Banks Cate

Dr Cate Banks began her career as a Registered Nurse and continued specialising in intensive care while studying law. While Cate works primarily as a conflict resolution professional she is a solicitor with an LLB (Hons), B. Com (Politics and Public Policy), Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and a Ph.D in law. Cate holds numerous qualifications in mediation including a Grad Cert. Dispute Resolution, Vocational Grad Diploma FDR. Cate is a Nationally Accredited Mediator (AG’s Dept) with LEADR, DRB (JAG) and Qld Law Society. Cate always provides individualised service to clients uses her communication skills to guide clients to build trust and confidence in the process that opening dialogue, whatever the outcome, will empower them to traverse the complex personal situations they may be facing.

After 15 years as an academic, Cate went into full time practice on her own as a consultant conflict resolution professional and an independent researcher. For two years she also managed a demanding Family Relationship Centre in an area of Queensland with a particularly high demographic of disenfranchised and disadvantaged clients from a CALD, Indigenous backgrounds and family and domestic violence (to name just a few). Many of these clients, entrenched in difficult family conflict following separation were also grandparents. It was during this tenure Cate developed a reputation as a specialist in elder mediation, both in the family law arena but in other areas of elder law. Cate uses a variety of techniques to engage older clients in conflict resolution.

Despite formally leaving academia Cate has continued to teach Postgraduate Studies, and convene courses in Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate in Legal Practice and Conflict Resolution on a semi regular basis. She conducts research, consultancies and mediation training programs for many organisations throughout Australia including LEADR, Building Bridges, Queensland Public Interest Clearing House and the Dispute Resolution Branch, Justice and Attorney-General.

Cate was personally trained by Dr Don Beck in Spiral Dynamics Integral in the USA. Dr Beck is world renowned for his work in conflict and change particularly with Nelson Mandela and was integral to the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa. He is also well known contributor to peace negotiations in the Middle East. Cate attained SDi Levels I and II Certification as a trainer, she is now working with colleagues in South Africa and the USA to integrate Spiral Dynamics theory into the practice of integrative law and conflict resolution. Cate is one of the foundational members of the Global Alliance for Integrative Law which now spans every continent of the world.

Cate has worked in the not for profit sector for decades. She was President of the Management Committee of Ipswich Women’s Centre Against Domestic Violence for several years and has worked with Catholic Prison Ministry and QPILCH in varying capacities in her role as a conflict resolution professional. Cate has conducted a number of independent evaluations of NGO services, mostly those focused on self represented litigants, homelessness, children with separated parents, domestic violence, family violence and family law, elder abuse and elder mediation. While Cate has a breadth of experience in mediation from community to court ordered, family and commercial, she continues to build a steady clientele of older people who are seeking a specialist mediator to engage in conflict resolution. Cate also regularly provides information sessions to community groups of older people.

Cate has published several articles in peer reviewed journals, has written a book and written several book chapters. She has presented at a variety of national and international conferences. This year she is presenting two papers at the AIFS conference in July 2014 and the National Mediation Conference in September 2014.

Cate is currently leading a unique supervision/self reflective practice program with a small number of colleagues in a mentor/supervision role. The aim of this work is to work with mediators to learn together the role we play as mediators when we work with people in conflict. The program is a personal and professional journey for mediators to benefit and harness skills and techniques to connect with deeper impulses, to self reflect effectively in order to provide best practice care for clients, particularly older clients, many of whom who require specialised care.

For more information see Cate’s website:

 Contact details

Phone: 0418 438 890

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