On the Record - The e-bulletin Issue #11 June 2010
On the Record – The e-bulletin
Community Legal Centres: Community, Compassion, Justice
Issue #11 June 2010
This is the eleventh edition of On the Record, the quarterly e-bulletin of Community Legal Centres NSW Inc. (CLCNSW). CLCNSW is the peak representative body for Community Legal Centres (CLCs) in NSW. CLCs are independent community organisations providing equitable and accessible legal services. To find out more about CLCs in NSW visit www.clcnsw.org.au
For more information about On the Record, or any of the events happening in community legal centres, contact Alastair McEwin, CLCNSW Director, Alastair_McEwin@clc.net.au or phone 9212 7333.
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From 4 to 6 May 2010, CLCNSW hosted its biannual state conference. With over 175 people attending across the three days, the conference was an invaluable opportunity for people to reflect on and celebrate the achievements and work of the NSW CLC sector. Based on feedback, the event was a great success, with 98% of delegates who provided feedback agreeing that they were more informed about the current issues facing CLCs.
The conference began on 4 May with a day for those CLCs that work or specialise in regional, rural and remote (RRR) areas. Held in the surrounds of the University of Sydney Law School, delegates heard a range of speakers outlining issues facing RRR community legal services. The program commenced with a call from the keynote speaker, Dr Jennifer Nielsen, for CLCs to take control of the agenda when lobbying for RRR issues with government. “Only you can put RRR issues on the agenda in a meaningful way” she stated. Dr Nielsen, head of School of Law & Justice at the Southern Cross University, spoke about the important role CLCs play in providing accessible and equitable legal services to RRR areas yet they face significant challenges. Such challenges include rising operational costs, increasing reliance on sometimes inappropriate or inaccessible communications technology, and a decline in the number of legal practitioners with expertise in RRR issues. Despite these challenges, Dr Nielsen noted that the issue of access to justice has found its way back onto the national agenda, thanks in part to the 2009 report from the Access to Justice Taskforce and the one-off $10 million injection of funds by the Federal Attorney General.
Following Dr Nielsen’s presentation, delegates heard from speakers on topics ranging from elder law, legal needs, prisons and specialist CLC work.
Day 2, held at the Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour, commenced with a welcome address by the NSW Attorney General, The Hon John Hatzistergos. He was followed by Justice Virginia Bell, who delivered the conference’s keynote address. Justice Bell, a justice of the High Court of Australia, spoke about the question of what human rights form part of the rule of law. Interweaving her speech with quotes from both Australian and international jurists, Justice Bell discussed how judges over the years have interpreted the notion of the protection of human rights within the overarching concept of the rule of law.
Following the plenary, delegates attended presentations and workshops on topics ranging from social security, environmental, Indigenous and care and protection law. At the conclusion of Day 2, delegates had the opportunity to mingle and network with their colleagues over drinks, with gentle background music provided by a small band. Following this, delegates attended the conference dinner, held at Jordons restaurant, Darling Harbour.
On Day 3, Associate Professor Eileen Baldry, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW, gave a plenary keynote presentation on social justice, disability and the criminal justice system. A/Professor Baldry said that a human rights framework helps provide the legal and structural requirements to meet social justice, but noted that people have to be participants in a socially just society in order to access their human rights. Drawing on research into pathways into prison, she presented evidence of the negative and compounding effect of inequitable social institutions, policies and treatment on disadvantaged persons with mental health issues and other complex needs. She stated: “Diversion does not work when you don’t have a broad and socially just structure to support it. It just keeps people out for a couple more months.”
Delegates then heard from Pip Davis and Thea Deakin-Greenwood, who outlined the work of the Legal Education and Advice in Prison (LEAP) for women project. They were followed by Kat Armstrong, who spoke about the work of Women In Prison Advocacy Network (WIPAN).
The conference ended with a panel of former CLC workers, speaking about their experiences whilst in CLCs and how they’ve valued that time in their careers since. Chaired by Associate Professor Simon Rice, the panel was made up of Betty Hounslow, Michelle Jones and Ben Slade. All four entertained the crowd with reflections, some humorous, of the challenges of working in CLCs, particularly in managing cases on small budgets. At the conclusion of the panel session, CLCNSW launched the DVD Achieving Social Justice: Working in NSW Community Legal Centres.
CLCNSW thanks all those involved in the planning of the conference, as well as the conference sponsors. A particular note of thanks to all delegates and speakers for attending and participating in discussions that promote the valuable work of community legal centres around NSW.
