Lurnea High School
Restorative Practice

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About this Profile

Profile admin:
Connie Karamitos's picture
Connie Karamitos

Profile source: An interview on behalf of the NED Foundation.

Interviewee: Connie Karamitos
Interviewee role:
  • Deputy Principal

About the Organisation

Field of Interest: 

Connie was determined to find ways that allow students to adjust their aggressive behavior and realised in order to achieve this, one needed to be proactive rather than reactive.

There is no prospect of adjusting aggressive  behavior through punitive means such as suspensions, because when students return to the school community after being subject to punitive measures,  there is no effective reintegration and no process for repairing broken relationships.

After searching for alternatives, and working closely with colleague Kate Clarkson, Connie became aware of the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), an international orgnaisation with a long history of conducting workshops on self awareness and creative conflict transformation, which began with the Quakers working with inmates in prisons in the USA.

The program builds community by transforming power and managing conflict, rather than using aggression. AVP facilitators were originally brought into the school to train staff in the process of using circles to address the conflict that was occurring between Anglo Saxon students and those who were newly arrived and from a migrant background.

Senior executives of the school came on board supporting a whole of school practice by working restoratively to repair harm and break the cycle, and Kerrie Sellen was engaged to undertake further training.


Connie knew that the punitive practices of discipline in schools was not working and that she needed a new way.

In her search, Kate introduced Connie to Julei Korner, a behavior specialist in the NSW Education Department who was very experienced in AVP/HIP and in Restorative Practices and connected them together. Connie subsequently undertook RP training with Kerrie Sellen and created conditions at the school for employing Shanaz Razeen (an experienced AVP/HIP facilitator), Shanaz and  Kate Clarkson also undertook RP training.

Brings to the Discussion: 

Three staff members have undertaken the three day training course with Kerrie Sellen and all other staff have undertaken the one day course. Follow up and refresher courses have also be undertaken with Kerrie.

The process is still in its early days and all staff are in a continuum of learning with the focus on repairing harm.

Additional Information: 

Looking to embed RP to include all students, staff and community, so that a common process exists.

Inclusive, explicit lessons in RP for all students, staff, parents and families.

Organisational Structure: 
  • Government School
  • School
Services Offered: 
  • Advocacy
  • ATSI health and well being
  • Child and Family support services
  • Coaching
  • Counselling
  • Facilitation
  • Family group conferencing
  • Group based relationship education
  • Leadership development
  • Peer support services
  • Policy development
  • Program development
  • Reflective practice
  • Research
  • Restorative Circles
  • Restorative Conferencing
  • Restorative Practice meetings
  • Schools 7-12
  • Team Building
  • Training
  • Violence risk assessment
  • Violence risk management
  • Workplace Conferencing

Organisation Location and Reach

Lurnea , NSW, 2170
Area Covered: 
Local Area

Organisation Internet Presence