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Restorative practice two day workshop



22 - 23 February 2018, 9:00am to 5:00pm


Hotel Realm
18 National Circuit, Barton, Canberra, ACT



Join the Canberra Restorative Practice Community – part of the Restorative International Learning Community - on 22 and 23 February for two days of learning and reflection on how the ACT might re-envision its approach to education, justice and social services in a way that builds relationships which are just, based on dignity, respect and promote human flourishing.

We have invited the people who have led the way in Hull (UK) - the world’s first restorative city, Leeds - the world’s second restorative city, and New Zealand through their approaches to social services and education.

With two different but parallel stories, dramatic transformation has taken place in the UK over recent years in Hull and Leeds.  A truly relational approach to education, justice and social care (among other things) coupled with a transparent and rigorous commitment to capturing data on outcomes for people has significantly:

  • Reduced exclusion of children from schools
  • Improved school participation rates
  • Reduced custodial sentencing
  • Reduced recidivism rates
  • Reduced numbers of children in care
  • Reduced numbers of families at risk
  • Achieved cost savings
  • Consistently ranked those cities’ schools as ‘outstanding’ (from a very poor baseline report that precipitated their respective journeys into restorative work) by the Ofsted independent audit system.

We will have the opportunity to learn about the restorative journey in New Zealand, where education, health and social services have all benefited from a relational approach.  We will also hear how the voice, cultural understandings and practices of Maori people have been honoured and embedded in how practitioners walk alongside those who are in need of care and support.

The workshop will also be useful for people outside the ACT who are interested in transforming how their cities and towns can challenge people to change and live their lives, supported respectfully by their communities.

Time will be given to allowing participants to share ideas and experience of restorative practice to help build awareness and confidence in its practice.

Watch out for additional information about the event to be posted on the ACT Restorative Practice website in coming weeks.

Contact Details


Background on our speakers


Nigel Richardson

Nigel has more than 35 years’ experience of working in various local Government leadership roles in the United Kingdom.  His most recent position was as Director of Children’s Services at Leeds City Council, where he helped develop the idea of Leeds as a Child Friendly City.  He now works as a freelance consultant helping organisations develop effective approaches to child welfare. 

Nigel has advised on national policy and practice developments in England and Wales as well as internationally.  He has also shared his experiences and presented the learnings from his work to audiences around the world.  Nigel worked with Lord Laming on the landmark Victoria Climbie Inquiry.

He was awarded the CBE in the Queens New Year Honours in 2017 for his work with children and families. 

Nigel is married with four adult sons and became a proud grandfather for the first time in 2014.


Estelle McDonald

Estelle is the Head Teacher at Collingwood Primary School, Hull, and a National Leader of Education in the United Kingdom.  She is also the CEO of Hull Collaborative Teaching School, which has been running for four years and is one of the biggest alliances in the UK.  She became CEO of Hull Collaborative Academy Trust when it formed in 2013.  Estelle has extensive experience in school to school support and has done some significant work for the National College of School Leadership, coordinating school to school support for Yorkshire.  She sits on the School Standards Board, helping to raise education standards and build strong and effective relationships within schools across the UK.  She has recently been appointed to the UK Head Teachers Board.

Estelle led her own school from ‘special measures’ to ‘outstanding’ (Ofsted system) and her Collingwood school has been designated a National Support School, a Teaching School and now an accredited SCITT (school-centred initial teacher training).

Estelle is also the CEO for the Hull Centre for Restorative Practice.  Her school is a lead school for restorative practice and she is regularly invited to speak nationally and internationally on this subject.

She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2016.


Joanne Faulkner

Jo is the Family Project Lead for Hull Centre for Restorative Practice and the Hull Collaborative Academy Trust.  She has 32 years’ experience working in residential care, fostering social work and in the education sector.  She is also a national trainer for therapeutic crisis intervention.

Jo trains and consults to organisations working with children and families.  She has spoken regularly at national and international conferences on restorative practice.

Jo’s work in Hull is centred on primary and secondary schools to develop the family workers in each school, targeting the most vulnerable and disaffected families to improve attendance/attainment and behaviour, using restorative practice as the underpinning principle.

Jo is a family group conferencing coordinator, engaging all members of families in a process that encourages families to take control of their own lives and issues, supporting and enabling them to make significant change for themselves.

Jo also supports social care teams, police and school staff undertaking conferences when significant harm or conflict as occurred.


Saleem Tariq

Saleem (Sal) is the Deputy Director of Children’s Services in Leeds.  He worked in a number of children’s and adults’ care homes before qualifying as a social worker.  Since then he has worked as a social worker and manager at all levels of the social work service in Leeds, beginning his current post in 2016.

Sal is committed to making Leeds the best place to practise social work and had led the service through significant change from a poorly performing service in 2009 to a high-performing, nationally recognised service since 2015.  Restorative practices have been at the heard of his work, including a leadership development program for all managers, a restorative social work program for all social work teams, and investment in evidence-based restorative practices such as family group conferences.  Sal is passionate about using restorative and relational approaches to give families a greater say in how to resolve their difficulties.


Paul Nixon

Paul is the Deputy Chief Executive, Chief Social Worker and Director of Professional Practice at Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children in New Zealand.

Paul is a qualified and registered social worker with more than 27 years’ continuous service in child protection, care and youth justice services in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Paul started his career in statutory social work after qualifying from Nottingham University.  He practised in front line care and protection before becoming a supervisor and senior manager.  In 2005 Paul was appointed Head of Social Work for North Yorkshire County Council, directing all child protection, care and youth justice services.

Paul moved to New Zealand in February 2011 to take up the role of Chief Social Worker.  He is particularly interested in family group conferencing, restorative justice and kinship care.

Paul has written and edited a number of books on social work, empowerment practice and working with children and families, alongside many published articles and chapters.  He has provided training, practice and policy consultancy, research and evaluation on care and protection with children and families in the UK, Europe, the USA, Canada and more recently in Australia and South America.

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