Family Dispute Resolution 

& Mediated Solutions

Welcome to Amity ADR

We are committed to providing compassionate, flexible and affordable dispute resolution services, which bring about satisfying, negotiated legal solutions to your family, business and community disputes.

At Amity ADR we are:



We understand that you are dealing with a stressful situation. 

We will take the time to understand what you are going through, and to discuss and explain the way forward.

Our services are supportive, professional and confidential.




 We recognise that everyone is busy and everyone's needs are different.  We will do our best to accommodate you - to make sure that our service is as comfortable, accessible and safe as possible.

We offer appointments out of hours, over the phone or in person.  

We will even arrange to come to you.



We are committed to delivering our services to those who need us.

 We will discuss our fees and negotiate a Costs Agreement with you up front, so you know exactly what to expect.

At Amity ADR:

we know that Court is rarely the most desirable option - slow, expensive and stressful.

Our qualified and experienced Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners and Mediators can help resolve your conflict in a way that is cost effective, time efficient and supportive. Where the outcome is negotiated and agreed to by you, not imposed.

Our Services:

Contact Us

Drop us a line!

Give us a call or text!

Please call or text and we will arrange a convenient time for you to discuss how we can help you. 

Out of business hours and weekends available.

Ph: 0429202098 o

Suzanne McDonald FDRP | Mediator | Lawyer Trading as Amity ADR ABN: 29649757029 email:

Restorative Conferencing

Restorative Circles

Restorative circles are strategies we can use to develop relationships, build communities, and respond to conflicts and problems that arise. With restorative circles, everyone is given an equal opportunity to speak, and be heard.

Restorative circles have two consistent features across restorative circle types.

1. Only one participant speaks one at a time. Your facilitator will not allow interruptions. By doing this, everyone is encouraged to listen, while giving each participant an equal chance to respond.

2. Don’t pass judgment but seek to understand problems. Your circle’s goal isn’t to pass judgement and define punishment. Instead, your facilitator will challenge participants to understand why the conflict happened, and how it has affected others.

Restorative Circles are valuable tools for developing relationships and building communities because they give each participant an equal opportunity to speak and be heard. Unlike traditional discipline models, they also allow individuals to understand how their actions impacted others. 

By listening to the stories, experiences, feelings, and thoughts of others, you get a deeper understanding of why something might have happened and can collaborate and decide on future directions with Outcome Planning.

Three common types of restorative circles:

· Sequential Restorative Circles

· Fishbowl Restorative Conference

· Justice Conference

1. Sequential Restorative Circles:


In sequential restorative circles, one person speaks at a time. The chance to speak moves around your circle in one direction.

Sequential restorative circles are based around topics or questions raised by the circle facilitator. This format gives quite or reserved voices, who often get pressured by loud or assertive voices, a chance to speak freely. Your facilitator will use the topics and questions, to help guide the circle, and give participants a more structured way of voicing their concerns.

When using a restorative circle, you’ll often rely on the help of a circle facilitator. The job of a circle facilitator is to help guide your circle, but not lead it. The facilitator will not determine who is right or wrong. Instead, the facilitator will keep everyone on track, making sure they all have an equal chance to speak.

2. Fishbowl Restorative Circles:


Fishbowl circles are drastically different than other restorative circles.
An inner circle of active participants is identified with the facilitators help in the preparation phase. Outside the inner circle are placed the observers, each arranged in as many concentric circles as are needed to accommodate the group.

Fishbowl circles are useful for large numbers of participants but where it would be impractical to have them all involved. Observers watch the circle activity and occasionally comment on it without being active participants in the circle.

Sometimes, the facilitator may invite an observer sit in an empty chair within the active circle to say something, and then return to the outer circle. This helps manage a limited amount of participation by observers.

3. Justice Circles:


Another type of restorative circle is known as a Justice Circle or Justice Conference or Circle Sentencing. These circles are used with great success in certain criminal jurisdictions such as NSW Youth Justice Conferencing. 

These circles are used as an alternative to the criminal justice system and can result in a binding outcome plan, enforceable by the Court.

Participants still sit in a circle, and discussion is still lead by a convenor, however, the order of speaking and process is structured. The general format: offender, victim, victim’s supporter, and offender’s supporter. Justice circles start from the premises that the perpetrator accepts responsibility for behaviour and harm which flowed therefrom. The conveyor asks each person a set of restorative questions. Once everyone has responded to the restorative questions, there is a transition into a more open model of discussion of the victim needs and how those needs can be met and how the perpetrator can make restitution to the victim and community for the harm, and what the perpetrator might need in order to avoid such happenings in the future. 

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