Further information: Alastair McEwin, CLCNSW, firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia will be reviewed under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in January 2011. The UPR is a mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council which reviews the human rights records of member states. The review is intended to be a cooperative mechanism, based on interactive dialogue, with the full involvement of the country concerned, together with other States, NGOs and national human rights institutions.
This forthcoming UPR is a significant opportunity for Australian NGOs to encourage and influence the Australian Government to improve the protection and promotion of human rights and fulfil international legal obligations. The UPR mechanism allows for active engagement of NGOs throughout the process. Anna Cody (Kingsford Legal Centre) is a member of the three-person coordinating committee developing an Australian NGO Coalition report for submission to the UPR in July 2010.
Further information: Anna Cody, KLC, email@example.com
An innovative clinical legal education program has been developed by Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC) and the Migrant and Refugee Rights Project, Australian Human Rights Centre, with Hong Kong’s Refugee Advice Centre (HKRAC).
Unparalleled in any Australian law school, the program will see UNSW law students undertaking coursework and training at UNSW, followed by an eight week intensive clinical placement at the HKRAC. Students will then work under clinical supervision on refugee cases in Hong Kong, directly representing clients at all stages in their claims for protection from persecution.
This program will be offered for the first time to UNSW Law Faculty students in summer session 2010/11.
Further information: Anna Cody, KLC, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Women In Prison Advocacy Network (WIPAN) is now operating a voluntary mentoring project, supported by PIAC, which partners community mentors with women being released from prison.
Evidence from similar programs overseas shows that women are less likely to re-enter prison if they can participate in a mentoring program on their release. The program will encourage autonomy, support community reintegration and learning from lived experience.
Twenty mentor volunteers have already completed training and will be matched with women recently released from prison. Women mentees can be referred from any agency, (government or non-government), and/or anyone involved in supporting them.
For more information: http://wipan.net.au/
Being matched to a mentor: Samantha, WIPAN, 02 8011 0692.
The Children in Detention Advocacy Project (CIDnAP) is now taking referrals. A joint project of PIAC, the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) NSW and Legal Aid NSW, CIDnAP conducts litigation, policy work and advocacy relating to the wrongful arrest or detention of young people in NSW.
This project is open for referrals from, or on behalf of, young people who have been detained unlawfully, arrested on out-of-date information, or have been subject to excessive force.
For referrals: Katrina Ironside, PILCH, 02 9114 1793
For general information about CIDnAP: Laura Brown, 02 8898 6539 or email@example.com
Jetstar’s policy to restrict to two the number of wheelchair users allowed on a flight was highlighted again in April by the Disability Discrimination Legal Centre (DDLC). Former Principal Solicitor Jo Shulman and client Sheila King were both interviewed by Channel 10, and Nicolas Patrick from DLA Phillips Fox wrote an article for The Sydney Morning Herald about equity and transport.
DDLC is currently acting for Sheila against Jetstar in proceedings in the Federal Court, with DLA Phillips Fox co-counselling pro bono and Arthur Moses SC and Paul Batley of Counsel. The matter was not settled at scheduled mediation in April, and will be proceeding to a hearing.
Further information: Elizabeth Meyer, DDLC, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mortgage Hardship Service is jointly run by the Consumer Credit Legal Centre and Legal Aid NSW to provide services to borrowers under threat of home repossession. People with mortgage problems can access expert advice and assistance from solicitors and financial counsellors.
Telephone advice is available from the NSW Credit and Debt Hotline 1800 808 488or from the nearest Legal Aid office.
Solicitors from both organisations also provide a twice weekly legal advice service at the Supreme Court of NSW. This is available to self represented litigants in home possession proceedings, and includes advice about possible defences to claims, or seeking stays on writs for possessions of a person’s home. Initially a three month trial, this service is currently ongoing due to demand.
Advice sessions: 10am to 1pm on Mondays (CCLC) and Thursdays (Legal Aid).
Contact the Duty Registrar for referrals.
Research by KLC into Fair Work Australia (FWA), the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) and Fair Work Online aimed to monitor these new agencies and assess clients’ and CLCs’ impressions of the new workplace relations system.
Whilst it is generally recognised that employees are better protected under the new workplace relations system, respondents identified specific problems with the system and processes of FWA and the FWO, which require further attention.
