State Office Update August 2011
This is the August 2011 edition of the State Office Update. These Updates come out three times a year. We ask CLC Managers, Coordinators and Directors to forward this Update to all staff, volunteers and Management Committees, as the information is a useful overview of what the state office of Community Legal Centres NSW (CLCNSW) is currently doing.
For more information on CLCNSW visit: www.clcnsw.org.au
The State Office continues its work in assisting NACLC with the roll-out and implementation of the first cycle of the NACLC Accreditation Scheme. CLCNSW is committed to ensuring the process is a smooth and productive one for member CLCs, with the long-term goal of improving service delivery and access to justice for our clients.
There will be two sessions on accreditation at the August quarterlies. The first session will provide updates on the Scheme, including information on the Memorandums of Understanding between CLCNSW and individual CLCs. This will be followed by a practical session on using the online tools that NACLC has developed as part of the accreditation process. Following the quarterlies, the State Office will commence recruiting a Regional Accreditation Coordinator, who will coordinate the Scheme from the State Office.
Further information: Alastair McEwin, Director, CLCNSW, email@example.com
Strategic directions for ALAP
CLCNSW has completed the short project to develop a set of strategies for the long-term sustainability of the ALAP. This includes best practice models for a CLC Aboriginal Legal Access Program and potential sources of income for these programs.
ALAP Community Development Worker Zac worked closely with consultant Julie Moore from ‘Koorimunication’ to produce a report containing these strategies. Following 3 site visits, Julie facilitated an all day ALAP workshop, to create the program ‘big picture’, which came from: a) the community needs through the relationships of the ALAP and CLC staff, b) what we have learnt from the past, c) current reports such as those produced by Cunneen and Stubbs, and d) the combined wealth of knowledge from centre staff and managers. The report is aimed at funding bodies, and is written using Julie’s extensive experience in the public sector.
A copy of the report will be available soon for download from the CLCNSW website.
CLCNSW shared a stall with Arts Law Centre of Australia at the Wallamulla (Woolloomooloo) NAIDOC festival. It was a beautiful day, the Wallamulla community was out and about. There were Welcoming to Country and Smoking Ceremonies, music and dance performances, free food and jumping castles for the kids, and many community stalls. The CLCNSW/Arts Law stall passed on information and chocolates to the community.
CLE and sector development work
The sector development work has been focused on outcomes that will benefit the community, ALAP workers and CLE delivery. The ways in which we are looking at this is through combining our efforts in CLE development and delivery with ALS and Legal Aid. We are at the beginning of this process, and we holding the ideal of ‘advancing community development whilst sensitively caring for all’ above the differences in the organisations. The CLCNSW relationship with Tranby Aboriginal College is growing. We are developing a short course with Tranby to meet the needs of ALAP staff from non-legal backgrounds.
At last count there were only 75 submissions (out of 26 million people) made to the ‘youmeunity’ website, which is host to the national conversation about updating the Australian constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture for the benefit of all Australians. To anyone who can make a submission, I urge you to contribute.
Further information: Zac, ALAP CDW
Police Complaints Project
The survey of solicitors and community sector advocates (in conjunction with Charles Sturt University) has been ethics-approved, and should be circulated in the next week. There is no publicly available data on perceptions and experience of the NSW police complaints system, hence the need for this survey. Please take the time to complete the survey, and also forward to community organisations in your area to encourage their participation.
CLCNSW has helped draft, and has endorsed, a letter to relevant Ministers and oversight agencies from NACLC’s National Police Accountability Network. The letter calls for reform of the police complaints systems in each state & territory, and notes that relevant recommendations contained in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody have still not been implemented.
With a view to meeting with NSW Police and the Ombudsman's office about inadequate or inappropriate police responses to domestic violence in certain locations, Northern Rivers CLC have begun detailing their concerns in writing. Other CLCs interested in meeting with NSW Police and the Ombudsman’s Office are invited to make a summary of issues / observations about policing in their area. Please contact Roxana to participate.
