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Kingsford Legal Centre
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Welcome to the May edition of the KLC e-bulletin. Even though students have finished up for their first trimester, it's been busy at the Centre with lots happening in community legal education, law reform and casework. We've also had some good news about our funding being secure for the next three years, and welcomed our new Director, Emma Golledge.

Funding Success!

KLC secures funding for a Health Justice Partnership

KLC is delighted to announce that the State Government has agreed to fund a solicitor to deliver a Health Justice Partnership at Prince of Wales Hospital. Health Justice Partnerships are a collaborative and multi-disciplinary service delivery model that make sure people can access legal assistance when they need it most.  POWH is a major public teaching hospital located in Randwick, providing a full range of hospital services to the people of New South Wales with 450 inpatient beds and almost 3,000 staff. Each year they care for more than 58,000 patients in their Emergency Department and around 50,000 patients are admitted to the Hospital. POWH also has a busy outpatient service and rural outreach service and provide more than 900,000 occasions of non-admitted patient care each year.  We have been in discussions with POWH for over six months and have received enthusiastic support for the project.  We hope to start the service on 1 July.
 
KLC has also received generous financial support from our long-standing pro bono partner Herbert Smith Freehills for our Health Justice Partnership which we are putting toward the initial start up costs of the service. A big thank you to Herbert Smith Freehills for their ongoing support to KLC and this new project.
 
We were also thrilled to hear in the same funding announcement that KLC’s State Government funding has been secured for the next three years after a tender process. This ends a prolonged period of uncertainty for our Centre and all community legal centres and we can’t wait to do some future planning in light of this funding certainty. Much credit goes to our Office Manager Denise Wasley and our Acting Principal Solicitor Di Anagnos, pictured above, for their hard work on the funding applications.

New Director for KLC

We are excited to announce that Emma Golledge has been appointed to the role of Director at Kingsford Legal Centre. 
Emma joined the KLC team in 2009 as a solicitor and was later appointed Principal Solicitor, a position she has held for nine years. Emma has a long association with Kingsford Legal Centre and was a volunteer solicitor at the Centre when we were in Rainbow Street. She has worked extensively in community legal centres including Redfern Legal Centre and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.  

Emma is an extraordinary community lawyer and educator who brings a sharp, creative intellect to her new position.  She has an ambitious agenda for KLC into the future and KLC staff are excited to help her bring it to fruition. Congratulations Emma!!!

Putting Clients First

KLC recently completed our 2019 Client Advice Survey. The Survey is an important way of us hearing about how well we are doing and what we could do differently.
 
The survey we found that 97% of clients strongly agreed or agreed that it was easy to contact Kingsford Legal Centre, and 100% of clients strongly agreed or agreed that their Kingsford Legal Centre lawyer helped them understand their legal problem. Also, of the clients that identified that they needed an adjustment in how they received our service, such as having a disability, 100% of those surveyed strongly agreed or agreed that these considerations were met by our staff.
 
One of KLC’s aims is to put our clients first. One of our clients recently gave us feedback about how we had helped her with her matter.
 
“It might sound glib and cheesy, but I am amazed with the outcome of my disability discrimination complaint that Kingsford Legal Centre assisted me with.
 
When you are managing a disability within yourself, it’s already challenging. Each day when I wake up I have to do a lot of mental work prior to going about my day. Kingsford Legal Centre skilfully and lawfully diffused the ugly situation which I found myself confronted and gently guided me through the process of making a complaint – they were available by phone and email and sought my instruction continually.
 
I learnt a lot going through the process of defending my rights without attacking. I was awarded a sum of money which came just at the right time – being discriminated against does have an economic impact as my productivity was reduced for some time. I will never forget the incident that occurred – I did irreversibly change that day, but Kingsford Legal Centre helped me find a healthy way forward.”

Helping clients with financial complaints

KLC recently helped our client Susan complain about an insurance policy she had held for many years. Susan came to KLC as she thought she was entitled to make a claim under the policy. Susan had spent many years struggling to pay the policy from her pension. After talking to her we realised that she had been sold the policy by a cold telephone call and that the policy was completely inappropriate for her as she had not been working for the time she held it.

Susan also had experienced significant illnesses that meant she didn't really understand what the policy was and what it would cover.  Our solicitors made a detailed complaint and she received a full refund of the amounts she had paid over the years which was $10,000. 

KLC continues to undertake a significant amount of casework for people on low incomes with complaints about financial institutions, especially for clients who have experienced mental illness. 

KLC tells Productivity Commission there is urgent need for more mental health support

Kingsford Legal Centre solicitors recently made a submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into mental health. We asked the Commission to recommend that Australian governments take urgent steps to improve support for people living with mental health issues.
 
The Commission’s inquiry is intended to ‘examine the effect of mental health on people’s ability to participate in and prospect in the community and workplace.’ We know that many Australians experience mental illness during their lives, and they also make strong contributions to our communities, workplaces and society in general. From our state-wide discrimination law service, we also know that people experiencing mental ill health face high levels of discrimination in workplaces, access to government services, schools, universities and other public places.
 
In our submission, KLC called on Australian governments to:
  • Increase the availability and affordability of mental health care;
  • Fund community support services like Health Justice Partnerships and Partners in Recovery;
  • Strengthen integration and coordination of support and advocacy services with government agencies like Centrelink and social housing providers;
  • Reform discrimination laws to better protect people who are subject to mental health discrimination; and
  • Support people who are struggling with more funding for social housing and income support.
You can read our full submission here.

Community Legal Education Wrap Up
Working with Indigenous Clients

Marijke Bassani, KLC’s Indigenous Graduate Solicitor, presented a recent workshop to local community workers on Working with Indigenous Communities. Marijke used maps, activities and her personal insights to explain the experience of colonisation, and the varied lives and needs of Aboriginal people today. She led a discussion on how language is used by and about Aboriginal people, and explained concepts like cultural safety. All the participants were very engaged, and one commented “I really enjoyed listening to Marijke. It was great getting more understanding about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture”.  

#MeToo – It’s About You

On 9 April 2019, Anita Will (KLC Solicitor) and Joshua Kan (KLC Law Student) presented our “Me Too – It’s About You” workshop on sexual harassment to 77 year 10 students from Champagnat Catholic College. Anita and Joshua were accompanied by eight other KLC law students and our Herbert Smith Freehills secondee, Jasmine Opdam, who assisted us in running the small group activities.
 
The students were a highly engaged group and found the presentation and activities very informative. Both staff and students from the school appreciated the workshop. KLC would like to thank Champagnat Catholic College for giving us this wonderful opportunity, and also a big thanks to the students who participated and helped make this presentation such an enjoyable one! We look forward to rolling our #MeToo – It’s About You workshops to other high schools in our local area soon.

Farewell Term 1 Students

KLC farewelled our Term 1 students who were the first to come through the Centre for the new 10 week term. As a result they were extremely busy and undertook record numbers of appointments, casework, law reform and community legal education. As is KLC tradition we awarded the paddle award for student ‘achievement’ and KLC staff were delighted with the competitive field.  Thanks to our students who as always really went above and beyond for our clients.

Staff news
Welcome to Jasmine

We recently welcomed our newest secondee solicitor from Herbert Smith Freehills, Jasmine Opdam.
Jasmine has spent the past two and a half years working at Herbert Smith Freehills in the employment and litigation teams and volunteering in the firm’s pro bono clinics. Jasmine says she owes her passion for social justice and pro bono work to her experiences as a law student at UNSW, so she’s excited to be back on campus and grateful for the opportunity to work in the community legal sector full-time.
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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