Areas of concern included:
- Conciliation: feedback suggests that conciliators are not properly trained and clients reported pressure from the conciliator to settle. CLCs say the application process for face-to-face conciliation imposes unnecessary administrative burdens, which can be frustrating and time consuming. Similarly, the process for telephone conciliations can be time consuming, arduous and impractical. Clients and practitioners found their issues are not adequately dealt with.
- Accessibility of information: clients have difficulty understanding and navigating their options online. It is difficult to locate basic information, such as the costs of submitting forms. There have been complaints of hostile operators who provided inaccurate and inconsistent advice and referrals.
- Time limitations: the 14-day time limit for unfair dismissal claims is unsuitable; FWA should increase efforts to raise community awareness of the strict time limitations. Many proposed an extension to 21 days.
- Service: positive about the face-to-face services provided at the FWA office, such as assistance in completing forms. Not so the telephone service, which was criticised for being unhelpful and delayed in responding to client and solicitor inquiries.
- Disadvantages of the unrepresented complainant: widespread concern that the unrepresented complainant will be prejudiced in view of the inherent power imbalances between employees and employers. FWA must do more to assist employee complainants, such as providing adequate initial assistance and advice on how to initiate and pursue a claim.
KLC will continue to work on proposals for reform to streamline the system, ensuring greater access to justice in relation to employment matters. Further feedback from CLCs is welcome.
Further information: Anna Cody, KLC,email@example.com
During February, March and April, Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) ran a CLE and legal advice project with New Mardi Gras, Gay Lesbian Rights Lobby and ACON.
Project Blueaimed to inform Mardi Gras participants of their legal rights and obligations about drug possession, sniffer dogs, search and related criminal law issues.
ICLC presented four CLE sessions on relevant aspects of the criminal law, and set up an information stand at two key Mardi Gras events, where staff and volunteers distributed postcards - created in partnership with ACON - with legal rights information on one side and safe drug use information on the reverse.
Event participants who had experienced an interaction with police were able to go to the ICLC stand and complete a form describing the incident and indicating whether they needed any further legal advice. About 20 people followed up for legal advice, mainly for small drug possession charges. Some needed more urgent advice, particularly international visitors required to attend Court. Most clients were able to represent themselves and were advised on procedures, how to plead, seek a Section 10, and possible fines/sentences.
ICLC managed these activities with one staff member and hourly shifts of volunteers (mainly students) who were given free access to the events.
Following debriefs with volunteers and partner organisations, areas identified for future improvement include more training for volunteers, and more information on the postcards about legal rights and health and safety issues.
Overall Project Blue was a success. It was also a lot of fun, with ICLC maintaining its reputation as the coolest legal centre in NSW, joining Legal Aid and other CLCs on a Mardi Gras float, and being very well represented by staff and volunteers at the after-parties.
Further information: Dan Stubbs, ICLC, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Central Coast Community Legal Centre has been busy spreading the word about its services.
During Youth Week (April) it had a stall focussing on youth homelessness, then attended an Expo in Volunteers Week (May), and most recently held an Open Day for the local community. This was especially popular with school students who took the opportunity to ask lots of questions about the law and received ‘goodie’ bags with information about the Centre and other local service providers (and some treats!).
And from August it just gets busier, with new funding secured to run a domestic violence legal outreach service providing CLE and advice at women's refuges on the Central Coast.
Further information: Jenny Collins, Central Coast LC, email@example.com
The official opening of Macarthur LC’s new premises in June was attended by local Federal Member, Chris Hayes MP, and more than 70 guests including funders, Legal Aid, CLCs, service providers, local solicitors and clients. Guests enjoyed an afternoon tea and a tour of the heritage building, originally opened as the Fieldhouse’s Produce Store in 1853.
Staff and clients are now enjoying the benefits of all services being accessible under a single roof, after many years at two sites, both of which it had outgrown.
Macarthur LC has joined with South West Sydney Legal Centre to establish a legal interagency for the Liverpool, Fairfield and Macarthur areas. Eighteen representatives from various local legal organisations met to determine a mission statement and indentify a set of priority projects. The vision is to provide excellence in the co-ordination and delivery of legal services to economically and socially disadvantaged people living in South West Sydney.
Further information: Prue Gregory, Macarthur LC, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Credit & debt project
Stage One of the credit and debt project for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in the Marrickville Local Government area is ending and a formal report will be available in July.
