Exploring ‘the child offender’, a Social Science Week online event

27 AUGUST 2020

Exploring ‘the child offender’, a Social Science Week online event

Charles Sturt University is co-hosting an online discussion on Thursday 10 September to examine the concept of the ‘child offender’ as part of Social Science Week 2020 (7-13 September).

  • Expert interdisciplinary academic panel will examine the concept and construction of the ‘child offender’
  • Free online panel discussion from 10am to 11.30am on Thursday 10 September

Charles Sturt University is co-hosting an online discussion on Thursday 10 September to examine the concept of the ‘child offender’ as part of Social Science Week 2020 (7-13 September).

Senior Lecturer in justice studies in the Charles Sturt Centre for Law and Justice Dr Emma Colvin said, “This panel session will explore the way the ‘child offender’ has been constructed and understood throughout history and within systems.

“As a mythical concept, the ‘child offender’ is at once something we ‘know’ or recognise, but it’s also an abstract concept that can reduce the ‘child’ to just negative connotations such as lawbreaker, or criminal.

“Myths can present us with shorthand versions of things we take for granted, or can’t explain, or both.”

The discussion from 10am to 11.30am on Thursday 10 September is convened by members of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Children and Young People in the Criminal Justice System Thematic Group.

The panel will examine the concept and construction of the ‘child offender’ both as a ‘reference story with ‘capacity to reveal an underlying truth’’, and a falsehood (that is, as a legal construct).

The convenors/moderators are Dr Emma Colvin from Charles Sturt University and Dr Shelley Turner and Dr Faith Gordon, both from Monash University.

Panel members include Dr Susan Baidawi (Monash University), Dr Diana Johns (University of Melbourne), and Robyn Oxley (Western Sydney University).

Register for the event, or find more information and register for Visions for 2020 events as part of Social Sciences Week.

Information about the other events Charles Sturt is hosting during the week will be made available on the University’s news site.

Panel convenors:

Dr Emma Colvin, a Senior Lecturer in Law and Criminology in the Centre for Law and Justice at Charles Sturt University. Her most recent funded research project examines access to higher education for care-experienced young people.

Dr Shelley Turner, a Senior Lecturer and Early Career Researcher in Social Work at Monash University, who currently teaches and researches in social work and criminology. Her PhD examines youth justice clients’ experiences of case management.

Dr Faith Gordon is the founder and Director of the Interdisciplinary International Youth Justice Network; an Associate Research Fellow at the Information Law & Policy Centre, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London and a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster.  Her most recent research has been cited by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UK Court of Appeal and the Victims Commissioner. 

Panel members:

Dr Susan Baidawi, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Social Work. Her research studies lies at the nexus of the child welfare and criminal justice fields, areas in which she holds significant research experience.    

Dr Diana Johns, a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Her research interests include post-prison (re)integration, restorative and therapeutic justice, young people's involvement with the justice system, and African Australians’ experiences of media representation, criminalisation, exclusion and inclusion.

Ms Robyn Oxley, a Tharawal woman from South-West Sydney with family connections to Yorta Yorta from Echuca and Shepparton. Ms Oxley is an activist and academic in the space of the criminal justice system and Aboriginal rights to self-determination.


Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Emma Colvin contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via news@csu.edu.au

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