Young people and violent extremism: Practitioners reflections

The Plenary Panel will be focused on;

Young People and Violent Extremism: Practitioners Reflections.

It will focus on the current challenges and opportunities relating to young people and violent extremism, drawing from the experience and reflections of a multi-disciplinary team who have been involved in assessment, management and intervention with young people across the spectrum of violent extremism, including prevention, diversion and rehabilitation and reintegration work.

The Panel will consist of;

  • Peta Lowe – Director CVE
  • Sarah Andruchow – Principal Policy Officer CVE
  • Shane Healey – Senior Intelligence Analyst CVE
  • Steve Barracosa – Psychologist CVE
  • James March – Senior Practice Officer CVE
  • Todd Donald – Caseworker CVE


Peta Lowe, Director 

Peta started working in Juvenile Justice in 2006 and has undertaken a variety of roles within JJ across custodial, community and policy settings. She has a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Terrorism and Security Studies. Peta is trained in a number of violent extremist risk assessment tools and is an accredited trainer of the VERA-2R tool.

Sarah Andruchow, Principal Policy Officer 

Sarah is currently the Principal Project Officer in the Countering Violent Extremism team for Juvenile Justice NSW. Since commencing with Juvenile Justice NSW in October 2017, Sarah has been responsible for providing operational and strategic advice on complex policy and project issues related to countering violent extremism. This has included assessment, management and interventions with terrorism related offenders as well as outcomes and evaluation planning. She has a Master of Criminology, a Bachelor of Arts (Government) and an Advanced Diploma in Public Safety. She is trained as a user in the VERA-2R.

Steve Barracosa, Psychologist 

Steve joined the JJNSW CVE team in May 2018 from Corrective Services NSW where he had been involved in the establishment and implementation of PRISM, CSNSW custody based assessment and intervention service for terrorist offenders and those at risk of radicalisation.

Steve is a Registered Psychologist with experience working with adult offenders. Steve is trained in a number of violent extremist risk assessment tools and is an accredited trainer of the VERA-2R tool.

Shane Healey, Senior Intelligence Analyst

Shane joined the JJNSW CVE team in June 2018. Shane comes with a significant military intelligence background. Shane has worked and lived in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Kurdistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the UAE. Shane has an extensive background analysing the threat posed by terrorist organisations like the Taliban, al Qaeda and the Islamic State as well as their affiliates. Shane has been part of several domestic Counter terrorism operations and has presented at several ANZCTC courses. Shane has a diploma in Government (Security), Diploma of Security and Risk Management, Australian Federal Police Advanced Counter Terrorism Investigations Program, is trained as a user in the VERA-2R and holds a Diploma in Counseling.

James March, Senior Practice Officer 

James came to Juvenile Justice in 2008 from Corrective Services and has spent the past 10 years working in a variety of roles and programs across both community and custody.  James is a Registered Psychologist who has both a Masters in Forensic Psychology, and a Masters in Terrorism and Security Studies. James is trained as a user of the VERA-2R.

Todd Donald, Caseworker

Todd has over 10 years experience within Juvenile Justice across community and custodial settings. Todd has worked in frontline custodial roles as well as offence specific case management roles within the Agency. Todd commenced working within the NSW Police led Engagement and Support Program (ESP) in June 2018.