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Who we are:

The Victorian Association for Restorative Justice (VARJ) represents restorative practitioners, researchers and policy-makers across the state of Victoria.

VARJ formed as an Incorporated Association in April 2005 to acknowledge and support the growing use of restorative practices in
youth and criminal justice, child protection and school behaviour management.

The Association continues to promote restorative practices in schools, justice, welfare, as well as workplaces, residential communities, community associations, and wherever else people are seeking fairer and safer ways to heal social harm.

VARJ IS A PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION of individuals and organisations who work with restorative justice and restorative practices.


Restorative Justice in Seven Countries

Isabella Banks, a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship recipient, travelled to 7 countries to learn about various Restorative Practices programs. She visited Australia, and stayed with VARJ members whilst in Melbourne. Isabelle asked a few of the individuals she met throughout her travels to share what restorative justice means to them and compiled their perspectives into a video.

You can watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqevjbG3B3U&feature=youtu.be


Health justice partnerships

The Victorian Legal Services Board (LSB) has funded a number of effective health justice partnerships in rural and urban regions. We have VARJ members who have played a leading role in the development of health and legal services working together to help people in need.

To learn more about these partnerships click on to this link:

http://lsbc.vic.gov.au/?page_id=4770


Restorative practices in healthcare

Listen to Jeremy Limpens talk about the need for restorative processes in the health sector at TEDx St Kilda earlier this year.  Jeremy was a participant at the 2014 VARJ Conflict Transformation through Conferencing Professional Development training.


 



Latest Announcements


Transforming Conflict 
through
Group Conferencing 
Melbourne Training Workshop

with

David Moore & Alikki Vernon  

November 27th - 29th 2019   

University College


Restorative Community Conferencing Training for Schools

with David Vinegrad
29th & 30th October 2019

More information here


Important Research Findings:

The first randomised control trial of implementing restorative practices as part of relationship management in schools has been completed.

The trial was conducted over three years in state schools in the south of England,  and the results were published in November 2018 in the Lancet:  

Learning Together system of restorative practice trialled in English schools

The authors (from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine & University College London) conclude that this sort of program is likely to achieve “significant impacts” in improving child health and mental wellbeing.

Report on Canberra as a Restorative City:
The ACT Law Reform Advisory Council have released their Final Report on 

Media Coverage:

ACT’s restorative justice scheme shows less re-offending

The Lawyers Weekly provides the latest results from an independent evaluation of the ACT RJ Unit: the Unit is delivering positive outcomes for crime victims and reducing recividism.

Overcoming the Invisible Hurdles to justice for young people

The Final Research and Evaluation Report of the Invisible Hurdles Project: Integrated Justice Practice - towards better outcomes for young people experiencing family violence in North East Victoria

Link to report:

http://www.hrcls.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/DESIGNED_Full-final-Report_October_20181102.pdf


Supporting Victims As Part of Victorian Police Reforms

A new independent body will be established to oversee a redress and restorative engagement scheme for victims of workplace sexual harassment and sexual assault at Victoria Police.

More information here 

New Laws in ACT
From November, survivors of sex crimes can access restorative justice. 

More information here 

Report on
Youth Justice

The State Government has recently released

Youth Justice Review and Strategy: Meeting needs and reducing offending,

this is the first comprehensive independent review of Victoria’s youth justice system in over 16 years, written by Penny Armytage and James Ogloff, who observe:

The potential of restorative justice opportunities remain unrealized.  […]

Victoria’s youth justice system does not leverage restorative justice programs to the extent that the Review would have expected to see, despite evidence of its effectiveness in reducing reoffending and establishing victim empathy.”

They recommend that Victorian authorities now expand the use of restorative justice programs to address offender and victim needs, including restitution, group conferencing and family group conferencing, across the continuum of youth justice (including, during and after community-based and custodial orders).”The 

Media Coverage of
Group Conferencing

Some useful recent media coverage of local uses of Group Conferencing:















Evening Seminar

Committee member Michael Mitchell and colleague David Bryson will be discussing "Conciliation in the Shadow of the Law" on 19th September at 6 pm at the Multicultural Hub. 

Please see flyer for more information & for booking


Media Update:

Two ABC radio interviews were given

by AARJ committee members recently:

1.      Inside Auckland’s Youth Detention

Centre on Law Report

with Damien Carrick on RN

https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pe6LgbREOQ

Interview with Daniel Clements,

General Manager, Justice and

Crime Prevention Programs,

Jesuit Social Services, Victoria.

2.      Collective punishment in schools on

ABC Radio Melbourne Afternoon program

with Andrew Hansen:

Interview with David Moore, AARJ President:

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/melbourne/programs/afternoons/afternoons/11280358

(interview is from 1 hour 38 minutes)


THE RESTORATIVE PHILOSOPHY:

Is, in essence, that the negative effects that people and

incidences have on other people are not primarily

issues of criminality or personal deficiency, but issues of

interpersonal human relationships.

Holds that harmful actions, above all,

damage interpersonal relationships.

RESTORATIVE PRACTICES:

Directly involve people affected by harmful acts in healing

the practical and the emotional harm and seek to

address that harm with healing.

 

Convenor 
Accreditation

The Group Conference Convenor Accreditation scheme is now

operational.Get your skills accredited with VARJ!

VARJ is a member of the Smart Justice coalition!

Check the website for useful information about

Restorative Practices and other smart justice


Central Victorian

Restorative Practice Alliance

 has a website

The Alliance involves

individuals & organisations supporting

restorative practices and meets monthly

in Bendigo.


VARJ acknowledges and respects the history,

culture, diversity and values of all Aboriginal and

Torres Strait Islander people.
Click here for more information





Victorian Association for Restorative Justice     Email: varj@varj.asn.au                                    Design by 34FiveSolutions.com
PO Box 475, East Melbourne, Melbourne Victoria 3002
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