New support for justice in the South


Flinders University’s Law School and Anglicare SA have combined to develop the Southern Justice Network (SJN), an initiative that draws together individuals and organisations with an interest in the justice system in Adelaide’s Southern region.

The SJN will be launched by Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber and Anglicare CEO Dr Lynn Arnold on May 10 at 2pm in The Auditorium, Marcellin Technical College at Christies Beach.

Associate Professor Michele Slatter (pictured) from Flinders Law School, who has been working with Ms Heather Fopp from Anglicare SA to facilitate the Network, said that the SJN aims to enrich local opportunities for knowledge transfer, collaboration, capacity development and professional support.

“It will complement the South’s existing range of Networks and Roundtables which have proved so successful in developing policy innovation and service excellence,” Associate Professor Slatter said.

“A special focus will be on showcasing early intervention initiatives, but the Network will also have an important role in developing a Southern voice on justice matters.”

The initiative is supported by a Knowledge Exchange Grant through the Flinders-based Southern Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (SKTP) office.

“The SJN is all about sharing knowledge and ideas, so that we can get the best results for the community and for individuals out of our justice system,” Associate Professor Slatter said.

“It’s an excellent way to bring together the huge spread of professionals and practitioners whose work can touch on the justice system in its many forms.”

Reflecting this, the SJN has a very wide range of supporters, including the major welfare agencies, schools and educators, and local government as well as State agencies such as Housing SA, Families SA and Corrections and SAPOL and community health groups.

Active support from legal professionals, including law practitioners, the Law Society of SA, the Southern Community Justice Centre, the Legal Services Commission, the Community Court project and magistrates and court personnel is a distinctive feature of the project.

The Network’s inaugural forum on May 10 is entitled ‘Early transitions: challenges for children and young people’, and will feature Flinders academic Associate Professor Mark Halsey, who is also a member of the SA Social Inclusion Board, with speakers from Southern ICAN, Central Community Legal Service, the Community Court Project and the Family Law Pathways Project.

Three further Network Forums are planned for 2011 to allow members to meet, network, explore current initiatives and discuss matters of local concern.

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