Our team

Stan Winford

Associate Director

Stan is a practising lawyer and justice system expert with experience in innovation and reform, including user-centred design and applications for restorative and therapeutic justice in criminal and civil law.

Stan's restorative justice work has included leading projects exploring the role that restorative justice might play in responding to harm and conflict in the context of serious crime, as well as worker’s compensation, occupational health and safety and transport accident compensation schemes. In addition to research and teaching, Stan has studied restorative justice in New Zealand, undertaken professional development and training with the European Forum for Restorative Justice, and group conferencing training accredited by the Victorian Association for Restorative Justice.

Stan’s work with the CIJ includes addressing the needs of victims of crime, improving justice responses for people with mental ill health and intellectual disability, and developing more effective approaches to reducing future offending.

Email: Kristann.Winford@rmit.edu.au

Nareeda Lewers

Restorative Justice Manager/Convener

Nareeda is a restorative justice convener who has facilitated processes in response to a range of different types of harm, including very serious crimes. She was centrally involved in establishing the Open Circle restorative justice service. Nareeda first joined the CIJ in 2016 to coordinate the centre’s Restorative Justice Conferencing Pilot Project. This experience allowed her to witness the transformative potential restorative justice can offer people who have been affected by serious harm. Nareeda is committed to expanding the availability of restorative justice so that more people can benefit from it.

Nareeda has previously practised criminal law, working primarily with people with cognitive impairments and serious mental health issues. As a lawyer she also supported victim/survivors of sexual offences to make applications for victims’ assistance. Nareeda is also experienced in legal research and policy. She has contributed to CIJ research projects and has published peer-reviewed research in the areas of family law and interdisciplinary practice.

Email: Nareeda.Lewers@rmit.edu.au

Renee Handsaker

Principal Restorative Justice Convener

Renee is a highly skilled facilitator specialising in restorative conferencing, conflict transformation and debriefing following traumatic incidents. She has extensive experience working in government, non-government, secondary schools, private sector and community organisations, responding to individuals and groups experiencing trauma, distress and conflict.

Renee is an Expert Advisor to the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office to assist with the development and delivery of the Australian Defence Force’s Restorative Engagement program. As part of this program she facilitated restorative conferences between victims of abuse, bullying and harassment and senior representatives of the Australian Defence Force. Renee provided expert advice to support the design and implementation of RMIT University's Restorative Engagement Program, as part of the institution’s response to sexual harm on University campuses. Following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Renee facilitated restorative engagement processes between institutions and adult survivors of child sexual abuse. Renee has conciliated meetings between patients, medical practitioners and health institutions to respond to medical harms and negligence. She was the principal facilitator for the CIJ's Restorative Justice Pilot program, for people involved in serious motor vehicle collisions.

Renee is an accredited Mental Health Social Worker, with more than 15 years' experience providing both crisis and longer term therapeutic expertise to individuals and families. Renee has a Masters of Narrative Therapy and Community Work.

Email: Renee.Handsaker@rmit.edu.au