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Kingsford Legal Centre
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Welcome to the May edition of the KLC e-bulletin.  It’s been a big month in all areas of service, in particular Law Reform and Community Legal Education.  We are also short on Tuesday evening volunteers – so if you are interested follow the link in the article below.

NGO Coalition Prepares Shadow Report to the UN on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights

KLC is working on a joint KLC, CLCNSW, NACLC and Good Shepherd Australia shadow report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Australia’s implementation of the CEDAW convention is being reviewed by the Committee in its next session starting 2 July 2018. Our NGO report will focus on the key issues that affect our clients. These include the rejection of the Statement from the Heart, the high incidence of sexual harassment at work, and need for ongoing support of victims of domestic violence.  Look out for the release of our report next month.
 

Submission to Joint Standing Committee on Migration

KLC made submissions to the Joint Standing Committee’s inquiry into review processes  of visas cancelled on criminal grounds. KLC believes that the current review processes of government decision making for visas cancelled on criminal grounds are insufficient. KLC recommended strengthening the existing review processes to improve the efficiency and fairness of the section 501 visa cancellation process under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth). KLC also recommended changes to the use of immigration detention in visa cancellation matters, including by ending mandatory immigration detention.  To view the full submission click here.

 

NSW Closer to Safe Access Zones Around Reproductive Healthcare Clinics

KLC is involved in CLCNSW’s campaign for safe, legal and affordable reproductive healthcare for all pregnant women in NSW. Last week the NSW Upper House passed a bill creating 150m safe access zones around healthcare clinics that provide abortions. The safe access zones mean that patients accessing clinics will be able do so without being harassed, intimidated or obstructed by anti-abortion protesters. KLC signed Fair Agenda’s open letter to Members of NSW Parliament urging all MPs to vote for the bill, which passed the Upper House on 24 May 2018. We are continuing to lobby our NSW politicians to support the bill as it awaits a vote in the Lower House.  
 

#METOO – Sexual Harassment at Work

Karen (not her real name) worked as a contractor to a small business. In fact, she only performed work for that small business.  Karen experienced sexual harassment by the two owners of the business, which included an escalation from innocent gestures such as ‘hi-fives’ to what she considered to be inappropriate touching as well as being propositioned in exchange for a promise of a more permanent role with the business.  Not only did our client have to endure the unwanted advances, she felt victimised as a result of declining the attentions, being underpaid and which escalated to the point where our client was no longer able to continue doing work for the business.  Karen found it difficult to face the two owners and listen to their version of events on her own behalf so she came to KLC for help. KLC represented Karen at conciliation who helped her to achieve a settlement of an ex-gratia payment of $4500 and a written statement of regret.  It is very common for victims of sexual harassment at work to find it very difficult to represent themselves in proceedings. Karen told us afterward that she felt happy because, with our help, she was able to stand up to the harassers at the conciliation conference.

Free Workshop for Community Workers on Credit & Debt

On 15 May KLC solicitor Dianne Anagnos, and KLC students Rose Sheaffe and Mitchell Wilson, presented a free Community Legal Education workshop at Lionel Bowen Library in Maroubra. The interactive workshop – ‘Helping Your Clients with Credit and Debt Problems’ –  provided community workers with an overview of the options available to clients with credit and debt problems. The workshop was attended by  17 community workers from different professions and from a variety of organisations.  It was clear from the lively discussion that all of the participants saw countless debt problems arise in their casework and were starkly aware of the detriment they can cause, particularly to people’s health. The attendees were particularly interested in how they could help their clients deal with debt before being taken to Court or involved in formal proceedings. Special thanks to Randwick Council for providing the space for free and for helping us to publicise the event. 

 

Philip Merryweather Visits KLC

KLC was delighted to welcome donor Philip Merryweather, BCom, LLB, UNSW  (1982/1983) to the Centre on 30 April.  Philip , who is currently living and working in London, enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about how the Centre works with its clients and its focus on discrimination and employment law.  It was also a good chance for Philip to meet with students and learn firsthand about the skills and knowledge they gain from working with real clients.  We are grateful for Philip’s ongoing support of our work and look forward to engaging with him in the future.

Training our Volunteers

KLC volunteers and criminal lawyers Mikaela Eldridge and Matt Kwan presented an entertaining and practical session for volunteers from Kingsford, Inner City, Marrickville and Redfern community legal centres on Thursday 10 May. The topic was minor criminal and traffic matters in the local court and Mikaela and Matt worked through common scenarios for community legal centre clients. King & Wood Mallesons hosted the training and provided excellent catering. The next volunteer solicitor training session is on Thursday 26 July, on consumer claims and procedure in NCAT.
 

Call out for Volunteer Solicitors

KLC is currently short of volunteer solicitors for our fortnightly Tuesday night roster (6pm – 9:30pm).  We are looking for solicitors with current NSW practising certificates with at least 18 months to two years’ experience, preferably in an area of law relevant to our clients.  Our advice nights are very collegiate, supportive and often fun.  If you meet the criteria and are interested in joining our roster – click here to fill out the application form.  If you have any questions email us at legal@unsw.edu.au.

KLC Receives Volunteer Award from Kooloora Community Centre

On Monday 28 May KLC solicitor, Anita Will, and KLC student, Hanz Yong, attended the Volunteer Awards Presentation at Kooloora Community Centre to celebrate the great contribution of Kooloora volunteers to the community. KLC was honoured and delighted to be presented an award for the assistance we provide to the Centre and local community members. After the awards presentation we all enjoyed a delicious multicultural lunch courtesy of Randwick City Council.

Thanks and Goodbye to Semester 2 Students

Sadly semester 2 finishes on Friday 1 June so it’s time to say goodbye to all of our clinical law students.  It has been a great, fast-paced semester and staff have enjoyed getting to know, and working, with you all.  We wish you all the very best for the future and hope to see you on community legal centre volunteer rosters in the next few years.  On behalf of our clients – thanks for all of your hard work!
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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