Newcastle as a Restorative City Symposium

The ‘Newcastle as a Restorative City Symposium: Justice, Community, Education and Health’ occurred from 14th June to 15th June 2018 at the University of Newcastle’s landmark education precinct, NeW Space. The symposium was held to kick-start the Newcastle as a Restorative City Initiative.

About the symposium

The symposium examined the use of restorative approaches and practices internationally and in Australia. The symposium featured distinguished international speakers who are experts in therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative practices, and have been involved in other restorative cities around the world. The symposium also featured local champions from Newcastle and Canberra.

The symposium discussed and reviewed what makes restorative cities, restorative justice programs and restorative practices different.

The symposium offered an opportunity for Newcastle professionals to gain insight and support from international guests and helped to facilitate discussions about the opportunity for Newcastle to join the network of restorative cities. The symposium also generated public interest and support for the project.


We are pleased to announce that our programme for the Newcastle as a Restorative City Symposium is now available and can be downloaded through the following links:

Short Programme  |  Full Programme

Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to advise the following keynote speakers will be at the symposium

Gale Burford, Professor Emeritus of Social Work, University of Vermont

Gale Burford is Emeritus Professor at the University of Vermont (2014) and Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Restorative Justice at Vermont Law School. He was also a recent Distinguished Visitor at the Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ, School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) ANU College of Asia & the Pacific. Until his retirement from University of Vermont in 2014, he was Director of the University-State Child Welfare Training Partnership and Principal Investigator for the Vermont Community Justice Consortium. Professor Burford has held full-time appointments in Social Work at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Vermont, and visiting appointments at the University of Stirling in Scotland and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

He has published on a wide range research activities, including those that focus restorative justice and family engagement interventions -- particularly in situations of child abuse and interpersonal violence, the use of drug courts, reparative probation with adult offenders, a youth-run community living program, group care and residential treatment programs, differential treatment approaches, teamwork, and organizational change. His current writing focuses on restorative justice and responsive regulation, results garnered from a multi-year, multiple-methods study of one US state’s efforts to incorporate participatory and restorative practices into its child welfare and youth justice services, and the use of restorative approaches in city and state efforts to coordinate services.

He advises and supports a number of projects and programs and provides training and evaluation for programs that employ partnership approaches to their work, such as the Leeds, UK, evaluation of the use of family group conferences and other restorative practices, serves on the advisory board for the On The Move Partnership, a project of the SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health & Safety Research based at Memorial University, and is a member of a team supporting the development of an International Learning Community based on the use of restorative approaches initiated by colleagues at Dalhousie University. His career in Social Work began in 1968 in the State of Washington where he also completed undergraduate (St. Martin’s University) and graduate degrees (MSW University of Washington), shifted to a decade of work in Québec before moving to Newfoundland & Labrador. His doctorate is from the University of Stirling in Scotland.

Professor Burford’s professional life has revolved around practice, regular study, teaching and research in international venues but particularly in Canada, the USA, Northern England and New Zealand. He has experience in public service as a foster and group home parent, caseworker and social work practitioner, trainer, and supervisor, manager and senior administrator in services for children, young people and their families and conducted private practice of individual, group and family counseling for 25 years.

Professor Jennifer Llewellyn, Viscount Bennett Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

Jennifer Llewellyn is the Viscount Bennett Professor of Law at the Schulich School of Law. Her teaching and research is focused in the areas of relational theory, restorative justice, truth commissions, international and domestic human rights law and Canadian constitutional law. She has written and published extensively on the theory and practice of a restorative approach in both transitional contexts and established democracies. Professor Llewellyn was the Director of the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Community University Research Alliance (NSRJ-CURA), a collaborative research partnership between university and community partners focused on the institutionalization of restorative justice, with particular attention to the example of the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program.

Professor Llewellyn advises and supports a number of projects and programs using a restorative approach in Nova Scotia and internationally. For example, she has been an academic/policy advisor to the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program, the Provincial Restorative Approaches in Schools Project, the HASA Network developing a restorative approach to senior safety and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. She is currently facilitating the design process for a restorative public inquiry into the Home for Colored Children and previously advised the Assembly of First Nations and Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the response to Residential School abuse.

She has also worked extensively in the field internationally, including with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Jamaican government, the government of New Zealand and the United Nations. She recently co-edited two books in the area: Being Relational: Reflections on Relational Theory and Health Law (UBC Press, 2011) and Restorative Justice, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Mr Paul Nixon, Chief Social Worker, New Zealand,

Paul Nixon is the Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Social Worker for Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Vulnerable Children in New Zealand. Paul is originally from the UK and has worked for more than 27 years in Child Protection and Youth Justice, always in a statutory setting.

Paul was inspired by practice and innovations from New Zealand, particularly Family Group Conferences, Restorative Justice and Whanau / Kinship Care. Previously Paul was Assistant Director (Children’s Services) for North Yorkshire County Council and he also worked as Strategic Lead for Restorative Practices for Hull City Council. Paul has written a number of books on social work, empowerment and work with children and families, and numerous articles and chapters. He has provided consultancy, research and evaluation and training on work with children and families around the world.

Lead Speakers

We are pleased to announce the following lead speakers at our Symposium:

Magistrate David Fanning

Appointed a magistrate in 2006, Magistrate Fannign has sat as the Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) since it was opened in early 2007. Immediately prior to his appointment, he held the independent statutory role of the Commissioner for Children in Tasmania which was primarily focused on disadvantaged children and young people in that state.  He had previously been at the Victorian Bar for 14 years where he practised in criminal law, family law, coronial law and child welfare law.

Having first qualified as a social worker, Magistrate Fanning has worked in mental health, public welfare and child protection for almost a decade.  He holds degrees in Arts, Law and Social Work as well as postgraduate studies in Criminology.

As the foundation magistrate at NJC, along with being the sole judicial officer, Magistrate Fanning has had a key role in developing and shaping the NJC – Australia’s first problem solving multi-jurisdictional court.

Magistrate Fanning is also a judicial member of the Adult Parole Board and regularly chairs the Board.

Professor John Braithwaite

Professor John Braithwaite is co-Director with Miranda Forsyth of the Centre for Restorative Justice at the Australian National University and an active member of the Canberra Restorative Community. One of the themes of his current research is restorative justice in peacebuilding and reconciliation after war.  He also works on the relationship between restorative justice and the responsive regulation of business.

Professor Teiahsha Bankhead

Teiahsha Bankhead, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. is a restorative justice practitioner and researcher and serves as the Executive Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth. She Co-Chairs the Oakland Mayor’s Public Safety Impact Table, leading the city’s effort to become a restorative city. She is also a professor at California State University, Sacramento in the Division of Social Work where she teaches diversity, social policy and research methods. She lectures internationally on issues of self-care, cultural conflict and social policy. Dr. Bankhead received her M.S.W. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.  She was a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Minority Research Fellow and a fellow of the United States Psychiatric Congress. She also served on the Family Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Dr. Bankhead has over 20 years of experience as Director of Development at several California non-profit organizations and has served on numerous non-profit Boards including, The Girls Afterschool Academy, Edgewood Children’s Center, and Catholic Charities of the East Bay. A noted author, psychotherapist and university professor, she engages in research, writing and practice on issues of social policy and diversity with particular attention given to restorative justice equity with regard to gender, class and race.