Source: (2003) Contemporary Justice Review. 6(3): 279-291.

In this paper we report on general finding and observations in Australia and from two days of the Deliberative Poll on Reconciliation in Canberra. With hundreds of representative Australians participating, and plenary sessions broadcast nationally, it appeared that Australia was progressing on its long journey toward aboriginal reconciliation. In this paper, we apply a theoretical analysis from criminology-restorative justice- to examine the means by and the extent to which the national community conference was a restorative event. Of particular interest to this analysis are the unintended restorative outcomes, the voices heard, the dialogues on apologies, regrets and the past, future possibilities and responsibility. Some preliminary thoughts on the future of reconciliation will be offered and a few skeptical comments made.