Sue is a qualified legal practitioner with additional qualification and experience in mediation practice. She was awarded her PhD in 2010. Her PhD project consisted of an empirical study of neutrality in mediation from which she proposed a model for understanding neutrality in practice. Sue has published several papers from her PhD research and continues to explore theory and practice in mediation. She has been described as a leader in mediation research. She employs a socio–legal framework of analysis combining her discipline based expertise in anthropology, social work and law. Sue has presented several papers at National Mediation conferences and National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (NADRAC) research forums.
In addition to mediation, Sue’s areas of teaching and research interest include legal education, employment and industrial relations law, anti-discrimination and workplace harassment law and occupational health and safety regulation.
Sue has been a teacher of law since 1989, and graduated with a certificate in University Teaching and Learning in 1997. She first taught at RMIT University into business, paralegal and criminal justice programs. In 2016 Sue joined the School of Law and Criminology at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Previously she taught in the School of Business at USC from 1997 and developed the Justice and Legal Studies program offered at USC in 2006. She has a particular interest in and commitment to optimising first year experience (FYE) for students and has contributed to university wide FYE strategies including acting as the School of Business' first year coordinator. She has published in the areas of problem based learning for business law students and humanising legal education. Sue has presented at a number of Australasian Law Teacher Association (ALTA) conferences.
Sue has contributed to University governance through her past membership of the University’s Academic Board and Equity Committee. She is currently a member of the USC Human Research and Ethics Committee (since 2007) and Chair of a newly formed FAB Health and Wellbeing Committee (2012). As part of her commitment to regional engagement, Sue has served as a committee member of the Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre Management Committee since 1997 and as Chair of that Committee for the past several years. The Neighbourhood Centre has a long standing cooperative relationship with the University which includes providing placements for work integrated learning (WIL).
Sue is also a member of the Suncoast Community Legal Service Management Committee and works as a (voluntary) legal practitioner for that service, which offers advice in general, family and criminal law matters and is developing an outreach service on campus. Sue is a member of a number of professional associations including the Queensland Law Society (QLS), LEADR (Association of Dispute Resolvers and formerly lawyers engaged in ADR) and the Australasian Law Teachers Association (ALTA).
- mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
- employment and industrial relations law
- anti-discrimination and harassment law
- occupational health and safety regulation
- legal education
- legal theory
- Business Law and Ethics (first year Business Foundation)
- Employment and Industrial Relations Law (HRM)
- Managing Workplace Relations (HRM)
- Law of Business Associations (Accounting)
- International Business Law and Ethics (MBA)
Dr Susan Douglas' specialist areas of knowledge include law, business law, ethics, employment and industrial relations law, law of business associations, international business law, mediation, dispute resolution, legal theory.