AHURI News

Looking beyond the criminalisation of homelessness

National Homelessness Conference to look at strategies beyond the policing of public space

25 May 2018

As increased numbers and visibility of people sleeping rough have led to Australian cities implementing tougher law enforcement and ‘move on’ powers, the 2018 National Homelessness Conference will present a crucial session examining effective responses to addressing homelessness and regulating public space.

The session, ‘Beyond the criminalisation of inner-city homelessness’, will be facilitated by Professor Tamara Walsh from the School of Law, University of Queensland. Professor Walsh is the lead researcher of the ARC Linkage project 'The criminalisation of poverty and homelessness: A national study' (2017–19) which is analysing data from across Australia on the impact of criminal laws and police powers around public places upon people experiencing homelessness.

The conference session will feature speakers with strong engagement and deep experience in the area of law and homelessness practice, including:

  • Ms Lucy Adams, the Head of Homeless Law and Advocacy at Justice Connect, worked with partners in the homelessness, health and justice sectors to help put a hold on the Melbourne City Council’s proposed local laws cracking down on sleeping rough, including jointly co-ordinating the Proposed Framework for Responding Effectively to Homelessness in the City of Melbourne.
  • Ms Monique Wiseman, the Aboriginal Program Manager at Wayside in Sydney manages the Aboriginal Project to make change in individuals' lives through community and re-engagement with culture. With a significant increase in the number of Aboriginal people rough sleeping, the Aboriginal Project has emphasised the need for culturally-sensitive assistance to be provided to Aboriginal men and women in the Sydney CBD.
  • Mr David Pearson is the Executive Director of the Don Dunstan Foundation, and will highlight the operation of the Zero Project whose goal is to end street homelessness in the inner city and ultimately end homelessness in South Australia.

This session has insights to offer all working in the homelessness and justice sectors, and is expected to be a conference drawcard.

The National Homelessness Conference, Ending Homelessness Together, will run from the 6 and 7 August 2018 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The early bird registration is only available until Friday 1 June. For further information and to register, please visit the conference page on AHURI website.

The 2018 National Homelessness Conference is co-convened by AHURI and Homelessness Australia.