The Community Legal Centres NSW support the following programs:
CLCNSW receives funding from the Public Purpose Fund, which is administered by Legal Aid NSW, to run the CLCNSW Aboriginal Legal Access Program (ALAP); the program is currently funded until 30 June 2011. ALAP is a state-wide program aiming to ensure better access by Aboriginal people to CLC services, increase the numbers of Aboriginal people receiving CLC services, improve and enhance the capacity of CLCs to provide effective and culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal people, and increase awareness among Aboriginal people of their legal rights and the legal services available to them.
The following CLCs currently operate an ALAP project and have an ALAP worker available:
ALAP workers engage in community development, whilst raising the awareness within Aboriginal communities of the existence of their local CLC and legal services available to them. Our ALAP workers are cultural experts and promote and improve understanding of ways CLCs are able to improve access to legal services for Aboriginal people. ALAP workers reach out to communities to identify unexpressed legal needs and provide assistance as an early intervention service. Partnerships are built and there is community networking. Flexible outreach approaches are provided along with warm referrals.
A Community Development Worker (CDW) is based at the State Office and provides an integral link in the design, delivery and evaluation of impacts of the various local CLC strategies. It also forms linkages with the broader justice sector in the development of the capacity of services to move beyond service delivery in a context of cultural awareness. The CDW position is to ensure ongoing program and service development; expansion of best practice approaches within CLC; linkages with community and government agencies; and maintains a focus on Aboriginal justice issues.
The Public Purpose Fund has funded the CLCNSW Learning and Development Program up to June 2012. This program is designed to recognise the already skilled staff within CLCs, to further enhance their skills, as well as making learning and development opportunities more accessible to Centres in regional, rural and remote (RRR) areas.
In dealing with the very diverse group of clients that work within CLCs it is recognised that staff already have a vast array of skills and experience between them and the Learning and Development Program is designed to further share and enhance these skills.
The program produces a quarterly “Training Opportunities” calendar, which is emailed to the community legal sector.
Legal Aid NSW also offers free training places to staff of CLCs in their in-house courses and four free places a year in the Diploma of Management course run in conjunction with the University of Technology.
Subsidies are also available for some training, travel and accommodation expenses enabling RRR CLCs to participate in training.
The Advocacy & Human Rights Program assists CLCs in NSW to collaborate for social justice, the promotion of human rights, and law reform. The Law Reform and Policy Subcommittee, facilitated by convenors, discusses and guides the law reform and policy work of CLCNSW. Several topic-specific Working Groups exist, facilitated by convenors. The Law Reform and Policy Subcommittee, and the law reform work of CLCNSW in general, is supported by the Advocacy and Human Rights Officer, based in the CLCNSW office.
The types of activities we may be involved in on any particular issue include:
- Research and publication
- Adoption of a public position on the matter;
- Preparation of submissions to government, law reform bodies and other organizations;
- Advocacy through meetings, letters, fact sheets, flyers, newsletters, website information, media work, articles, campaigns etc;
- Public endorsement of the work of other organizations.
For more information see the Law Reform page.