Rotary Global Grant Blog October 2017

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October was another exciting and eventful month!

I began the month by doing something I had never done before: running a half marathon! My partner and I traveled to Tauranga for the race (he did the full marathon) and enjoyed exploring a new area of the country while tackling the run. My finish time certainly wasn’t impressive, but I enjoyed the beautiful views, the challenge, and the feeling of community at the race.

I have continued to engage with the Rotary community in very rewarding ways. I have joined the Youth Committee of the Wellington Club and I attended a forum titled “What Matters to Young Wellingtonians?” It was a great event with many interesting conversations!

William Timpson from the Fort Collins Rotary Club has been kind enough to ask me to contribute to a monthly Peacebuilder Newsletter for the Rotary community. You can check out the October newsletter here.

Victoria University hosted a Wellbeing Symposium during October. The immediate response the organizing team received after posting registration for the conference is evidence of the need for safe spaces to discuss mental health and wellbeing issues. During the afternoon, a colleague and I offered a workshop titled “Restorative Practices for Community Wellbeing.” We gave participants the experience of being part of a restorative circle process and talked about the ways that restorative practices support individual and community wellbeing. It was very well-received and an honor to get to share circle practice with a great group from throughout the university and beyond.

This month I also had an article titled “Building a Restorative University” published in Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association (see link below). I am glad to see the word spread about the great work being done at Victoria University!

Building a Restorative University

Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Vol. 49 Issue 2. 2017.

Abstract: This paper examines the progress of Victoria University of Wellington towards becoming a Restorative University. Both reactive measures, including restorative justice as a response to conflicts and rule violations, and proactive measures, including the circle process as a way to build a positive culture rooted in restorative principles, are discussed. The article suggests that Victoria University has developed a framework for building a restorative community that can be adopted in other universities.

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