Thinker in Residence Blog

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Labor Day

Posted by peggyhora on September 8, 2009

What was Labor Day in the U.S. was a laboring day for me.  The morning started off with a meeting about a workshop I’m doing with Flinders Law School.  Kathy Mack was good enought to come by the office and I think we hashed out some fine details.  Pamela ,Sue and I did our weekly de-briefing on our meetings and synthesized our notes to managable bits.  I then went over to the Youth Court and met with the judges and magistrates as well as staff about Family Drug Treatment Courts.  Judge Steven McEwan and the court are quite keen to find out more and do a better job at reuniting families.  Currently, only 5% of children are reunited after being removed fromt their homes.  A great highlight of the day was meeting my first minister, Gail Gago, who it turns out has a number of  jobs.  She’sMinister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Energy.   We spent a great deal of time discussing domestic violence since they’re about to launch a new act on restraining orders.  She is also quite interested in substance abuse and mental health issues and seemed very receptive to my message of smart justice.  The day ended with a meeting between the Depute Director of the National Judicial College, Anne O’Connel, and Judge Christine Trenorden and I where I was given a better understanding of the judicial education opportunities in Australia.  It felt like old home week and I was happy to be able to supply Anne with some information about NASJE.  I got back to my apartment, changed and dashed to the Belgian Brewery where I feasted on moules et frittes (mussels and French fries served with mayonaise) that transported me to Brugges where Jean Carriera and I dined on same with pleasure in April.  They were very Belgian and I really enjoyed my dinner. 




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