The state’s longest-running refugee community legal centre has been thrown a lifeline, thanks to UNSW.
Since it began 28 years ago, the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), has forged a strong reputation as the leading provider of free expert legal services for those seeking asylum – but it has been battling for survival following the federal government’s funding cuts in April last year.
UNSW has stepped in to assist, providing rent-free premises for five years on the corner of High Street and Eurimbla Avenue, Kensington.
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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, this is due to complex reasons including a lack of resources, previous negative encounters with the law, and the history of interaction between the legal system and Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are often uncomfortable seeking assistance outside of their own community or from mainstream services.
On Friday 29 November, the Kingsford Legal Centre launched the Working with Aboriginal Clients at Kingsford Legal Centre service provision manual.
This resource will equip KLC’s volunteer solicitors, incoming students and other service providers with cultural awareness about local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and tips on how to provide effective service delivery to them.
The Manual was developed by KLC’s three Aboriginal Access Workers – Keith Ball, Ron Timbery and Kaleesha Morris - in consultation with KLC's Aboriginal Advisory Group.
David McMillan at left of photo.
David McMillan, a volunteer at UNSW’s Kingsford Legal Centre, won the Community Legal Centres NSW award at the 2013 Law and Justice Foundation Award ceremony on 21 October.
Volunteering at Community Legal Centres since 1977, David has been with Kingsford Legal Centre for 26 years where he has volunteered at the Centre every fortnight on a Tuesday night.
In this time, he has provided over 1,550 quality advices to KLC's most socially and economically disadvantaged clients. He is seen as the heart of the KLC volunteer program and essential to its high quality community lawyering.