Thinker in Residence Blog

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Coming to an end in En Zed

Posted by peggyhora on May 21, 2010

New Zealand (En Zed [NZ]) has been an incredible adventure.  I’ll post day-to-day activities later as well as photos of South Island but I have to share today’s adventure.  I did an all day seminar for the NZ judges.  It grew from three judges at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon to a rousing full day with 13 judges.  Everyone was so very responsive, hungry for information, supportive and appreciative.  These are incredible judges who remind me of the early days of drug courts when we were trying to figure out what in the world we were doing.  They are working in family, youth and criminal courts and are making do with “the smell of an oily rag” in terms of resources.  They are committed to doing a more effective and meaningful job and delivering true justice.  They understand alcohol and other drug as well as mental health issues and are struggling to understand how best to deal with them.  I was so energized by and humbled by their sincerity in the face of not a small amount of adversity.  Some flew home immediately after the seminar but four locals took me out to dinner at a beautiful restaurant on the waterfront named Kermadec.  http:kermadec.co.nz Rosanna was our extremely competent and helpful waitress who served four incredible seafood entrees (read appetizers) and three different mains as well as a couple desserts.  I had the pot au feu with the most amazing mussels I’ve ever tasted as well as shrimp, fish, clams all in an amazing broth.  To come to a strange city and be so welcomed is a blessing.  The citizens of New Zealand are lucky to have such an involved bench.  Tomorrow is my Waheke Island adventure.

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The bathroom I almost had to be evicted from

Posted by peggyhora on May 4, 2010

A rubber ducky all to yourself

The Louise (named for the owner’s grandmother) in the Barossa Valley is a small, elegant and award-winning hotel from which I almost had to be evicted because I didn’t want to leave.  Each suite is surrounded by a wall with a locked gate hiding a patio and little table and chairs.  There’s a huge room with a king sized bed, two overstuffed chairs facing the flat screen and gas fire place, a desk with high speed Internet access, dining area overlooking the vineyards.  There’s a sliding glass door adjacent to that room with chaise lounges and a table.   Then there’s the bathroom.  No, not just any bathroom.  A bathroom I would kill for.  I want to go home and take a sledge hammer to mine and it’s pretty nice!  There are two very modern square sinks, a TV, settees, marble counters for days, all the little amenities including razor and shaving cream.  Then comes the tub that has a Jacuzzi of course but also a rack across to hold your goodies including a yellow rubber ducky.  It has built in inserts along the side holding candles for a romantic bath.  There’s a heated towel rack of course.  The shower has a head the size of a turkey platter plus a hand held wand.  It’s completely marble on three sides and the floor would be chilly except for the fact that it’s heated.  There’s a glass door to the outdoor shower.  Kind of like camping –not.  The only thing I would change would be the toilet.  I was disappointed it wasn’t a washlette.  http://thelouise.com.au  The restaurant, Appellation, has won numerous awards and is known for its wine cellar.  I opted for three courses rather than the tasting menu and had  lovely spiced sweet potato slices with almonds and pepitas dressed with a toasted cumin salad dressing.  Next came a “risotto” made with barley with leeks and greens.  My main was thinly sliced chicken with a special German ham (lachs-schenken) that gave it a smoked flavor and garlic and sage.  http://www.appelation.com.au  It has a 34-page wine list and one bottle it sells for $755.  Why bother with the $5?   It was a unique experience and one I’m very glad I had.

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It’s not “Goodbye,” Adelaide

