South Eastern Justice

Issue 4, June 2016
In this issue
 
Volunteer Week 2016

Fair Work Partnership

SMLS Announcements

Attorney General, the Hon Martin Pakula announces new CLC FV grants at SMLS

Multi-disciplined and Complex Case Practice

Law Week 2016
Volunteer Week 2016
Volunteer generosity significantly increases SMLS capacity to address the overwhelming unmet legal needs of our community.  
Volunteer Week reminds us to take time out to acknowledge their hard work.
On Friday 13th May we celebrated our volunteers and the work that they do at Henry and the Fox on Collins Street in Melbourne.  The volunteer program at SMLS gives law students, law graduates and lawyers the opportunity to gain practical experience and insight into systemic issues affecting vulnerable communities.  The volunteer program vastly increases the capacity of the service to provide advice and assistance to members of the community.  Our volunteers are an integral part of our service and we appreciate their time, effort and dedication to the community we serve.  Each year we acknowledge the volunteers who have five or more years of service, this year they were: Belinda Shen, Charlie Morshead, Chat Thomas, Chris Twidale, Daphne Foong, Frankey Chung, John Longo, Mervyn Low, Sam Mason-Smith and Simon Fuller.

We also reflect on what staff do in their free time to support the community we live in.

Our community development worker Claire is a volunteer with the Victorian SES.  As a member of the Victorian SES, Claire attends emergency service training, and also donates one week a month to being on-call.  As a member of a metropolitan SES unit, volunteers respond to calls from residents and businesses for storm, hail, flood and wind damage.  SES volunteers may also be called upon to assist police and other emergency services.

Our Community Lawyer, Sandy serves as Secretary for Lawyers for Animals, a Melbourne - based organisation, advocating for the rights of animals.  Sandy has been a member of Lawyers for Animals for one and a half years.
Fair Work Partnership
Workplace Advice Clinic
The Fair Work Commission has joined with SMLS and JobWatch in a pilot program to provide free legal assistance to self represented applicants at the Fair Work Commission.  The program will benefit those do not generally have the means to access legal advice and require advice and assistance with their employment law issues and / or the employment law legal process.

The program is an appointment based free advice, located at the Fair Work Commission in the CBD. Under the pilot applicants will receive an hours’ free legal assistance from a lawyer from one of the two CLC's on a range of employment law issues.  Matters arising generally relate to how to proceed with an unfair dismissal or general protection claim at the Fair Work Commission.

SMLS Civil Lawyer, Daniel says, 
'We hope to give people a better understanding of the Fair Work Commission process by providing independent legal advice and procedural guidance... particularly to those who would otherwise not have the means to access a private lawyer.'

Fair Work Commission President, Justice Iain Ross said the pilot was part of the Commission’s ongoing change program Future Directions and was another initiative aimed at promoting fairness and improving access to justice.
‘We are pleased to be able to facilitate this pilot program with JobWatch and the Springvale Monash Legal Service,’ Justice Ross said.
SMLS Executive Director, Kris Walwork, is confident the program will improve on current legal mechanisms, stating:
‘This is an opportunity to refine efficiencies and effectiveness of legal avenues that all too often get bogged down in the adversarial nature of our legal system.  A collaborative model ensures best practice use of all resources and an outcome measured approach.’

The pilot will run in Melbourne until the end of 2016, followed by an evaluation.

Appointments can be made by contacting the Fair Work Commission on (03) 8661 7777 or 1300 799 675. 
Announcements
 
LIV Awards
SECASA lawyer, Meg and SMLS Treasurer, Jared, were both nominated for the Law Institute of Victoria's annual awards.  We are very proud to announce that both were finalists in their field.
Meg Butterfield - Community Lawyer of the Year
Jared Heath - Government Lawyer of the Year
Congratulations to you both!

Pilot Project
SMLS has been selected by the Federation of Community Legal Centres to participate in the sector-wide Outcomes Measurement Framework Pilot Project.

New Grants
SMLS has secured two new grants: one to assist our volunteer program and another to provide free legal assistance to taxi drivers.
 
Staff Well-being
We had an impromptu mental health and well-being day at the office in May.  Many thanks to Felix and Mr Boags (pictured), for spending the day with us. 
Annual General Meeting
Please save the date 26th October 2016
Attorney General, the Hon. Martin Pakula, announces new CLC FV grants at SMLS
SMLS Chair, David Starvaggi was very pleased to introduce the Attorney General, the Hon. Martin Pakula, together with Clare O’Neil Federal Labor MP and our esteemed Patron the Hon. Shane Marshall at SMLS on Monday, 27 June 2016.
The Attorney General took the opportunity to confirm the allocation of further State funds for family violence duty lawyer services, as well as announce a new grants program for additional funds allocated to family violence related services in response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
SMLS congratulates the Attorney General for the initiative and the recognition of the role that CLCs play in addressing family violence related issues. We also thank Ms O’Neil for taking time out of what will be a very busy week for her, to be available for these announcements and express continued support for CLCs.
Executive Director, Kristen Wallwork notes this was welcomed news and will provide the resources to retain specialist duty lawyer services that have been developed to respond to the complex needs of people affected by family violence.
Multi-disciplined and Complex Case Practice
SMLS has been creating opportunities to address the complex needs of clients who experience family violence.  An example of this is the Family Violence Specialist clinic.  We see this as a long term investment in sustainable solutions.
The cross-jurisdictional service delivery is in response to issues raised during the Royal Commission into Family Violence, and subsequent discussion in the report.  The service provides specialist case assistance where Family Violence, Family Law and Child Protection overlap.  SMLS new specialist service aims to address the gap of clients receiving segmented, related advice.
SMLS has also developed an outreach at Monash Health Community Hub in Dandenong.  The Health Justice partnership will allow clients to access on-site legal advice and assistance.  A vital aspect of the partnership is training Monash Health staff to better recognise when clients have legal issues.  This alliance addresses both access issues and the interrelationships between health and well-being, and legal matters. 
Law Week 2016
SMLS hosted an event at the Dandenong Market for Law Week.  Staff and students were out in force letting market visitors know about the legal services we provide, and offering information on a range of legal issues.
Copyright © 2015, Springvale Monash Legal Service, All rights reserved.
South Eastern Justice, Issue 4, June, 2016.

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