Four outstanding community-minded Queenslanders will be able to expand their expertise to include dispute resolution after being presented with scholarships today by Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath.
Toowoomba-based Ada Gain, Townsville-raised Kimberley Bates, and Brisbane duo Akash Mahendra and Bhavik Kapadia will undertake two intensive formal mediation courses valued at $4000 for winning a Jack Cranstoun Scholarship.
“Mediators provide an invaluable service to Queenslanders by helping people in dispute to resolve their differences and reach a mutually agreed solution without going to court,” The Attorney-General said.
“Each of our scholarship holders will have the chance to attain formal national accreditation following successful completion of the second course and be eligible to have their names placed on the National Register of Accredited Mediators in Australia.”
The sixth annual Jack Cranstoun Scholarship presentation took place at the Brisbane Supreme Court library in front of the recipients and members of the Cranstoun family.
“Jack Cranstoun was a highly respected young man and much-loved member of the Dispute Resolution Branch within the Department of Justice and Attorney-General who sadly passed away in 2014,” the Attorney-General said.
“The scholarship honours his memory and offers young people aged 21 to 30 the opportunity to undertake the intensive mediation training and chance to be nationally accredited.”
Mediators are employed to guide conflicted parties through a structured mediation process relating to neighbours, family, commercial, workplace or property disputes, often at no cost.
Dispute Resolution Training Manager Janet Barnes said Queensland mediators enjoyed a success rate for resolving disputes of around 85 percent.
“By settling community disputes, mediators save time, legal fees and court costs for the people involved - and the community at large - and help free up the court system,” Mrs Barnes said.
“The scholarship provides the recipients with the skills and knowledge needed to start a career in mediation, as well as providing a valuable networking opportunity.
“The opportunity to be coached by experienced mediators in the Dispute Resolution Branch alone will be invaluable.”
Scholarships applicants provided a written resume, with the top selections short-listed and interviewed by a panel, before the winner in each of four categories was selected.
About the 2020 scholarship-holders:
Ada Gain (Regional award): The busy social worker holds a Bachelor of Legal and Justice Studies from the Southern Cross University and Master of Social Work from Sunshine Coast University. Ada has been heavily involved as a volunteer with Rotaract for the last five years, including serving as Chair since 2019.
Akash Mahendra (DJAG award): The child protection lawyer with the Office of the Director of Child Protection Litigation has undertaken voluntary work with the UQ Pro Bono Centre Refugee Tutoring Program, Caxton Legal Centre and Gummie Support Network helping the elderly with deliveries of groceries and other essential items.
Bhavik Kapadia (Open male award): The workplace relations professional is a Senior HR consultant with the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and is a long-time volunteer with the Art of Living Foundation, a not-for-profit group that has a vision for a stress-free and violence-free society.
Kimberley Bates (Open female award): The Psychological Science Honours student holds a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, volunteers to support the work of Humanitarian Affairs Asia, and was moderator and closing ceremony speaker at the 2020 Peace Summit of Emerging Leaders at the UN in Thailand.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath