Newcastle as a Restorative City Symposium

14th - 15th JUNE 2018

The Newcastle Law School welcomes colleagues to Newcastle, NSW Australia for the, ‘Newcastle as a Restorative City Symposium: Justice, Community, Education and Health’ held on Thursday 14th June to Friday 15th June 2018.

We are holding this symposium to kick-start an initiative to transform Newcastle into a restorative city, driving regional impact by building social cohesion and healthy communities

The symposium will be held at the University of Newcastle’s landmark education precinct, NeW Space located in the heart of the CBD at 409 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300.

About Registrations

Registrations for the Symposium are now open! Early bird sales are now open until 16 April 2018. (See table below for pricing and registration fees)

Registration Fees (AUD)

Early Bird Rate (Ends 30 April 2018)


Full Standard Rate


Committee Member Rate


Early Bird – Student Rate (Ends 30 April 2018)


Student Rate


Click here to pay and register your attendance

What defines a restorative city?

A restorative city is one in which key organisations implement restorative justice programs and restorative practices widely throughout the life of the city.

Newcastle Law School is working towards initiating this change by working with community partners through the project to support the social and cultural transformation of Newcastle.

What shape do restorative justice programs take and how can we successfully implement them?

Restorative city projects invest in, and focus on, the children and young people that live in their cities.  The requirements to transform a city are: the identification of a need for restorative practices; the development of a shared vision; training, support and resources; a management plan for the transition into restorative practices; and, finally, the use of restorative practices throughout the community.

Restorative justice approaches in the criminal justice system, education system, child care and protection and the workplace include processes such as mediations and restorative conferencing. The introduction of restorative justice into criminal systems has resulted in less offending, less recidivism and greater participant satisfaction with the process by all parties including victims.

What do we define as restorative practices and what value do they add to organisations such as schools and community services?

Restorative cities promote mediations, conferences and relationship-building exercises and court reforms to encourage the resolution of disputes and disagreements through communication, to address inappropriate behaviour, and to promote a caring and inclusive culture in education, social services, law enforcement, neighbourhoods, courts and workplaces. For instance, in schools, students learn how to build relationships, resolve disputes and understand other points of view. This leads to higher attendance, improved educational outcomes and improved school culture.

How might we further enhance these approaches in Newcastle?

The transformation of Newcastle into a restorative city is an ambitious project that will require support from across the community to assist a change in the culture of Newcastle to a restorative culture.

Newcastle has pockets of disadvantage in relation to unemployment, income, education, housing, child welfare, and criminal justice. While plans are underway for urban renewal in the city’s CBD, Newcastle is also in need of social, cultural and economic renewal.

Key people and organizations in Newcastle could make a significant contribution to this renewal by establishing Newcastle as a restorative city. This conference will feature distinguished international speakers who are experts in therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative practices, and have been involved in other restorative cities around the world. The conference will also feature local champions from Newcastle and from Canberra. Newcastle professionals will be able to gain insight and support from these international guests, and to discuss the opportunity for Newcastle to join the network of restorative cities. The conference will also assist in generating public interest and support for the project.

Restorative justice experts will also be involved in training members of the Newcastle community in restorative justice and restorative practices.

The symposium will examine the use of restorative approaches and practices internationally and in Australia. Participants will hear from international keynote speakers who have been instrumental in developing restorative cities around the world.

Pre-symposium workshops held on Wednesday 13th June will be targeted at professionals who wish to gain further skills to implement restorative practices in their workplaces.

The symposium will discuss and review what makes restorative cities, restorative justice programs and restorative practices different. Restorative cities are safer, happier, hopeful places where all members of the community share in progress and urban renewal. Examples of restorative cities around the world include Hull and Leeds (UK), Oakland (USA), Whanganui (New Zealand) and Canberra.

We are seeking leaders, policy makers, people and professionals from all backgrounds from Newcastle, Australia and overseas who share an interest in:

  • restorative cities
  • restorative justice programs
  • restorative practices
  • therapeutic justice and
  • the application of these approaches in Newcastle, Australia.

About Restorative Cities

A restorative city is one in which restorative justice and restorative practices are implemented widely throughout the life of the city. Restorative justice has traditionally been associated with criminal justice systems, where techniques such as victim-offender mediations, restorative justice conferencing and therapeutic justice are used. These techniques can bring the offender, victim, community members and other interested parties together to discuss the offending, and may also propose ways forward which heal the victim and the community, while reintegrating the offender into the community. Restorative cities go further by introducing restorative practices throughout the community: in education, in social services, in law enforcement, and in workplaces. Mediations, symposiums and relationship-building exercises are used to encourage the resolution of disputes and disagreements through communication, to address inappropriate behaviour, and to promote a caring and inclusive culture.

Restorative cities have many positive impacts in the community. The introduction of restorative justice into criminal systems has resulted in less offending, less recidivism and greater participant satisfaction with the process by all parties including those offended against. In schools, students learn how to build relationships, solve disputes and understand other points of view. This leads to higher attendance, improved educational outcomes and improved school culture.

