Edition #28
PASSION WITH PURPOSE wins Gold in the Good Design Awards 'Social Impact' category!

This week we’re excited to confirm that the online resource has been recognised with an Australian Good Design Gold Award in the Social Impact category.  

The Good Design Awards is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious design award programs. It showcases superior examples of good design to a national and international audience. The award for acknowledges the innovative design process that went into creating the online resource. The process drew in stakeholders from across the criminal justice, disability and social service sectors, and people with disability and lived experience of the criminal justice system in a human-centred design process. Its methodology adopted aspects of system thinking, creating the first iteration of the Supporting Justice System Map to identify strategic opportunities for the resource to have the greatest impact.  


Finding my voice and sharing my lived experience: A call for lived experience to inform criminal justice system reform

As an Adviser and Peer Support worker on CIJ’s Supporting Justice project, I have been working with the CIJ on their submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. I’m looking forward to giving evidence to the Royal Commission later this year when hearings resume into the impact of the criminal justice system on people with disability. As a person with lived experience of the criminal justice system, I’m also one of the founding members of the Voices for Change self-advocacy group for people with acquired brain injury who have survived prison. Voices for Change worked with CIJ to create the Our Voices podcast series to inform a recently completed written submission to the Royal Commission. 

Lived experience is exactly what it suggests, it is a person who has lived through a system rather than learned about it from the outside. Somebody who has lived experience has insights and experiences that someone with learned experience does not. Like most things in life, you can try to understand something but until you’ve experienced it yourself it’s hard to really know it.  

Submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

The CIJ has made a joint submission with the Voices for Change self-advocacy group to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. This submission is intended to be read in conjunction with the Our Voices podcast series which forms part of the CIJ and Voices for Change submission to the Royal Commission.


Voices for Change receive Information, Linkages and Capacity Building grant!

The CIJ’s Supporting Justice project has been working with the Voices for Change Self-Advocacy group for people with acquired brain injury and lived experience of the criminal justice system to build their capacity and continue their advocacy activities throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns. The project is excited to announce that Voices for Change have been successful in the recent NDIS organisational capacity building grant round. The group will receive funding for two years to build a strong foundation, grow its membership of self-advocates and continue their ground-breaking work to influence positive, lived-experience led change in the criminal justice system. The grant will be auspiced by the Fitzroy Legal Service, an exciting new partnership that has grown out of the Supporting Justice Project’s hard work to influence change in the criminal justice system to address the overrepresentation of people with disability.
Neighbourhood Justice Centre Online Taster Placement

This semester, CIJ have moved our taster placement opportunities to an online format.This online taster placement gave RMIT students a chance to understand how 'place-based justice' works and what 'one-stop-justice' means. You can watch a recording of the placement here.

Virtual School Outreach Program: Remote learning offers an Opportunity to Engage

With secondary school students undertaking remote learning due to the coronavirus restrictions, the CIJ is taking the opportunity to engage with legal and political studies students from all over Victoria. Recognising the difficulty for many students, with the disruption to classes and cancellation of excursions and in particular those in their final year of VCE, the CIJ’s Virtual School Outreach Program offers students a break for their usual class with an online presentation from CIJ Director Rob Hulls on justice issues and law reforms related to the CIJ’s work.  

Taking advantage of the move to online platforms, the program has allowed the CIJ to engage with over 20 secondary schools across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, including schools in Horsham, Mildura, Bairnsdale and Wodonga. The reach of the Program also extended to the Aurora Foundation’s Indigenous Outreach Program, which connects high school students with high-achieving Indigenous role models. This session was facilitated by CIJ’s Senior Adviser, Jarrod Hughes, who presented alongside of Rob to a class of Indigenous high school students from Western Australia.

Through the program the CIJ has successfully presented to over 300 secondary school students discussing the systemic issues experienced by those who come into contact with justice system, the importance of law reform as well as inspiring students to think critically about traditional law and order policies. The program also afforded an opportunity to promote RMIT’s new undergraduate LLB course that is to commence next year in 2021.

Education and student engagement continues to be a key focus of the CIJ’s work.

Social Work Student update

Despite ongoing COVID restrictions, social work field education placements have continued for many social work students in semester 2, 2020, albeit from home. The Law and Advocacy Centre for Women (LACW) is fortunate to have two Field Education 2 final year Master of Social Work students currently on placement. The students, Anushia Andrews and Lauren Tarver, are completing a project-based placement researching integrated practice, with a particular focus on social work support in community legal settings. 

Integrated practice is growing as a service delivery model for community legal centres and in other legal settings and is an area in which social work is becoming more involved, as services embrace innovative ways to support people with multiple and complex needs. 

Anushia and Lauren's placement will involve a literature review, identifying best practice principles from the existing literature and the strong integrated practice networks in Victoria. They will also undertake a review of LACW's integrated practice model and plan to produce resources for the growing integrated practice sector. 

LACW would like to thank Anushia and Lauren for their hard work to date and is looking forward to continuing to promote the importance of integrated legal and social support models in supporting vulnerable people.

Pictured: Anushia Andrews and Lauren Tarver
2020 Higinbotham Lecture: Collectivism not individualism: a path out of COVID

RMIT was delighted to have The Hon Jill Hennessy MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Workplace Safety deliver the 2020 Higinbotham Lecture, which was followed by a Q&A session with CIJ's Stan Winford and the Graduate School of Business and Law, Professor Bronwyn Naylor, where they discussed the legal response of the Victorian Government to the current health and economic challenges. 


Responding to family violence by adolescents: finding the best way forward
This discussion will explore this challenge as it presents in Western Australia. It is part of our cross-jurisdictional PIPA project which includes Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. 
You can listen to the recording of the Victorian event here.
Date: October TBC.

Raising the criminal age of responsibility – panel discussion
Keep an eye out for detail of this webinar coming soon!
CIJ's 2019 Annual Review now available

Stay safe! 

- CIJ Team
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