DSCV can provide you with advice to help you deal with a dispute. Our services are free and you don't need a referral. To locate your local DSCV office, visit our Contact Us page or call 1300 372 888.
When you contact us we will:
- listen to your concerns
- help you clarify the issue
- answer your questions
- suggest options, strategies and techniques to help you resolve your dispute.
In some circumstances, we will refer you to other services such as your local council, the Victoria Police a lawyer or the Courts. Contact details for many of these services are available on our Useful Links page.
You may also like to view our helpful videos (External link) which feature conflict-coaching tips in English, Australian sign language and seven other community languages.
If you can’t resolve it yourself
We'll explain the other ways we can assist if you are not able to resolve the dispute yourself.
If you agree, we can also write to the other people you are in dispute with.
If everyone agrees, we may be able to help resolve the matter by speaking to each of you over the phone, with suggestions on how to discuss the issue. Participating in the process is voluntary and we can only assist if everyone agrees.
Suitability for mediation
If a dispute can't be resolved, we might suggest you try mediation.
Mediation is free, confidential and voluntary. We will only proceed with mediation if both you and the other people involved agree to it and the issue is substantial enough. Mediation is only suitable if you and the other people involved:
- genuinely want to resolve the dispute
- are able to understand and participate in the mediation process.
Mediation may not be the best option if either you or the other people involved:
- are considered vulnerable in this situation e.g. mental health issues
- have expressed fear, have been harmed or threatened with violence by other people involved
- have tried mediation before and it's failed.
We won't offer mediation services for disputes under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) involving family violence.
If we don't believe our services are able to help you with your dispute we will refer you to a service that may be able to assist.
More information about our mediation service can be found on the mediation page.