Meet the Conflict Management Academy Team

Samantha Hardy

Director and Lead Coach

Dr Samantha Hardy is the principal of Conflict Coaching International, and the Director and Lead Trainer for CCI Academy. She is an experienced mediator and conflict coach and the founder of the REAL Conflict Coaching System™. She provides conflict support to managers and leaders across the world. She also provides professional development training, supervision and mentorship to mediators and coaches who work with clients in conflict.

Sam has been accredited as a mediator under the Australian National Mediation Accreditation System and is a Certified Transformative Mediator by the US Institute of Conflict Transformation. She is a Certified Narrative Coach.

In 2021 Sam was awarded the Australian Resolution Institute Award for Service to Dispute Resolution for her leadership and innovation in the field. She was also awarded 2022 Conflict Coach of the Year at the Australian Dispute Resolution Awards.

Sam holds a PhD in Law and Conflict Resolution, as well as other postgraduate qualifications in adult education.

Sam is a well known trainer and university educator, holding adjunct appointments at a number of universities in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA.

Sam has also published widely in conflict resolution, including her books Dispute Resolution in Australia, Mediation for Lawyers and Conflict Coaching Fundamentals: Working with Conflict Stories.

Claire Holland

Trainer and Coach Mentor

Claire is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the JCU Conflict Management and Resolution Program. Claire is a leading academic in the conflict management and resolution field in Australia.

In addition to being a practicing mediator, conflict coach, workplace facilitator, and trainer, Claire brings her knowledge of current scholarship and research into practice. Claire has delivered training to many high conflict workplaces. Her work and research interests include dialogue, coaching, leadership development, and positive psychology. She is particularly focused on conflict analysis and sustainable conflict engagement, and developing practical models that can be used by parties in conflict.

Claire has an Economics and Law degree (UTAS), Master of Mediation and Conflict Resolution (UQ) and is a PhD candidate (JCU) researching legal education and positive psychology. Claire is active in local and international alternative dispute resolution (ADR) forums, including the Australasian ADR Research Network, Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) and is a Director and founding board member of Mediators Beyond Borders Oceania (MBBO).

Judith Rafferty

Trainer and Coach Mentor

Judith has a PhD (JCU), a Master of Conflict and Dispute Resolution (JCU) and an honours degree in Economics (University of Applied Science Gelsenkirchen, Germany). For her PhD, Judith analysed the experiences of female victim-survivors of conflict-related sexual violence with transitional justice processes, focusing on Rwandan women who survived sexual violence during the genocide against the Tutsi. Judith has given a TEDx talk relating to her research in Rwanda. She also won the JCU 3MT competition in 2020.

Judith has extensive experience in conflict resolution practice, training and research, including in Australia and in international settings. Judith is an experienced REAL Conflict Coach, and a nationally accredited mediator under the Australian Standards (NMAS), practising as a mediator on the panel of the Cairns Dispute Resolution Centre.

Judith has published on conflict-related sexual violence, genocide, conflict management, conflict resolution processes and postgraduate education. Her research interests include victimology, justice needs, sexual violence, psychology and emotions in conflict.

Megan Lewis

Trainer and Coach Mentor

Megan has been providing professional conflict resolution services on the mid north coast of NSW since 2011 and established The Resolution Network in 2013.

Prior to embarking on a formal career in mediation, Megan spent 18 years working as a communicator across a range of industries and held managerial positions in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors with responsibilities across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Megan is passionate about helping people find solutions and make well-informed choices for their future when they find themselves in conflict. In addition to mediation services, Megan provides communication coaching and small group training.

She has a Bachelor of Arts (Sydney University), a Post-graduate Certificate in Asian Sustainable Development (Murdoch University), a Vocational Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution (Bond University) and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

In recognition of her commitment to her profession, Megan has won several awards including:

  • 2014 LEADR Practitioner Award for “Significant Contribution to Dispute Resolution”
  • 2014 Winner of Business Leader, Manning Gloucester Great Lakes Business Awards
  • 2014 Winner of Best Start Up, Manning Gloucester Great Lakes Business Awards
  • 2012 “Outstanding Achievement – Start Up Business”, Manning Valley Business Awards (for MidCoast Mediation)

Carol Bowen

Trainer and Coach Mentor

Carol (FRIAdvMed, CMC, NMAS) brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to her conflict resolution practice, with a passion for people and a clear focus on helping client’s deliver required business outcomes when conflicts get in the way of success. Her sense and understanding of human conflict and relationships is very highly regarded by clients and this is reflected in the high degree of success achieved in her mediation, coaching and training engagements.

