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Unlocking Justice 

Kimberley Motley, Melissa Lucashenko, Peta Blood

Justice is regarded as fundamental to civilised society, but ideas around what is fair and just reflect the values of a culture. Is it possible to reach a universal understanding of justice? And  if it is, what happens when that justice fails?

Hosted by Larissa Behrendt. 

In the Studio.

Talks & Ideas | Antidote 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”


Martin Luther King Jr. 

Justice isn't always blind 

Since the beginning of time, societies have had to develop ways to resolve disputes among their citizens. Courts, tribunals, and mediations exist in various forms across cultures; each with their own distinct cultural flavour. But what happens when concepts of justice don't align? How do we reflect multiple cultures in a way that respects traditions and upholds basic human rights? In this thought provoking panel, an American lawyer working in Afghanistan, an indigenous writer and a practitioner of restorative justice come together to interrogate the very concept of justice, and how we can make it work for everyone.

More about the speakers

Kimberley Motley is an American lawyer who has made headlines around the world with her ground-breaking legal work in Afghanistan and beyond. She's best known in Australia for her work in returning two Australian children taken illegally to Afghanistan by their father - the case made national headlines in 2015. She also represented former Australian soldier Robert Langdon and was responsible for successfully arguing for a Presidential pardon which resulted in his release from Afghanistan's most notorious prison.

Melissa Lucashenko is a multi-award winning Goorie writer. Her most recent novel Too Much Lip was awarded the 2016 CAL Fellowship and has been critically acclaimed since its publication in 2018. It has been shortlisted for the Stella Award 2019 and Miles Franklin Awards 2019. Her 2013 novel Mullumbimby was awarded the Deloitte Queensland Literary Award for Fiction, won the Victorian Premiers Prize for Indigenous Writing, and was longlisted for both the Stella and Miles Franklin awards as well as the Dublin IMPAC Literary Prize 2015. 

Peta Blood is the Chair of Restorative Practices International (RPI), a not-for-profit, independent association that supports the development of restorative justice in schools, prisons, workplaces, organisations, families and communities.

More about the moderator  

Prof. Larissa Behrendt is a Eualeyai/Kamillaroi woman. She is the Professor of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. Larissa is a Land Commissioner at the Land and Environment Court and the Alternate Chair of the Serious Offenders Review Board, a member of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law. She is the Chair of the Humanities and Creative Arts panel of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. In 2002 she won the David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth WriterÕs Prize for her novel Home. Larissa is a Board Member of the Museum of Contemporary Art, a board member of Tranby Aboriginal College and a Director of the Bangarra Dance Theatre. She was named as 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year.

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