The project identified that people from CALD backgrounds generally need pathways of known and trusted persons to get assistance and advice. Therefore, CLE and networking was delivered at places where communities met for non-legal purposes and reached people who had not known how to seek advice.
Many age-related - rather than culturally-located - problems were identified. Older people often had debts arising from utility services, rent arrears and assisting other family members; younger people had issues related to consumer purchases (mobile phones, motor vehicle related loans), property damage debts and over-commitment with credit cards.
In the first six months of the project a 100% rise in casework was identified as emerging from this project. Redfern LC would like to thank Marrickville Legal Centre for its co-operation and participation.
- DVSS extended
While Sydney Women’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (SWDVCAS) welcomes the extension of the Legal Aid Domestic Violence Solicitor Scheme (DVSS) to Downing Centre, Balmain and Newtown Local Courts it brings to an end a long relationship with Gilbert + Tobin’s roster of solicitors. They attended Downing Centre Court weekly for over ten years, representing women in private applications and cross applications, female defendants with a history of domestic violence against them, and in defended hearings for women not eligible for Legal Aid. Redfern LC acknowledges this valuable pro bono contribution by Gilbert + Tobin.
- Protection for Boarders and Lodgers
The Inner Sydney Tenancy Advice & Advocacy Service (ISTAAS) lobbied for changes to the Residential Tenancies Bill 2010 to get protection for sub-tenants left unprotected when there is a dispute over a bond/eviction. Without a written agreement, sub-tenants (often international students and people on low incomes) will now be classed as boarders or lodgers. While ISTASS was not successful and the Bill was passed, it will continue the fight for legislation to protect the rights of boarders/lodgers.
- Submission to Taskforce
Principal Solicitor Elizabeth Morley recently presented to the National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce Consumer Consultation: Panel Discussion, convened by the Attorney-General's Department. Some of the observations she made included:
- The need for vulnerable consumers to have services adjusted to meet their access needs
- Dispute resolution: some provisions in the current draft legislation create barriers to accessibility
- The need for a culture of resolving disputes rather than being overwhelmed by a culture of disciplinary priorities
- The need for feedback loops about systemic problems between the dispute resolution, regulatory, professional and training bodies
- The need for consumer representation to be more than tokenistic (preferably equal to industry), more representative, to include both lay representatives and also professional representation of consumer interests (e.g. nominated by NACLC), to be paid, to have access to real information, and be involved in the decision making structure.
Dianne Anagnos (KLC) and Graham Wells (Springvale CLC) also attended the consultation.
- VCC Hits
Redfern LC has had several clients hit by Victims Compensation Court proceedings for restitution of payments of compensation made years ago - including one where compensation was paid out in 1992. Redfern is concerned about the age of these debts which, in any other legal process, would be out of time. Submissions are being made for individual clients. To share any similar experiences: contact David Porter, email@example.com.
The final Chapter in the sad tale of Selma v Cruella (not their real names), recounted by Northern Rivers CLC at the recent State conference:
In 2006, Selma, a disadvantaged client who lived 1.5 hours from Lismore in an isolated township, was struggling to pay her mortgage. Her “friend” Cruella offered to make the repayments and allow Selma to repay her at a lower rate. Selma accepted what she thought was the kind offer of a wealthy friend. In no time, Cruella had transferred the property into her name, effectively obtaining it for less than a third of its market value. 18 months later, Selma received an eviction notice, and contacted the Centre in distress that she was being evicted from her own home!
While the Tenants Advice and Advocacy service had this eviction notice dismissed from the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal for lack of jurisdiction, Supreme Court eviction proceedings were later commenced. The Centre enlisted the help of a local barrister and Legal Aid, which agreed to pay disbursements.
The next two years saw legal proceedings, multiple affidavits by 16 different witnesses, Selma’s admission to a residential mental health clinic, battles with the Supreme Court for a local mediation and hearing, and inducements by Cruella to Selma to withdraw from the proceedings with gifts and the promise of renewed ‘friendship’...
The matter settled just three days before the hearing was to commence. Selma received a cash settlement and said: “If you hadn’t helped me I’d have been stuffed. When this happened I’d lost faith in people – how could someone do this to me. You’ve given me back my faith in society, thank you, thank you, thank you so much.”
Further information: Angela Pollard, Northern Rivers CLC, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Principal Solicitor:
Meena Sripathy has started as the Principal Solicitor at the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS) in Sydney. Meena has worked with the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office, the Migration and Refugee Review Tribunals, the Immigration Advice & Rights Centre (IARC), and the Welfare Rights Centre amongst other organisations. She brings a great deal of knowledge, experience and expertise to RACS and the sector.
