Why did you decide to study Mediation and Conflict Resolution at university?
I had undertaken a 5 day mediation training on a full scholarship and that was a great starting point. What I learned on the course was the ‘how to do mediation’ part but I didn't gain enough insight into the ‘why’ so I decided a masters qualification, in an area that I am absolutely passionate about from a reputed university, was well worth pursuing. I was also delighted to be the first and only New Zealander to have completed the course.
What advice would you give to someone considering studying your course?
I would absolutely encourage anyone interested in working in the field of mediation and conflict resolution to complete the MSc Mediation and Conflict Resolution through University of Strathclyde. The calibre of the lecturing staff, the course components and camaraderie was outstanding. The cohort I studied alongside were from all around the world which made it a truly international masters degree.
Do you have a highlight from your time at university?
The University of Strathclyde partnered with East China University of Political Science and Law which provided the perfect opportunity to attend summer school in Shanghai and then on to Hong Kong to do research for my masters dissertation which included meeting a representation from the Hong Kong ombudsman office; an amazing opportunity.
I absolutely loved being based back in Scotland again and being able to access Europe for breaks away during semester holidays was amazing. I was able to visit a friend who lives in Finland, we met as young back packers in South East Asia many years ago.
Was there a work placement or ‘real life’ element to the course?
As part of the course we got to participate in what is known as The Mediation Clinic which provided incredible experience and mentoring with fellow graduates of the course who were practising in the mediation field.
Where are you working now?
I am working as a full time resolution practitioner with an organisation called FairWay Resolution Services in Wellington, NZ. My primary responsibilities include working across a range of varying disputes and supporting/mentoring staff so that they can develop into a mediator/conflict resolution practitioner role in the future. I am also a member of the NZ Media Council which is an independent forum for resolving complaints on the following: content of newspapers, magazines and periodicals in circulation in New Zealand including their websites.
What is the best part of your job?
Working with people to support them in resolving their disputes. My absolute passion is working with people, caring for people and getting people to consider alternative ways of thinking, behaving and being.
How did your time at Strathclyde help prepare you for this role?
Gaining my masters in mediation and conflict resolution set me in very good stead for being successful in my current role.
What has been your most memorable moment from your career so far?
Knowing that I am working with people to support them as they transition through a sense of 'stuckness' and offering them tools to resolve and dissolve conflict in their life.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I will work towards completion of an international PhD in this field. I would also like to simultaneously work as a consultant in the UN and like organisations around the world working towards bringing more peace and conflict resolution into the world.