What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a confidential process where an independent and impartial mediator helps people and organisations in conflict reach an agreement acceptable and workable for both sides.

Parties enter mediation to resolve disputes concerning parenting, property, separation, divorce, commercial and workplace issues without having to go to court.

Mediators don’t provide legal advice, decide who is right, make decisions for parties in conflict or force parties into an agreement.

Mediation allows all parties involved in conflict the opportunity to actively participate in reaching an agreement, and is an effective alternative to the legal system.

How Mediation Can Help You



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At Fresh Start Mediation we understand you will probably have some questions.

Fill in your details HERE and we’ll give you a call, otherwise you are welcome to call us.

Why Use Mediation?

Mediation is a process where an impartial third party – a mediator – helps people and organisations involved in conflict, actively work together to reach an agreement. It’s an effective alternative to the legal system for several reasons. Click on any of the points below to learn more.

  • Mediation costs significantly less than going through the court system where each party is required to have their own legal representation. 

  • Mediation offers parties in dispute the opportunity to participate directly in the process of reaching agreement, giving parties more control over the outcome.

  • Mediation assists parties to resolve their disputes as quickly and efficiently as possible. Mediation usually takes between a half and a full day, which is much faster and more convenient than going to court.

  • Mediation is confidential and take place in private. Court proceedings are recorded and made available to the public.

  • Mediation is an informal process where the mediator acts as a supportive but neutral presence for both parties to help them explore a range of workable outcomes.

Face to Face Mediation + Online Mediation

At Fresh Start Mediation we offer face to face mediation or online mediation.

We assist parties to resolve disputes in an environment that is informal, neutral and fair, so that agreements reached are durable and long-lasting, offering parties peace of mind to move forward into the future.

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Online mediation offers a practical and accessible alternative to face to face mediation for parties who do not reside in the same location or do not wish to be in the same room for their mediation.

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Getting started with an intake session

The mediation process begins with an intake session, which occurs on a separate day prior to the mediation.

The pre-mediation intake session is a separate and confidential meeting between the mediator and each individual party. It can happen over the phone, online or as an in-person meeting. Each party must go through the intake session individually before we can proceed to the mediation.

The purpose of this first step is for the mediator to understand the circumstances of your situation and dispute – what brought you to mediation, what you hope to achieve from mediation and anything else we may need to know about you and your situation that could impact the mediation. For example, whether you feel comfortable being in the same room as the other party, or whether you prefer online mediation. The more we know about your situation, the better placed we are to facilitate the mediation successfully.

The intake session also gives us a chance to go through each phase of the mediation process with you, ensuring you understand exactly what to expect on the day.

The intake session also gives the mediator the chance to assess whether your dispute is appropriate for mediation. Instances where mediation may not be an alternative to the courts would be in the case where there is a serious safety concern via an emotional, physical or psychological threat to one of the parties, or if one party flatly refuses to participate.

As a starting point, we encourage you to give us a call and have an obligation-free chat about mediation and how it may be suited to your situation.

Start the mediation process by booking your intake meeting HERE

The Mediation Process

Mediation follows a clearly defined structure and can be conducted in person or online, via Zoom.
Mediations generally take a half or full day and follow the process below.

  • The mediator will welcome parties, provide details of the process for the day and ensure each party understands the role of the mediator and what to expect during the mediation.

  • Each party involved in the mediation will be asked to make an 'opening statement' about why they are at mediation and provide a summary of the items and topics they would like to discuss during the mediation. Most people prepare their opening statement prior to the meeting.

  • Following each party’s opening statement the mediator will list the issues and topics for discussion, which will form the agenda for mediation. The mediator will assist the parties to list an order for discussion of these items.

  • The aim of this phase of the mediation is to explore each of the items on the agenda and assist each party to gain an understanding of the other party’s perspective. The mediator will facilitate the discussion and help the parties think about options and alternatives for moving forward into the future. 

  • Following exploration, each party will have the opportunity to talk with the mediator in a separate session. Separate sessions are private and confidential and give the mediator a chance to check in with each party on how they feel the mediation is going. Separate sessions also offer each party the opportunity to talk freely and confidentially with the mediator about anything that they did not want to discuss in an open joint session. The mediator will also help parties explore and discuss any proposals to put to the other party or options for agreement. A separate session can also occur or be requested at any stage during the mediation.

  • Throughout the mediation and following the separate meetings with each party, the mediator will work with both parties to put forward a range of options with the aim of reaching an agreement. This can involve testing the realities and practicalities of options being discussed and the consideration of implications and potential outcomes of an agreement not being reached.

  • If agreement is reached on some or all of the items discussed during the mediation, this will be captured in writing to formally reflect the terms reached by the parties. It is each party's responsibility to ensure they are aware of the legal implications of the decisions made. It is not the mediator's role to provide advice to either or both of the parties at any stage of the mediation process, and it is recommended parties seek legal advice prior to mediation. Parties will also have the opportunity to seek legal advice before agreeing to all or some of the items included in the proposed agreement.

Give Fresh Start a call for an obligation free discussion

At Fresh Start Mediation we understand you will probably have some questions. Fill in your details HERE and one of our team will give you a call, otherwise you are welcome to call us.

Fresh Start Mediation services the whole of Australia, offering face to face and online mediation options.