The University of Newcastle is leading the quest to transform Newcastle into a restorative city in a collaborative effort to build healthy, harmonious communities.
Head of the University of Newcastle Law School, Professor Tania Sourdin said restorative cities drove social cohesion by implementing healing practices and open communication in areas such as the justice system, education and social services.
“Restorative practice traditionally stems from the criminal justice system, where techniques such as victim-offender mediations, restorative justice conferencing and therapeutic justice are used to create dialogue and propose ways forward for the victim, community and the offender,” Tania said.
“By encompassing restorative practices throughout our community in areas such as education, social services, law enforcement and workplaces, the city of Newcastle can manage social and community challenges through working collaboratively to promote a harmonious, inclusive culture.”
Tania said the introduction of restorative justice into criminal systems across the world had resulted in less offending and less recidivism.
“Introducing restorative practices on a broader scale across other sectors in Newcastle, would not only help address crime, but would foster economic growth and prosperous communities,” Tania said.
“The university’s Newcastle’s Law School is proud to be collaborating with government departments, community organisations and local businesses to help transform Newcastle into a restorative city.”
To kickstart the initiative, which represents the first attempt to develop Newcastle as a restorative city, the University’s Newcastle Law School is hosting Newcastle as a Restorative City Symposium: Justice, Community, Education and Health at its city campus, NeW Space on 14 and 15 June.
Participants will have the opportunity to hear from scholars and leading international practitioners who have been instrumental in developing restorative cities around the world, as well as keynote speaker, NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman.
The two-day symposium, supported by NED Inc. – a philanthropic foundation that sponsors restorative initiatives, the Ian Potter Foundation and the Red Cross – will devise strategies to build cooperative and harmonious communities in the region.
IMAGE | The University of Newcastle is on a quest to transform Newcastle into a restorative city.