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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:

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:

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 
Group Conferencing 
Melbourne Training Workshop


David Moore & Alikki Vernon   

May 15th - 17th 2019  
University College

Restorative Community Conferencing Training for Schools

with David Vinegrad
4th & 5th June 2019

More information here

Media Releases:

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:

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).”

Media Coverage of
Group Conferencing

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


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.


Directly involve people affected by harmful acts in healing the practical and the emotional harm and seek to address that harm with healing.



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 new 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:                                    Design by
PO Box 475, East Melbourne, Melbourne Victoria 3002
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