Wendy's cover image

Wendy FAULKES

Year of Award: 1982 Award State: New South Wales Legal > General
To study overseas developments in mediation and community based dispute resolution - USA, UK
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Wendy Faulkes was the Director of the Community Justice Centre in Sydney’s Surry Hills when, in 1982, she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to explore mediation and dispute resolution in the United Kingdom and the United States. Two years before, Wendy had been appointed to establish the first community justice centre in Australia – a mediation and community-based resolution centre for minor civil or criminal disputes. She established the Redfern Community Justice Centre, which later moved to Surry Hills.

This was more than a job for Wendy. Passionate about the cause of community justice, it was an engrossing and vital ambition. She worked tirelessly for the legislation of mediation and the establishment of community centres in which it could be practised. The Community Justice Centre (Pilot Project) Act, 1980, was passed with support of both sides of the House in the State Government. She writes in her report:

There is now mediation in all sorts of areas – divorce, environment, youth etc. ... I can proudly say that the New South Wales project and the Surry Hills Centre, in particular, is now established as a leader in the field. That is the sort of education for me, and for my colleagues, that cannot come from reading.

Most of Wendy’s recommendations are now a reality. Mediation is accepted practice in a wide range of areas and saves countless people lengthy, stressful court appearances and fees. Wendy recommended that it be developed as a profession, with guidelines and consistent terminology and career pathways, which has also come to pass.

Excerpt from “Inspiring Australians” written by Penny Hanley (2015)

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