The NED Board has an interest in encouraging and supporting the adoption of Restorative Practices in Australia.

Restorative practices is a social science that integrates developments from a variety of disciplines and fields — including education, psychology, social work, criminology, sociology, organizational development and leadership — in order to build healthy communities, increase social capital, decrease crime and antisocial behavior, repair harm and restore relationships.

-- Ted Wachtel [quoted on wikipedia]

Restorative City Image

Restorative City Image used with permission of Samantha Asvestas Photography.

Restorative practice is a strategy that seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged, including those damaged through bullying. It does this by bringing about a sense of remorse and restorative action on the part of the offender and forgiveness by the victim. The NED Board has an interest in encouraging and supporting the adoption of Restorative Justice practices in Australia. The founder of NED, Ned Iceton was instrumental in bringing the value of this work to the attention of the NED community.

The board has asked Mary Porter AM, to continue promoting and advancing knowledge of Restorative Justice in Australia and internationally. Mary has provided an outline of how her own involvement in Restorative Justice, and Restorative City came about, and the work she and her husband Ian De Landelles perform under the auspices of the board.

Why is the NED Foundation particularly focusing on restorative practice?

Years ago, Ned Iceton came upon Terry O’Connell on an ABC presentation of Australian Story and learnt of his journey of discovery of how to use restorative practice to bring about cultural change and healing in the community. Terry was a serving police officer at the time and searching for alternatives to the law and order response that unfortunately still exists today.

Ned decided to explore these concepts further and to encourage members of the network to work with him to look for opportunities to bring about this cultural change wherever they could.

Ned Iceton first became interested in the 1990s in the power of restorative practice to heal/restore relationships after harm was experienced. Seeing its transforming cultural application as an alternative approach to punishment, he supported members of the SDN to learn more about it and promote it in their fields of interest and influence. Initially its importance in the area of justice and education was emphasised. Its broader application as a way of living and cultural change is now being realised. It has developed from a primary focus on young people within the legal system to a community-wide process to foster ‘restorative cities’. In small groups, participants discussed their knowledge and experience of RP. This highlighted the wide potential for its use in schools, welfare, health and community development.