“Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

 

 

“For to us a child is born

To us a son is given,

And the government will be on His shoulders

And He will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

Isaiah

Last week I took a few days off from my beach holiday to go to Gauteng where we had been invited by Jeyax Development and Training to train a group of delegates from Tanzania, amongst whom were three judges from The High Court of Tanzania, Commercial Division, including the Judge in Charge as well as the Registrar. We were also honoured to have amongst the delegates, the head of litigation, Central Bank of Tanzania.

 

What a week! It was such an honour to be amongst such brilliant legal minds and amongst those who have dealt with compulsory court annexed mediation for almost two decades.

 

I was also most honoured to have been able to introduce the delegates to Raj Daya, deputy chief state law advisor and head of the Rules Board and Jay Balkishun, principal state law advisor, both of the department of justice and members of the rules board engaged in drafting and finalizing the rules on court annexed mediation. We hgonour the amazing work
they are doing in access to justice.

 

I will elaborate in coming weeks on some themes explored in that week-access to justice, case management and the role of mediation.

 

But for now I wish to stick to all things Christmas. It is, after all Christmas Eve. My seven year old son, Luc-Michael has had an amazing week at the beach with his twelve year old cousin, Gemma. They are both sun-kissed, and Luc-Michael, the first one up this morning, has that special magical radiance on his face this morning. It’s Christmas!

 

On Thursday night we had dinner with my folks in Joburg before we returned to Durban Friday morning. My stepmom, Monica described to me how Luc-Michael had collected a whole bag of shells for me on the beach. I was delighted and couldn’t wait to get back to see him. I was eventually only given 5 shells though. Apparently the rest are intended for retail! That’s my boy…entrepreneurship creates jobs!

 

I am always honoured when people tell me they have read my blog. But sometimes I get really special feedback. Check this out:

 

“Hi My Friend,

 

Simply enjoyed this read!!!!! Absolutely fascinating…..was sitting at salon awaiting to do my hair and came across your mail and just couldn’t put down.

 

Regards

 

Vuyo”

 

Vuyo Mthethwa of Hucad, Industrial Psychologist, daughter of former KZN Judge President, vastly experienced mediator and arbitrator and one of my best friends

 

“Hi Sheena, thank you for your motivating talk. I am inspired by your courage and determination to continue to achieve. You are a real inspiration. There is no way that a person can read your work and not be inspired. Keep up the good work. Do not forget to enjoy your holidays.

 

I will continue to look out for your continued inspirations.

 

Butiki”

 

Butiki Rantso, recent graduate of our Program and Labour Relations Consultant

 

“Dear Sheena,

 

Thank you for your impassioned blog. I trust that you are now truly on leave, and that you will only receive this mail in 2013. Nevertheless, your belief in ADR and the motivations touched on in your blog, need to be shared wider in the legal profession.

 

….

Best

Odette”

 

Odette Geldenhuys, Director Pro Bono.Org, Durban

 

“Hi Sheena

 

Just been reading your blog and want to say-you really are exceptional! May your conviction and ability to influence desparately needed change in an ever maddening world be an inspiration to us all”

 

Justin Healey, owner Dhermawhey

 

Those of you who know me and understand the culture of our agency, will know our value for access to justice and also know that we believe that where access to justice is esteemed, excellence in mediation as well as good case management follows as a natural consequence.

 

We will be addressing wider themes around access to justice and the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution in coming blogs.

 

Before I go, allow me to leave you with a few thoughts:

 

“The way things are is not the way things need to be” from Reconciling all Things, Katongole and Rice

 

and

 

“To walk fast, walk alone, to walk far, walk together” Old Rwandan saying

 

These thoughts underpin what we do. Firstly, just because things have been done a certain way for centuries, such as pitting disputants against each other in court, does not mean that things have to be done that way in the future.

 

Secondly, we can pursue this stuff alone, or we can walk together. We choose the latter. Although we are a for-profit dispute resolution agency, we engage in a lot of activism, and this activism is for the benefit of all engaged in ADR, current and would be disputants, and society as a whole.

 

Inspired by one of the speeches of the great Martin Luther King we are committed to being transformed non-conformists that creatively apply our faith in fresh, bolds and innovative ways.

 

Lastly I wish to honour the King who marks this season. I work with people in profound pain be it in divorce, commercial conflict or workplace difficulty. I often find myself telling people

 

“The entire host of heaven backs you. The King is in your corner.”

 

I have experienced this myself. I have seen broken places healed, what was lost restored and destruction turned into life and hope.

 

The favour we experience as an agency is not for me and is not for us (as a company) but is to be stewarded for the wider cause-access to justice for all.

 

As always, victory is certain! No surrender! No retreat!

 

Lastly profound thanks to all our trainees, trainers and panellist and a special thanks to

 

Indarin Govender, Chief Thozama Zibi of the Hlube Tribe and Mike Mcethe of Wits Business School, all trainers with us who took time out last week to join us.

Greshen Chetty, advisor in the Ministry of Treasury for his friendship, support, advice and profound wisdom

Hilton Mundell and Adam Bright of Juiced and our joint venture partners in Transformative Mediation. We thank them for their tireless work in helping us change the world! Our work around honour is largely a product of their commitment and energy

Our board of directors

Andrew McGibbon, friend and partner in DreamCo. He and I are bringing out coffee table book The Influence Project at Easter www.the-influence-project.com @in_fluence. He will be helping us set up our studio in January which will facilitate international quality training videos, our talk show and our you tube channel

 

If you are reading this I pray life and life abundantly, peace, joy, love and hope.

 

Until next time, peace.

 

Please email me at sheena@mediatorsa.co.za and follow me on twitter @sheena_ostjon

 

For information on our Programs (correspondence or five day workshops) email adr@mediatorsa.co.za.

 

Happy Christmas!

 

Sheena Jonker

sheena@mediatorsa.co.za

 

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