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Kingsford Legal Centre
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Welcome to the first edition of the KLC e-bulletin for 2019! The year is off to a flying start, with our new students settling in and teaching up and running, and lots happening in community legal education, casework, and law reform.

Welcome to 2019!

A huge welcome from all of us at KLC to our 27 new Law students who have had their induction and started their new courses with us. In preparation for the new trimester system that runs for 10 weeks, all the staff of KLC have been very busy during December and January re-designing the course for digital upload.  We have benefitted from the generosity of Michelle Hannon, pro bono partner at Gilbert and Tobin, and Dave Hillard, pro bono partner at Clayton Utz for sharing their time and agreeing to be videoed as discrimination law experts for this upload.  The classes online will enable students to complete some of the seminar program online, and also return to the material for refreshing their knowledge throughout the trimester.

The Lexo Hub reopens

Staff from Kingsford Legal Centre joined an enthusiastic group of people from the South Maroubra community and other local workers to help launch the new Lexo Community Hub in December.  The Hub is an initiative of South Eastern Area District Health, FACS, Randwick Council and the Deli Women and Childrens’ Centre which aims to deliver services in the heart of the South Maroubra public housing estate. 
 
The new premises are excellent and fit for purpose.  At this stage KLC will be staffing a legal advice outreach on the last Thursday of each month (28 February, 28 March) from 12 – 2pm.  This is a fantastic initiative which local organisations have been lobbying for over many years. A big ‘well done’ to all involved, and a special call out and thanks to the wonderful Mel Leves of Randwick Council for all her hard work in realising this significant project.
 
Kingsford Legal Centre offers a wide range of outreach programs for people who might find it difficult to come to the centre. As well as visiting the Lexo Hub to provide free legal advice, solicitors from KLC also provide outreach services at these locations:
 
The Aboriginal Community Health Centre, Yarra Bay every second Wednesday (upcoming dates are 20 Feb, 6 March, 20 March, 3 April)
South Eastern Community Connect at Eastlakes Shopping Centre every second Wednesday from 9am – 12 noon (upcoming dates are 20 February, 6 March, 20 March, 3 April)
 
Kooloora housing estate in Malabar every second Friday from 9.30 – 12.30pm (upcoming dates are 22 February, 8 March, 22 March, 5 April).
 
Give us a call on 9385 9566 for more information or to make an appointment.

Helping clients manage debt

Here at Kingsford Legal Centre we see many clients who are experiencing significant disadvantage and are often struggling to manage and repay debts they have accrued.
 
Recently we helped a client, Cynthia, who was experiencing complex mental health issues, was a single parent and had only the disability support pension as income.

Cynthia was renting a small unit for herself and her children, but the rent took up almost all her pension, so she struggled with her other living expenses. She contacted Kingsford Legal Centre because she had several outstanding fines and was being contacted repeatedly by a debt collector for an outstanding electricity bill from another property she had previously been evicted from.

One of our solicitors worked with Cynthia to apply for a Work and Development Order so that she could work off her fines by undergoing a mental health treatment program. We also negotiated with the debt collectors and explained her situation and ongoing financial hardship, and the debt collectors then agreed to waive the outstanding electricity bill.

Discrimination in job interviews

Under both NSW and Commonwealth law, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against existing employees as well as people who are applying for jobs.
Recently Kingsford Legal Centre solicitors helped a client, Oliver, who was discriminated against because of his mental health condition.
 
Oliver had applied for a new job in the industry he had worked in for many years. Throughout the application process, the company was very positive and encouraging about Oliver’s chances of getting the job. The interviewer told him that he was a good fit for the role. As part of a general disclosure form, Oliver then told the interviewer that he had a mental health condition. The interviewer then told him that he could not have the job. Oliver was not given a chance to explain why his disability would not impact his ability to do the job well.
 
Kingsford Legal Centre solicitors supported Oliver in making a complaint to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board. We went to a conciliation meeting with the company and negotiated a settlement for Oliver which included an apology, financial compensation and an undertaking to review the company’s recruitment processes to ensure that it did not discriminate in the future.
 
As well as providing legal advice and assistance to people who live, work or study in the Randwick and bayside local council areas, KLC also provides a NSW state-wide service in the area of discrimination law.
 

International Student Welcome Day

KLC staff had a great time at the International Student Welcome Day for 2019.  We shared an information tent with our friends from ARC@UNSW and spoke to students who had recently arrived in Sydney from all corners of the world. 
 
There was quite a bit of interest in our education resources on tenancy and employment law issues.  We are hoping to follow this up with further information sessions for international students and their mentors once Term 1 is up and running. 

Visitor at KLC

For the last few months we have been lucky enough to have Anabel Torres visiting KLC from Mexico.
 
Anabel is finishing her Masters in Law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has been continuing her research while in Sydney.  KLC has enjoyed her insights and perspectives on some clinical legal education issues as well as clients. We asked her a bit about what she had enjoyed here at KLC.
 
Tell us what brought you to KLC and UNSW!
As part of the Masters degree studies, the university gave me the opportunity to conduct a research stay. I met Anna Cody in Mexico at the Legal Clinic of the UNAM, so I knew about KLC and decided to come because my research topic is Clinical Legal Education and I wanted to observe the work of the centre because it has more than thirty years of experience in clinical education.
 
What are you studying in Mexico?
I am currently finishing my Masters in law during this research stay, and I will begin a specialty in psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis may seem to have nothing to do with law, but in critical theory, there is an analysis of law from the perspective of psychoanalysis that can help us understand better the law as a social phenomenon.
 
What have you enjoyed most during your time at KLC?
I enjoyed the excellent work environment, the KLC office is a great place where I could obtain resources for my research, and I also had the opportunity to observe the way solicitors advise clients and the details that make a quality service, with values and ethics that transmit to the students.
 
I was fascinated by having the experience of how generosity can be spread, because the people who come to the office always have something to share, be it some cakes, chocolates or even a tip or an idea that helps you at work; I did not see here competition to know who is better than the other, what I saw was a community that works as a team for the welfare of people who need legal help.
 
What sort of work do you hope to do in the future?
I would love to work to promote clinical legal education in Mexico and community legal education, as well as actively participating in the struggle for social justice, and improve the Mexican legal system.
My desire is to continue with my studies and find a PhD in which I can also contribute to critical theory.

Farewell to Anna

Kingsford Legal Centre Director Anna Cody will be formally finishing at the Centre on 12 April. During her last six weeks with KLC she will be focussing on research and a leadership course.  From 1 March 2019, Emma Golledge will be acting Director and Dianne Anagnos will be acting Principal Solicitor.
Copyright © Kingsford Legal Centre 2015
Address: Kingsford Legal Centre, F8-003, UNSW, 2052 
Telephone: (+61 2) 9385 9566
Email: legal@unsw.edu.au
 UNSW ABN 57 195 873 179
CRICOS Provider No: 00098G.

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KINGSFORD LEGAL CENTRE · F8-003 · UNSW · Sydney, NSW 2052 · Australia

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