Australasian Youth Justice Administrators

Australasian Youth Justice Conference

AYJA funds and hosts a biennial Australasian Youth Justice Conference (AYJC) for academics, practitioners, and government and non-government agencies to drive and showcase youth justice initiatives and innovations nationally and internationally.  Learnings from these conferences contribute to evidence-based responses for youth justice and provide new ideas for youth justice at a jurisdictional, national and international level.

The inception of the conference was borne from the ACT’s Youth Justice Blueprint Action Plan 2012-2015.

Action 7.8 “Host a conference biennially to showcase best practice and innovative approaches in youth justice for all workers in the youth justice system across government and the community”.

At the time Dr Mark Collis, Senior Executive Director Community Services Directorate ACT, and also AYJA Chair, proposed AYJA lead, fund and work in partnership with key research stakeholders to deliver a larger Australasian conference.  Given AYJA’s purpose, members agreed that a conference would be an excellent platform to not only provide a focused forum for youth justice practitioners to share best practice and innovation across Australia and New Zealand, but to also build on the national and international youth justice evidence base.

Due to the success of the first conference delivered in Canberra in 2013, AYJA agreed to include the delivery of a biennial Australasian conference as part of its charter.  The conference has since been included in AYJA’s Terms of Reference and Work Plan as a key deliverable.

To date AYJA has delivered four conferences – 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2021.

AYJA partnered with AIC in 2013 to deliver the 1st AYJC held in Canberra, Changing Trajectories of Offending and Reoffending.   AYJA partnered with the Griffith Criminology Institute (GCI) in 2016 to deliver the 2nd AYJC, From Evidence to Practice held in Brisbane.  In 2019, AYJA in collaboration with JJ NSW partnered with AIC again to deliver the 3rd AYJC held in Sydney, Contemporary Challenges, Innovative Solutions. In 2021, AYJA entered the digital space for the first time in collaboration with Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children and in partnership with the University of Auckland to deliver the 4th  AYJC as an online event, Delivering Youth Justice By the Community, For the Community.  All four conferences have been successful collaborations attended by a wide range of participants including senior youth justice practitioners from across Australia and New Zealand, and local and international experts.

The next AYJC is planned for 2023.  Watch this space!!

The pictures below are from AYJC 2016 that was held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.  On the left is a collage of keynote speakers, expert panel members, AYJA members and conference attendees.  The collage on the right are pictures taken from the Queensland Youth Justice showcase room.  Queensland Youth Justice displayed a range of new technologies and initiatives including virtual family group conferencing equipment, their digital tool kit, and the First Nations Action Board initiative.  There was also a gallery with an extensive art collection created by the young people from the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre for the 2016 Naidoc Art Exhibition.

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