Jo is a mediator, facilitator and judicial educator, and has worked with courts and tribunals in Australia, Asia and Europe. She has a background as an adult educator, and designs, leads and evaluates programs for lawyers and judges. She is on the Resolution Institute's Advanced Panel, the Centre de Médiation et d'Arbitrage de Paris and the International Panel of Singapore Mediation Centre. She was a member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal from 1988 to 1996 and of the National Native Title Tribunal from 1996 to 1999. In 2004, Joanna became the judges' trainer in the Family Court's Children's Cases Pilot program, a program now known as the Less Adversarial Trial. In 2008, Jo was appointed to the International Mediator Institute (IMI), where she served on the independent standards commission and co-chaired the reference group that determined IMI standards in intercultural mediation.
In July 2013, Jo took on the role of principal facilitator in the pilot phase of the Defence Abuse Taskforce’s restorative engagement process. In late 2015, Jo became chair of the Amoonguna Aboriginal Trust in Alice Springs after successfully co-mediating the Amoonguna's dispute with the Northern Territory Government. Who's Who Legal 2017 placed her third on the list of mediators active in Australia. Jo is on the faculty of MATA (UK) at their biennial mediator retreats in Italy, and is a member of CIMJ, Conférence Internationale de Médiation pour la Justice. Jo speaks fluent French, German and Italian and lives part of each year in Paris.
To walk this land together: the search for an Australian mediation model
If there were a peculiarly Australian way of mediating, would it take the form of a model, or a change in the mediator's role and approach?
This lecture proposes that it is not a new model of mediation Australia needs. We can readily adapt existing approaches and models as mediation frameworks rather than scripts. What is required is an insistence on the development of mediators' intercultural and cross-cultural expertise in one of the mloost diverse societies in the world.
Broad intercultural expertise is fundamental - and hard to find. Beyond it lies something more: a commitment to understanding the nature of the power and social relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Absent these skills, sustainable solutions to the resource and environmental challenges facing Australia are unlikely. The capacity to engage Indigenous stakeholders as traditional custodians of the land, whether they are holders of Native Title or not, will simultaneously address environmental issues and two centuries of inequity to the benefit of all.