel, Singapore and Japan. She is also the dispute resolution adviser for the wholesale energy market (electricity and gas) for APRA AMCOS (music users and music creators) and won and industry award for her work in the National telecommunications market. Shirli holds a position as a Visiting Fellow at the Law school, University of New South Wales and an appointment as a sessional Registrar at the Federal Circuit Court. She practiced law at Allen Allen & Hemsely and then at Gilbert & Tobin before establishing Resolve.
DENNIS COWDROY OAM QC
Mr Cowdroy works as a mediator and arbitrator in a range of disputes throughout Australia and internationally. Mr Cowdroy was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia until he retired in 2014. At that time he also held Commissions as an additional Judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, Judge- Advocate of the Australian Defence Force, Presidential Member of the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and Member of Defence Force Disciplinary Appeals Tribunal.
As a result of his lengthy judicial career, Mr Cowdroy has experience in virtually every aspect of legal practice.
In 1995 Mr Cowdroy was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to Returned and Services League of Australia, the community and the practice of law.
ADRIAN D'AMICO DGC
Adrian D'Amico is the Defence General Counsel (DGC). Adrian has responsibility for the provision of high quality, strategic, legal advice on a broad range of issues within Defence including the provision of legal advice on complex and sensitive matters referred by Head Defence Legal, senior management within Defence and the Minister. Adrian is also responsible for the development, co-ordination and maintenance of the Defence legislation program.
Adrian completed a BEC/LLB (Hons) in 1988 at the Australian National University before joining private practice. Adrian spent 23 years in private practice, where he was a partner in two of Australia's major private firms, Phillips Fox and Norton Rose. Adrian joined the Department of Defence in August 2012.
In his time in private practice, Adrian acted for a number of private and government clients. Adrian's private practice experience was broad based, acting in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Adrian is a strong proponent of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Through the use of ADR he has resolved a number of complex high profile disputes. In 2009 Adrian was awarded a CDF Commendation in successfully remediating a disputed Defence logistics contract.
Adrian has two children, Dorothea and Dorian. Outside of work, he enjoys travelling, fishing, cinema, the outdoors and coaching his children’s soccer teams.
ASSOC PROFESSOR KATHY DOUGLAS
Kathy Douglas is an Associate Professor in law at RMIT University. She teaches about alternative dispute resolution and mediation and has practised for many years as a mediator. She has published widely about mediator practice, legal education, conflict in housing structures and in planning. Kathy has been involved in committees regarding restorative justice and also legal education initiatives. She is committed to policy initiatives regarding ADR that provide improved access to justice.
DR SAM LUTTRELL
Sam Luttrell specialises in international arbitration. He represents clients in cross-border disputes with other businesses and in claims against foreign governments under investment treaties and free trade agreements.
Sam has experience conducting proceedings under most of the main sets of international arbitration rules. His sector focus is Oil & Gas and Mining, but his experience spans a range of other industries, including infrastructure, defence and technology.
Mr Craig Pudig is a Senior Advisor at Macquarie Group Ltd. Mr Pudig has been at Macquarie for 10 years. Prior to his current role, Mr Pudig was the global head of Dispute Resolution and Litigation at Macquarie (5 years), having previously worked in a business role in Macquarie’s investment bank division (3.5 years). He has been a lawyer for more than thirty five years and brings a wealth of commercial experience to the Association.
Before joining Macquarie, Mr Pudig was a partner at Clayton Utz for sixteen years and at Minter Ellison for four years. His areas of expertise include financial services, infrastructure, construction, engineering, contract administration, dispute avoidance and alternative dispute resolution, and domestic and international litigation and arbitration.
Mr Pudig is on the Board of TAFE NSW and the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA). Mr Pudig is or has been a member of a number of not-for-profit boards.
Debbie is the Deputy Commissioner for Review and Dispute Resolution (RDR) in the Australian Taxation Office. In this role, Debbie has leadership responsibility for taxation and superannuation disputes with all taxpayers, ranging from individuals and small businesses through to multinational corporations. RDR is responsible for all objections and litigation in courts and tribunals, as well as ADR practices and dispute resolution strategies across the ATO.
Debbie has extensive experience in public administration over the past 30 years. She has led litigation in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Federal Court and the High Court on taxation, superannuation and administrative law issues. She also chairs consultative forums on best practice approaches and innovations in dispute resolution with key professional associations, the Law Council of Australia, the judiciary, legal practitioners and academics. In recent years Debbie has also led consultation and shared best practice approaches in dispute resolution and prevention with other tax administrations and leading tax advisors across Asia and Europe.
Debbie is a graduate in economics and law from Sydney University.
JEREMY GORMLY SC
Jeremy Gormly SC practises as a barrister and a mediator at the Sydney Bar. He is the former Chairman of NADRAC – the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council to the Australian Commonwealth Attorney-General (2011-2013) which advised the Commonwealth Attorney-General on the national development of dispute resolution.
Jeremy has mediated hundreds of commercial, equity, professional and medical negligence disputes. On a joint Commission from the Commonwealth Attorney-General and the Minister for Science and Personnel he mediated the long outstanding claims from the 1964 HMAS Voyager-Melbourne collision.
Jeremy has appeared as counsel assisting in numerous inquiries including the CAA/Seaview Aviation Royal Commission, the Thredbo Landslide inquiry, the Mallard Inquiry (a wrongful murder conviction inquiry in the Crime and Corruption Commission of Western Australia), the McGurk Tape inquiry (ICAC--NSW), the Curti Taser inquest, the collapse of the NSW Grains Board in ICAC, the Lindt Cafe Siege Inquest and numerous other inquiries.
Jeremy has written and lectured on ADR, electronic courtroom, pure economic loss, ethics, inquisitorial proceedings and advocacy.
PAST EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
EMILY BELL (2017-2018)
Emily Bell is a lawyer working within the Australian Government Solicitor’s Dispute Resolution practice. She has experience assisting the Commonwealth with a broad range of dispute types, including regulatory civil penalty matters, civil claims and administrative law disputes. Emily was exposed to the unique dispute resolution challenges faced by litigants and practitioners in the family law sector through previously held roles, which sparked her keen interest in ADR.
In addition to her core dispute resolution practice, Emily has worked with the Arts Law Centre of Australia on a pro bono basis and has provided assistance to Royal Commissions. She is a prior Senior Student Editor of the Adelaide Law Review, and also holds a Bachelor of Music from the Elder Conservatorium.
HOLLY RITSON (2018-2019)
Holly Ritson is a lawyer working within the Australian Government Solicitor’s Dispute Resolution practice. She has experience assisting the Commonwealth with a broad range of dispute types, with a particular focus on regulatory compliance litigation.
Outside of her practice at AGS, Holly volunteers as a solicitor at the Marrickville Legal Centre's Family Law advice clinic.
Holly holds bachelor's degrees in law and development studies from the University of Adelaide.
MAX GAO (2019-2020)
Max Gao is a lawyer working within the Australian Government Solicitor’s Dispute Resolution practice. He regularly appears in Courts and Tribunals as a solicitor advocate for the Commonwealth, with a particular focus on administrative law litigation.
Max has a keen interest in international relations and is fluent in Mandarin.
Max holds bachelor's degrees in law and international relations from the University of Sydney.