While living in England, Vanessa spent time with the Oxford Youth Offending Team assessing a pilot scheme of youth panels, based on restorative justice principles. Her exposure developed a strong belief in the concept of rehabilitation over punishment for troubled and disadvantaged youths. Being part of the Blackwood Foundation has enabled Vanessa to continue her interest in youth issues, particularly in relation to Blackwood’s support of mental health and education.
Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Arts/ Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University, and a Master of Laws (specialising in restorative justice and juvenile crime) from Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom. Vanessa has two adult children. She enjoys running and teaches Pilates.