State Office Update May 2011
State Office Update May 2011
This is the May 2011 edition of the State Office Update. These Updates come out three times a year. We ask CLC 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
CLCNSW is pleased to advise that the NSW Public Purpose Fund (PPF) has provided funding for two of its programs from 1 July 2011. These programs are the Aboriginal Legal Access Program (ALAP), which is managed by Legal Aid NSW, and the Learning & Development (L&D) Program.
The ALAP funding will allow CLCNSW to continue its sector-wide work for supporting CLCs to improve access to their services for Aboriginal communities. This includes the employment of a full-time ALAP Community Development Worker, whose role is to support ALAP workers around NSW, produce tools and documentation that provide information on Aboriginal issues, and liaise with stakeholders in the wider justice sector. The program, which is for a further three years, also provides funding for five CLCs around NSW to provide their own Aboriginal legal access programs.
The L&D program has received funding for a further two years. This will enable the State Office to continue to provide professional development and training opportunities, such as those offered at the Quarterlies. Work will also continue on sector-wide initiatives such as enhancing the Induction Kit and website, providing governance training to Management Committees, accommodation/travel subsidies for RRR CLCs to attend training, and access to external courses.
We were also pleased to learn of the PPF’s funding for a further three years for 14 CLCs for various projects. This funding, which commenced in 2008, has enabled CLCs to provide vital services to disadvantaged individuals and communities in NSW, particularly in the area of unmet need. This includes outreach programs in rural and remote areas, legal services to people who are homeless or have experienced domestic violence, and specialist services to targeted communities, such as the GLBTI community.
CLCNSW acknowledges the support of the PPF and looks forward to continuing to provide high quality ALAP and L&D programs to the CLC sector, as well as supporting individual CLCs to carry out their work around NSW.
Further information: Alastair McEwin, Director, CLCNSW, email@example.com
On 10 May 2011, the Commonwealth Government released its Federal budget. This year’s budget did not include much in the way of new additional funding for the Commonwealth Legal Service Program (CLSP), other than a small CPI increase.
The Budget however did include one possible source of funding for CLCs located in RRR areas. $4.0 million has been allocated over four years to improve access to legal assistance services for people living in regional Australia through the National Broadband Network (NBN). This initiative is aimed to assist people by providing greater access to advice and information to help resolve legal problems without costly litigation, where possible. The funding will be provided to legal aid commissions and other community legal services, which are well placed to develop initiatives which utilise the NBN.
New ALAP Community Development Worker
In April we welcomed Zac Warrenbri to the role of ALAP Community Development Worker.
Strategic directions for ALAP
CLCNSW has commenced a short project to develop a set of strategies for the long-term sustainability of the ALAP. This includes consideration of best practice models for a CLC Aboriginal legal access program and potential sources of income for these programs.
The project is working closely with a consultant, Julie Moore, to produce a report containing these strategic directions. Julie is an Aboriginal woman from the Wandandian people who runs her own Indigenous consultancy, Koorimunication. She has extensive experience in the public sector, which included developing the NSW State Government Aboriginal Mentoring program.
All Aboriginal workers in NSW CLCs will be invited to participate in the project, along with managers and other stakeholders. A key part of the project will be an all day workshop on 7 June to discuss best practice models for Aboriginal legal access programs. Zachary will keep the Aboriginal workers network informed of progress of this project.
Aboriginal sector development work
Since commencing last month, Zachary has been busy meeting with CLC workers and those who work in Aboriginal justice programs.
Zachary attended a series of meetings in the Illawarra region in April to promote the ALAP. This included liaising with the ALAP worker at Illawarra Legal Centre. He met with Centrelink’s Indigenous Specialist Officer for the region and with Juvenile Justice. This has led to broad communications through these agencies and interest in engaging with the ALAP to provide support and advice to young Aboriginal people.
Welcome to Country / Acknowledgment of Country and CLCNSW Aboriginal Employment Strategy
CLCNSW has developed further materials for use by the ALAP and the wider CLC sector, which was launched at the May 2011 General Meeting.
The Welcome to Country / Acknowledgement of Country brochure seeks to provide guidance to CLCs for their Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country protocols. It contains information on the difference between a Welcome and an Acknowledgement, as well as cultural ceremonies.
