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Annual Report 2017 - 2018

Community legal education

The Community Legal Education (CLE) Program provides targeted education for priority client groups and human services staff working with our priority client groups. In 2017–2018 we focused on older people, new arrivals and young people.

OBJECTIVE Access to justice

In 2017–2018 we focused on older people, new arrivals and young people.


  • We delivered Piano Forte sessions, in about 17 locations and to 336 older people across NSW, about how to recognise and prevent elder abuse. Sessions were delivered in partnership with the Seniors Rights Service, NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit, local community legal centres and local libraries.
  • We also delivered our Let’s Talk workshops about Australian law to 316 people to refugees, asylum seekers, and newly arrived migrants.
  • We ran Borrowers Beware—an awareness raising radio campaign developed by Legal Aid NSW and the Seniors Rights Service for older people and their families about the risk of losing their homes—on SBS, on the Macquarie network and over a number of community radio stations on the Mid-north Coast and in the Riverina and Illawarra regions.
  • We launched a podcast channel called Law for Community Workers on the go, and created CLE Alerts for community workers to promote our webinars, podcasts and other CLE activities.
  • We delivered education programs and resources for newly arrived refugees (See Delivering services to refugee communities).

Making legal information easy to understand

Legal Aid NSW publishes legal education resources in 25 languages. This year we produced:

  • 3 short animated videos that explain what Legal Aid NSW does, how we can help refugees and what a grant of legal aid is. The videos are translated into Audio Described English, Assyrian, Dari/Farsi, Chinese Arabic and Auslan. They are also captioned.
  • An Easy English brochure on How can Legal Aid NSW help me? for people with low literacy and language proficiency.
  • Our 7th edition of our Legal Topics for Older People Diary, which continues to be our most popular and widely distributed publication.

CLE for young people

Our program of crime prevention early intervention workshops for young people continued to be popular this year in schools, youth services and for young people in contact with Juvenile Justice. Our suite of workshops includes police powers, traffic Law, BURN (a crime prevention workshop about the laws around group offending, robbery offences and young people's rights in custody) and Putting the X in Sexy Text (an interactive online resource to educate young people about the criminal laws around sexting and cyberbullying). We delivered 343 workshops to over 12,000 young people and their workers. This year, Putting the X in Sexy Text was the most requested workshop (47% of workshops).

OBJECTIVE Excellence in legal services

The CLE Strategic Framework sets out the best practice strategies and principles for developing and delivering CLE. We implemented these strategies and principles by:

  • Significantly enhancing our capability to use technology to deliver CLE to community workers through live and on-demand webinars and podcasts.
  • Developing multi-media resources for our lawyers to support them to provide high quality CLE including the How can Legal Aid NSW help me? resources and the My rights at work resources package for new arrivals.
  • Introducing ‘CLEsters’ groupings of regional offices, specialist services, CLSD regions, business units and practice divisions—to help us coordinate, monitor and avoid duplication of CLE across Legal Aid NSW.
  • Negotiating the use and adaptation of high-quality existing resources from other jurisdictions for older people and refugees in NSW to avoid duplicating resources.

OBJECTIVE Strong partnerships

We embedded collaboration with key legal service providers— including LawAccess NSW, CLCs and government agencies as the starting point for developing and delivering all CLE projects.

We used a co-design model to develop CLE sessions with a range of key partners to make sure the CLE we provide is relevant to their needs and learning styles—including a provider of therapeutic programs for residents recovering from alcohol and other drug dependence and providers of employment services and programs for new arrivals.

Borrowers Beware

We developed a radio campaign with the Seniors Rights Service called Borrowers Beware. for older people and their families. It aimed to raise awareness about the risk of losing their homes, pension or other assets if they help their family members with credit contracts, mortgages, or guarantees. Our data shows that Arabic, Chinese and English speaking older people are most at risk. We broadcast short messages over several months through Chinese and Arabic radio programs on SBS and Macquarie as well as community radio stations on the Mid-North Coast, Riverina and Illawarra regions. These regions have a high proportion of older people.

OBJECTIVE Supporting our people

We implemented a program of training sessions and ‘Workshop your CLE issues’ workshops for staff who do CLE to develop their capacity to provide best practice, rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’, CLE.

calendar iconThe year ahead

  • In collaboration with our CLC partners, run a ‘CLE Masterclass’ for staff to build their capacity to plan and deliver best practice CLE.
  • Review the way we collect data about, and report on, our CLE activities.