Swinburne researcher honoured for services to multicultural communities

Associate Professor at the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Dr Stephane Shepherd, has been named recipient of the 2020 Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence in Justice by the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

The award recognises the achievements of people and organisations that promote or improve access for multicultural communities to the justice system.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs the Honourable Ros Spence presented the award.

“Dr Shepherd is a researcher who explores the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals in the justice system through a variety of novel approaches and working experiences with multicultural communities and people in custody. His research has made a direct contribution to many government commissions, reviews and inquiries on the justice system,” says Minister Spence.

“This award is a recognition of the important work we’re doing to ensure that the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse individuals who are involved in the justice system are identified and addressed,” says Dr Shepherd.

“It is an honour for our work to be recognised by the community in such an important way, and I am humbled to receive this award,” he adds.

Helping multicultural communities in the justice system

Dr Shepherd’s research focuses on the mental health, cultural needs and social circumstances of individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system. “My research has identified ways in which service providers can work more effectively with multicultural populations who are justice-involved,” he explains.

Dr Shepherd’s body of work in this space has earned him accolades, including a 2018 Saleem Shah Early Career Award and the inaugural Fulbright Scholarship in Cultural Competence in 2015. Most recently, he was named as one of the five recipients of the ABC Top 5 Media Residency Program for Humanities.

Recognising extraordinary Victorians

The Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence recognises the outstanding achievements of people and organisations who strengthen multiculturalism across 15 categories.

“I hope that the award will bring further attention to culturally relevant gaps in correctional policy and ultimately advance services for CALD individuals who are justice-involved,” Dr Shepherd adds.

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