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5th National Justice Symposium 2021

‘Youth at the Centre’

5th National Justice Symposium

Jesuit Social Services and the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) are pleased to announce the 5th National Justice Symposium.

It is thirty years on from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and 28 July marks five years since the Royal Commission into the protection and detention of children in the Northern Territory yet First Nations children and young people remain overrepresented at all points in the Australian justice system.

Centring the voices and stories of First Nations young people and their communities, this year’s Symposium will explore the ingredients for change from the grassroots to the system level.

The day will include a series of keynotes and panel discussions, including conversations with young people, conversations with Elders, a focus on system reform, case studies of good practice, and finally, a look at the power of storytelling and community action.


Speakers include:

  • Cheryl Axleby – Co-Chair, Change the Record Coalition
  • Strong Grandmothers Group of the Central Desert Region
  • Olabud Doogethu (‘Everyone Together’) Justice Reinvestment Project, Shire of Halls Creek, WA
  • Serena Dalton – Cultural youth mentor and founder, Grassroots Action Palmerston and Grassroots Youth Engagement Program and NT Human Rights Award Recipient 2020
  • Frank Shadforth – Owner, Seven Emu Station, delivering on-country youth camps, Gulf of Carpentaria, NT
  • Candice C. Jones – President and CEO, Public Welfare Foundation and former director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Clinton Lacey – former Director of the District of Colombia Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, and now working with the Credible Messenger Mentoring Movement (CM3)

…with more to be announced soon!

Following the full-day Symposium, Katerina Gaita, Founder of Climate for Change, will facilitate a half-day Sector Workshop.

Representatives from non-government organisations (including legal, health and other social services), community groups, Elders, local government, academics and interested community members are encouraged to join us for the workshop, to turn the ideas and inspiration from Day 1 into a plan of action.

The workshop will give participants the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on key insights and inspirations from the Symposium and the application of these to their work.
  • Strengthen relationships among organisations and communities working on youth justice issues locally and nationally.
  • Share practice knowledge and examples of good work happening across the country.
  • Articulate a shared vision for youth justice reform in service of children and young people nationally, in particular addressing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.


When: 28 July (full-day Symposium) and 29 July (half-day Sector Workshop)
Where: Grand Ballroom, Doubletree by Hilton, 82 Barrett Drive, Alice Springs, NT


  • 28 July (all-day) – Full-day program of presentations, including keynote speakers and panel discussions
  • 29 July (half-day) – Half-day Sector Workshop (morning – lunch)


Below please find information on ticket options and prices.

  1. Ticket to the 5th National Justice Symposium (in-person), including 28 July all-day plenary program, morning tea/coffee break, lunch and afternoon tea/coffee break: $180
  2. Ticket to the 5th National Justice Symposium (online), including 28 July live-streamed all-day plenary program with opportunities to participate in audience Q&A: $50
  3. Ticket to the half-day Sector Workshop (in-person), including morning tea/coffee and lunch: $80

Please contact our team if these ticket prices pose a barrier to your attendance.


For your convenience, please find accommodation information below in order of proximity to the Symposium venue. If you are travelling to Alice Springs for the Symposium, we recommend timing your arrival for Tuesday 27 July to ensure that you don’t miss the Symposium’s start the following morning.

Do not wait to book your accommodation. Room availability in Alice Springs is very tight due to it being its busiest time of year for tourism.


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