She has 20 + years of  experience as a Conflict Resolution Practitioner. Results-driven, she takes a pragmatic approach, ideally through early intervention as a key conflict resolution strategy with a tailored blend of best practice techniques. Her practice has taken her into the private and public sector within Australia and overseas. This is under-pinned by 25 years of service within the Australian Regular Army which exposed her to plenty of adventures and opportunity, in Australia and overseas, that shaped her as a person and as a professional.

Carol is a Nationally Accredited (Advanced) Mediator, a CINERGY ™ Conflict Management Coach; Mentor and Assessor (Resolution Institute), a Group Facilitator, a Restorative Engagement Facilitator and Coach; an Interactive Problem-Solving Coach and a Conflict Resolution Trainer.

Luci Fittler

Coach Mentor

Luci is a passionate, qualified HR practitioner with over 20 years’ experience across all areas of HR and the employee lifecycle, including change management, performance and conduct, employee & industrial relations and workforce planning.

Over 6 years ago Luci landed her dream HR role. As a Senior People Business Partner, Luci has become a trusted advisor to Senior Leaders, including C-Suite Executives, and works with individuals and Teams to deliver people centred services that contribute to achieving strategic goals & business priorities; build leadership capability; enhance workforce alignment, and strengthen employee engagement.

Luci holds a Bachelor of Business with majors in Management and Human Resource Management (Charles Sturt University) and a Certificate IV Public Relations (TAFE NSW). She is a qualified REAL Conflict Coach through our very own CCI Academy and is an accredited Trainer in Crucial Conversations with Crucial Learning (nee. Vital Smarts). She’s an experienced coach, trainer and really enjoys the opportunity to facilitate team building sessions.

Jess Harris

Coach Mentor

Jess is a human services practitioner having worked in both the government and non-government sectors for the past 18 years. She has experience working across a diverse range of fields including youth justice and recidivism prevention, early-intervention and crisis homelessness support, disability advocacy, elder abuse, family violence, and mental health with a particular focus on supporting deinstitutionalisation and community integration.

Jess holds several undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications including in journalism, human services, social impact assessment, and emergency and disaster management. Most recently she completed a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management and Resolution at James Cook University, through which she obtained my CCI Academy: REAL Conflict Coaching accreditation.

Cherelle Whitney

Co-Trainer Braving the Conflict Arena

Cherelle is the founder of LIFT Performance Solutions and the inventor of Tricky Treats. She is one of Australia’s few facilitators & coaches accredited by Dr Brenē Brown, to share her contemporary work on courage, vulnerability, shame, trust…all those elements of a good story! Cherelle’s own business story includes her patented invention for dogs and an appearance on Shark Tank. Cherelle believes that the “inward view” required to create your story, directly shapes our working life, our health and overall well-being.

Her clients include corporations, not for profit organisations and government departments. She also consults to executive teams and boards on the leadership strategies required to lead in times of the “Unknown Unknowns.”

Hoshime Sambayon

Executive Manager

Hoshime is a virtual assistant and executive manager, with three years of experience in the backend of our CCI Academy’s Practice. She ensures smooth operations, optimizes our online platform, and provides exceptional support to the CCI Team. Her leadership skills also extend to managing my other virtual assistant, ensuring efficient workflows and top-notch service delivery.

John Ver Mori

Executive Assistant

With a wide range of experience and talent, Ver offers invaluable support across multiple sectors. With his expertise and insights, he ensures seamless technology processes essential for our CCI Academy team’s success. Taking charge of administrative assistance and technology support, he plays a pivotal role in ensuring our team operates with efficiency and effectiveness; and providing assistance to our executive manager.

Davina Storer

Accreditation and Professional Development Manager

Davina has a genuine passion for helping others and has built a successful career working as a counsellor across a range of school, university and private settings in Australia. She considers herself to be a strong advocate for disability and mental health awareness and is passionate about inclusivity and accessibility in her work with clients.

Davina has significant experience supporting students with disabilities in a university context. Having earned her Master of Counselling at Monash University, she now runs her own private practice and is excited to also be a part of the CCI Team as the accreditation and professional development manager.

Outside of her professional life Davina enjoys spending quality time with her family, painting and reading, as well as engaging in gardening activities at the local community garden.