NSW CLC Conference:
RACS presented a briefing at the NSW CLC Conference in May about the work community legal centres are doing and can do with asylum seekers in Australia. Chris Yuen from IARC assisted in eth presentation. RACS & IARC assist asylum seekers in the community and also in the detention centres, including at Villawood, Christmas Island, Darwin, etc.
CLC Solicitors & Migration Agents:
RACS would like to encourage solicitors at CLCs to consider registering as a Migration Agent to expand the availability of services for asylum seekers in NSW and to assist RACS in its community and detention work (even to come to Christmas Island with us!). It is relatively simple and inexpensive for Solicitors to become not-for-profit registered Migration Agents. RACS can give advice and possibly assistance on how to do this. If you're interested please contact the Director at email@example.com
DDLC recently represented a client in conciliation at the Australian Human Rights Commission. The client, who uses a wheelchair, complained that a 2008 election was not accessible to her as her local polling premises were not wheelchair accessible. She had to vote outside of the building amongst a crowd of people where the secrecy of her vote was not guaranteed. She was not able to place her ballot into the ballot box and instead had to rely on an election official to carry it inside and lodge it for her. DDLC is currently awaiting further information about proposals for making future elections more accessible to people with disability.
Further information: Elizabeth Meyer, DDLC, firstname.lastname@example.org
DDLC are currently drafting a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission alleging breaches of the Disability Discrimination Act and the Disability Standards for Education.
The Digital Education Revolution and students with disability
DDLC are representing a student with a vision impairment who found that the laptop computer issued to her under the Government-run Digital Education Revolution scheme was not compatible with her adaptive technology. The student’s mother lodged a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission alleging disability discrimination.
As technology in schools increase DDLC will be working to ensure that students with disability don’t get left behind.
Further information: Elizabeth Meyer, DDLC, email@example.com
From 1 July 2010 new Commonwealth law governs all contracts formerly covered by the Uniform Consumer Credit Code, as well as any contract entered thereafter for the purchase of residential investment property.
The Consumer Credit Legal Centre and Legal Aid NSW - funded by the Federal Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs - have produced a Credit Law Toolkit which covers important practical aspects of the credit law, including:
- A description of the law
- Sample letters for dealing with common client problems.
Limited copies available from the Legal Aid NSW Publications Unit: 02 9219 5028 or www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/pubsonline
Issues featured in the current PIAC Bulletin (No: 31) include an update on the Stolen Wages scheme, analysis of a disability discrimination claim against NSW taxi companies, and further details on the Children in Detention Advocacy Project (CIDnAP).
To download a pdf: http://www.piac.asn.au/publications/pubs/Bulletin31_20100531.html
The Aboriginal Women's Corroboree 2010 will feature speeches, stalls, an Elders’ tent and song and dance from Aboriginal women and children. Details are:
- Friday 25 June 2010
- 10:30am to 2:00pm
- Alexandria Park, Buckland Street, Alexandria (wet weather contingency: Alexandria Town Hall 73 Garden Street Alexandria).
Further information: Wirringa Baiya, Ph. 1800 686 587, 9569 3847
LawAssist, a website for people who are representing themselves in the Local Court, is the latest resource from LawAccess NSW.
It provides general information for people trying to represent themselves, as well as specific information for different types of Local Court matters. Resources include:
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Sample court forms
- Instructions for completing court forms
Information is already available about small claims debt cases, with resources to help both creditors and debtors. Information on car accidents/apprehended violence orders/fines will be added soon.
Promotional material available from LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529.
Joanna Shulman has been appointed Executive Officer of Redfern Legal Centre. Joanna, who replaces Helen Campbell, was previously Principal Solicitor at the NSW Disability Discrimination Legal Centre. Prior to that, she had worked at Inner City LC and PIAC.
Robin Banks, Chief Executive Officer of PIAC, has been appointed Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner.
A legal practitioner with particular expertise in disability rights and discrimination law, privacy and human rights, Tasmanian-born Robin is heading to Hobart to take up her new role in July.
“It has been a wonderful opportunity, and privilege, to lead the work at PIAC for the past six years and it will be enormously difficult to leave. PIAC's work is vital in shaping law and policy and challenging injustice,” she said.
