On 23 November 2019 AfREC and the Organisation of African Communities in WA (OAC) co-convened the fourth session in the African Women’s Leadership, Empowerment & Development (A-LEAD) program 2019-20 and the first of the A-LEAD Open Forums. This first Open Forum, held at UWA, tackled the important theme of Conflict Resolution and featured a range of expert speakers, A-LEAD program participants, AfREC members, representatives of African communities in WA and other interested members of the public. The group of 80 forum participants enjoyed a lively discussion from diverse perspectives.
The Open Forum on Conflict Resolution was moderated by Ms Violet Arrey, President of the Cameroonian Community in WA and Winner of the WA African Women in Leadership Award 2019. The Forum Keynote Address was delivered by Dr Casta Tungaraza, President of the African Women’s Council of Australia (AWCoA) and member of the AfREC Advisory Board. In addition to Dr Tungaraza, panel discussants included A/Prof. Jill Howieson, Director of the UWA Mediation Clinic and an AfREC Research Fellow, Ms Brenda Robbins, a barrister with Sir Clifford Grant Chambers, and Ms Maria McComish representing the WA Police.
The Forum addressed the issues, causes and remedies of conflicts in various places including the workplace, social settings and in the community. The session explored areas including identification of potential conflict, skills needed to deal with conflict within the law, resolving conflict legally and consequences of resolving conflict outside the law. Participants were invited to share ideas and experiences and raise other relevant issues.