Relational Approaches offers training on a range of processes, specialising in restorative justice.

Training events are run in an interactive, experiential style, with short presentations, small-group work, ‘practice’ sessions and videos.  The focus is on enabling trainees to facilitate individual and group conversations with fairness, respect and empathy.

Participants receive a comprehensive facilitator’s manual, practice materials and handouts relating to the content of the course. Each event is designed to suit the specific training needs of participants.

Training Experience

Dr. Derek Brookes has designed and delivered training to over 900 professionals in restorative justice and other relational approaches.

Contexts have included the following:

  • Schools
  • Adult Criminal Justice
  • Youth Justice
  • Anti-Social Behaviour and Community Safety
  • Police Warnings/Cautions
  • Prisons
  • Residential Child Care settings
  • Youth Homelessness
  • Workplace Relationships
  • Traumatic death (work-related, road crashes and natural disasters)


Below are verbatim samples of the feedback received from participants from a range of these training events. Full collations of feedback sheets are available on request.

What have you found most helpful about this course?

“A practical insight into the values, skills and processes of RJ. Growing and learning with the group. An opportunity to implement a powerful and positive strategy to nourish professional and personal relationships.”

“The language of the course was straight forward. No buzz words. The course was also set at the right pace and the days off gave you time to re-charge your batteries and digest what you had learned.”

“The expertise and experience in which it was delivered was of a very high standard. No questions went unanswered. A solution was always given.”

“Most comfortable group I’ve ever worked in! Excellent materials. Relaxed, supportive, knowledgeable trainer(s). Flexibility and sensitivity to emotional content and effect on participants. Variety of learning presentations / styles / exercises.”

“The chance to learn and explore RJ process at a deep level in a supportive & safe atmosphere. Really clear and well presented notes to take away for future use.”

“The group was open, honest and very comfortable. Derek, the trainer, was excellent. He gave us the time and space we all needed. RJ is common sense – a structured, workable, practice. I can see how positive it could be in a lot of cases.”

“In depth information provided. Excellent materials, presentation and group work (role play, etc.). Subject matter well delivered. Flexibility to explore and discuss certain areas. Materials etc. to take away and use within work practice – step by step guides.”

“Freedom to discuss and ‘try out’ new thoughts / ideas. Drawing own conclusions – not spoon-fed info.”

“Allows me to feel more confident in my work as I am now equipped with more tools to do my job.”

“Just about everything. Particularly good to have workbooks and materials to take away and refer to. Good mix of teaching styles and methods. Open and relaxed atmosphere although subject often stressful.”

“The application of all the processes to [anti-social behaviour] and other work which involves relationships. The practical and interactiveness of the course. The different mediums which were used to show different approaches / styles used, e.g. school teachers and family involvement in contributing to decision-making. Relaxed. Interactive. Cross functional, cross level i.e. CSO to Managers.”

“I will begin to use these tools immediately in my day to day work.”

Restorative Justice Practice

Derek has been actively involved as a restorative justice facilitator for almost 20 years, focusing on the contexts of youth justice, workplaces, schools and severe violent crime.  He has received the following training:

“Victim-Offender Mediated Dialogue for Crimes of Severe Violence” – Trainers: David Doerfler and Jon Wilson of Concentric Journeys. Edinburgh, Scotland

“Advanced Victim-Offender Mediation Training” – Trainer: Dr. Mark Umbreit of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking – University of Minnesota

“Youth Justice Conference Convenors’ Training” – Trainer: NSW Department of Juvenile Justice

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