Launching Local Time Design Guide for Victoria

LaunchImages_02-02We invite you to the launch of the Local Time Design Guide for Victoria, Australia.

Award winning Local Time designers Dr Sanne Oostermeijer and Matthew Dwyer have developed a design guide outlining a new architectural model for youth justice facilities that are ‘small-scale, integrated in the local community, therapeutic and capable of differentiated security’.

The Design Guide acts as a starting point for discussions with your local stakeholders, community organisations and government.

Join us at the launch of the guide in Melbourne on 6 February 2020, with a panel discussion that includes Fleur Souverein and Dr Andrew Martel.

We end with a networking opportunity with drinks and nibbles.

Register here

How to host your own screening of ‘In My Blood It Runs’ next year + education resources

This week, our network supported a special screening of the film, ‘In My Blood It Runs‘ for teachers and educators.  Organised by our co-convenor Dr Sophie Rudolph, it was followed by a panel discussion, chaired by Dr Melitta Hogarth, Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Panelists included Naomi Oakley, Banok Rind and Rachel Edwardson.

We thought you might like to know that from March next year, there’s the opportunity for your network to host a private or public screening of the film for your friends, workplace or community. This will start a conversation about the issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children like Dujuan and includes fund raising opportunities as well.

More details here.

‘In My Blood It Runs’ is also publishing education resources for teachers  to make sure schools are safe learning spaces for all students and expand the knowledge and understanding about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and worldviews.

in my blood it runs.jpg
 Rachel Edwardson, Banok Rind and Naomi Oakley in conversation.

Meet two of our JYP advisors

Our network advisors meet regularly to provide our the network with specialist and strategic advice on issues relating to justice involved young people in Victoria, including advice on priorities, goals, direction and possible activities of the network. This includes supporting the identification and sharing of emerging trends and issues in youth justice.

JYP advisory group photo
Some of our advisers with Diana and Sophie at our first meeting in 2019

This group also contributes to raising community awareness of the issues experienced by justice involved young people in Victoria by offering expert media comments on behalf of the network on a particular issue, where appropriate.

Members of the JYP advisory group are appointed as individuals, not as representatives of an organisation or other network.

Two of our advisors, Emily and Sanne

Emily Munro-Harrison is a Wiradjuri woman and early career academic. Her professional background includes working in policy, evaluation and research, with a focus on participatory and community led methods in Indigenous youth justice, prevention of violence, place-based research, and health and wellbeing. She currently works as a Senior Research Officer at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Emily is completing her PhD examining experiences and expressions of culture and identity by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Melbourne, at the University of Melbourne. She has qualifications in social science, environment and creative writing.

Emily’s research approach focuses on community identified and driven needs, using qualitative methods that centre the voice of those the research is designed to benefit.

In 2016 Emily co-founded the Indigenous Group of Learning, a cultural support and visitation program for Aboriginal men at Port Phillip Prison. This program uses culture, art, music, literacy and aspirations to develop goals for the future with participants.

EMH headshot 1
Emily Munro-Harrison

Sanne Oostermeijer  is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health, School of Population and Global Health. Sanne graduated with a Research Master in Cognitive Neuropsychology and a PhD from the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, VU medical center in 2017 (The Netherlands). Her research focus is on the mental health and well-being of young people, with a particular focus on justice involved young people.

Sanne has been involved in several multi-disciplinary and international projects in collaboration with various academics, health professionals, social workers, architects and people with lived experience. Her work mostly involves mixed-methods approaches, including stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and service provider data (e.g., national minimum data sets).

Last year she won the inaugural Victorian Design Challenge 2018 together with her partner, architectural graduate Matthew Dwyer, for their proposal ‘Local Time: Promoting resilience in the Juvenile Justice System’. This ongoing project establishes how small-scale local youth justice facilities can best support positive outcomes for justice involved young people in custody.

Sanne is passionate about finding local solutions and promoting service integration and person-centred care in both the juvenile justice system and the mental health care system.

SO headshot
Sanne Oostermeijer

Looking to NZ, USA, UK, Spain and Germany for ways to stop children and young people getting caught up in the criminal justice system

This is a guest blog by Laura Chipp, who has been awarded the Jack Brockhoff Foundation Churchill Fellowship for 2019.

I am about to embark on a huge piece of work, which no doubt will be close to the hearts of many colleagues in the youth justice/youth sectors, as it is mine. Recently I was formally awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship for 2019. The project is on legislating and enhancing a conditional child ‘caution’ scheme in 2020. I will be undertaking this project in my capacity as a Churchill Fellow.

I am very excited about further researching this topic and finding best practice from across the world. I tried to choose locations which were most comparable to our census data, demographics and social issues here in Victoria.

I have researched and submitted to study:
1) New Zealand – Wellington, Auckland
2) Spain – Madrid
3) Germany – Berlin
4) England – Birmingham, London
5) USA – in the Deep South (Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee) as well as New Jersey, New York.

