Lake Tinaroo Mediation Gathering



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Written 1992. Last update April 2014.


Dr Neville Yeomans organized local Aboriginal and Islander women around Atherton to host the Lake Tinaroo Mediation Gathering in November 1993, held at Lake Tinaroo near Atherton on the Atherton Tablelands. A number of Aboriginal nurturer women came across 3159 klm from Yirrkala in Northern Territory and other remote communities in the Top End and participated in co-learning at this Gathering. Mediation Therapy was a key theme.


This 1993 Mediation Gathering followed consciousness raising since 1989 by Laceweb Self-help Group Mediation Matters.


The following material is from fliers that Neville disseminated starting in 1989.







(suggested best time – deposit paid)

23 – 29 April 1990



Thursday April 26th is National Stop Domestic Violence Day.

Our Topics: family friendship; harmonious decisions and domestic bliss


Friday April 27th is International Dispute Resolution Day.


Our Topics: Dissolving Disputes.


Night Feast: Delicious Differences, Dancing Dreaming Music



The course aims to teach personal and helping skills to enable rapid release from problems of low self-esteem, jealousy, alcoholism and drug dependency, misunderstanding, anxiety, grief and depression, argumentativeness, abusive behaviour, domestic disturbance and other problems. They are very useful for those coping with disputes in family, youth and community relationships. (See course outline.)


Satisfactory completion can lead to accreditation.


If sufficient numbers enrol and some funding becomes available, several trainers will be brought from down South. Also a forest adventure ropes training can be actioned. Otherwise, either this pilot project could be postponed, or up to six local co-instructors will work together with you.


The Queensland Recreation Council camp houses 150 persons, plus tents for overflow. It is at Lake Tinaroo Dam, Atherton Tablelands – canoes, fishing, etc. If funding is not sufficient, cost for each well-employed person will be $700 including meals and accommodation.


We will also be expected to ‘nelpfully’ monitor and assist each other’s progressing and even blissful improving. Enabling neighbourly neutral helping is ‘nelping’.


If you are really interested but couldn’t come in April you can let us know by 1st March.


You can also suggest a later week which could suit a lot of people and families, either for this first program, or for a second one.



Or if coming, send your name, address and number attending to:


INMA NELPS 19 Cedar Street YUNGABURRA Qld. 4872       Tel 070 953120






The systems mediation approach is adapted and extended from the model used by the Family Mediation Services of Ontario, Canada, supported by the University of Toronto.


The nelpful approach (neurolinguistic programming) is based on cultural modelling and skill copying of outstanding mediators, negotiators, counsellors, artists and educators.


Context mediation and story performance includes derivatives from therapeutic communities, dance therapy, psychodrama and music therapy.


There are now over thirty texts, many audio-video training tapes, and computer programmes available as backup to this training programme.


The training programme involves developing skills in:


1.    Rapport Building.

2.    Gathering Information, monitoring and precision questioning.

3.    Accurate cue reading; the client disputants and their body language.

4.    Assessing the client’ internal states, strategic and sorting patterns and external relationships.

5.    Establishing well-formed outcomes in mediation and problem solving.

6.    Home and Street mediation.

Techniques for mediation problem-solving skills include:


1.    Anchoring – Few or one trial relearning.

2.    Changing personal history, re-imprinting, future-programming – altering perspectives on previous painful or angry attitudes.

3.    Dissociation – separating memories from bad or violent feelings.

4.    Accessing states and chaining – resourceful habits and good moods, dramatic pattern-interrupt.

5.    Reframing – finding constructive meanings, resolving internal and external conflicts, seeing trouble in a better light.

6.    Mediating Metaphor – storytelling, performance and ideography as parables for healthy tolerance and cooperative living.

7.    Mapping Across – changing limiting beliefs and attitudes.

8.    The Swish, Compulsion Blowout – eliminating bad or rigid habits.

9.    Releasing codependence and dysfunctional jealousy.

10. Responding well to criticism and argument – self mediation skills.

11. Developing ethnic and cultural self-esteem – resolving shame and guilt.

12. Language skills – general/specific mobility. Conversational change.

13. Re-evaluating relationships – mediating to balance common ground, group mediation, community monitoring

14. Time attention and location – for constructive use of time, and organising actions.

These and other skills have been shown to be very effective in rapid release of problems of low self-esteem, jealousy, alcoholism and drug addiction, misunderstanding, anxiety, grief and depression, argumentativeness, abusive behaviour, public disturbance and other problems. They are very useful for those coping with disputes in family and community relationships.


It is considered that a monitor or intake counsellor will need 45 hours instruction and field experience, a mediator 90 hours and a senior mediator 180 hours. A master mediator will need about 360 hours.


© 1989 may be copied with this acknowledgement.

Inma Nelps Mediation Matters, Yungaburra 4872





The mediator is a peace-maker. S/he is a middle friend to both sides. S/he helps ease disputes and stop fights.


S/he is neutral – this means not one side or the other, but for the goodness in both.


The mediator is someone who can help people to find the good in each other; and to dream up agreeable new ways. They can then learn to sort things out in a safe, friendly and respectful way. As they solve more problems side by side and in harmony, nasty arguments go away.


Mediators help people to listen to and hear each other, to tune in, to understand and to step into each other’s feelings. They can see eye to eye, feel good and be in balance. People find common ground and begin to trust and respect each other more.


Mediators do NOT judge anyone as right and wrong – they accept the good in each one.


The do NOT pass out ‘justice’ – they help people find, share and decide fair agreements for themselves – and feel good about it.


They do NOT punish – they support cooperation and choice.


They do NOT talk for others – people talk for themselves, and to each other.


People who have argued and disagreed meet with the mediator of their own free will. It is private between the mediator and those who were fighting. There are NO lawyers, NO police, NO officials present.


In the past all societies had priests, monks and others doing mediation work. Now the mediator is coming back into the modern world. Communities find and train their own mediators. They share and exchange mediators to help each other.


In some parts of Australia mediators are being paid to help talk out answers to problems. Also police can refer people to a mediator instead of making an arrest.


Mediators can relieve and ease the workload on police and courts. For suitable community and domestic troubles mediation works well. Its results are fair, cheaper and easier. People feel better, are more satisfied and cooperate more readily in the future.



© 1989. May be copied with this acknowledgement.

Inma nelps, Mediation Matters, Yungaburra 4872      




The following photo was taken at the Gathering.



Neville with the Yirrkala Women and Children 


Neville said that the remote area Aboriginal women attendees at the Tinaroo Mediation Gathering were able to work well with the very rich processes outlined in the above briefing documents. This mirrors Neville’s experience in passing on similar rich processes to the Aboriginal youth at Geoff and Norma’s farm. To aid understanding Neville would use Bliss Symbols (Bliss, 1978).


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Resonant Links:

Whither Goeth the Law - Humanity or Barbarity – A short History of Mediation

Mediation and the Daughter on Bail


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