Posted by peggyhora on April 30, 2010

Great news first:  I’m coming back for a third visit.  The Premier asked me to and we have the budget.  We’ll time it with the launch of the my report or some justice initiative.  That means I didn’t have to cry at all my farewell events this week knowing I’ll be seeing everyone again.  I had a lovely dinner on Sunday night at the home of Judge Michael Boylan and Deborah Morgan.  I brought my “Flying Dutchman” along.  Alex Lohman is a lawyer friend from The Netherlands who arrived to stay with me a few days.  I got to meet part of the Boylan-Morgan children — Hugh and Henry — and they were both delightful.  Monday was a holiday, Anzac Day.  I worked pretty much all day.  Big meeting of the week was with Attorney General John Rau and  Premier Mike Rann.  I got to spend an hour discussing policy, politics and my recommendations. I am very encouraged by their reactions.  I really believe we can get some things done here.  I also met with Solicitor General Martin Hinton and CEO of the Attorney General’s Department, Jerome Maguire who both gave me great feedback.  Tuesday night we had an office dinner at The Vietnamese.  Great food and a few tears.  My office mates gave me a gorgeous, modern handmade adventurine necklace from my favorite crafts store, the Jam Factory.  It is truly beautiful.  An article came out in the local newspaper about my recommendations and it was simply perfect.  Wednesday night was the Lord Mayor’s reception for me at the Adelaide Town Hall.  About 150 people attended including the AttorneyGeneral, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Doyle, Chief Judge of the District Court Terry Worthington, Aboriginal Judicial Officer Joel Bayliss, the Chief Prosecutor, President of the Law Society and the A-Team, my youth advisory council.  The Lord Mayor and I stood at the door of the Queen Adelaide room and greeted each guest then I was whisked around the room for photos with tons of folks.  I finally got one glass of champagne and one hors d’oeuvre before the reception was over.  Whew.  Thursday was a debriefing meeting with the Thinkers’ team then an hour television interview that will air on Friday night.  The media play this time was amazing and I’ve even got an interview in Sydney with a national breakfast show.  Meanwhile the American Embassy was in touch about a reception they’re giving for me on the 18th in Wellington and I’ll be speaking at the Auckland Law School on the 20th.  I’m still working on the rest of my New Zealand plans.  On Thursday afternoon I went wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, took a nap, had a massage then went out with about 30 judges to dinner.  I spoke with them about my recommendations on Friday morning then transferred to a fabulous boutique hotel called The Louise where I’ll be helping to celebrate Judge Rose Davey’s 50th birthday on Friday night.  We’ll dine on site at The Appelation.  Meanwhile I’m catching up on email and working on the introduction for my report as well as my presentation at the Non-Adversarial Law conference in Melbourne next Thursday.  It will be a lovely end to my time in Adelaide — this time.  Knowing it’s not the last makes me happy.  Some people have a beach house; I have Adelaide and she’ll always be in my heart.  I’ve made fabulous friends here and feel I have something important to contribute to the community.  Au revoir for now.  Keep following the blog as I journey to Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand.

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Help! I’ve fallen…

Posted by peggyhora on April 24, 2010

…into some weird time machine where full days are turning into mere minutes, weeks into days, months into…well you get the idea. 

So much nicer than basic black.

 I have no idea where Week 4 went or what I did but on Mon. of Week 5 I dined at Parliament House with Hon. Francis Bedford, MP, and other members in the official dining room.  I had my photo taken in the Speaker’s chair.  We had an interesting discussion about my residency and MP Bedford said she would act as a residency champion. That evening I had a lovely dinner at Chianti Classico with my Flinders law professor buddy Kathy Mack and her partner Rob.  Happily I get to see them two or three times a year since they have a pied a terre in San Francisco.  The next day I had an Australian Broadcasting Co. interview about my public lecture that night and the afternoon saw me with the A Team, my 16-25 year old advisory board that writes a separate report.  I asked them to look at restorative justice principles in school discipline and how the courts might better communicate with the community.   Their final recommendations include, among others, appointing a Media Judge to act as a liaison and a redesigned website.  They made me so proud.  One young man talked about being in foster care and on juvenile detention for punching some windows.  He wasn’t allowed to attend my lecture or go to dinner with the team since he is still on curfew.  I was insistent that at least one team member be a young person from “the system” and at least one be Aboriginal.  It was the most diverse A Team ever.  Tuesday night 900 people gathered in the historic Adelaide Town Hall to hear me speak about my residency and some of my recommendations.  You can listen to it at: http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkecentre/events/2010events/ATIR_Hora.asp  Radio Adelaide interviewed me the next morning and I conducted a twilight education program on jury instructions/charges with the Supreme Court (which also has trial as well as appellate jurisdiction) and the District Court Wednesday eveing.  I went out with a few judges afterwards for Japanese food at Kenji.  Great Adelaide Roll by the way.  Think California Roll with apple and the avacado on the outside.  Thursday I spoke to the Australian Court Administators Group that includes  New Zealand in spite of its name at the request of Gary Thompson, South Australia’s court administrator.  That afternoon I met with Derek Wright the mental health servces director and Keith Evans the director of drug and alcohol services.  I’m going to propose a forensic integrated treatment team in my recommendations.  The people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders who end up in court are our frequent flyers and use up tremendous amounts of resources.  The week  ended at a lovely monastery now used as a conference center where I did an all-day program on therapeutic jurisprudence and the specialist courts, the first training of its kind for the magistrates.  Saturday, today, I’m working on my report and recommendations to present to the Partners’ meeting next week, having a lovely dinner out and tomorrow I greet my lawyer friend from The Netherlands, Alex Loheman, known as the Flying Dutchman.  He’s staying with me to study Aboriginal sentencing until we leave on Saturday for Melbourne.  Next week, my last week, is even busier but ends with a trip to The Barossa Valley which should be beautiful.

