Sarah Blake is a multi-award winning Conflict Strategist and Mediator. A second-generation practitioner with 25 years of experience, she delivers a calm and confident leadership style that helps clients navigate complex decision-making during conflict, change and crisis.
Sarah Blake is a multi-award winning Corporate Trainer, Conflict Strategist and International Speaker. As a second generation practitioner with 25 years of experience, what sets Sarah apart from others in her industry is her capacity to understand the strategic implications of conflict; enabling her to work with clients to achieve real solutions.
With a focus on high conflict, culture and leadership, Sarah works with leaders and teams to help them navigate their way through change, confusion and conflict so they can make better decisions.
Her expertise in process design for multi-party, cross-border and cultural disputes has resulted in international recognition. She has served on multiple local and national committees and is sought after internationally to contribute to industry growth. Her clients have included the World Bank, BHP and Australian Federal Police. She has recently released her first book – a poetry collection on the business of peacemaking.
Sarah Blake is a multi-award winning Corporate Trainer, International Speaker and Conflict Strategist. With 25 years of experience, what sets Sarah apart from others in her industry is her capacity to understand the strategic positioning of conflict; enabling her to work with clients to achieve real solutions.
Her experience in working in high conflict cases has resulted in the design of a structured multidisciplinary approach to case management. These are the cases that are multidimensional both in content and context and usually involve various stakeholders. In all her cases, Sarah empowers her clients to respond to conflict in a way that aligns culture, values and economic realities. Her mediation process is facilitative and interest-based and she works with legal advisors from both parties to ensure informed decision-making is maximised.
Her work has resulted in organisations and leaders increased capacity to strengthen relationships and maximise profitable business outcomes. Her model of service delivery has resulted in many clients changing the way they think about conflict, seeing as an opportunity for innovation and change, thus reducing the cost of the fight. Her work has also helped her clients to engage more effectively with stakeholders and increasing buy-in and stability in complex cases.
Sarah has a unique depth to her experience with a particular focus on multi-party and cultural conflicts. Sarah provides high level advice to Federal, State and International parties on conflict and dispute resolution. Her clients have included the World Bank, BHP and Australian Federal Police.
Her commercial experience includes; business to business negotiations and contract disputes, franchise and trade, tenancy and lease arrangements, will and estate disputes relating to business and HR/IR workplace disputes. Some of her significant cases have included the mediation of complex Native Title cases, disputes between government, business and community over service delivery and mediation of board and local government disputes which directly impacted business. She is increasingly sought after within the SME sector and works with emerging companies as they seek to bridge both economic and people-centric solutions.
Sarah is uniquely experienced in Australia as a Cross-cultural Mediator, with authority from the Western and Traditional mediation systems. Sarah has over 6500 hours of experience as a Mediator and Conflict Management Specialist and over 2500 hrs as Mediation Trainer.
Sarah's mediation style follows a facilitation interest-based style and brings a calm confident authority to holding the conflict space. Whilst a strong advocate of collaborative problem sovling, she also embraces the limitations of mediations and encourages partnerships with lawyers to ensure parties are provided with every opportunity to make an informed decision. Sarah understands that complex problems require a multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving and her breadth of expereince enables her to explore beyond the legal framework.
With a particular focus on the pre-mediation process, Sarah works with parties in both the design of culturally appropriate processes and in preparing them to effectively participate in the negotiation. This helps parties maximise the chances of a constructive outcome and helps to reduce time and costs pressures which often create barriers for effective decision-making.
Generally, but not exclusively, the process is delivered in joint sittings with minimal caucus interventions. That said, each mediation is designed in consultation with clients to ensure that the process reflects a legitimate decision-making forum. This is particularly so when delivering within a cross-cultural, cross-border or international jurisdictional environment.
She has designed multiple dispute resolution process that engages both traditional and western contemporary ADR practices. Her work at Federal, State, University, Commercial and Not for Profit sectors provide unique insights into the complexities of multiparty decision-making.
Sarah's main practice area is in the high conflict cases, the multi-party, cross-border or cultural disputes. These are the conflicts that are increasingly impacting government, commercial and community sectors' capacity to deliver on growth, innovation and change.
In particular, this includes Land & Resources, Commercial and Corporate conflicts. Sarah also provides significant workplace conflict intervention which includes mediation, training and coaching.