The CLCNSW Aboriginal Employment Strategy has been developed to provide principles and guidelines for CLCs to include in their own Aboriginal employment strategies. It contains suggested actions for the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal workers, their ongoing professional development and ways a CLC can provide specific support for the unique position many Aboriginal people find themselves in CLC employment. A sample Aboriginal worker exit questionnaire is also included for CLCs to adapt in their own policies and procedures.
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. The immediate focus is monitoring the impact of the changes to costs payments on CLCs and on claimants’ ability to access legal assistance. Other issues include measures to allow RRR CLCs to inspect VCT files without travelling to Sydney at the CLC's expense. Future input into the Victims Services 'Review' of the Victims Services scheme in NSW is expected.
CLCNSW produced an Information Sheet for a forum held in February which summarised some of the concerns.
Click on this link to see the information sheet CLCNSW Law Reform webpage.
Police Complaints Project
The Police Complaints project is continuing slowly. The survey of solicitors and community sector advocates (in conjunction with Charles Sturt University) has been delayed due to requirements of the CSU Ethics Committee. The content of the recommendations have been finalised, and meetings with NSW Police and the Ombudsman's office will be requested soon.
Separate to the complaints project, there is scope to set up meetings with NSW Police and the Ombudsman's office about systemic concerns observed by CLCs in relation to police responses to domestic violence. Please contact Roxana if your CLC is interested in participating.
Living Without Violence toolkit
The Living Without Violence toolkit will produce a number of information sheets on practical issues facing people leaving a violent relationship, with a focus on financial and parenting issues.
NACLC and CLCNSW sought and received a small Human Rights Education Grant to assist with this project. We 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 first information sheet, nearing completion, is on Domestic Violence and Centrelink Payments.
If anyone else would like to join the team working on this, please contact Roxana.
Law Reform & Policy priority issues
The Law Reform & Policy Committee discussed priorities for the coming year at the Quarterlies meeting on 17 May 2011.
In June, Roxana will also distribute a survey to each CLC to assist with their law reform / advocacy planning, and to allow CLCs to share what they are planning for 2011-2012.
Recently Completed Activities
Additional information has been added to the Law Reform section of the CLCNSW website, including the page “Raising Issues with Members of Parliament”.
Check it out at http://www.clcnsw.org.au/cb_pages/law_reform.php
Please let Roxana know of any improvements, additional resources or topics you would like to see on the website.
CLCNSW made a submission to Senate Inquiry into Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2011.
CLCNSW endorsed ANTAR’s Call to Action “To reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system”.
Further information: Roxana Zulfacar, Advocacy & Human Rights Officer, Roxana_Zulfacar@clc.net.au
Evaluation of Learning & Development Program
The evaluation of the Learning and Development Program has now been completed. The final report comprised part of CLCNSW's submission to the PPF for ongoing funding of the L&D program beyond 30 June 2011. CLCNSW once again thanks all those in the CLC sector who provided comments to Matrix on Board, the consultants who undertook the evaluation.
The report made a number of recommendations for enhancing existing L&D offerings, as well as developing a range of new initiatives. CLCNSW looks forward to working with the sector to provide these initiatives, with the overarching aim of continuing to improve CLCs’ organisational capacity to provide legal services.
Phase one of the Mentoring project is under way. 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. As part of this, there will be a focus group meeting at the May quarterlies.
CLCNSW would like to thank all CLC staff who completed the survey sent out recently in view of scoping such a program for CLC staff.
Further information: Joanna Mantziaris, Learning & Development Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
In March 2011, the 14th 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 27 June 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
17 – 21 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
Events in March 2014
Tuesday 11th | CLCNSW SECTOR INDUCTION
Location: State Office 28 Foveaux Street Surry Hills and by Skype
Contact: Greg Dwyer | Phone: 92127333
With Federal Judge The Hon Mathew Myers AM, Cheryl Orr, and Rick Welsh The day will be divided into 3 parts: Key note speeches, small group discussion, and afternoon forumCLCs and Legal Assistance organisations working in Care & Protection and Family Law are invited to attend and participate in the CLC Aboriginal Family Law Day.
Location: Gilbert + Tobin, Level 37, 2 Park St Sydney 2000
Contact: Zachary Armytage, Community Legal Centres NSW | Phone: (02) 9212 7333