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3rd Vulnerable Persons Conference: Youth Justice

UniSQ Toowoomba | 11 - 12 May 2023


The 3rd Vulnerable Persons Conference: Youth Justice is being hosted by the University of Southern Queensland’s School of Law and Justice and School of Psychology and Wellbeing. Conference attendees can attend in person at the University’s Toowoomba Campus or online from Thursday 11th to Friday 12th May 2023.


In 2018 the Queensland Government received the Report on Youth Justice, delivered by Mr Bob Atkinson AO APM. The report followed an independent review of the Youth Justice system and outlined 77 recommendations for reform. The key finding to emerge from this review is that Youth Justice policies should be guided by four main objectives, referred to as the “Four Pillars”, which are: 1) intervene early; 2) keep children out of court; 3) keep children out of custody; and 4) reduce reoffending. Two principles that serve to emphasise the value and importance of these Four Pillars are public safety and community confidence.

Adopting Mr Atkinson’s AO APM report, Queensland’s Youth Justice Strategy 2019-2023 – Working Together Changing the Story – was then developed. One of the central concerns driving this strategy is that young people with a history of offending behaviour have high reoffending rates where 10 percent are responsible for 44 percent of all crimes committed by young people. Contained within the strategy is also a confronting acknowledgement of trauma being characteristic of their life stories, as well as the many personal, social and structural challenges these young people encounter. These include familial incarceration, mental or behavioural disorders, substance abuse, low levels of education, homelessness or inadequate accommodation, involvement with the Child Protection system, and disabilities.

Working together is the only way to change this story! Working together has always been the goal of our Vulnerable Persons Conferences by way of sharing both knowledge and practice and encouraging integrated service delivery. In line with the Youth Justice theme, the VPC2023 will feature a diverse range of presentations from distinguished guests, criminal justice representatives, government stakeholders, legal practitioners, victims’ services and those with lived experience.

Registration Type   Cost

Early Bird Special (closes 31/3/2023)

Registration (after 31/3/2023)  $200.00
Virtual Attendance   $125.00
Dinner at UniSQ Toowoomba Campus       



Register by clicking here.

Bob Atkinson AO APM | Special Advisor, Youth Justice Report | Former QPS Commissioner | Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Keith Hamburger AM | Managing Director | Knowledge Consulting Pty Ltd | Former Director-General | Queensland Corrective Services Commission

Commissioner Natalie Lewis | Queensland Family and Child Commission

Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon | Queensland Police Service |Youth Justice Taskforce

Dr Mindy Sotiri | Executive Director | Justice Reform Initiative

Richard Brooking | Managing Director | Beulah Community Ltd | Lived experience.

Aysha Kerr | Advocacy & Campaign Coordinator Qld | Justice Reform Initiative

Emeritus Professor Ross Homel AO | Criminologist |Griffith University

Professor Andrew Hickey | Youth Project Evaluation | University of Southern Queensland

Dr Susan Baidawi | Senior Lecturer | Monash University

Dr Angela Dwyer |Associate Professor | University of Tasmania | Deputy Director | Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies

Adam Wenitong | Young Bruthas Mentorship

Kate Bjur | Assistant Director | West Moreton Youth Detention Centre | Churchill Fellow

Jacob Little | Guest Speaker for conference dinner | Co-founder of About Time for Justice

*Finalised program to be released closer to the event date.

The University of Southern Queensland Toowoomba Campus is located at 487-535 West St, Darling Heights, Toowoomba QLD

The main airport is the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport (WTB), formerly known as Brisbane West Wellcamp, which is situated approximately 25 minutes via car to the Toowoomba CBD.

You may also choose to fly into Brisbane which is approximately 1 hour 40 minutes drive to Toowoomba. You can travel from Brisbane to Toowoomba via car, bus, or services such as The Airport Flyer

UniSQ Toowoomba
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Local accommodation options

Toowoomba has many accommodation options available, from hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts or caravan parks with onsite cabins you’re sure to find somewhere suitable. You are also welcome to stay on-campus at the UniSQ residential colleges. Try browsing accommodation options online but please reserve your booking early as places do go quickly at this time of year.

The university campus is just over 6 kilometres from the centre of the city. You may choose to be close to the CBD and Queens Park, where there are many restaurants and cafés, or you may choose to be closer to the campus. Either way, it’s a short car ride to get around the city.

We have listed some suggestions below, but there are many others available:

Hotels in the CBD area:
Burke and Wills Hotel:
Oaks Toowoomba:
Potters Hotel:
Quest serviced apartments:

Short walk to CBD:
Grammar View

City Golf Club Motel: