Community


Maryborough Event 2010

 
The Department of Justice (DoJ) is holding an event to celebrate the success of a restorative justice conference in Maryborough. Neil Twist, the Director of the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Directorate, DoJ is visiting Maryborough on Wednesday December 15th 2010 (12.00 – 1.00pm) to meet a group of boys who practice Parkour.

Recently, Central Goldfields Shire became 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. These young people are between 10 and 17 years of age.

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 DoJ for the Bendigo Dispute Resolution Centre to facilitate a restorative justice conference with all stakeholders.

The conference was held on August 6th 2010 and brought about some remarkable outcomes including an agreement signed by all parties at the conference and the Maryborough Parkour Group’s code of conduct (attached) written by the boys themselves following the conference.

The approach at Maryborough is a first for Victoria and the recognition from DoJ is a very significant occasion, especially for the boys.
Some of the things that have happened since the restorative justice conference are –
  • DoJ has acknowledged that this is the first community conference with young people that they have conducted. They have been delighted with the results hence their interest in meeting the boys.
  • Council has offered the boys a free space to hold their meetings
  • A magistrate and two lawyers have been so impressed with the restorative approach that they have funded T-shirts for the boys so that they can promote themselves as responsible Tracuers (people who practice Parkour). The T-shirts carry a logo that the boys have designed themselves (attached).
  • A local Primary School has invited the boys to teach Parkour to their grade 5 and 6 students as a means of exercise and so that the Primary School students will know someone at the Maryborough Education Centre when they start secondary school.
  • Central Goldfields Shire Council is prepared to let the boys practice Parkour around the town as long as they respect people and property.
This is a good example of Neighbourhood Renewal being the broker that can engage young people and bring stakeholders together to tackle perceptions of crime and antisocial behaviour issues. The Maryborough Neighbourhood Renewal team (who are employed under auspice by Central Goldfields Shire) and Mr Chris Bolton, Housing Services Manager, Loddon Mallee Region are attending the event to see these talented, healthy young people get the recognition they deserve.

This is a good tale that deserves the attention it is receiving. We hope you can see your way clear to attend the event with a film crew as ‘making the news’ in a positive way would be a fitting reward for the boys.  Should you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Marg Kent

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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