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Law and Order seminar, by Craig Walsh

19 June 2012 By Craig Walsh

Craig Walsh
Craig Walsh

Last week participants in LV’s Williamson Community Leadership Program visited the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, Supreme Court and Melbourne Custody Centre. They heard from esteemed members of the justice system such as Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay, Magistrate Jack Vandersteen, and former Justice of the Supreme Court the Hon. Bernard Teague AO. Craig Walsh reflects about the experience:

A cold and chilly morning heralded the start of our Law and Order seminar as the group assembled outside the Melbourne Magistrates Court with great anticipation.

After a 'quick' scan of person and belongings it was to court we went for what was an insightful and entertaining entree from Magistrate Jack Vendersteen into the world of hearings, barristers, solicitors and court room drama. Soon afterwards the Hon. Bernard Teague provided the group with an intriguing account of his experience presiding over trials and Royal Commissions laced with tales of murder, adverse media coverage, community leadership and the art of mentoring.

Probably the most confronting experience for many lay in the visit to the Melbourne Custody Centre where the group were exposed to life for prisoners in the state's busiest watch house. The Spartan existence, perhaps highlighted most by the complete lack of any reading material, really impacted many in the group.

The afternoon Panel Session was a highlight for me personally given the candour and courage of Carmel Arthur and the frank discourse of the panel regarding the complex and problematic issue of sentencing. Clearly a community issue that has no easy fix which requires deep thought and consideration from all stakeholders.

Ken Lay's open and honest discussion about the personal and professional challenges involved in his transition to the role of Chief Commissioner was a standout and while he wasn’t taking questions about his leadership style, I don’t think anyone was left wondering about his honesty or his ability to lead, influence and build relationships across Community and Government.

The afternoon was rounded out with Nigel providing a 'show and tell' of his toys – sorry that should read the Operational Response Unit's equipment. The action packed day concluded for many with a trip to the Victoria Police Museum.

Thanks to everyone involved in the day however a special thanks to Nigel for all of his work and assistance - well done mate.

Craig is the General Manager of Crown Melbourne Limited’s Security Services Department.  He holds Masters Degrees in Public Policy and Administration and Education and is a Churchill Fellow.  Craig chairs Crown’s Emergency Planning Committee and its Disabilities Management Committee and also sits on the Blue Ribbon Day Community Council.