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Cross-border access to justice forum: Mildura, Wentworth and Dareton

Cross-border Justice Report

In 2018 Legal Aid NSW and Victoria Legal Aid released the Cross-border Justice report, exploring the unique challenges that arise for border communities needing legal help. Recommendations from the review highlighted the importance of collaboration between legal aid commissions, community legal centres, Aboriginal legal services and local private practitioners to enable effective service and referral coordination.

Cross-border access to justice forum

The Cross-border access to justice forum has been established in the Mildura, Dareton and Wentworth region to:

Provide a regular forum for legal services and relevant support services to share data and insights on local access to justice issues and priority communities;

Support the establishment of effective referral relationships between legal and non-legal services in the region;

Enable collaborative service responses to identified priority cohorts and legal need, in particular:

  • First Nations communities, children and young people, people with disabilities or mental health conditions, and
  • Family violence, care and protection and intersecting civil legal need.
Forum meetings and activities

The Forum meet quarterly on-line.

Victoria Legal Aid and Legal Aid NSW share responsibility for supporting the Forum.

Membership

Membership of the Forum will consist of legal assistance services and relevant community agencies providing services to the cross-border regions of Mildura, Wentworth and Dareton, including the NSW and Victoria legal aid commissions, community legal centres, Aboriginal legal services, private practitioners and referral agencies.

Principles of Cooperation

Forum members:

  • Agree that local knowledge and experience is a foundation for effective action
  • Build on existing work and initiatives to enhance access to justice for priority cohorts in the region
  • Support open discussion and debate, and encourage fellow Forum members to voice their insights
  • Actively participate in meetings through attendance, discussion, and review of minutes, papers and other Forum documents
  • Work collaboratively to achieve consistent and complementary actions to meet Forum objectives.

Contacts

Kate Halliday Legal Aid NSW

02 92196399 Kate.Halliday@legalaid.nsw.gov.au


Marie Baird Victoria Legal Aid

03 92690109 Marie.Baird@vla.vic.gov.au