Dr Loretta Kelly is a Gumbaynggirr and Dungutti woman from the mid-north coast of New South Wales. Since completing her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws in 1996, she has worked for a number of community and government organisations involved in family violence, mediation and conferencing. Loretta is currently a mediator for Community Justice Centres NSW and is an Indigenous Relationship Specialist (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner) for Lismore Family Relationship Centre.
Loretta is a lecturer at the Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Southern Cross University. She teaches in the areas of Indigenous legal issues, Indigenous dispute resolution, Indigenous human rights, mediation and restorative justice. Loretta has worked for Southern Cross University since 1999 when she was appointed as an academic at the School of Law & Justice. Her position at Southern Cross University allows her to continue her ‘on-the-ground’ work, facilitating the resolution of disputes for Aboriginal communities and government agencies and training Aboriginal people in alternative dispute resolution.
Loretta completed her PhD in April 2007 at Southern Cross University with a thesis entitled: Stumbling Block to Stepping Stone: Learning from our experience of native title mediation in the development of a process of Aboriginal dispute resolution.
Loretta’s principal area of expertise is in Aboriginal dispute resolution; she has facilitated or mediated over 200 disputes involving Aboriginal parties. Her passion lies in the development of alternatives for Aboriginal people to the mainstream criminal, civil and family justice systems. To this end, she has published extensively over the past 10 years, mainly on Aboriginal dispute resolution.