connectEDspace - support for young people

Young people can face all sorts of pressures – including problems at school, with friends or at home.
connectEDspace is a website by Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV), dedicated to young people to help provide all the information they need to deal with the stuff they go through each day.

Aboriginal Family and Relationship Support

RAV provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and individuals to help strengthen family relationships.

Counselling provides an opportunity to talk with a professionally trained person to discuss couple issues, conflicts with friends, relationship breakdown, parenting, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, grief, sexual problems, childhood sexual abuse, stress and work related tensions and disputes.


Family Dispute Resolution involves a mediator who uses a step-by-step process to help separating couples to resolve their family law disputes. 

Disputes may include conflicts over child care, child support, financial arrangements and how to divide their property. Our Family Dispute Resolution service, also known as mediation, is provided with a focus on safety, the best interests of children, and ensuring that both people can participate.


What happens in Family Dispute Resolution? What is the process?

Family Dispute Resolution, also known as mediation, uses a step-by-step process to help people involved to negotiate and reach an agreement. With the assistance of the practitioner (mediator), the people involved:

  • identify the issues that need to be resolved  
  • are supported to communicate with each other clearly and respectfully 
  • explore and discuss different ideas and options
  • negotiate about these options 
  • try and make agreements about some or all of these issues   
  • where a child is involved, focus on the child’s best interests.

Family Dispute Resolution can happen in a variety of ways, such as:

  • jointly, with both people involved in the dispute in the same room
  • shuttle, with the two people involved in the dispute in separate rooms.

The practitioner (mediator) will determine what is most appropriate for you and your circumstances. 

At Relationships Australia Victoria, we can help you to resolve conflicts about children and parenting matters, or property and financial matters - either separately or together. We also provide Child-Inclusive Family Dispute Resolution and Child-Enhanced Family Dispute Resolution for parenting matters. Read more about these services here.

What is the role of the Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner?

The Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (mediator), manages and facilitates the Family Dispute Resolution (mediation) process. The practitioner does not control what is discussed - the participants decide what to talk about and determine what decisions are made.

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners do:

  • act impartially and independently
  • facilitate the discussion and manage the Family Dispute Resolution process
  • keep in mind the ability of the people involved to communicate and negotiate in the process
  • maintain confidentiality (within legal limits)
  • provide appropriate information and referrals.

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners do not: 

  • provide legal advice
  • make decisions for the participants
  • advocate on behalf of a participant.

What qualifications do Relationships Australia Victoria’s practitioners (mediators) have?

Our Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners are highly-skilled and experienced. They have a variety of backgrounds, such as law or social sciences, and have additional training in resolving family disputes. All our practitioners are accredited by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department as Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners.

Why choose us?

  • Affordable, practical assistance that is non-adversarial.
  • Accredited, highly-skilled and experienced mediators.
  • Support for people affected by family violence.
  • More than 70 years’ experience supporting Victorians.
  • Providers of mediation for over 35 years.
  • 10 mediation centres across Melbourne and regional Victoria.

When is a certificate issued after Family Dispute Resolution?

Parents who want to apply to the court to resolve disputes about their children (parenting matters) need to first try Family Dispute Resolution and obtain a certificate. This certificate is required by the court before a parenting application can be made. All our Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners are registered to provide this certificate. 


There are some exceptions to the need for a certificate, such as cases involving family violence or child abuse, or if the matter is urgent. For more information, visit the Australian Government's Family Relationships Online website

Find out more

Read more about our Family Dispute Resolution (mediation) service here.

Resources and other support services 

We offer a number of other services for people who are separating, including:

How do I get started?

Contact us for more information on Family Dispute Resolution and how it could support you.