 

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No time to think let along blog!

Posted by peggyhora on April 15, 2010

These weeks are telescoping together so fast I can hardly keep up with myself.  This is the part of the residency, I’m told, that makes every Thinker crazy.  If so, I’m right on schedule.  I met with Health Minister Hill on Tuesday to discuss substance abuse and mental health issues.  This led to a meeting with all the top management that will take place next week.  We also talked about smoking being allowed in or near restaurants and he’s working on that.  I can’t sit outside on Rundle St. and have a meal because it is like being in an ashtray.  Later that night was  The Thinkers Return public forum and was attended by @1,000  people.  Amazing.  I thought it went very well.  Since I got two laughs, I was pleased.  I used the “War on Drugs” as an example of a crisis leading to 2.3 million people incarcerated in the U.S. and 1:45 on corrections supervision.  I said that California’s Three Strikes laws was examples of a response that didn’t represent change which resulted in state spending of $8 billion for the Dept. of Corrections and I used CA drug courts as an example of change in relation to the drug crisis which resulted in savings of $48 million a year.  Professor Ilona Kickbusch, a public health innovator who works with the World Health Organization and Dr. Geoff Mulgan known as “Britian’s Brain” under Tony Blair were the other speakers.  Refined company indeed.  I had a great meeting with Minister Koutsantonis on Thursday and we had a chat about Corrections’ issues.  He is quite supportive of the kind of programming I’ve been talking about including discharge planning for people getting out of prison.  My evening ended with a fine dinner with Youth Minister Rankine at Panacea, a new restaurant that emphasizes seafood.  Fried oysters with aioli – yum.  Today is meeting-free and I’m going to work on my farewell address (ALREADY?) to be delivered on Tuesday.  Over 600 people have booked for “It Pays to Deliver Smart Justice.”

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The New Attorney General and Kangaroo Island

Posted by peggyhora on April 12, 2010

I got me meet the new Attorney General yesterday and, based on our meeting, I have high hopes for John Rau’s  leadership in justice system reform issues.  He’s very down-to-earth in his approach and respects as well as is respected by the judiciary.  Up until four weeks ago he was still appearing in court so his systemic knowledge is both recent and hands-on.  I also liked the fact that he is committed to raising public trust and confidence in the justice system particularly around issues of criminal law.  It was a most satisfying encounter.  I then met with the editor of the local newspaper, Mel Mansell, hoping to encourage more in-depth reporting on the actual costs of alcohol and other drugs on the system and to reiterate my message that “smart on crime” is preferable to “tough on crime.”  Next, Peter Severin, the CEO of Corrections, brought me up to date on the latest corrections’ initiatives and they, too, are impressive.  All in all, a fine day.  The evening began with a glass of wine with Bronwyn Killmier, Assistant Commissioner of the Police and we headed out for a tasty meal of Thai cuisine.  Meanwhile, I

spent the weekend on Kangaroo Island as a houseguest of judges with more judges as co-guests.  It was just wonderful.  We did a ride across the island and looked at perfect beaches like the one pictured here, read a little, talked a lot, ate great food and generally had a ball.  There’s nothing like the company of intelligent, well-read, engaged and interesting people to keep you stimulated.  I especially enjoyed pulling around the fire on the patio for appetizers and drinks before dinner.  Although I didn’t see any kangaroos (alive, that is) I’m told there are of a separate species and that there are koala bears on the island as well.  It’s a nice, unspoiled spot and I confirmed that being a houseguest is preferable to staying by yourself in a hotel.  Although I enjoyed my weekend in Tasmania, this weekend was 100 times better in so many ways.  All this is confrms how nice, welcoming and open the Australian people are to those of us far from home.  Thank you to my hosts and other guests.  You made me feel welcome and valued.