“My new role will bring quite different challenges, heading up a smaller organisation with statutory regulatory responsibility for the Anti-Discrimination Act in Tasmania, ensuring effective complaints handling and using the range of powers available under the Act to pursue its objectives.
“However, both roles are about strengthening and supporting communities to ensure equality and social justice and I look forward to this work and to the new challenges and opportunities.”
PIAC Chair Shauna Jarrett congratulated Robin on her appointment and acknowledged her invaluable contribution to PIAC.
“Robin is a passionate advocate for human rights whose work in the area of discrimination achieved a number of breakthroughs, particularly in relation to disability access and public transport.
“Under her leadership, PIAC has become Australia’s leading public interest law centre. Her ability to articulate public interest issues throughout government, the legal profession and the wider community has produced real change in social justice policies,” she said.
Tom Cowen has been appointed as the Manager Legal Service with TARS / OPLS.
Tom has a BA, BSc, LLB (Hons) and a MEnvS, as well as a diploma of Legal Practice. He worked as an employed solicitor at Rankin & Nathan in Newcastle before moving to Papua New Guinea as a volunteer (under the auspices of AVI) to be the Senior Legal Officer of the Milne Bay Provincial Government. Upon his return to Australia he took up the role as the Principal Solicitor with the EDO in Darwin. He moved to Cairns in 2007 as the first solicitor with the pilot project, Seniors Legal & Support Service.
Tom has considerable experience in assisting older members of the community who have suffered abuse or financial exploitation. He is keen to see OPLS become the best legal service for older disadvantaged members of the community it is possible to be.
Tom is married with 2 children and is looking forward to his family joining him from Cairns after his son completes year 12 in November.
Barry Penfold will commence as Principal Solicitor, Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre, on Monday 12 July 2010. This follows the resignation of Meredith McLaine who has worked with Shoalcoast for over 10 years in many legal roles, most recently as our Principal.
Barry was admitted as a solicitor in 1983. Since that time he has had a broad range of legal experiences working in local courts, with the DPP office and private law firms in Sydney and on the South Coast. Barry currently works as a solicitor/senior associate with a South Coast law firm dealing with matters in general and civil litigation, family law, criminal law, victim’s compensation including regular court and tribunal appearances. Barry has extensive experience working in the Local, Children’s, District, Supreme and Federal Magistrates Courts as well as the CTTT. Barry is also an active local community member and is currently a Director of the Dunn & Lewis Foundation which is building a recreational facility and youth service in Ulladulla in memory of two local young men killed in the Bali bombings.
Shoalcoast is looking forward to having Barry join our team and contributing his legal knowledge and experience to the delivery of our services across the South Coast.
CLCNSW is seeking nominations for the 2010 Community Legal Centres NSW Award, to be presented at the annual Justice Awards on Thursday 14 October 2010.
The Community Legal Centres NSW Award aims to highlight the range of activities devised and deployed by NSW CLCs to provide effective and appropriate services to people and increase their awareness of their legal rights and the legal resources available to help them resolve legal issues.
Such activities can include discrete or on-going projects and programs, including community legal education, plain language information or new legal services. To be eligible, an activity must have been generated and managed by a NSW Community Legal Centre before 1 June 2008 and either be currently operating or have been completed since that date.
Further information and nominations forms will be circulated to the sector. Closing date is COB Monday 30 August 2010.
The annual Law & Justice Foundation of NSW Justice Awards recognise the contributions individuals have made to improving access to justice, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged people in NSW.
Nominate now for the:
- Justice Medal
- Aboriginal Justice Award
- Law and Justice Volunteer Award
- Pro Bono Partnership Award
Nominations close on 23 July. For full details and nomination forms visit www.lawfoundation.net.au/justice_awards
Community Legal Centres (CLCs) are independent community organisations providing equitable and accessible legal services. NSW CLCs work for the public interest, particularly for disadvantaged and marginalised people and communities. CLCs not only provide legal advice and assistance, but also encourage and enable people to develop skills to be their own advocates. We promote human rights, social justice and a better environment by advocating for access to justice and equitable laws and legal systems. Centres work towards achieving systemic change through community legal education, and through law and policy reform.
Community Legal Centres NSW Inc. (CLCNSW) is the peak body for CLCs in NSW. It is resourced by a small State Office which is funded by the NSW Government and Public Purpose Fund. CLCNSW has 39 member organisations including generalist and specialist community legal centres.
Phone: (02) 9212 7333