Workplaces that engage with restorative practices are more productive. Restorative cities are safer, happier, hopeful places where community spirit is restored and the social fabric of the city transformed. Examples of restorative cities around the world include Hull and Leeds (UK), Oakland (USA), Whanganui (New Zealand) and Canberra.


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.

Newcastle is located on the east coast of NSW, a short two-hour drive north of Sydney. Newcastle Airport is a 25-minute drive from the CBD of Newcastle and offers regular services to major cities including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.


Newcastle Airport is the fastest growing regional airport in Australia and offers direct daily flights to and from major cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, The Gold Coast and Ballina. These cities provide a hub through to other destinations around Australia and the world.

Five airlines service Newcastle Airport (15 kilometres north of Newcastle). Jetstar flies from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Melbourne, Virgin Australia flies from Brisbane and Melbourne, QantasLink flies from Brisbane, Rex Airlines flies from Sydney and Fly Pelican flies from Canberra, Sydney, Ballina / Byron Bay, Dubbo and Coffs Harbour. Port Stephens Coaches runs buses between the airport and the bus terminal next in Newcastle. Hunter Valley Buses runs buses from the airport to East Maitland via Raymond Terrace. The Newcastle Airport Information Services Desk can arrange door-to-door transfers. Please phone 02 4928 9822, or email


Sit back and relax by riding the rails to Hamilton or Broadmeadow Stations, with connecting shuttle buses to central Newcastle and beaches until the light rail is installed (watch this space).

Catch one of the regular Newcastle and Central Coast services departing from Sydney’s Central Station, Strathfield, Eastwood, Epping or Hornsby to continue north to Broadmeadow or Hamilton (

TrainLink's inter-city services connect Brisbane to Broadmeadow via the regional cities of Casino, Grafton, Wauchope and Taree, before continuing to Sydney. Broadmeadow is a major railway hub: northwestern services from Armidale, Tamworth, Moree and Narrabri also arrive here.


Newcastle is a two-hour drive north of Sydney. Need wheels? Find car rental companies at the airport and throughout the city. Some of the options include EuropcarHertzBudget Car and Truck Rental or Newcastle Car or Truck Rental.


Head to Newcastle on a long-distance bus - Greyhound services leave from Sydney's Central Station, Brisbane's Coach Terminal and Melbourne's Travel Centre. Newcastle's local bus network radiates from the Coach Interchange, behind Railway Station , Wharf Rd. Major bus interchanges are found at the University of Newcastle, Wallsend, Glendale, Warners Bay, Belmont, Charlestown Square, Westfield Kotara and Broadmeadow Station. Trips taken within a designated area of Newcastle's CBD are free on State Transit-operated bus services. Opal cards are used on Newcastle's local buses replacing the time-based tickets that are unique to the city. For more information visit

The coastal city of Newcastle is the heart of Australia’s famous Hunter Region. Newcastle is Australia’s seventh largest and second oldest city. Newcastle was recently identified by National Geographic Traveller Magazine as an emerging global smart city excelling in the challenges of the twenty first century. Newcastle has been recognised by Tourism Australia as Australia’s Coolest Coastal Town and by Lonely Planet as a Top Ten Global City. Newcastle has been four times named a world-class festival and events city by the International Festivals and Events Association.

Newcastle is surrounded by eight spectacular beaches and is home to a vibrant university culture, thriving arts scene and an emerging innovation ecosystem. Located only 160 kilometres north of Sydney, Newcastle is easily accessible by car or train from Sydney, or through direct flights to Newcastle Airport from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. For more information check out Visit Newcastle.

Newcastle offers a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from 4.5 star self-contained hotel options to budget rooms in backpacker hostels or pubs.

Below is a list of recommended accommodation options located within close proximity to NeW Space City Precinct Campus.

Rydges Newcastle

Located directly on the historic Newcastle harbour front, Rydges (formerly Crowne Plaza) Newcastle boasts a range of well-appointed guest rooms with spectacular views.  It is within easy access to beaches, parks, Honeysuckle restaurants and is a 5 minute walk to the conference at NeW Space.

Amenities include:

* Free Wi-Fi
* Valet Parking
* Outdoor pool
* Air-conditioned
* Laundry service

Address: Cnr Merewether St & Wharf Rd, Newcastle NSW 2300

Phone: +61 2 4907 5062


Noahs on the Beach

Overlooking Newcastle Beach, this relaxed hotel is a 6-minute walk from Fort Scratchley museum and a 20-minute walk NeW Space.

Amenities include:
* Free parking
* Outdoor pool
* Air-conditioned
* Room service

Address: Shortland Esplanade & Zaara St, Newcastle East NSW 2300

Phone: + 61 2 4929 5181


Chifley Apartments

The Chifley Apartments Newcastle provides self-catering style hotel accommodation. The rooms have a fully equipped kitchen, washing machine, and free WiFi. Situated in the Honeysuckle Precinct, popular harbourside restaurants and bars are located right across the street and New Space is only a 5 minute walk away.

