Please feel free to provide a short bio about yourself or the work of your organization (no more than 3 paragraphs)
Judith Morrison gained her PhD through the Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia. Through her research she has developed and now delivers a nationally accredited course called "Certificate IV in Understanding and Negotiating Sustainability Issues". She was appointed Honorary Research Associate by Murdoch University in order promote a wider interest in this course amongst educators and the general public. She has a longstanding involvement with cross-sectoral and cross-cultural negotiations between governments, resource developers and Indigenous communities, particularly in relation to large-scale mining and other resource development projects in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Please list the countries and/or regions in which you (or your organization) have direct and significant expertise
I have directed my energies toward the development of the above course in an Australian context, although I believe the model can be applied in national training curricula in many different countries. I see a glaring need in most adult education systems for training that gives people a relatively well-informed position on sustainability, and therefore some degree of authority to speak about it in their workplaces and in other forums. To me, it is highly significant that ordinary men and women can attain a modest qualification in this area. People from all walks of life now have to become personally engaged with ideas about sustainable development. To work collectively to remedy complex social and environmental problems – whether they are to do with the management of natural resources, the management of built environments or the provision of services to communities - we need a greater degree of shared understanding about the ethos and the principles of sustainable development.
Stakeholders in today’s complex planning and decision-making environments can represent very different areas of government, the business community and the wider community. My course helps to build capacity for people to participate constructively in cross-sectoral or cross-scultural negotiations. Integrated 'triple-bottom-line' sustainable solutions are rarely found simply through adherence to existing legal or regulatory procedures, and constructive participation in complex multi-party negotiations requires a great deal more than natural intuitive inter-personal skills and good intentions.
It is a fact of life that many attempts to reach consensus through negotiations needlessly founder and collapse because participants are unable to sustain the dialogue required to work through their differences. My course provides a framework that can help people identify and anticipate problems to do with the way negotiation processes might best be conducted. In other words, the focus is not just about enhancing a person's knowledge of what substantive issues need to be negotiated; it is as much or more to do with imparting knowledge about how to negotiate. We need these insights and skills to help us deal with communications problems so that, in the process of trying to find mutually acceptable ways forward, we don't needlessly cause already strained relationships to go from bad to worse. This is particularly important when negotiations deal with matters involving significant contention and transition, which often have to bring people together from different sectors of society and from different cultural backgrounds. It is then that people have to really consider how they'll engage with other people who hold a profoundly different point of view.
The qualification gained by doing this course is one way people can signify they have attained useful knowledge and skills to prepare, both practically and psychologically, for engagement in complex multi-party negotiations. The insights and skills required for this purpose extend well beyond what is required for day-to-day engagement within one particular sector or industry or within one particular cultural context.
What is your current country of residence (or location of your organization)?
What is your current job (and organization) and/or where and what field are you studying?
Promoting and delivering a nationally accredited course "Certificate IV in Understanding and Negotiating Sustainability Issues"
Which are your primary skills areas(or the primary skill areas of your organization)?
What are some of your current areas of research (if any)?
At the time of first enrolling to do her PhD thesis Judith was invited to produce a report about a consultative process whereby all Aboriginal claimants jointly agreed to negotiate native title on at statewide basis in South Australia. The report was called 'Uniting the Voices – Decision Making to Negotiate for Native Title in South Australia'. This report was used as a case study in her thesis to propose a general framework for either producing or critically assessing such purportedly “independent” scholarly reports about conflict interventions. The thesis proposes a more informed and integrated way of explaining processes for resolving conflict and assessing their capacity to foster sustainable relationships. It shows why and how scholars need to draw on conceptual ideas generated through contemporary peace and conflict studies to complement - or to challenge - ideas framed in more conventional political and economic terms.
If appropriate feel free to list several of your (or your organization's) publications
Morrison, J. (forthcoming) The Theory and Practice of Conflict Resolution as a Component of Sustainability Research in Methodology for Sustainability (eds) D. Marinova and N. McGrath Edward Elgar: Cheltenham UK
Morrison, Judith Ellen (2007) Idependent scholarly reporting about conflict interventions : negotiating Aboriginal Native Title in South Australia, Murdoch University Thesis, Perth, Western Australia
Morrison, J. (2001) Uniting the Voices: Independent Review of Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Native Title Unit’s Facilitation of Decision Making by South Australian Native Title Management Committees, July-Oct 2000. Native Title Unit, Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, Adelaide.
Hi Dear Dr. Judith,
Thanks for the great work you are doing out there in australia and wishing you the very best please if ever you want to visit African come to uganda especialy northern uganda in gulu district and see what conflict does to people. people have been reduced tp live in internaly displaced people's camps termed IDPs otherwise your kind of work would as well help alot in the post conflict recovery programmes like here in northern uganda.
please can i add you as a friend at this peace site otherwise may God bless and protect you always in your work but till then bye
Dear Dr. Judith,
Glad to learn your bio in this network. I;m attracted your vision on negotiation processes to build sustainable peace and stability. in our case, Somaliland has come a long way to reconcile between various clans and reach an agreement by employing cultural and traditional means. this experiment has been effective for the last 17 years and still working but the question is how we can make it sustainable and streamline with the development and democratization process. these are the crucial factors that need further study. since you have much experience on the area your views are welcome .
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