Australasian Youth Justice Administrators

AYJC 2019 – “Contemporary Challenges, Innovative Solutions”


In collaboration with JJ NSW, AYJA partnered with the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) to deliver the 3rd Australasian Youth Justice Conference: Contemporary Challenges, Innovative Solutions.

AYJA and AIC established a Conference Program Committee to progress all conference tasks.  The Committee had a balance of both AYJA and AIC membership and meetings were chaired by Matthew Willis Research Manager for AIC.  AYJA members from Victoria, South Australia, New Zealand and NSW participated in the Committee alongside Anna Patterson Events Manger from Conference Design and JJ NSW representatives.  All members were fundamental in the decision-making, development and implementation of the Conference.

The AYJA Secretariat provided secretariat services to the Committee and was responsible for joint project management alongside AIC and JJ NSW.

The Essence of the Conference

The theme of this Conference was appropriately entitled “Contemporary Challenges, Innovative Solutions” and emphasised embracing and reflecting the need for forward-thinking approaches to issues highlighted by recent inquiries and the need for advancement in youth justice.

Innovation underpinned the ethos of this Conference and the Conference Program was curated to ensure the range of contemporary challenges that youth justice currently faces were strongly reflected in every session stream.  The overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and Māori children and young people was also a critical focus of the Conference and responsive and holistic approaches to address overrepresentation issues is threaded throughout the Program.  There was a large New Zealand contingent at the conference so cultural innovations, co-designed strategies and initiatives, and partnership approaches in place were shared with their Australian counterparts.

AYJC 2019

The Conference was held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney from 30 April -2 May 2019.  The Conference was a three day event with a good mix of presentations, keynote addresses, Q & A, and panel discussions.

Attendance was close to 350 with participants from across Australia and New Zealand.

The line-up of keynote speakers included Gráinne Moss, Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children (NZ), Frankie Guzman, Juvenile Justice Attorney, National Center for Youth Law (US), Indi Clarke, Executive Officer of the Koorie Youth Council (VIC), Peta Lowe, Director CVE, Juvenile Justice, NSW Department of Justice (NSW) and Julie Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Jesuit Social Services (VIC).  Each keynote session attracted a full house and was followed by engaging Q & A.

The program also included 40 presentations, three plenary panels, three discussion panels and three poster presentations.  Speaker presentations were delivered by a diverse range of academics, researchers, practitioners, advocates, and government and non-government representatives.

The three plenary panels discussed the following:

  • Narratives of violence and how they affect youth justice prevention and response initiatives
  • Young people and violent extremism: Practitioners reflections
  • Early intervention – the roles of schools, police, communities and courts in diverting young people from the criminal justice system

Like the keynote sessions the plenary panels attracted a majority audience and were informative and interactive.

Proceedings – Speaker Presentations

Frankie Guzman Videos

National Centre for Law – California Youth Justice Initiative (YouTube) 

Reforming the Juvenile Justice System to Treat Children in a Developmentally Appropriate Manner (National Centre for Law Campaign)

Juvenile Justice – NSW Department of Justice 

An opportunity available to the jurisdiction that hosts the Conference is showcasing local youth justice initiatives and innovations.  JJ NSW showcased some works from right around the state, in order to provide conference attendees a snapshot of what JJ NSW is, and what they do.  The showcase consisted of posters, original art works, information packs, Cultural items, multimedia, music and other projects.  It demonstrated the wide variety of programs ran across the state, as well as the talent exhibited by the young people in art, dance, storytelling, music and the arts.

JJ NSW consists of six detention centres, 34 community offices and a court logistics, classification and placement team.  All young people under community supervision or custody care take part in a number of rehabilitative programs.  Young people in custody also attend school through the Department of Education.

AYJA members actively engaged in all sessions over the three days and had many conversations with researchers, policy makers and practitioners from government and non-government sectors.  AYJA members were enthused by these discussions and had a chance to consider how to use new learnings and ideas at the AYJA face-to-face meeting that followed the Conference.

Visit the AYJC 2019 website

Conference Photos


Conference Opening – Rick Brown (AIC), Melanie Hawyes (A/AYJA Chair), Yvonne Wheldon (JJ NSW), Mr Gareth Ward (NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services)

Welcome to Country – Yvonne Wheldon

Indigenous Dance Performance


Keynote Speaker 1 – Gráinne Moss, Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children

Keynote Speaker 2 – Frankie Guzman, Juvenile Justice Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

Keynote Speaker 3 – Indi Clarke,Executive Officer of the Koorie Youth Council

Keynote Speaker 4 – Peta Lowe, Director CVE, Juvenile Justice, NSW Department of Justice

Keynote Speaker 5 – Julie Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Jesuit Social Services

Plenary Panel – Narratives of Violence

Plenary Panel – CVE

Plenary Panel – Early Intervention

Presentations 1

Presentations 2

Presentations 3

Presentations 4

Presentations 5

Presentations 6

Allan Boreham and Liz Marsden – A New Way to Support Tamariki (Children) who Have Offended (NZ)

Stravoola Anderson – The Best School I’ve Ever Been To: Reconnecting with Education in Youth Justice Detention, Australia-Wide (NSW) 

Jodie Robinson and Sarah Anderson – The Blueprint for Youth Justice in the ACT 2012-2022 (ACT)

Joseph Cassar and Dominic Teakle – RISEUP: Working Together to Improve Outcomes for Young People (NSW)

Grace Kuen Yee Tan – Characteristics of Offences in a Subset of Youths and Young Adults with FASD: A Qualitative Content Analysis (WA)

Delegates 1

Delegates 2

Session Chairs

Conference Closing – Melanie Hawyes (A/AYJA Chair)

NSW Showcase 1

NSW Showcase 2

NSW Showcase 3

NSW Showcase 4



AYJA Pens – Conference Bag Collateral

Darling Harbour Fudge Shop – Conference Bag Collateral

Conference Details

AYJC 2019

30 April – 2 May 2019

International Convention Centre 

14 Darling Drive, Sydney NSW


Important Dates

Call for Abstracts Open – 13 December 2018

Call for Abstracts Close – 25 February 2019

Notifications of Acceptance – 11 March 2019

Early Bird Registrations Open – Late January 2019 

Early Bird Registrations Close – 25 March 2019

Presentation Registrations Due – 1 April 2019

Full Registrations

Early registration closes 25 March 2019

AUD$795 – Early Group Delegate (30+)
AUD$895 – Early Delegate
AUD$495 – Early Post-Graduate Student

After 25 March 2019

AUD$895 – Standard Group Delegate (30+)
AUD$995 – Standard Delegate
AUD$595 – Standard Post-Graduate Student

  • All conference sessions
  • Morning tea each day
  • Lunch each day
  • Afternoon tea each day
  • Welcome Reception
  • Satchel & Program
Day Registrations

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

AUD$350 per day – Early Delegate
AUD$350 per day – Post-Graduate Student

After 25 March 2019

AUD$450 per day – Standard Delegate
AUD$350 per day – Post-Graduate Student

  • Sessions on one day
  • Morning Tea
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Satchel & Program
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