As part of her practice, she is increasingly involved in conflict management work with boards focusing on governance functionality - helping them make decisions and communicate effectively when things get complicated.
Please contact Ms Blake for details on her fee structure - rates will vary depending on client capacity.
Rockingham Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank: Board member
Federal Court of Australia: Native Title Mediation Panel member
Resolution Institute - Australia & New Zealand
Graham Castledine Partner, Castledine Gregory Unit C4/118 Railway Street, West Perth WA 6005 T: (08) 9486 7665 | F: (08) 9486 7663 | M: 0409 101 131 E: firstname.lastname@example.org |
Ceinwen McNeil CEO BVT Engineering Professional Services +61 408 384 121
Stephen Wright Chief Operating Officer Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council Ph: 0437 034107 Email: SWright@deerubbin.org.au
Training and Education
Accredited Mediator Resolution Institute (formally LEADR) (current) Accredited Mediator National Mediation Standard, 2008 - current Accredited Mediator International Mediation Institute (IMI), 2010 – current
Master of Indigenous Knowledge (Mawul Rom) 2011: Charles Darwin University Mawul Rom Graduate 2009: Cross-cultural mediator & peace-maker, recognised by Dhurili Clan Alliance Elders & Mawul Rom Master of Strategic Affairs 2004: - Australian National University Bachelor of Arts 2001: Northern Territory University Mediator training – LEADR, 1998
Recognized Peacemaker Madayin Law, Arnhem Land
Sarah provides comprehensive professional training services to help parties harness the positive potential of conflict through corporate training and leadership development.
As part of her commitment to this, Sarah regularly contributes to teaching and mentoring within the industry. As a corporate trainer, she has delivered mediation and conflict focused workshops domestically and internationally both in-house and publically. She has lectured at multiple Universities and is now sought after as a guest lecturer and thought leader for collaborations. She is particularly respected for her work in the cross-cultural space, having delivered customised mediation training to the Australian Mediation Standard in Australia, Solomon Islands and Fiji. Her expertise was recongised by the World Bank when she was requested as the spokesperson for media interviews in the Pacific. Sarah has delivered talks across 9 countries and is regularly sought after to contribute to industry change.
She is regularly sought after to provide mentoring and supervision support to colleages and emerging professionals and works with her local schools to empower young children to develop better ways of resolving conflict.
Executive Assistance Network National Conference 2020
High Conflict Resolution Institute 2020
RKCC Busines Growth and Conflict 2019
Executive Networking Event Ireland 2019
Resolution Institute NZ
Legal Aid Summer Series – Mediating Burial Disputes: what this means for Indigenous Clients: Feb 2017
Australian Dispute Centre: Understanding the Cross-Cultural Mediation Space 2016
Supreme Court WA Mediation Panel, 2015: Culture & Context: Engaging in the Context for Legitimate Decision Making
Kongress, Perth 2015: Cross-Cultural Decision Making – The Role of Context
World Mediation Summit, Berlin, 2015 – Mediating the Space Between: Negotiating legitimacy for Cross-Cultural Mediation in Australia
Mawul Rom Projects – Leadership Gathering 2009, Law & Justice Gathering 2008, Madayin Law Ceremony 2009
A Cross-Cultural exploration of our role as peace-makers in helping to calm fears during cross-cultural mediations, 10th International LEADR Conference 2009
Paper: ‘Balanda & Yolngu bring fear to negotiations. How do we help to calm that fear?’ co-authored with Brenda Mutha, Mawul Rom Association, 2008
Paper: ‘Mediation: Cultural Healing through Community Healing’ delivered with Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, National Indigenous Justice CEOs Forum, 2007
Sarah recently released her first book, a collection of poems about the busienss of peacemaking. She also publishes articles and blogs through LinkedIn and other websites and has had the following articles publishes:
Ground: A collection of poems, the business of peace-making, culture and conflict, S Blake 2020
Something Lost, Something Gained; a poetry reflection about covid-19, KMD Press 2020
Cultural Times Magazine - regular contributor 2020
Enrich Magazine - poetry contribution
Legal Aid Summer Series: Mediating Burial Disputes: what this means for Indigenous Clients: 2017
Australian Dispute Centre: Understanding the Cross-Cultural Mediation Space 2016
Supreme Court WA Mediation Panel, Culture & Context: Engaging in the Context for Legitimate Decision Making, 2015
Kongress, Cross-Cultural Decision Making – The Role of Context, 2015