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Missing: Week 3

Posted by peggyhora on April 8, 2010

How can it be Friday already and I haven’t written on this blog for days?   Sun. will mean this residency is half over already.  Yikes!  Here goes:  On Tuesday (Mon. was a public holiday) I appeared on Dave & Matt drive time radio show except Matt wasn’t there.  It’s on ABC (public radio) and has a good audience.  They’re known for being a little provocative but Dave was not combative with me.  Callers were not obnoxious.  My catalysts, Sue King and Nichole Hunter, and I met to reorganize the report categorises.  We’re moving well on that.  In the afternoon I met with Jerome Maguire, the CEO of the Attorney General’s office and the head of the Department of Public Prosecution.  Both meetings were quite productive and I got good input.  That evening I had dinner with Federal Magistrate Charlotte Kelly and some of her colleagues to discuss the Unified Family Treatment Court idea.  We ate at Enzo’s which you may remember from the night I saw Carole King and James Taylor.  It was excellent again.  Wednesday I met with the Premier’s  Senior Management Council in the morning and Legal Services Commission lawyers Gabrielle Canny, Rob Croser and Karen Lehmann in the afternoon.  In between I wrote and wrote.  That evening was the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychology and the Law (ANZAPPL) dinner at the British Hotel where I spoke on co-occurring disorders.  I had something I had not ordered before — Scotch fillet (the ‘t’ is pronounced) — which turned out to be like a slice of prime rib only tougher.  Not unpleasant though.  Thursday was a meeting with Ilona Kickbush, Thinker #13, with whom I am appearing next week along with Geoff Mulgan in the Thinkers’ Return debut.  The three of us are invited to talk about what comes out of crisis – more of the same or change —  and it will be narrated by Fran Kelly, a well-known journalist. It will also be the launch for a new Thinkers’ initiative which will be introduced by the Premier.   In the afternoon, I met with the A Team, my youth advisory council, and they are making fantastic progress on their report.  I was particularly taken by a virtual tour they are creating for the courts’ website.  Very cool.  Ten of them are coming to the Thinkers’ Return event and will be live Tweeting.  Thursday evening was pure pleasure with only a tiny bit of business.  A group of six of us was hosted by Magistrate Maria Panagiotidis at the very exclusive Queen Adelaide Club.  We had a fabulous evening that started with sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres in the library.  Dim sum in a Chinese soup spoon, crispy shrimp with a dipping sauce, and some other lovely little bites followed by a choice of duck or baramundi, a South Australian fish with which I have fallen in love.  I had it the other day beer battered with chips and it is a sweet and succulent white fish.  Also in attendance were Pauline Peel, head of Aboriginal Affairs & Reconciliation Department of the Premier and Cabinet; Ingrid Haythorpe,  Executive Director of planning, policy and legislation in the Attorney General’s office; Tahnya Donaghy, executive director of policy and intergovernment relations in the health department (and with whom I had spent the weekend in Mannum last time); and, Sue Vardon former, CEO of various Commonwealth and state agencies.  We had an absolutely fabulous time.  Good food, lovely surroundings and six powerful, intelligent and interesting women — what’s not to love?  Friday I meet with the judges to update them on my thinking, spend time writing in the office and them am picked up by Judge Michael Boylan and his wife for a weekend in Kangaroo Island.  I am so looking forward to that.  Details and photos to follow.

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Hobart, Tasmania

Posted by peggyhora on April 4, 2010

Room with a View

Okay, I’ve done Tasmania. Or as much of it as I’m likely to do.  I came over Friday morning at 0:dark30 and leave in the morning to be back in Adelaide by noon.  Unlike in the US, Australia takes Good Friday and Easter Monday off so I had four days to travel.  I’m in a nice hotel with a view of the harbor. I took four tours from the harbor to the City; Mt. Wellington to the City of Richmond which dates from the 1820’s.  This city was originally built by convicts and mostly out of sandstone.  Many from the 1800’s still stand today.  Richmond is a cute town about 30 minutes out of Hobart.  They let us off for two hours of shopping, about 1 hour and 45 minutes too long for me.  Tasmania was the first to have parking meters (1955); the oldest Catholic church in the country (St. John’s); the oldest brewry, gaol (1826) and casino in AU; and, the oldest bridge still in continuous use.  On

