Restoring Community

Information on the IIRP''s conference in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, March 3-5, 2005, including plenary sessions.

The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) held the third in a series of three conferences dedicated to the theme of "Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment," March 3-5, 2005, in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, just west of Sydney.

The IIRP''s sister organization, Real Justice Australia, co-hosted the conference. Australia and New Zealand have been important centers for the development and implementation of restorative practices. Terry O''Connell, director of Real Justice Australia, was a police officer in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, when he created the Real Justice conferencing script.

About 275 people from 13 countries attended, including delegates from all Australian states and territories, Bangladesh, Canada, China, England, Greece, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Thailand and the United States. The conference brought together individuals working in a wide range of fields, including education, social work, criminal justice, youth justice, policing, corrections, public policy, counseling and academia.

Plenary sessions

Six featured speakers from diverse fields shared their experiences during the conference plenary sessions:

Liz O''Callaghan, an Australian primary school principal, shared her experience of transforming her school''s culture with restorative practices.

Related paper:
The MacKillop Model of Restorative Practice

Dennis Wong, a professor of social work at City University of Hong Kong and director of a nonprofit organization that provides training, consulting and advocacy, talked about his efforts to bring restorative justice to Hong Kong schools, child welfare agencies and juvenile justice.

Related paper:
Restorative Justice for Juveniles in Hong Kong: Reflections of a Practitioner

Les Davey, a former British police officer and current director of Real Justice UK, reported on the substantial restorative justice developments in the United Kingdom.

Related paper
The Development of Restorative Justice in the United Kingdom: A Personal Perspective

Brenda Morrison, an academician and researcher, currently at University of Pennsylvania in the US, shared her experience in implementing and researching restorative justice with bullying in schools in Australia. Her new book on that subject will be published in Australia soon.

Related paper:
Building Safe and Healthy School Communities: Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation

Shannon Pakura, Chief Social Worker of New Zealand, will reflected on the 15 years of pioneering family group conferencing with child protection and juvenile offenses in that country.

Related paper:
The Family Group Conference 14-Year Journey: Celebrating the Successes, Learning the Lessons, Embracing the Challenges

Jenny Bargen, Director of Youth Justice Conferencing in New South Wales, shared her experience in implementing the almost seven-year-old program for young offenders, their victims and families.

Related paper:
Regulating Police Discretion: An Assessment of the Impact of the New South Wales Young Offenders Act 1997