Community

The Central Victorian Restorative Practice Alliance


The Central Victorian Restorative Practice Alliance (CVRPA) is a collaborative partnership of individuals and organisations with a shared passion for Restorative Practice. 

 

The Alliance's members live and work in Victoria’s Central Goldfields region, with its regional centre of Bendigo, 150 kilometres north of Melbourne, and with a population of 100 000.  There is a cluster of smaller towns around Bendigo, and the total population of the region is roughly 250 000.   This represents nearly 15% of Victoria’s regional population.

 

The idea of forming an Alliance arose from collegial conversations in Bendigo between Katrina Robinson and Sandra Hamilton in 2008.  Katrina had been employed by CentaCare (now CatholicCare Sandhurst) Bendigo as the sole convenor in the region for the newly legislated Victorian Youth Justice Group Conferencing program.  Sandra was newly appointed by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in 2008 as Senior Project Officer in Restorative Practices.  Sandra and Katrina were tasked respectively with introducing and promoting restorative practices in education and justice across the region.

 

Since the inauguration of the Alliance in 2009, we have valued the contribution of each of our past and present partner organisations:

  • CatholicCare Sandhurst

  • Department of Education Early Childhood Development

  • Goldfields Local Learning and Employment Network

  • Central Goldfields Shire, Maryborough Neighbourhood Renewal

  • Victoria Police

  • DOXA School, Bendigo

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

  • Bendigo Community Health Services

  • City of Greater Bendigo Council

  • Department of Justice, Loddon Mallee Dispute Settlement Centre

  • Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative

  • St. Luke’s

  • Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre

 

In 2016 the Alliance expanded its membership criteria to also include those interested in restorative practices, either as practitioners, advocates or interested parties, including individuals and organisations.

 

The Alliance meets monthly to work together to:

  • Promote ‘best practice’ in restorative practices in the local area

  • Develop partnerships and links between restorative practice practitioners

  • Develop a community model of restorative practice in the local area

  • Identify trends, issues and service gaps across each of the practice areas

  • Explore the application of restorative practice in various settings with different cultural groups

  • Share resourcing and ensure continuity of individual and organisational membership

  • Provide peer support as required in the Victorian Association of Restorative Justice (VARJ) accreditation process.


For general enquires, please email: cvrpalliance@gmail.com


Maryborough's successful Community Conference

 In 2010, the Central Goldfields Shire were concerned about the public danger associated with the practice of “Parkour”(pronounced Parkor) by a group of boys in Maryborough - the "Maryborough Parkour (MBPK)”. Council initially considered police action, but chose to agree to the boys suggestion of a meeting to sort out some of the problems. 

Parkour is a world-wide recreational activity among young people that has found a following in Maryborough.  Attached is a quick description of Parkour and its place in Maryborough.  Here is a link to a video of the Maryborough boys doing their thing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgr_VB682No

Local Neighbourhood Renewal staff arranged a meeting between the boys, the council and police to negotiate places where they could practice Parkour. To provide a suitable environment for the meeting Neighbourhood Renewal organised through the Department of Justice (DoJ) for the Bendigo Dispute Resolution Centre to facilitate a restorative justice community conference with all stakeholders.

The conference was held on August 6th 2010 and resulted in some remarkable outcomes including an agreement signed by all parties at the conference. Following the conference, a Maryborough Parkour Group was formed with the boys. The Group wrote a code of conduct for all of the community to read.

The DoJ acknowledged that this is the first community conference with young people that they have supported and conducted. They were delighted with the results and held an event celebrating the successful restorative justice conference in Maryborough. The Director of the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Directorate attended this event in December 2010 and met with the Parkour Group.

There were a number of beneficial outcomes that arose after the restorative community conference: 
  • Council offered the boys a free space to hold their meetings;
  • A local magistrate and two lawyers were so impressed with the restorative approach that they funded T-shirts for the boys so they could promote themselves as responsible Tracuers (people who practice Parkour). The T-shirts carried a logo that the boys designed ;themselves.
  • A local Primary School invited the boys to teach Parkour to their grade 5 and 6 students;&
  • Central Goldfields Shire Council allowed the boys to practice Parkour around the town as long as they were respectful to people and property.
This is a good example of how a restorative process was provided to address interpersonal conflict and transformed this conflict into cooperation among young people and other community members.  

  

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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