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2017 COAT National Conference
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Invitation to Attend

The Council of Australasian Tribunals (COAT) would like to thank you for attending the 2017 National Conference which was held on the 8th and 9th June, 2017 in Sydney at the International Convention Centre (ICC) located in Darling Harbour.

The Conference consisted of:

  • One and a half days of Conference presentations on Thursday, 8th and Friday 9th, June with a keynote presentation from Chief Justice Wayne Martin of Western Australia

  • The Conference Dinner was held at the Australian Maritime Museum on the evening of Thursday 8th June featuring an after dinner presentation by Fay Jackson, Deputy Commissioner, Mental Health Commission of NSW.

The theme for the 2017 Conference was:  Tribunals:  Enablers of Justice.

Tribunals operate across a diversity of jurisdictions.  Tribunals make decisions about taxes, guardianship, the right to practice a profession, entitlements to government assistance, compulsory mental health treatment, as well as the right to live in Australia as a migrant or refugee. 

The work of Tribunals interacts with Australians  from every walk of life, be they applicants, respondents, witnesses or supporters.  The role of Tribunal members is to dispense fair, informal and efficient Justice.

The Conference program offered thought provoking speakers as well as practical, skills based sessions to support Tribunal members in delivering justice in our diverse community.

The Conference featured the experience of watching a Tribunal hearing unfold in a foreign language and then interpreted into English, with an expert running commentary. This was complimented by several speakers discussing the newly developed guidelines on the best practice in the use of interpreters.

The Conference also offered eminent presenters from across Australia and New Zealand covering the following topics:

  • Working effectively across cultures
  • Tips for managing querralent complainants in the Tribunal and in the registry
  • Communicating with people with a cognitive disability
  • Understanding the boundaries of a Tribunal’s obligations of fairness and informality
  • The impact of intergenerational trauma on Aboriginal people as Tribunal participants
  • Recent developments in Tribunal law
  • Writing clear reasons for decision

We also developed a package of exciting small group workshops on topics including:

  • Making success of working across cultures- Anukool Sathu
  • Writing clear reasons for decision – Justice Debra Mullins
  • Key techniques for performing well at work – Thea O’Connor
  • Communication strategies when working with people with cognitive impairments – Melinda Smith

Once again, thankyou for attending the 2017 COAT National and COAT NSW Joint Conference and we hope to see you again next year.

Anina Johnson
Conference Convenor


Conference Secretariat


For all Conference enquiries, please contact GEMS Event Management Australia on +61 2 9744 5252.