DSCV can provide you with advice to help you deal with a dispute. Our services are free and you do not need a referral. To locate your local DSCV office, visit our Contact Us page or call 1300 372 888.

When you contact DSCV, our staff will:

  • listen to your concerns
  • help you clarify your issues
  • answer your questions
  • suggest options, strategies and negotiation techniques to help you resolve your dispute

In some circumstances, our DAOs will refer you to other services such as councils, police, lawyers and 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 materials in English, Australian sign language and seven other community languages.

If you can’t resolve it yourself

Our DAOs will also explain the other ways in which DSCV can assist if you are not able to resolve the dispute yourself.

At your request, we can also write to the person you are in dispute with, asking them if they would like us to get involved.

If the other person agrees, we may be able to help resolve the matter by speaking to each of you separately over the phone, with suggestions on how to discuss the issue. These discussions can only occur if the other party agrees, as participation in all DSCV processes is voluntary.

Suitability for mediation

If a dispute cannot be resolved with the help of the DAOs, we may also suggest trying mediation. This is a free, confidential service offered by DSCV. More information about mediation can be found on the mediation page.

Not all disputes are suitable for mediation by DSCV and we will assess suitability first. Mediation is voluntary and if either party does not wish to participate, then the dispute is not suitable for mediation. The other factors we take into account include:

  • whether both parties genuinely want to resolve the dispute
  • whether the parties are able to understand and participate in the mediation process
  • the level of vulnerability of either party, e.g. mental health issues
  • whether either party has expressed fear of the other party, or has been harmed or threatened with violence by the other party
  • any previous failed attempts at mediation
  • whether the issue is substantial enough to mediate

DSCV does not mediate disputes under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) or involving family violence. If our DAOs believe that the DSCV services are not able to help you with your dispute they will refer you to a service that may be able to assist you. Many of these services can be found in the Useful Links page.