Project Updates - Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner

Project Updates

Outcomes of projects funded through the Grants Program

Will somebody listen to me?

This report is the culmination of funding of $449,000 over three years provided through the Legal Services Board Grants Program in 2012 to target family violence in the Central Victorian Region.  The project, run by Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre, has seen increased access by women to legal representation through an enhanced presence in regional courts in Bendigo, Echuca, Maryborough and the establishment of new services in Swan Hill and Kyneton as a result of the LSB funding.

The final report on the findings and recommendations of the project was officially released and launched on 5 May 2015 in Bendigo.  This report outlines the experiences, suggestions and concerns of women who had or were experiencing family violence in Regional Victoria.  The report comes in an abridged and detailed form which has been provided to decision-makers, media and community with pragmatic suggestions for change.  190 women participated in the survey that informs the report whilst 27 women consented to and participated in an in-depth interview. It was launched on the day that the Royal Commission into Family Violence was sitting in Bendigo.

 

JobVoice

The Social Security Online project from Social Security Rights Victoria was funded to establish an online portal which responds to an unmet need for job seekers to voice about their experience with Employment Service Providers. Their JobVoice website has won the National Rural Law and Justice Award 2015 for Transformative Use of Technology in the Law which was announced in July at the annual National Rural Law and Justice Conference.

For more detail of the project, please visit the Social Security Rights Victoria website.

See also the JobVoice website.

 

Advancing Community Justice

Creating fairer outcomes through law reform and policy work is a project that conducts proactive law reform and policy work in the key areas of civil justice, police accountability and family violence.

The project, undertaken by the Federation of Community Legal Centres secured funding from the Legal Services Board’s grants program in 2011, and aimed to develop a better and fairer legal system by conducting proactive law reform and policy work in three key areas of civil justice, police accountability and family violence.  In addition, it also aimed to develop a resource and a training program to help community legal centres and other non-government organisations conduct effective law reform and policy work.

A web-based, The Change Toolkit, was published in February 2015 which provides CLCs and NGOs a lasting resource to identify systemic issues affecting their clients.

The Report – Tracking Protective Services Officers: Insights from the first three year, was published in June 2015 has informed commuters about their rights with respect to Protective Services Officers.

For details on The Change Toolkit, please visit the Change Tooklit website.

 

Making the law work better for people affected by cancer

The McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, supported by a Legal Services Board grants program in 2012, commenced a project on legal issues for people affected by cancer.  The Centre undertook consultation across regional and metropolitan Victoria on these areas: Financial support for transport and accommodation for cancer patients and carers in regional areas; Employment, including discrimination, access to workplace rights and returning to work; Discrimination in insurance; and Decision making at the end-of-life.

The first report titled Making the law work better for people affected by cancer which includes recommendations for law reform around the legal focus areas in March 2014, the second report was released in March 2015.  This report built on their earlier one and examines two further topics: informed consent to cancer treatment, including informed financial consent, and the regulation of unregistered complementary and alternative medicine practitioners.

For full details on the reports, click on the links to download the first Report and second report or visit the McCabe Centre website.

 

Legal and Health alliances

Linda Gyorki, Senior Project Manager & Lawyer, Inner Melbourne Community Legal, was fortunate to receive a Churchill Fellowship to study Advocacy Health Alliances in 3 countries. Her report– Breaking down the silos: Overcoming the Practical and Ethical Barriers of Integrating Legal Assistance into a Health Setting, is now available.

‘It is hoped that this report will act as a catalyst for the establishment of partnerships between legal services and health-care institutions in increasingly diverse contexts.’ Linda Gyorki.

The report can be obtained from the Churchill Trust website.

 

Acting on the warning signs

This is the pioneering Advocacy-Health Alliance partnership between Inner Melbourne Community Legal and the Royal Women’s Hospital, originally funded in 2011 to reduce violence against women.

The evaluation of the first stage of the project has been undertaken by Melbourne University and the report was published in August 2014. Findings indicate that the project has built capacity, confidence and willingness of health professionals to identify and act on signs of family violence and established a strong organisational foundation at the hospital to address violence against women.

For detail of the project, please visit the Inner Melbourne Community Health website.

 

Shining a light on law and markets in private land conservation

In 2014 the Trust for Nature completed two reports funded by the Victorian Legal Services Board examining environmental markets.

  • Shining a Light on Law and Markets in Private Land Conservation: Insights and Issues from Victorian Landowners
  • Land-Based Environmental Markets and the Law: the evolving legal landscape underpinning ecosystem services markets in Victoria

The project partnered with Victoria Naturally Alliance and aims to gain a better understanding of market- based mechanisms to promote private land conservation as well as addressing a perceived information gap in understanding the legal and financial aspects from a landowner’s perspective.

For details of the report and project, please visit the Trust for Nature website.

 

Self-represented people at the Family Law Courts

Being at Court for the Final Hearing of a family law case can be overwhelming. In order to provide some of the basic information you need to know about how a day is likely to proceed and what you need to do, Court Network has produced A Resource Booklet as part of an enhanced program at the Family Law Courts.

Court Network provides information, support and referral service to people when they are at Court. This booklet supports an expanded service for people who are attending a Final Hearing of a family law dispute, but who don’t have a lawyer.

This service, funded through a 2013 Major Grant, provides more intensive support and for longer than the regular Court Network services.

For detail of the booklet, please visit the Court Network website.

 

Mental health and the legal profession

There has been growing awareness in the Australian legal profession since 2007 that lawyers are more likely than the general population to experience depression and anxiety. In late 2011, the LIV obtained funding for the Legal Services Board Grants program for the Mental Health and the Legal Profession project in order to: (1)operate a pilot health and wellbeing service providing independent and confidential services for lawyers;

(2) undertake a literature review on lawyer personality traits and the susceptibilities toward particular forms of psychological distress; and (3)scope out options for an ongoing lawyers’ health program.

Following a period of research and consultation, the project has now come to an end and the LIV launched a report on the findings on 9 September 2014. The mental health report sets out detailed proposals for the introduction of a preventative health and wellbeing strategy for the Victorian legal community.

For details of the full report, please visit the Law Institute of Victoria website

 

Other reports

The following reports on previously funded Grants projects are available for download:

 

For more information on outcomes of projects, please see the Newsletters page. Project descriptions and links to reports are available in the newsletters.

Last modified September 7, 2016.