Building Culturally Safer and Relationally Stronger Schools

on Wednesday 26 August  2020 at 11:00 AM AEST.

This webinar was co-hosted by our Justice-involved Young People Network with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne.

Our panel reflected on the challenges and opportunities for building stronger and safer schools to support and value young people.

Link to webinar recording here.

Previous events in 2020

In February 2020, we hosted the launch of the Local Time Design Guide, Dr Sanne Oostermeijer and Matt Dwyer’s new architectural model for youth justice facilities in Victoria.

The Design Guide acts as a starting point for discussions with local stakeholders, community organisations and government.You can read more about the guide and download it in the links in Sanne’s guest network blog here.


Following on from the launch, just before Covid-19 restrictions started, we co-hosted a workshop: ‘The future of Youth Justice: Collaborating for change with lessons from the Netherlands’ with the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

The March workshop took the form of a small roundtable symposium involving Government and practitioner partners across the justice and legal sector, who provided important input and gauged appetite for – and canvassed potential barriers to – implementation of small-scale, community-based, therapeutic youth justice facilities in Victoria.

Our workshop presenter was University of Melbourne visiting scholar, Fleur Souverein. Fleur’s work has involved evaluating small-scale, community-based youth custodial pilot facilities in the Netherlands.



Previous events 2019

We had a ppecial screening of the film ‘In my blood it runs’ for teachers and other people working in education on Tuesday 19 November 2019 at the University of Melbourne. Details here.

Our official launch took place at the University of Melbourne on 26 July 2018.

Our guests listened to speakers who addressed a range of issues that have a direct impact on young people. The aim was to spark interest and discussion and guide us in working out our priority actions and activities for the network.

Here are some highlights via Twitter: Tweets from the JYP Network launch

Our speakers introduced the following questions, ideas and issues:

  • How can we make youth custodial settings conducive to learning?
  • Why we should raise the age of criminal responsibility.
  • Repurposing the proposed Cherry Creek youth detention centre as a young adult  prison exclusively for young adults who are 18 to 25 years old.
  • How can we make youth detention centres (which should be used only as a last resort) truly therapeutic and rehabilitative?
  • How can we re-engage children in education?
  • How we can end the link between child protection and youth justice?

The launch brought together members of the diverse community the network hopes to support, to shape the goals and focus of the network.


To stay updated with details of all of our future events, add your details on our ‘contact’ page or go to our ‘join our network’ page.

Our inaugural public event was held on Tuesday 11th April 2018 at the University of Melbourne.

‘Locking Up Our Kids – What Do We Hope to Achieve?’: A public conversation

Our panel of experts – Wayne Muir (VALS), Nathan Hughes (Sheffield Uni), Anne Hooker (Port Phillip Prison Youth Unit) and Roger Antochi (TalentRISE) – brought diverse perspectives to a rich, provocative, moving discussion about the practices, policies and consequences of locking up children and young people.

These themes emerged most strongly:

  • the need to acknowledge individual and systemic bias;
  • the links between child protection and increased likelihood of criminalisation and youth justice involvement;
  • how failings in the education system drive children and young people towards justice-involvement;
  • the need to use custody as a last resort;
  • that custodial settings – where necessary – can and must be truly therapeutic and rehabilitative to be effective;
  • and that a socially just system of responding to young people’s problematic behaviours must be framed by principles of care, responsibility and relationship.

Link to the Locking Up Our Kids Power Point Presentation here:

This important conversation will continue through a series of forthcoming events and discussion… stay tuned!