The Peer Mediation Team at Onslow is comprised of 20 students ranging from Years 10 – 13. They are selected by the incumbent membership at the end of each year. Their training of the mediation process takes place during a three day camp which is off campus. It also provides a valuable opportunity for members to get to know each other as during a mediation a less experienced mediator will always be paired up with someone more experienced and of the opposite gender. This is to facilitate an even handed approach.
A mediation is a safe, confidential and non-disciplinary way to resolve conflict between students. The mediators are trained to help students resolve the problems they may be experiencing with each other, no matter how big or how small by taking them through a carefully structured four stage process. As mediators they do not solve the problem for students but rather help them find a way to solve it themselves. In this way it is empowering for students who often learn new strategies for resolving future conflicts just by participating in a mediation. Participation is voluntary for both parties and the mediation will not take place unless both parties consent to it.
Mediators learn many skills which are valued by prospective employers. They also grow in awareness and confidence over their 2-4 year tenure on the team. It is considered a valuable leadership role but the motivation for most students signing up is not what they can get out of it but rather what they can bring to the role. They must have an interest in helping people and be competent communicators.
Mediation at Onslow is in its thirteenth year and is still going strong. It is a very important way of supporting students and providing them with an independent means of working out their difficulties with other students.