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Sporting Change: A report by Springvale Monash Legal Service

In 2016 we provided a grant to Springvale Monash Legal Service (SMLS) to combine sport-based engagement strategies with legal education at Narre Warren South P-12 College. Their aim was to decrease young people having negative interactions with the justice system.

One hundred and fifty three young people from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds attended sixty-three education sessions as part of the Sporting Change project.

Using sport as the framework for legal education, the young people were made aware of their legal rights and responsibilities, how to identify legal issues and where to seek help. To support this learning, a lawyer was embedded into the school’s well-being team to provide professional legal education to the school community.

Sporting Change provided young people with an opportunity for peer-to-peer role modelling, making new friends, playing a new sport and authentic relationship development with SMLS staff, resulting in among many other things two participants with no prior knowledge of community legal services going on to undertake work experience at SMLS.

Some of their achievements and note-worthy outcomes include:

  • 98% of participants reported that learning about legal rights and responsibilities had significantly and positively impacted their life.
  • 94% reported increased knowledge of possible consequences if they or someone they knew got in trouble with the law.
  • 93% reported a changed attitude towards Police, PSOs and other people in authority.
  • 96% reported increased knowledge about where to get help with legal problems.
  • 48 students were provided with legal advice from the school lawyer on issues including employment law, family law, bullying and immigration.

In 2018 we funded them to replicate this successful service at Cranbourne East Secondary College.

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