Changes to Victims Compensation law
The Advocacy and Human Rights Program continues to support the DV/VC Committee with advocacy around the recent changes to Victims Compensation law. A letter has been sent to Victims Services calling for a system to be implemented whereby RRR CLCs can inspect victims compensation files at the local court in their area. Another letter has been sent to the NSW Attorney General, calling for a wide-ranging review of the victims compensation scheme to be established.
MRT Fee Waiver Abolition
CLCNSW has written to the Minister for Immigration, the federal Attorney-General, and the Senate Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, calling for Migration Amendment Regulation 2011 (No. 4) to be disallowed. This amendment regulation abolishes fee waivers in the Migration Review Tribunal. This effectively denies access to merits review of Department of Immigration decisions (e.g. visa refusals or cancellations) to people without financial means, including people who have suffered domestic violence while on a temporary partner visa and separated from their Australian partner.
Living Without Violence toolkit
Work continues on the Living Without Violence toolkit, which will contain information sheets on practical issues facing people leaving a violent relationship, with a focus on financial and parenting issues. The information sheets on Centrelink payments, Fines, and Debt are progressing well. NACLC and CLCNSW are working closely with a number of CLCs, including Macarthur Legal Centre, Women's Legal Services NSW, the Welfare Rights Centre, and the Consumer Credit Legal Centre. The information sheets should be ready for use by the end of the year.
Law Reform & Policy issues for CLCs
The 2011-2012 survey of law reform & policy issues that each CLC anticipates for the coming year has been completed. You can find a copy in the “NSW Law Reform & Policy” folder on the BBS.
Further information: Roxana Zulfacar, Advocacy & Human Rights Officer, Roxana_Zulfacar@clc.net.au
PPF funding and the Learning & Development Program
The submission to the Public Purpose Fund (PPF) for the refunding of the L&D program was again successful with a further two years funding of the program. CLCNSW would like to thank all those involved in the evaluation process of the program once again.
Now renamed the Sector Development Program, it will continue to provide learning and development opportunities and sector development projects for all CLCs in NSW improving their organisational capacity to provide legal services.
Phase one of the Mentoring project is now complete. Recommendations were made in regards to the need and the high interest in such a program taking place in the CLC sector. CLCNSW is keen to explore options that enable CLC workers, particularly those entering the sector, to feel supported in their roles. Given the success of mentoring programs in other sectors, CLCNSW will consider a range of models for mentoring programs with the view to establishing one that meets sector-identified needs.
CLCNSW would like to thank all CLC staff who completed the survey sent out recently and for also taking part in the focus group at the May Quarterlies.Further information: Joanna Mantziaris, Learning & Development Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
In June 2011, the 15th edition of On the Record (OTR) was sent out to subscribers. If you haven’t read this or previous editions you can link to them from the CLCNSW website: www.clcnsw.org.au/publications
Please email stories and reports about developments in your centre to Alastair McEwin at the State Office on email Alastair_McEwin@clc.net.au and these will be included in the next edition of OTR. Deadline for contributions for the next edition is 26 September 2011.
Please also direct interested people to our website to subscribe to OTR, or send email addresses to Ann Petrou to add to the database.
Ann Petrou, email: email@example.com
Following are 2011 dates for key CLCNSW and sector events.
Please let the State Office know if there are other dates for other meetings or events and we will include this in the Events calendar on the CLCNSW website.
15 – 16 August 2011
28 – 29 November 2011
Venue: Sebel Surry Hills, 28 Albion Street, Surry Hills
17 – 20 October 2011
NACLC National Conference
The current staff at the State Office are:
Alastair McEwin, Director
Ann Petrou, Administrator
Zachary Armytage, ALAP Community Development Worker
Roxana Zulfacar, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer
Norico Allen, Finance Officer
Joanna Mantziaris, Learning and Development Coordinator
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 40 member organisations including generalist and specialist community legal centres.
The State Office is located at:
C17/ 99 Jones St
Ultimo NSW 2007
Ph: (02) 9212 7333
Fax: (02) 9212 7332