LifeWorks Relationship Counselling and Education Services.
1300 543 396

LifeWorks is a not for profit organisation that provides family, couple and individual
counselling, education, training and workplace services in Victoria Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation

Q. What is Mediation or Dispute Resolution?

A. A private, confidential and co-operative process in which an impartial person (mediator) supports individuals to resolve conflict and settle differences. It is a voluntary process where participants maintain control of the outcome, without resolutions or agreements being imposed on them.

Q. How does it work??

A. Each participant has an initial individual meeting with the mediator, either in a LifeWorks’ office or by phone.

LifeWorks then invites the other participant(s) to attend initial individual session.

The purpose of these initial and confidential sessions is to gain an understanding of what that individual thinks is important to discuss, and what issues and possible outcomes they would like to bring to the negotiation table. This also allows the mediator to check that each person has the capacity to communicate and negotiate within the mediation setting.

A joint session is then arranged at a mutually convenient date, time and location.

At the beginning of the first joint session the “Agreement to Mediate” is signed by each participant.

The mediator will not impose or compel a settlement or a particular result but rather empowers participants to determine their own outcome.

If an agreement is reached, a written memorandum of agreement is prepared (if requested) and signed.

Q. What is the Mediator's role?

A. To assist participants to identify the issues, facilitate discussion, and to help participants to consider options and negotiate outcomes.

To manage the process, ensure each person gets an equal say, and encourages respectful communication at all times.

To conduct the process in a neutral and impartial fashion.

Q. What types of issues can be mediated?

A. Issues between family members. Issues with or about older family members. Friendship groups issues. Community disputes including neighbourhood issues. Parent/adolescent disputes (see separate brochure). Family Law matters following separation. Workplace issues.

Q. What are the benefits of using Mediation?

A. Mediation is practical, relatively informal, and unencumbered by courtroom procedures or legal technicalities. 

In most cases, mediation is significantly faster and less expensive and emotionally draining than litigation.

Mediation empowers the parties to retain control of the critical decisions that affect their personal, financial and business interests.

Mediation enables the parties to fashion their own solution rather than have one imposed upon them.

Q. How much will it cost?

A. LifeWorks is a not-for-profit organisation. While the cost of some services are partially subsidised by government funding, fees are charged to cover the remaining costs. In mediation each participant pays a fee based on a sliding scale, according to their own gross income. Our Customer Service Officer will advise the fee based on this scale when the initial appointment is booked. Fees are to be paid on the day of the session.

Q. Will all disputes be suitable for Mediation?

A. The mediator will make an assessment of suitability as part of the initial individual sessions. Factors taken into consideration include:

  • Willingness of each person to participate
  • Willingness of each person to work within the mediation process
  • Ability of each person to communicate and freely negotiate
  • Any safety or abuse issues.

Q. Any other questions?

A. Please feel free to contact LifeWorks on 8650 6200 or via email on to ask any further questions and find out more about the mediation process.