VALS is committed to supporting members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community through ongoing community based legal education VALS also offers training and development opportunities to members of the mainstream communities that are passionate about supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria.
We also employ a number of talented legal professionals that are happy to make themselves available for plenary speaking, guest speaking and keynote presentations. Our staff are passionate about giving voice to the voiceless and sharing the stories of individuals that want their stories to be shared with the broader community.
VALS also operates a CLE bus, equipped with resources and materials to support communities. The VALS bus is often seen travelling through rural Victoria sharing resources and creating a sense of community with our clients.
Would you like to access some of our community legal education resources,? We design resources for all ages and communities, click here to access the VALS Digital Library.
The Community Legal Education program continues to operate Statewide, delivering legal information sessions to community and attending community events with the Justice Bus. Though funding has been an issue this past year to have events cover the whole state of Victoria, VALS continues to look for funding opportunities to increase innovative ways for CLE to educate and help Aboriginal communities to know their rights.
VALS Community Education Program has had success with solicitors informing community about the Civil Law and Family Law. During these sessions several issues were discussed, for example:
- Child Protection Debt issues
- Child Access Rental
- Grandparents Rights
- Funeral insurance
- Intervention Orders Wills
An important element of CLE is networking with other agencies to bring specialised information to Community groups. Workers from mainstream agencies need to be compassionate and caring to people’s problems. Partnerships with other Legal agencies such as Victorian Legal Aid and other Community Legal Centre’s provides additional support.
VALS CLE works together with other Legal CLE officers and VALS Community Justice staff such as VALS Regional Client Service Officers on projects to increase legal awareness and give legal options to community members needing legal help.
Outreach engagement is an essential part of VALS CLE and it’s bringing VALS solicitors into community for people to be able to talk face-to-face with a solicitor about their matters or just ask questions. VALS have wonderful engaging solicitors who outreach throughout the year and CLE is very grateful for our legal teams to find time to do these sessions. Both community members and solicitors enjoy these sessions as they are informal and people can enjoy a lunch and learn more about each other. It’s also a great way for solicitors to see and feel the hardships facing Aboriginal regional communities and hear stories that are important to their understanding when helping Aboriginal people.
CLE is looking forward to 2020 as further projects are in the works to be launched across the state and there will be further engagement in other regions of Victoria.
VALS endeavors to obtain more funding to help the CLE program undertake more outreach in the coming year as knowledge is power. VALS Community Justice staff such as VALS Regional Client Service Officers