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Annual Report 2014 - 2015

Community legal education

The Community Legal Education (CLE) program educates priority client groups. In 2014-2015, our program focused on educating young people, families, Aboriginal people, newly arrived people and community workers.

OBJECTIVE: Access to justice

"Over 7,000 young people learned about the consequences of sexting and cyber bullying through our workshops."

Highlights included:

  • developing new video and multimedia content for our Best for Kids website for young people and families. The new content includes six videos for children and young people, interactive multimedia brochures, and an expansion of the legal topics to include relevant civil and criminal law issues;
  • rolling out an interactive multimedia resource for young people about cyber bullying and sexting. The resource is an interactive 'choose-your-own-adventure' style animation exploring the criminal law consequences of sexting and cyber bullying. Over 7,000 young people and over 600 teachers and workers attended 175 workshops in 44 schools;
  • rolling out the Law Check-Up package, aimed at enabling community workers to obtain an earlier pathway to legal assistance for their clients. Twenty-nine sessions were delivered in 21 locations (see Encouraging timely legal problem spotting); and
  • establishing a law webinar project, involving two separate calendars of webinars that target the public and non-legal service providers. The webinars for the public are run frequently to provide a 'just in time' service. The webinars for non-legal service providers include practical information on common legal issues and updates on new laws and services. We delivered 42 webinars to 631 participants.

Lawyers Danilo Rajkovic and Damian Beaufils at Homeless Connect Western Sydney in October 2014

Above: Lawyers Danilo Rajkovic and Damian Beaufils at Homeless Connect Western Sydney in October 2014.

OBJECTIVE: Excellence in legal services

We pursue excellence in CLE services through planning, business reporting and evaluation. This ensures our CLE is targeted and effective in reaching its audience.

Highlights included:

  • commissioning a CLE review by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW. The first stage, carried out this year, involved conducting an audit of our CLE (including publications) over a 12-month period in order to gain a better understanding of CLE activities;
  • collecting and analysing feedback from more than 200 webinar participants and follow up surveys four weeks after the webinar. Over 50 per cent of our webinar participants were from regional and rural New South Wales; and
  • promoting access to the CLE program via the new Legal Aid NSW mobile app so people have quick access to our webinars, videos, factsheets and directions to our events.

OBJECTIVE: Supporting our people

In 2014-2015, we focused on professional development and the use of appropriate technology to deliver the CLE program. We trained 22 staff to use webcasting technology to facilitate webinars and 16 staff attended voice coaching for virtual media professional development courses.

OBJECTIVE: Strong partnerships

We developed and delivered many CLE projects through strategic partnerships with other legal and non-legal service providers.

Highlights included:

  • our CLE program Let's Talk: Australian law for recent arrivals which was developed in conjunction with migrant resource centres. Publications have been written in community languages;
  • a comprehensive CLE program to inform Aboriginal communities about the ways in which Legal Aid NSW can assist them with financial problems, housing and Centrelink issues; and
  • Borrowers Beware, a partnership between The Aged Rights Service and the civil law practice of Legal Aid NSW, involving radio broadcasts to speakers of South East European and Middle Eastern language groups on the dangers of borrowing money against their home for the benefit of their children (see Partnership projects target vulnerable clients).

The year ahead

Implement the approved recommendations of the first stage of the CLE review and undertake the next stages - developing a strategic framework for CLE and evaluating a CLE project.

Offer law webinar master classes for community workers that better target participants, providing more specialised information.