Media release: ADR voices unite

LEADR logo  IAMAlogo




This week, Australasia’s two largest membership organisations for ADR practitioners, LEADR and the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia (IAMA) made the historic decision to become a single entity. The members of both organisations voted overwhelmingly to proceed to a single, integrated body on 1 January 2015. Margaret Halsmith, Chair of LEADR, and Rowena McNally, President of IAMA are excited at the prospect.
“LEADR and IAMA have been pivotal in shaping the dispute resolution landscape in Australia and New Zealand,” said Margaret Halsmith. “The Objects of the new organisation reflect the Objects IAMA and LEADR each bring with them. Our vision is of increased use of effective dispute resolution, setting new benchmarks in training and education, as well as promoting high standards of practice. Becoming one is the natural extension of this visionary thinking.”
Both IAMA and LEADR have attracted loyal, professional and dedicated members; both have grown through the energy and commitment of Chapter volunteers offering vital local professional development and collegiate networking opportunities; both embody an ethic of service to the community.
“With reputations for high standards of practice, we are both founded on a strong professional membership base,” said Rowena McNally. “As a single entity, we will achieve economies of scale that will enable us to be more responsive to our members’ needs, more responsive to the market’s needs and more able to influence policy decision-makers.”
For LEADR, this is the second of two integrations in two years.
Reflecting on the first, the 2013 integration of LEADR and LEADR NZ, LEADR Director and NZ Committee Chair Mark Beech commented “The integration of LEADR NZ and LEADR has been a great success, allowing us to do things we simply would not have been able to do without being part of a larger organisation. This integration with IAMA is an opportunity to create a significant international dispute resolution organisation.”
In 2014, members of LEADR and IAMA come from many professions and practise a wide variety of dispute resolution including adjudication, arbitration, mediation, conciliation, facilitation, community engagement, neutral evaluation, conflict coaching and restorative justice. This breadth of ADR and the expected membership of more than 3,500 ADR professionals provides the new organisation with the expertise and capacity to promote and to provide ADR in all its forms throughout the region.
“We operate in a globalised world – a unified organisation will inherit IAMA and LEADR’s existing links with ADR organisations across the globe, so that our members have access to best practice models of ADR and to international education and work” said Rowena McNally.
“ADR practitioners across New Zealand and Australia recognise this as an exciting time” said Margaret Halsmith “We will be bold in creating expanded ADR avenues for individuals, business, government and communities to resolve their own disputes in cost effective, time efficient and self-determining ways. We look forward to this challenge”.



Fiona Hollier, CEO, LEADR +61 2 9251 3366,

Alysoun Boyle Acting CEO, IAMA +61 2 9241 1188,