Newcastle as a restorative city
This initiative aims to transform Newcastle into a restorative city by building social cohesion and healthy communities.
Newcastle has pockets of disadvantage in relation to unemployment, income, education, housing, child welfare, and criminal justice.
Newcastle Law School is initiating change by working with a growing network of community partners to support the city’s proposed social and cultural transformation.
In the criminal justice system, it is anticipated that there will be less offending, decreased recidivism, increased rehabilitation of offenders, and greater victim and offender satisfaction with the process.
Additionally, members of the community will be provided with skills to effectively build relationships and resolve disputes, which aim to result in greater wellbeing, social coherence, and improved educational and social outcomes. Workplaces and organisations will have improved communication skills, improved productivity, and strengthened relationships.
As a result, Newcastle will become a happier and safer city, where residents can address harm and inappropriate behaviour.
University-led projects underway
The symposium where it all began
The Law School hosted Newcastle as a Restorative City Symposium: Justice, Community, Education and Health at NUspace on 14 and 15 June 2018.
World leaders in the field of restorative cities shared their expertise, including keynote speaker NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman.
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.
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.
The following keynote speakers presented at the symposium.
Gale Burford, Professor Emeritus of Social Work, University of Vermont
Professor Jennifer Llewellyn, Viscount Bennett Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
Mr Paul Nixon, Chief Social Worker, New Zealand,
The following lead speakers presented at the symposium.
Magistrate David Fanning
Professor John Braithwaite
Professor Teiahsha Bankhead
Other restorative cities around the world
Many cities are implementing restorative practices and frameworks to continue their transformation into a restorative city. These include:
- Canberra Restorative Community
- Hull Centre for Restorative Practice
- Restorative Practices Whanganui
- Community Justice Network of Vermont
Additional information can be accessed at the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), which also provides educational courses.
This initiative needs people from all parts of the Newcastle community. If you would like to be part, please get in touch.