Keynote Speakers

Lisa Ward

Lisa Ward

BSW (Hons), MBA, Juris Doctor Principal, Lisa Ward Consulting

 

Lisa Ward is a trusted voice in Victoria’s justice system, with over thirty-five years’ experience in youth justice, child protection and adult corrections.

Since managing Victoria’s youth justice system some twenty years ago, she has worked across private, public and community sectors, with a key focus on forging stronger connections between justice and human services. She has been an independent advisor to major government reforms, providing strategic advice on legislative, policy and program design.

Lisa is passionate about bringing the evidence to bear and finding practical, achievable ways of reducing young people’s contact with the criminal justice system. Her experience has reinforced the importance of continuous learning about the lived experience of communities that are disproportionately impacted.

Lisa has served several statutory appointments including to the Child Death Review Committee, Parole Board and Sentencing Advisory Council of Victoria

Judge John Walker

Judge John Walker

Principal Youth Court Judge for New ZealandKaiwhakawā Matua o te Kōti Taiohi

 

His Honour Judge John Walker was appointed to the role of Principal Youth Court Judge for New Zealand in 2016. Born in Belfast, Ireland, Judge Walker graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington. He was admitted to the bar in 1976 and practised in Palmerston North and then in Wellington as a partner in Macalister Mazengarb and then as a barrister at Harbour Chambers until appointment to the District Court Bench in 1994.

Judge Walker has been instrumental in the development of court assisted interventions for alcohol and other drug dependency, including the establishment of the Youth Drug Court in Christchurch and the Adult Drug Courts in Auckland. During his time as Resident Judge for the Porirua District Court, Judge Walker encouraged better engagement between the Court and the community, mainstreaming the community justice centre model and developing a solution focused judging approach. In recent years, Judge Walker has been leading the development of District Court responses to Family Violence. A focus for Judge Walker is the implementation of Young Adult List pilot, a court for 18-25 year olds taking Youth Court
approaches into the Adult Court, in Porirua, and implementing those lists in other courts in
New Zealand.

Judge Walker is engaged in the education of judges through the Institute of Judicial Studies on a number of subjects, including solution focused judging, Family Violence, and judicial leadership.

Isaiah Sines

Isaiah Sines

 

Isaiah Sines is a proud Dhungatti man from Kempsey and also has ties to the Wiradjuri people. After moving around a lot early in his life he is now settled in Mt Druitt. Isaiah is a Just Reinvest NSW Youth Engagement Officer in Mt Druitt and Youth Ambassador for the organisation. Isaiah has experienced a lot in his life and wants to advocate for other Koori kids who are going through what he went through and hopefully prevent the future generations from being affected by the same systems he grew up in. 

Isaiah is a Project lead on a youth-led project called Mounty Yarns- the lived experiences of Aboriginal young people in Mt Druitt; he instigated and leads a community OzTag program; shares his story with young men in youth justice centres; and does advocacy around community-led solutions, changing policing practices and raising the age of criminal responsibility.

Judge Louis Bidois

Judge Louis Bidois

Judge Louis Bidois has iwi (tribal) affiliations with Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Ngararanui.

Judge Bidois is currently, the National Rangatahi Court Liaison Judge for Rangatahi Courts, Ngā Kōti Rangatahi. With 19-years experience on the bench he is a passionate advocate for the marae-based youth judicial system.

One of the most rewarding parts of Judge Bidois’ job is taking non-Māori judges on to marae (place of standing/belonging) for at least four nights and seeing how their lives change by engaging kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) with iwi (tribes).

Outside of the courts Judge Bidois presides over, he reverts to his roots as ringawera (helper) for his iwi (tribes) and whanau (family). Judge Bidois enjoys watching his mokopuna (grandchild) play rugby league, follows the NZ Warriors NRL team even though their performance is “Soul destroying at times”, and spending time with whānau.

 

Justin Mohamed

Justin Mohamed

Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People of Victoria

 

Justin Mohamed is a Gooreng Gooreng man from Bundaberg in Queensland who currently is the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People of Victoria.

Justin has worked with Victorian Aboriginal communities for 20 years before moving to Canberra to take on national positions as Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and Chief Executive Officer of Reconciliation Australia. Prior to his move to Canberra, Justin held positions based in the Shepparton region as the Inaugural Director of the Academy of Sport, Health and Education (ASHE), CEO and later Chairperson of Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd.

He chaired the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and chaired the Hume – Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Council (RAJAC). Justin has held positions on multiple community, state and national working groups, committees and boards and continues to be a Director of Supply Nation, Co-Chair Cricket Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee and Board Member of Kaiela Institute.