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Mediators work towards forming equitable solutions for parties who are having a dispute and do not wish to involve the court system. They do this by remaining neutral and facilitating the evaluation and assessment of possible solutions while listening to the parties involved and helping them to reason through their conflicts. Mediators are expert communicators with good interpersonal skills and the ability to stay composed and neutral during what can sometimes be difficult discussions.
Mediators come from a variety of different educational backgrounds including law, public policy, education, counseling and the liberal arts. Depending on whether they practice within a specialist area, mediators may be knowledgeable on labour laws, custody issues or a variety of other topics. Certificate and post graduate courses in mediation are available in Australia where a national accreditation standards scheme has recently been drafted and is currently being implemented. Those interested in pursuing this career should monitor the development of this scheme as its' specifications may influence their choice of post-graduate study in the area.