KLC's Aboriginal Access Worker | Law

KLC's Aboriginal Access Worker

Say yes to increased access to the legal system for Sydney’s Indigenous communities

Sydney’s Indigenous communities need greater access to better legal services

Studies have shown that disadvantaged people are less likely than the rest of the community to seek legal advice, and more likely to have limited access to the justice system. For the Indigenous community, this is due to a lack of resources, together with previous negative encounters with the law. The community is plagued by a deep sense of wariness and a loss of faith in the system’s fairness. Community members are also often uncomfortable seeking assistance outside of the Indigenous community.

KLC's Aboriginal Access Worker

Kingsford Legal Centre provides free legal advice to Indigenous and other disadvantaged clients

Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC) is a community legal centre that is part of UNSW Law. KLC is committed to helping people in our community who are most disadvantaged, by providing free legal and other support services. KLC helps over 3,000 people each year, many of whom would not otherwise have access to legal assistance.

As part of their law degrees, all UNSW Law students are required to spend some time working at KLC, where they have the opportunity to work with actual clients on real cases, and to make a small contribution to society’s less fortunate.

KLC employs an Aboriginal Access Worker to reach out to local Indigenous communities

Following in-depth consultations with the Indigenous communities of Sydney’s south, KLC identified a dire need for improved access to justice, in a format appropriate to the needs and sensibilities of community members. In response, KLC established the Aboriginal Access Program with the aim of providing strong, culturally appropriate services to the Aboriginal communities of the Botany and Randwick local government areas.

KLC's Aboriginal Access Worker

As part of the Program, KLC employs an Aboriginal Access Worker as a form of Indigenous outreach, to provide enhanced avenues to access legal support. KLC appreciates that access to services by Indigenous people greatly improves when there is an Indigenous member of staff. The Access Worker provides services to Indigenous communities.

Specifically, the Aboriginal Access Worker provides:nities reluctant to accept help from non-Indigenous staff, and assists KLC in identifying and providing the most appropriate services to Indigenous clients.

  • a community outreach drop-in service for Indigenous clients seeking legal information;
  • community workshops to increase the community’s knowledge of legal issues, and to educate attendees on their rights; and
  • law policy and reform in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice.

KLC’s Aboriginal Access Worker plays an imperative role in ensuring members of the Indigenous community are aware of their rights, and that they have access to legal support to exercise those rights.

KLC is seeking funding for the Aboriginal Access Worker position for 2014-2016. While the Access Worker position was initially funded by Randwick Council, this support has run out. Securing funding for the position for the next three years will enable the benefits of the work done to date to continue to grow; in particular, the strengthening of the trust between KLC and the Indigenous community and the ensuing quality and effectiveness of the legal services that KLC is able to provide.

KLC's Aboriginal Access Worker

For more information, or to discuss sponsorship of the Aboriginal Access Worker, contact Jordana Wong, Development Manager, UNSW Law.