After many decades of working as a school psychologist in schools across Western Australia, I have said goodbye, or “Enough is enough!” It was time to pass the baton on to the younger and perhaps more enthusiastic psychologists.
This leaves me time for my restorative work and for other interests. My restorative work includes visiting schools that have contacted me to do training with their staff. This year I have been to 6 different schools, government and non-government, and also run a day’s workshop for the State Schools Teachers Union. I have had the pleasure of travelling all the way to Halls Creek in the Kimberley to spend 2 days at the school, working with staff, students, and community members.
This year I have also just run my own workshop. I promote the day through contacts from my data base, and other youth organisations that I feel would benefit from the training. I had 23 people at my workshop in March, which I call “Restorative Practice—The Essential Skills”.
It is largely a skills based workshop, covering —self reflection, building relationships, using affective statements, having restorative conversations, and running restorative conferences. I also talk about the historical context, and shame theory. If there is time, there is discussion about whole school culture. I run these introductory workshops about 3 times each year. My plan this year is to develop a Train the Trainer module, as well as more training in Changing Whole School/Organisation Culture from punitive to positive.
I also plan to reach out to other organisations that work with young people, including youth justice. My work has been largely school based, and I have been working in isolation. I am keen to collaborate with others in the field. In this light, I have the opportunity to meet with Margaret Thorsborne in June, when she is visiting W.A. We will be meeting with other interested colleagues, to discuss setting up a branch of R.P.I. in W.A.