Over thirty people attended a three-day intensive work shop on Restorative Practices with pioneer Terry O Connell from New South Wales, Australia. Organised by Facing Forward and held at the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Terry stated that there was something special about ‘holding a workshop at a place like Glencree that had seen its fair share of conflict over the years’.
A mixture of inputs shared with warmth and humour by Terry led to a powerful synergy of experiential sharing and learning by the gathered participants who came from the UK and all over Ireland.
An advocate of restorative dialogue, Terry enabled us as practitioners, in the first instance, to make sense and meaning of our own lives, thus creating the conditions, over the three days, which could have us help others do similar.
At times of difficulty, he helped us identify what was important, had us explore what needed to change and crucially, had us identify our part in the change process. He further showed us how we might build and sustain healthy relationships.
Terry, in his wisdom, had us use our own personal experiences and difficulties as a means of directly experiencing and learning his model/method of Restorative Practice.
He is a strong believer in the need for explicit practice which he believes can be used as a foundation for everything in life whether in justice, education or in living together.