What is Canberra’s potential as a restorative city? Two day workshop 22nd - 23rd February 2018

Dates: Thursday and Friday, 22 and 23 February 2018, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Venue: Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton, ACT

Cost: $275 per person (there is a limited capacity to subsidise the cost of attendance for those who cannot pay)

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Join the Canberra Restorative Practice Community – part of the Restorative International Learning Community - on 22 and 23 February for two days of learning and reflection on how the ACT might re-envision its approach to education, justice and social services in a way that supports people who are motivated and ready for change. 

We have invited the people who led the way in Hull (UK) - the world’s first restorative city, Leeds - the world’s second restorative city, and New Zealand through their approaches to social services and education.

With two different but parallel stories, dramatic transformation has taken place in the UK over recent years in Hull and Leeds.  A truly relational approach to education, justice and social care (among other things) coupled with a transparent and rigorous commitment to capturing data on outcomes for people has significantly:

  • Reduced exclusion of children from schools
  • Improved school participation rates
  • Reduced custodial sentencing
  • Reduced recidivism rates
  • Reduced numbers of children in care
  • Reduced numbers of families at risk
  • Achieved cost savings
  • Consistently ranked those cities’ schools as ‘outstanding’ (from a very poor baseline report that precipitated their respective journeys into restorative work) by the Ofsted independent audit system.

We will have the opportunity to learn about the restorative journey in New Zealand, where education, health and social services have all benefited from a relational approach.  We will also hear how the voice, cultural understandings and practices of Maori people have been honoured and embedded in how practitioners walk alongside those who are in need of care and support.

The workshop will also be useful for people outside the ACT who are interested in transforming how their cities and towns can challenge people to change and live their lives, supported respectfully by their communities.

Time will be given to allowing participants to share ideas and experience of restorative practice to help build awareness and confidence in its practice.

Watch out for additional information about the event to be posted on the ACT Restorative Practice website in coming weeks. www.canberrarestorativecommunity.space

General enquiries to Alison Brook at abrook@relationships.org.au.
Media enquiries to Lyn Larkin (02) 61629300 or llarkin@relationships.org.au.


Copyright © 2018 Relationships Australia Inc, All rights reserved. 
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ACT Law Reform Advisory Council Progress Report "Canberra - becoming a restorative city" released

The ACT Law Reform Advisory Council (LRAC) has now completed its Progress Report on Canberra - becoming a restorative city based on an initial round of consultations.  LRAC examined the fostering of restorative practices in the ACT with a focus on legal and justice dimensions.  A restorative approach can lead to creative solutions to shared problems using restorative processes which have the potential to promote safer and more connected communities. 

The LRAC Paper covers a range of new issues as well as additional information on the questions raised in the Issues Paper.  LRAC hopes to hear from more members of our community in the second round of consultations.  The date for next round of submissions is 30 March 2018. 

The Issues Paper and the Progress Report can be viewed at: http://cdn.justice.act.gov.au/resources/uploads/JACS/PDF/Final_Progress_Report_for_Minister_-_8_December_2017.pdf

COMING SOON: Canberra Restorative Community - Calendar of Events

With so many folks and organisations involved in the Canberra Restorative Community Network, we are keen to promote all the events, training, seminars, informal gatherings and special events you are holding. By supporting each others efforts, there is collective learning and impact.  Please email us if you have an event or information you would like to share with the network of 500+.  

Restorative health care vision for Canberra



This project intends to infuse the characteristics of strength and resilience of Aboriginal people into a Restorative Health Care framework for enabling Aboriginal voice in hospital practice, governance and consumer engagement processes- it is hoped the outcomes from this research will be incorporated into the new University of Canberra Public Hospital, due to open in 2018.

The 2017 Prime Minister’s ‘Closing the Gap’ Report reveals that efforts to reduce healthcare inequity have failed to meet 6 out of 7 targets, leading to his comment, “we must do things differently.” This research seeks to address suffering experienced by First Australians from a failure to close the health equity gap. At the core of this project is the intent that Aboriginal peoples’ voices are heard in the hospital setting.

The historical harms perpetrated within hospitals and other institutions associated with racism and colonisation, as well as the distrust engendered by brutal separations of children from their families, disproportionate levels of Indigenous incarceration, and deaths from suicide continue to tragically frame the healthcare relationships of many Indigenous Australians. These problems are compounded by negative cultures within the health system that may limit Indigenous voice. These relational issues of identity, trust and equity contribute to existing and potential communication barriers. Communication failings are the primary cause of over 70% of sentinel events resulting in death or serious injury to patients; and given the prevalence of harmful cultures of bullying in Australian healthcare organisations - it is therefore imperative to find new ways to work.

Our objective is to introduce restorative healthcare practice as part of an ACT ‘restorative community’ to the new University of Canberra Public Hospital due to open in 2018. We seek to create an environment of cultural safety for not only First Australians who will benefit from the services, but Indigenous healthcare workers and other vulnerable people. We believe that by meeting the needs of the most vulnerable - we help everyone. This project intends to infuse the characteristics of strength and resilience of Aboriginal people into a Restorative Health Care framework for enabling Aboriginal voice in hospital practice, governance and consumer engagement processes.


Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders, nurses and midwives at the University of Canberra are collaborating with external researchers to support the ACT to become a ‘restorative’ community, joining an international restorative learning community. Our shared vision is to apply ‘Restorative Healthcare Practice’, a strengths based relational approach, centred on giving voice, respect , acknowledgement, accountability and healing value to the most vulnerable to benefit Indigenous people.

The project aims to join traditional Yarning Circle methodology to modern corporate governance of the UC Public Hospital, to enable Aboriginal voices to resonate in the hospital setting and create a ‘restorative’ environment. Our approach is to use ‘Yarning Circles’ to hear and privilege Aboriginal voices that will inform our inquiry into work undertaken in Whanganui, New Zealand. Whanganui Health Board has accelerated a narrowing of the gap in Maori health inequality by using Restorative Practices, which they define as “a philosophy, in action, that places respectful relationships at the heart of every interaction. This relational approach is grounded in beliefs about the equality, dignity and potential of all people and about the just structures and systems that enable people to thrive and succeed together” (2014). Eleven outputs from this project will provide the justification for, implementation of and evaluation plan for ‘Restorative Healing Practice’.

Read more here....



Restoring our environment - Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary

Travelling back to Canberra from New Zealand,  with our Ngunnawal Elder Aunty Roslyn Brown and University of Canberra based Restorative Health team, Wayne Applebee and Holly Northam, I sat next to Claire, a Kiwi (originally from Scotland) who was on her fifth visit to Canberra this year visiting her family. I asked Claire what her son did in Canberra. Her reply 'He's a restorative ecologist....'



After Assault, Some Campuses Focus On Healing Over Punishment (National Public Radio USA)

On-campus disciplinary processes for assaults that are reported have drawn criticism from both survivors and those accused of assault. According to federal statistics, only about one in six survivors of sexual assault on college campuses report the incident to school authorities.

So some campuses are considering a new approach. The process, called "restorative justice," looks more like a therapeutic intervention aimed at healing than a trial focused on guilt and punishment. Campus administrators are increasingly open to it, despite concern from some activists that it's too soft on perpetrators of sexual assault.  For the full story see....


2017 Monthly Restorative Community Network catch-ups

From July 2017, the Canberra Restorative Community Network will meet on the last MONDAY of the month from 5.30pm - 6.30 pm at Fellows Café (the orange corner), University House, Australian National University (unless it is a public holiday and we will get together on the following day Tuesday).  This is a chance for an informal catch-up with colleagues to share ideas and developments from local, national and international contexts on the applications of restorative approaches in various settings. Everyone welcome. No RSVP necessary.

MONDAY 31st JULY 2017