My Churchill Fellowship analyses different diversionary programs Police can engage with and refer a child to through Police cautions and diversionary programs, at their first contact. It would provide many tools, processes and programs which could be offered to children on a case-by-case basis, with the aim to refer them to participate in proven and relevant programs, tailored to their personal circumstances. This is all pre-charge and out of Court.

This project could be life-changing for the child; as they will be diverted away from Court and the youth justice system and hopefully in doing so it would have a significant impact on the child as they would not have a criminal record.

My Fellowship is finding best international practice and an evidence base for creating an optimum legislated, conditional cautioning scheme for children under 18 years. I will also search and hopefully discover other best practices and programs to reduce criminal justice entrenchment in the category of ‘emerging adults’ (18-20 year olds) and time permitting, even up to 24 years old.

I want to find multiple best international approaches to apply different tailored working interventions. The project will hopefully identify the best way to reduce reoffending and increase the chance of engagement of the young person, in a timely more manner.

Your experience and input is absolutely critical in this important topic. I would grateful if you could assist me also with any great contacts and organisations that you know in my study five locations above. Your help will likely result in me being in the right places, with the right people.

Any contacts or suggestions you have, who could assist in this area, that would be fantastic! Please email me directly at ‪

I am also hosting a “Cross Agency Youth Caution Workshop” in Melbourne on Tuesday 19 November 2019.

If you have experience and interest in the youth justice sector and would like to be further involved in my fellowship, please email me any ideas or names to me directly at, with the following details:

1) Your name; 2) Email address; 3) Phone number (preferably mobile); 4) Job role and or organisation; 5) Your experience in this topic.

Thank you all in anticipation!


laura chipp
Laura Chipp

Local Time: How to start talking to government about designing small-scale local YJ places

local time blurb.jpg

Award winning Local Time designers Dr Sanne Oostermeijer and Matthew Dwyer have published a guide to improve outcomes for justice-involved young people in Victoria.

The guide outlines a new architectural model for youth justice facilities in Victoria that are ‘small-scale, integrated in the local community, therapeutic and capable of differentiated security’.

The Design Guide acts as a starting point for discussions with your local stakeholders, community organisations and government.

Download the guide here.

sanne darwin.jpg
Sanne and Matt presenting Local Time at the Reintegration Puzzle Conference

Why our network is part of the call for better outcomes for young people in Victoria

We have an opportunity to return Victoria to its previous position as leading the country in humane, effective and evidence based approaches to young people in trouble in a way that holds them truly accountable for their actions, gives them hope to transform their lives, stops children progressing to a life of adult crime and reduces the number of future victims. [..]

Addressing the drivers of offending is the best way to build stronger communities. We believe more needs to be done in order to effectively reduce the trauma, discrimination and inequality that leads some children and young people to get in trouble [..]

Last week, our network endorsed a joint statement along with 17 other signatories, which was emailed to Minister Ben Carroll Minister for Crime Prevention, Corrections, Youth Justice and Victim Support and David Southwick MP (Shadow Minister for Police; Community Safety; and Corrections).

In part it reads:

‘As experts with deep experience seeking solutions and working with people intersecting with the justice system, as well as their families and communities, we call on the Victorian Government to adopt and put into action the following key principles for an effective and humane youth justice system:

  • Incarceration as a last resort, including raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14 years of age
  • Focus on early intervention and diversion
  • Listening to the voices of people and their families
  • Developmentally appropriate approaches to children and young people
  • Addressing the disproportionate number of children and young people with a care experience who get caught up in youth justice and detention
  • Recognising the importance of culture and country for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Connection to families, communities and culture
  • Thorough assessment and planning
  • Addressing offending behaviour
  • Addressing mental health, substance abuse and other health and wellbeing needs
  • Strong framework of support and accountability
  • Restorative justice approaches
  • Education and training focus that builds practical and social skills for re-socialisation, and builds skills for future employment opportunities
  • Holistic and appropriate wrap-around support services are available for those exiting youth detention in order to assist their reintegration into the community.’

You can read more about the joint statement in today’s Herald Sun here. (paywall)

Read the full joint statement here.

Do you support the statement? What do you think should be priority principles? Is there any other principle you think we need to include?

We welcome your views in our comments section below.

Capture 11 oct hun

How we can keep justice-involved young people connected to their local communities?

Sanne Oostermeijer speaking at our network launch in 2018.

Watch this inspiring short film from the Netherlands. See how the Ministry of Justice and Security is helping young people return to their local communities, connect with school and family, with small scale regional facilities designed to fit around a young person’s life.

We believe this model is a better option for Victoria because a large scale youth prison, located in a remote place, disconnects young people from their community, support, family and their local schools.

You can read more about this project from our advisory group member, Dr Sanne Oostermeijer, co-creator of Local Time, here.