23 November 2016 – Volume 117
Family violence survivor Simone O'Brien.
In this special White Ribbon Day edition of Legal Aid Brief, learn about the wide range of work we undertake to assist women and families affected by family violence.


Family violence survivor's story told to help those who help others

Simone O'Brien is facing another six months of surgery because of her assault, but takes time to speak about her experiences with legal and support services.

Read more about her inspiring story which seeks to educate and bring about change.

New integrated family law court services coming to Dandenong and Melbourne

A new integrated service will be delivered through the Family Law Courts in Dandenong and Melbourne from 2017 to help families who are impacted by family violence and caught up in family law disputes.

Read more about the service and the benefits it will deliver.

'Lawyer in schools' trial underway in Geelong

Students at Newcomb Secondary College in Geelong are now more legally aware and able to access legal help courtesy of a trial partnership with Victoria Legal Aid.

Read more about the benefits of the partnership and our early intervention.

Show your support and Walk Against Family Violence

Join us this Friday at the Walk Against Family Violence – a community initiative designed to raise awareness of family violence and the impact it has on the community.

Read more about how you can join the walk.

Could greater clarity about roles improve our child protection response?

Combined training for students of social work and law is one of the suggestions in our Child Protection Review consultation and options paper.

Read more about the suggestion at Project Manager Vincenzo Caltabiano's LinkedIn post.

Youth crime and revocation of offender's visas

Executive Director Criminal Law Helen Fatouros recently spoke on ABC radio about youth crime in South Sudanese communities and warned of the complications caused by politicians becoming involved in the punishment of offenders by revoking visas.

Listen to the interview.

People doing legal aid work

A passionate commitment to the prevention of family violence

Meet our Acting Family Violence Program Manager Emma Smallwood and learn more about her work on behalf of people affected by family violence.

New appointment reinforces our commitment to Mallee region

Read about how the recent appointment of Heidi Deason to the role of Manager, Mallee Legal Impact underlines our commitment to the Mallee region and establishing a presence in Mildura.

Panel practitioner updates

More safeguards and clear procedures required for Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Bill

In our recent submission to the Minister for Health, Minister for Mental Health, Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for Health, we outlined our concerns about the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Bill.

This Bill seeks to establish new processes and requirements about the making of medical treatment decisions where the person being treated does not have decision-making capacity.

We recommend that future consultation be undertaken with consumers to ensure the Bill provides adequate safeguards and clear and effective procedures.

Read our submission.

Special edition of Legal Aid Brief for criminal law practitioners

We recently published a special edition of Legal Aid Brief for criminal law practitioners doing legally aided criminal law work.

Read the special edition of Legal Aid Brief for criminal law practitioners.

Trial Counsel Development Program now recruiting

Our Trial Counsel Development Program provides unique training opportunities to selected Junior Counsel at the Victorian Bar by partnering them with senior trial advocates.

Applications for the program close 2pm, Friday 16 December.

Read more about the application criteria.

Community news and notices

Prison Songs – 24 November

Prison Songs is a groundbreaking documentary that gives voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are impacted by the criminal justice system.

Shot entirely behind bars, this funny yet achingly sad account of eventful lives is delivered via the musical performance of real people imprisoned in a Darwin jail.

Read more at Prison Songs.

White Ribbon Day – 25 November

White Ribbon Day seeks to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to and perpetuatate men's violence against women. Men and women are encouraged to wear a symbolic white ribbon on Friday 25 November. 

Read more about White Ribbon Day.

Walk Against Family Violence – 25 November

Join us on the walk to show that you do not accept violence against women and children and will remember the women and children who have lost their lives, who have experienced violence and who continue to suffer family violence.

Read more at Walk Against Family Violence.

Victoria Against Violence – 25 November to 10 December

This public awareness campaign aims to raise awareness of what individuals, families, organisations and government can do to prevent family violence. It will provide the community with opportunities to participate in the discussion, attend events and support those who have experienced family violence.

Read more about Victoria Against Violence.

Without Suspicion – Measuring racial profiling in Victoria – 8 December

This event includes a panel discussion about the experiences and impacts of racial profiling on individuals and communities, trends in racialised policing and options for Victoria to gather and monitor ethnicity data for all police stops statewide. This will be followed by a question and answer session and discussion about stop data and other strategies to prevent racial profiling by police.

Read more at Without Suspicion – Measuring racial profiling in Victoria.

Victoria Law Foundation Legal Laneway Breakfast – 1 February 2017

Now in its 14th year and organised by the Victoria Law Foundation, the 2017 Legal Laneway Breakfast is a great way to celebrate the start of the legal year, catch up with colleagues and meet new faces in the legal sector.

Read more at Victoria Law Foundation Legal Laneway Breakfast 2017.

If you have any community news that you would like included in this eNewsletter email editor@vla.vic.gov.au. Items will be published at the editor's discretion.


This eNewsletter is authorised by Victoria Legal Aid, 350 Queen Street Melbourne 3000.

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