Our Workplace Mediations team

Our Workplace Mediations Team


Consultant Profiles:

Paula Bruce – Senior Workplace Relations Adviser

Paula is an investigator, mediator, researcher, conflict coach and trainer with over 21 years’ experience. Working with government, commercial and not-for-profit organisations, Paula specialises in achieving dispute resolution through various models of early intervention. She has extensive experience undertaking, investigations and working with parties in addressing complaints including allegations of bullying and sexual harassment.

Paula offers training for clients including mediation, Collaborative Communication Systems, Working With EQ, Holding Difficult Conversations and Addressing Coercive and Controlling Behaviour for work teams, managers, HR personnel and mediation practitioners.

Her dedication and commitment to developing best practice includes undertaking research relating to high conflict relationships, culturally reflexive dispute resolution and challenges to mediation in Australian workplaces.

Paula holds tertiary qualifications in law, psychology, mediation and management and maintains a NSW practicing certificate as a solicitor. She chairs both professional development and practice committees for the Resolution Institute, the peak membership body for dispute resolvers in Australia and New Zealand. She has developed pilot mediation programs for Local, District and Federal Magistrates Courts.

Dr Verena Marshall, PhD – Senior Workplace Relations Adviser

Verena Marshall specialises in workplace investigations, mediations, and training. Verena brings to these areas over 30 years’ experience as an HR manager and organisational development consultant in private and public sector organisations. Examples of industries for which Verena has provided investigation, mediation and training services include resources (mining, oil and gas), transport, retail, government (federal, state and local), and not-for-profit businesses.

As an academic with Curtin Graduate School of Business for 18 years, Verena taught in the Master of Business Administration and Master of Business Leadership programs. In this role she focussed on researching and facilitating units in Organisational Behaviour, Strategic HR, Employee Relations, Employment Law, and Occupational Health and Safety Law.

In addition to her PhD in Performance Management and Master of Business degree, Verena is legally qualified, holding a Juris Doctor of Law and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, as well as a Graduate Certificate of Migration Law. Verena is admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of NSW, licensed as an Investigator (pursuant to the Security & Related Activities Control Act (WA)), and a Nationally Accredited Mediator.

Mary Crean – Senior Workplace Relations Adviser

Mary Crean is a specialist in Workplace Investigations. Adept in providing advice post investigation, she is able to assist in managing the workplace after the inevitable disruption of an investigation, providing solutions and recommendations going forward.

Mary has conducted investigations all over South East Queensland for Local Government, not for profit organisations, multi-national companies as well as small medical practices and is very proud of the way she has helped improve long established poor workplace cultures to mitigate future workplace conflicts for many organisations.

After thirteen successful years at the English Bar practising in Crime, Family and Civil Law Mary emigrated to Queensland were she undertook a Post Graduate Diploma in Law at University of Queensland and was admitted as a Solicitor in 2010. Since that time Mary has worked in State and Local Government as well as private enterprise.

Tom Stodulka – Senior Workplace Relations Adviser

Having studied law at Sydney University, Tom has specialised in mediation for the past 25 years and has mediated over 4,000 disputes throughout Australia ranging from workplace, restorative justice and historic abuse matters, family and estate law, multimillion-dollar commercial transactions, franchise disputes, and multi-party disputes involving remote indigenous communities.

Tom was a former Director of LEADR, President of the NT Mediation Association and member of the Qld Law Society ADR Committee. He was the founder of the Queensland ADR Forum. He is an FDRP, has national accreditation in Australia, India, NZ, PNG and Hong Kong and is a coach and an assessor at several Universities, the Australian College of Law and the Resolution Institute. He is an inaugural panel member of the Australian Mediation Association and Director of the Australasian Dispute Resolution Centre.

In 2013, he was the winner of the Resolution Institute Award for Excellence in the Practice of Dispute Resolution. In 2014, he was made a Fellow of the Resolution Institute and was nominated for the 2017 and 2019 National Mediator of the Year Awards. He mentors and supervises new and experienced mediators. He was recently appointed a Fellow of Bond University and was awarded the Resolution Institute 2019 Mediator of the Year (Australasian Law Awards).

Atousa Khadem – Senior Workplace Relations Adviser

Atousa Khadem has held a diverse range of legal and legal policy positions in Public Service and private practice over the past 30 years.

Atousa brings particular expertise in managing and conducting sensitive investigations into allegations of misconduct and grievances, and is a skilled trainer and facilitator.

As a nationally accredited mediator, also accredited by CINERGY to provide conflict coaching, and a graduate of Harvard Law School in Advanced Negotiation, Atousa is a skilled and experienced conflict management and conflict resolution practitioner. Atousa provides training in conflict resolution to MBA students, and is a General Member of and a mediator with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Atousa is also an internationally accredited Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence teacher with the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, teaching the Mindfulness and Emotional ‘intelligence course developed at Google.

Atousa specialises in helping organisations and teams to manage and resolve workplace disputes and dysfunction to create positive, strong, mindful and resilient workplace relationships and culture.

See Workplace Mediations Services

iHR Australia also offers Workplace Mediation related training:

Workplace Mediation Skills Public Training Programs

Workplace Mediation Skills In-House Training Programs