Thinker in Residence Blog

Just another weblog

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:  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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