Amenities include:
* Free Wi-Fi
* Outdoor pool
* Air-conditioned
* Business center
* Kid-friendly

Address: 7/14 Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle NSW 2300

Phone: +61 2  4910 4910


Novotel Newcastle

Located alongside one of Australia’s best surfing beaches Novotel Newcastle Beach offers a spa pool, a steam room, a fully equipped gymnasium and secure covered parking. Guests also enjoy an onsite bar and restaurant. Alternatively, you can visit local restaurants, bars and cafes, within 10 minutes' walk away. The Novotel is located 15-20 minute walk from the conference location, NeW Space.

* Paid Wi-Fi
* Paid Parking
* Outdoor pool
* Air-conditioned
* Laundry Service
* Room Service

Address: 5 King St, Newcastle NSW 2300

Phone: +61 2 4032 3700


Quest Newcastle

Quest Newcastle is just 300 metres from the Waterfront and provides self-contained apartments with laundry facilities and a full kitchen and a private balcony. Quest Newcastle Apartments are an 8-minute walk from the conference.

* Free Wi-Fi
* Indoor pool
* Air-conditioned
* Resturant

Address: 575 Hunter St, Newcastle West NSW 2302

Phone: +61 2 4928 8000


We are inviting restorative practitioners, researchers and policy makers to submit proposals for a paper presentation* (35 mins including 10 mins discussion), panel discussion (70 mins), or workshop (70 mins) relating to the four conference themes (restorative practices or approaches relating to justice, community, education and health). The proposal should include:

  • Title of the presentation/panel/workshop
  • Type of presentation: paper, discussion panel, workshop
  • Biography & photograph of presenter/s (200 words)
  • Summary of the presentation (300 words)
  • Keywords describing the presentation/discussion (also indicate the theme/s: justice, education, community, health)

We are also seeking members of the community to share restorative practices, partnerships and programs already used in their workplace for our ‘showcase’ sessions on local initiatives. Presenters should submit a two-page description of their restorative practices and/or program, including photographs or other audio-visual material. The showcase session will feature up to four local initiatives, with presenters speaking for eight minutes each, with eight minutes question time.

There is no need for presenters to provide a paper but we are happy to accept full papers and we will put these onto our website for symposium participants to access.

We would like any audio-visual materials you would like to be on the screen for your presentation (ie PowerPoint presentations, other presentations) to be sent to by the 31st May, 2018. Papers, included full papers that have been updated, will be able to be submitted for consideration for publication in a special issue of the Newcastle Law Review, subject to peer-review outcomes, by 30 June, 2018.

Please include “Call for presenters – Full Name” in the subject line of your email. All submissions will be reviewed. All presenters must be registered at the conference, presenters that are accepted will receive a restricted link to register for a reduced fee of $380. All submissions must be in English.

Download the symposium flyer

This workshop will address the questions of whether restorative practices should, and can be adopted to make inquiries into natural disasters more effective and facilitate community restoration.



As part of a research project funded by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, Professor Stephen Dovers and Associate Professor Michael Eburn conducted research on post-event inquiries.  They identified that adversarial proceedings that have been adopted in past inquiries come at a great cost to the agencies involved, and in particular their volunteers and have limited capacity to produce useful learning.

Can agencies and the State reform post event inquiries by using restorative practices to allow all those involved to tell their story and to allow communities to understand what happened and, collectively determine how they will manage future risk?

Canada, has led the way in this regard with the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry.  A leading contributor to that project has been Professor Jennifer Llewelyn from the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Canada.

The Workshop

At this workshop hear from Professor Llewelyn as well as those experienced in post disaster inquiries to explore how restorative practices can help in the fact finding stage and also help communities to recover. Hear from their insights and join in the discussion on what restorative practices have to offer both the emergency services and the broader community.

Other confirmed speakers are:

  • Euan Ferguson former Chief Officer of the Country Fire Service in South Australia then Chief Officer of Victoria’s Country Fire Authority.  He has been a witness in and then had to implement findings of inquiries and, after his retirement, led the Inquiry into the January 2016 Waroona [Western Australia] Fire.  Euan will share his thoughts on inquiry processes and their value to those who have to implement the findings and recommendations.
  • Anne Leadbeater rose to prominence as a community leader after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria and is now a recognised expert in community recovery.  Anne will consider how  restorative, rather than adversarial, practices at the inquiry stage may help with the recovery process.
  • Roger Strickland and Tammy Garrett. Hear how Victoria’s Country Fire Authority, with guidance from the US Forest Service looking to change the way it investigates and learns from incidents on the fireground to move away from a culture of blame to a culture of understanding;
  • Iain Mackenzie, Inspector General Emergency Management (IGEM), Queensland. The office of IGEM is setting disaster management standards for Queensland entities, reviewing and assessing the effectiveness of disaster management and increasingly conducting reviews into events. The IGEM will speak to his approach to inquiries and what all agencies can gain from inquiries for continuous improvement across the entire PPRR spectrum.  The office of IGEM is keen to reinforce the view that Emergency Management is far greater than the management of emergencies.

Who should attend?

This workshop is primarily intended for members of the emergency services to hear about alternative ways of learning and how the emergency management community may start the process to encourage more restorative learning in the future.

Restorative practice practitioners are also encouraged to attend to inform the discussion and identify ways that they may be able to assist the fire and emergency services and the communities that they serve to learn from events without the learning process causing further harm.