In 2004, Margaret Thorsborne and Peta Blood presented at the International Institute of Restorative Practice (IIRP) Vancouver conference on the challenge of culture change. They realised there was a groundswell of interest from delegates in strengthening connections within the international restorative practices community. It was clear that at the forefront of developing what they came to realise was a social movement, the isolation and the need to connect and share practice was strong.
This was even more evident at the 2005 IIRP International Conference in Australia where almost 100 people attended a meeting to discuss the possibility of developing an association for practitioners.
By 2007 the Australasian Restorative Justice Association had been formed and held its first international conference on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. In 2009, the inaugural Restorative Practices International Board was formalised and the organisation was officially constituted in Australia as a not-for-profit company (Restorative Practices International) limited by guarantee. This reflected our global membership and reach.
Since that time, many successful forums and events have been held and the Board has continued to grow and evolve while maintaining the original spirit of the association – support for practitioners by practitioners.
RPI would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the following colleagues whose generosity allowed us to make a head start with our early developmental work:
Peta Blood, Margaret Thorsborne, Carol Guthrie, Robyn Hutchinson, Debbie Laycock, David Moore, Katherine Johnson, Graeme George, Bill Hansberry, Tom Stodulka, John Lennox and Les Drelich (Australia); Vick Kelly (USA); Maurie Abraham (NZ); Joan Stead, Gillean McCluskey and Gwynedd Lloyd (Scotland).
Special acknowledgment is also due to the following members who took up the Founding Member option: Graeme George, Adam Broomfield, Lea Garrett, Leigh Garrett, Margaret Armstrong, Margaret Thorsborne, and Peta Blood; and to Vick Kelly for his generous donation to support the ongoing work of RPI.