Board of NMC Ltd

The Board of the National Mediation Conference Ltd is the body ultimately responsible for the national conferences normally conducted every two years, and in particular for the governance and finances of the NMC. In the past there has been no clear differentiation between the Board and the Organising Committee for each conference, with limited continuity between one conference and the next. This changed in 2017 with the establishment of clear structural and functional differences between the two entities.

Since 2017 the Board of the National Mediation Conference Ltd has focused its attention on three main objectives:
1. The governance of the NMC, including its Constitution, Membership and related matters;
2. The financial aspects of the NMC, including the budget for each conference, audits, corporation and tax responsibilities and the like;
3. Continuity in the NMC, including planning for future conferences, approval of the conference Design Committee, appointment of the Professional Conference Organisers, development of long-term partnerships with relevant outside bodies and other activities designed to ensure the longevity of the NMC into the next 25 years.

The NMC Conference Design Committee reports to the Board on financial and other big-picture issues and the Chair of this Committee has a seat on the Board.

In terms of the NMC Constitution the Board is elected by the Members and the Members are drawn from the Australian dispute resolution community.

Board Members:

Chair: Laurence Boulle AM, resolveaboulle
Deputy Chair: Chris Jefferys, Deputy Chair
Treasurer: Michael Miller, MLC Advice Canberra

Alysoun Boyle, University of Newcastle
Chris Jefferys, Private Practice

Laurence Boulle AM, resolveaboulle

Laurence Boulle is a freelance academic and dispute resolution practitioner. He has mediated throughout Australia and overseas, advises on dispute resolution policy and works locally and abroad as an educator and consultant – most recently in Mongolia and the Cook Islands. He is Director of Independent Mediation Services and of his consultancy firm resolveaboulle – see Laurence has published books in seven jurisdictions on mediation and dispute resolution and has also written books and articles on globalisation, international investment and constitutional law. He has served as chair of the Mediator Standards Board and National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council and is currently co-chair of the Australian Dispute Resolution Association (of which he is an honorary fellow) and co-convenor of the National Mediation Conference 2019. Among his current positions are Bell Wiese Professor of Legal Ethics at Newcastle School of Law (fractional) and Adjunct Professor at Bond University, the Thomas More Law School, ACU, Sydney, and the University of South Pacific in Vanuatu. He lives in Sydney and the Gold Coast, commutes a lot and avoids being a thought leader.

Michael Miller, MLC Advice Canberra

Michael is a Certified Financial Planner® and owner of MLC Advice Canberra, a financial planning firm. He also runs a specialist practice in governance and dispute resolution. Michael has been appointed to dispute resolution and conduct review panels for the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, and Financial Planning Association of Australia. He regularly consults to family law and estate planning disputes, and is a member of the ACT Collaborative Practice Group. Michael has experience as a non-executive director of community organisations Woden Community Service, Diabetes ACT, Care Financial Counselling and as an advisory board member for the University of Canberra Foundation. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Business, and mediation certificate from Bond University. He is a nationally accredited mediator and a member of Resolution Institute.

Alysoun Boyle, University of Newcastle

Alysoun Boyle is a mediation/dispute resolution practitioner, and educator, with extensive experience in dispute system design. She has a recognised long-term professional and personal commitment to DR. Alysoun is a foundation member of ADRAC, and a member of the ADR Research Network. Her governance experience includes over eight years as a Director of the former Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia, taking a key role in negotiations and corporate preparations for the integration of IAMA and LEADR in 2014/15, and being a founding Director of the integrated organisation, Resolution Institute, from 2015 – 2018. Her abiding interests are in the fundamental humanity of dispute resolution, and in the need for a strong, evidence-based approach to DR practice. She is a current PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle where she is doggedly investigating the effectiveness of mediators. Alysoun resides on a high altitude rural property, and is the Training Officer for her local fire brigade.

Chris Jefferys, Deputy Chair

Ms Chris Jefferys trained as a mediator in 1992 and since then has conducted many hundreds of mediation sessions both face to face and via shuttle to assist in settling a wide range of community and neighbourhood disputes. For the past 17 years Chris was the manager of Mediation SA, a community based mediation program that provided no cost mediation and facilitation services to low and medium income South Australians who were involved in neighbourhood and community based disputes.
Chris was instrumental in developing an effective conflict management process to cope with high conflict clients in public and community housing settings for which she was awarded the 2014 SA LEADR Practitioner of the Year for “Significant Contribution to DR- Creative Adaption of DR to Meet Specific Needs”.
Chris chaired the South Australian Dispute Resolution Association for many years and was both a NMC Board member and the Convener for the 10th Australian National Mediation Conference which was held in Adelaide in September 2010.
Chris is now in private practice designing and delivering training packages to government, non government and community organizations on Conflict Management, Dealing with Difficult and Aggressive Clients, Train the Trainer, Developing Mediation Skills and Effective Communication.