Thinker in Residence Blog

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Flinders and chestnut foam

Posted by peggyhora on September 17, 2009

I began the day with a phone discussion with Aboriginal Legal Rights about some issues up on the  Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara(APY) Lands located in the remote north west of Southern Australia.  About 2,500 indigenous people live there in very severe conditions.  Both the police and the courts want me to visit “The Lands” during my next stay in SA.  There are several justice issues with which to grapple, not the least of which is a lack of interpreters available when the judges ride circuit.  I moved on to a two-hour debriefing with Sue and Pam as it had been more than a week since we went over notes and made cards of issues for me to think about.  The treasury department representatives were next and they were extremely helpful with financial analysis of some of the issues I want to address.  They will do the cost/benefit analyses of my recommendations which will help sell the ideas.  Very good meeting.   I grabbed a piece of quiche for lunch from the little cafe downstairs where I get my coffee every morning.  From day one my barista remembered my order and I’m due for my second cup of free flat white decaf during my next visit.  Sue and I dashed off to Adelaide Pavillion on the Park where Flinders University School of Law was sponsoring a seminar “Working in Problem-Solving Courts” expertly organized by Professor Kathy Mack, a San Francisco lawyer who has lived here almost 30 years.  They expected 20, then 30, then 40 people and we ended up with an audience of about 125.  People from all parts of the justice system were interested from sheriffs (read bailiffs if you’re USA-based), community corrections, attorneys, service providers, NGOs, treatment personnel and others.  I gave the keynote and the wrap up and in between we had a panel consisting of Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Cannon, Danielle Misell (who called me “the mother of drug courts”), a barrister in the Adelaide drug court, Sgt. Liz Corbett from South Australia Police who works in the mental health diversion court, and Cornelia Steinhausser from community corrections who works with men who batter.  After tea we broke up into groups for discussion questions, did the usual reports back and I summed up. David Bamford, the dean of the law school, did a nice job of hosting the event and there was a “booze and schmooz” after with hot hors d’oeuvres and wine or beer.  I dashed home for a short rest and to check email if the truth be known and was picked up by Kathy Mack and Rod Watkins, my hosts in Goolwa a couple of weekends ago.  We went to Adelaide’s Best Restaurant of 2009, Auge.  It has a white Vespa parked in front and a lovely water feature down the middle of the restaurant now protected by glass panels because, I am told, more than one guest fell into the pond after the sommelier’s recommendations were followed at dinner.  The menu was eclectic and exciting with a selection of hand cured salumis which we shared, lovely choices for first plates and mains and two pages of cheeses from which to choose for dessert.  I had the rabbit tortellini with a chestnut foam and asparagus with a nice beurre blanc and ribbons of basil.  I topped off the meal with an affogato (literarly drowned) — homemade vanilla bean gelatto with shots of espresso and Fra Angelica to pour over the top.  I mushed up the ice cream to make a sort of affogato smoothie and it was divine.  Three tiny dark chocolate truffles came along with the check.  Kathy is off to China for a law conference tomorrow so I won’t be seeing her and Rod until the next visit unless they get to San Francisco before then.  It was another exciting, stimulating and productive day and I can’t believe I have just a little over a week before I return home.  Friday is a thinking day but I think I’ll sneak into the office for a little paper work before going to the Central Market for the last time.

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