Hobart Bridge

Saturday I went to Salamanca Market, a combination of fruits and veg, food stalls (lamb gyros, rich Tasmanian ice cream, pasties, sausages with grilled onions), some home made goods and plastic crap from China.  I took a little walk through Cascade Gardens and visited the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.  The highlight of the trip however was the opportunity to have dinner with Chief Magistrate Michael Hill and Magistrate Michael Daly.  The rule was if your name was not Michael you could not come to dinner.  We instantly hit it off and talked for almost three hours over a wonderful steak dinner at a classic Hotel Astor, the oldest restaurant in Hobart serving since 1922.  It’s amazing to me how alike the judges are all over the world.  We care about the same things, have the same worries and still deliver justice daily.  On Easter Sunday, a light plane lost power and landed on the Booker Highway, the most used road in the state.  Miraculously, no one was killed.  Tomorrow, back to Adelaide to work on what I’ve ignored for three days.  Tuesday is the start of another busy week and starts with a radio interview on Tuesday morning.

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2 down, 4 to go

Posted by peggyhora on April 1, 2010

How did the end of week two get here so fast?  Tuesday I had a good meeting with the Chief Judge and two other judges of the District Court then, at the end of the day, I met with the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators.  Wednesday morning I met with Youth Court Presiding Judge Steve McEwen and Magistrate Penny Eldrige about the family treatment court project.  I had lunch with folks who run a program that takes prisoners about to be released and uses them to work on state park land.  In the afternoon we had the first partners’ meeting of this residency and it was well-attended.  I reported on events that occurred in the last six months and what was planned for this second half.  It was good to see everyone.  Wednesday evening Ingrid Haythorpe invited me to her home where I got to see her children, Remy and Laura, whom I had met last time.  We read books and watched Thomas the Tank Engine.  They were impressed I knew who Percy was.  Today, the last day of the week since Good Friday is a holiday here, was chock full of meetings about the unified famiy court with people from Canberra, the chief prosecutor for child abuse, Minister Jennifer Rankine whose portfolio includes Families and Communities, Housing, Ageing and Disability.  We were very much on the same page on the Youth Court and juvenile justice issues. I dashed from the meeting with the minister to grab a quick salad before a radio interview on 5AA with Amanda Blair, a self-confessed prison junkie.  She was incredibly flattering on the air and announced my public lecture about seven times.  The day ended with a meeting with Chris Eccles, the Chief Executive of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.  It was great to reacquaint myself with him and tell him what I was thinking about.  Tonight I’m doing some laundry and packing for a four-day trip to Tasmania because Monday is also a holiday.  I’m staying at a beautiful hotel right on the harbor and have three sightseeing tours booked.  I’m meeting the state Chief Magistrate and his wife for dinner on Saturday and regret I could not work out doing a training for his judges.  One other magistrate may be able to join us.  I’m looking forward to a four-day rest where I can read my trashy novel (the book after “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and work just a little.

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Great start to Week 2

Posted by peggyhora on March 29, 2010

Despite being late to the office which was NOT my fault but I don’t want to embarass the person whose fault it was since Sue forgot to pick me up at my apartment.  Oops!, spilled the beans.  Gary Thompson, Ingrid Haythorpe and a couple other from the AG’s department met with the team to throw around some ideas and it was a very productive session.  The afternoon was a thinking day set aside for me to process all the information I have to in order to make my recommendations cogtent and evidence-based.  The justice system is huge and includes so many different diverse groups it’s important that all aspects be reviewed before any final decisions are made.  I’m also putting together a research document for those who want to delve into the subjects a little further.  It seems a shame that two and a half years of document gathering should only be used once.  Additionally, we’ll draw up an implementation plan so the report does not become a doorstop.  The evening started with dinner at Enzo’s an old-fashioned, what I would call North Beach-style, Italian restaurant near the Adelaide event center.  I had a fabulous organic, free range chicken breast stuffed with spinach and covered with crispy prosciutto.  It sat upon a potato galette and was surrounded with a gargonzola sauce.  Brocolini accompanied it.  When I say it was divine, it was to die for.  After dinner Sue, her husband Andrew and their friends and I went to hear Carole King and James Taylor in concert.  It’s been a good ten years since I saw music live except for the symphony, ballet and opera.  I forgot how much fun it was to sing along.  The center was packed to the gills but I was able to see everything on the Jumbotrons.  What a great invention.  All in all, a terrific day.

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