News Centre

2022 Leadership through Peer Mediation

Teresa Croker

To kickstart the beginning of 2022, the Year 12 Peer Support leaders attended a full-day workshop run by The Peace Foundation on ‘Peaceful Conflict and Mediation’. This workshop aimed to develop effective communication skills which will be applied in the Peer Support programme.

The two facilitators, Katherine Matthews and Christine Barruel, prepared an eventful day that was full of insightful activities and engaging discussions.

The morning began with an activity that conveyed five different responses to conflict. This required the Year 12s to focus on the natural tendencies they have when making decisions or facing conflict. Through this, the leaders learnt more about their attributes as well as the benefits/disadvantages of each tendency.

Throughout the day, the Year 12s unpacked the meaning behind conflict and communicated ways to find a resolution. This allowed the leaders to develop a sense of understanding towards their peers’ feelings from an outside perspective. Furthermore, they were able to identify what is required to make someone feel heard and understood which could be applicable in day-to-day life.

To finish the day, the last activity was the 5 Magic Open Questions. The Peer Support leaders were required to pair up and resolve each partner’s problems using effective questioning.

One partner acted as the mediator and used critical thinking to reflect on the problem of the other partner. This taught the Year 12s the importance of considering feelings and needs to guide someone to find a solution.

Overall, the leaders learnt techniques on how to be an active listener and show effective communication to deal with conflict. This involved building rapport through body language, voice tone and speech and incorporating skills of a good mediator like remaining neutral, showing empathy, being respectful and guiding peers through a process of problem-solving.

The Year 12 Peer Support Leaders benefitted from this workshop as they can skillfully help themselves and others deal with conflict in a constructive, respectful, and peaceful manner.

Their knowledge on ‘Peaceful Conflict and Mediation’ will be utilised during their sessions with the Year 8 homerooms starting Week 4 and continue to help them grow into even greater student leaders.