October 22, 2020
Seed Stories – Julie Somerville
By Neri Morris

We’re about to kick off 2020 with the first intensive for the Entrepreneur Incubator at the end of Jan which got us thinking and reflecting on past incubators and the different stories and journies we have had the privilege of being a part of. One such story is that of Julie Somerville, 2019 Incubator Alumni. We share a little of her journey with you below.

If you would like to know more about our Christian Entrepreneur Incubator Program, click here.

 

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What is R3 Resolutions?

R3 Resolutions is a dispute resolution company offering mediation and a variety of other services that empower people to resolve civil claims on their own terms. With a particular focus on institutional abuse, medical negligence, complex trauma and personal injury claims, R3 Resolutions creates the right environment for claims to be resolved quicker and cheaper than litigation, in a way that addresses peoples real needs and interests, and provides a way forward for people to start rebuilding the future they desire.

R3 Resolutions offers a variety of services to the legal and insurance industries to actually focus on the person who suffered the trauma at the very beginning of the legal process, and not just on the doorstep of the Court. Alongside traditional mediation services, R3 Resolutions facilitates early conferences between the people involved to address emotional issues at the very beginning and assists the parties to refine the investigations that are required to minimise re-trauma and avoid unnecessary legal costs. R3 is also working on chatbots that can be used by parties and lawyers to further streamline the claim resolution process and provide greater access to justice.

What was the motivation to starting it? How did it come about?

After working as a lawyer for 25 years, it is clear to me that there are a great many failings of the legal process for the resolution of highly emotional and traumatic claims. The legal process is lengthy, expensive, emotionally draining (if not re-traumatising) and more times than not, fails to address all the of the needs of the injured person. Often the injured person needs to tell their story, to feel acknowledged and understood and to know what steps are being taken to ensure that others don’t suffer the same trauma that they have.

I became a lawyer to help people, not to be part of a system that was causing more harm. About 5 years ago I was involved in the mediation of a particularly emotional and traumatic institutional abuse claim. We adopted a very trauma-informed approach to the resolution of that claim and the matter resolved quickly. The positive impact that the mediation experience had on the survivor was profound. After the mediation the survivors lawyer told me that the survivor had been told to “brace for the worse” and to expect a fight from the lawyers and the religious institution involved. The fact that the exact opposite happened to lead the survivor to declare that their view of the church had been restored and, for the first time in decades, felt strong enough to envisage the future.

The transformative power of the way we handled that claim for the survivor is something that I have not forgotten.

Since that time I have been encouraging my clients and other lawyers to adopt the same approach in all highly emotional and traumatic claims.

However, ultimately I was still working within the adversarial system. As time went on I felt more and more convinced that I was being led to try and effect change in the way such claims are handled. The Seed incubator program was instrumental in helping me identify my purpose, imagine a future where survivors of emotional and traumatic claims could actually achieve a sense of restoration, and my skills and gifts could be used to bring that imagined future to fruition.

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What do you hope to achieve through this initiative? 

Ultimately I hope and pray that R3 Resolutions’ services can lead to a cultural change in the way the legal profession approached the resolution of trauma claims, in particular, those involving institutional abuse, medical negligence, complex trauma and personal injury.  However, on a smaller scale, for people who are the beneficiaries of R3 Resolutions’ services, I hope they are able to resolve their claims in a way that brings a sense of restoration of self, a sense of wholeness so that they have the ability to start rebuilding their future. We live in a broken world, however, I hope that R3 Resolutions’ services bring a sense of healing to people.

Can you provide me with the best way for people to reach out to you if they want to know more?

You can read about R3 Resolutions’ services in detail on the website, www.r3resolutions.com.au however if people would like to reach out to me that can email jsomerville@r3resolutions.com.au or call on 0421 048 456. Of course, they can also follow us on Linkedin and Instagram.

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Neri Morris

Neri Morris is the Comms & Marketing Manager for Seed and a Seed Incubator Alumni. She is the Creative Director for Thread Harvest, an ethical online fashion marketplace. Neri is a Christian author and speaker and can most often be found dipping her toes in the salty waters of Sydney's Northern Beaches with a coffee in hand. View her latest work at www.nerimorris.com

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