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Annual Report 2019 - 2020

Community legal education

The Legal Aid NSW Community Legal Education Program provides targeted education for priority  client groups and community professionals working with our priority client groups.

The number of community legal education (CLE) services to community members decreased this year due to the limitation placed on face-to-face CLE delivery caused by COVID-19. The delivery of CLE to community and health workers continued for those who could be reached online. The number of online sessions increased eight-fold when it became unsafe to present in person.

We delivered 1,789 community legal education services, a 34.3 percent decrease on the previous year.

Area of law

2017–18

2018–19

2019–20

Change from previous year

Criminal law

514

715

470

-34.3%

Family law

571

739

427

-42.2%

Civil law

870

1,268

892

-29.7%

Total

1,955

2,722

1,789

-34.3%

Launch of the Stop Public Threats campaign

We were approached by the Community Safety and Cohesion team at the Department of Communities and Justice to create an education campaign about a newly created offence of public threats or inciting violence based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status and HIV/AIDS status. Through stakeholder consultation, the Community Legal Education Branch created the Stop Public Threats campaign that was launched by the NSW Attorney General on May 25, 2020.

The campaign comprises a video series, posters, factsheets in multiple community languages, and a podcast and a webinar for community workers that helps the community understand what the law is and how they can report incidents.

It was promoted on our social media platforms and through our network across government, community, cultural and religious organisations.

Community legal education in the north west

Our civil lawyers based in Dubbo, Walgett and Bourke delivered 55 community legal education events across the north west region of NSW.

The sessions focused on legal issues commonly experienced by clients living in the communities, including fines, Work and Development Orders and the Stolen Generations Reparations Scheme. For older people in the community, we provided sessions on planning ahead.

Collaboration with Your Story Disability Legal Support

We supported Your Story Disability Legal Support and worked with legal aid commissions across the country to create community legal education materials for individuals, support workers and community workers to better understand how to engage with the Disability Royal Commission.

We coordinated the creation of a comic book story presented as a flip book and cartoon video that explains how Your Story Legal Support can help people who want to engage with the Disability Royal Commission. With a focus on accessibility, inclusion and empowerment, these resources show how innovation and clever design can meet the needs of our clients.

Your Story

Updating our systems

We updated our data management system and provided training to the organisation to ensure that data collected about our community legal education activities was accurate and accessible. The changes improved confidence in the way we collect data.

Year ahead iconThe year ahead

  • We will focus on developing content for prisoners to make it easy for solicitors and workers to deliver effective and relevant legal information.
  • We will launch new versions of the How can Legal Aid NSW help me? video series for young people and people in prison.
  • We will create new resources for people with an intellectual disability and/or cognitive impairment.