FWCLC Annual Report 2013

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Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

Warra-Warra Legal Service


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We would like to acknowledge our funding, pro bono and our collaborative sector partners: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Ashurst Lawyers Commonwealth Legal Services Program, Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department Community Legal Centres Program, Legal Aid NSW Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Program, Legal Aid NSW Dennis Roach Dionne Devlin Indigenous Justice and Community Safety Branch, Social Inclusion Division Justice and Community Sector Partners in the Far West NSW & NSW LawAccess NSW Legal Aid NSW – Civil, Family & Employment Law Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre Women’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Program, Legal Aid NSW

We acknowledge all of the local businesses and community sector partners in the Far West NSW and in greater NSW that have provided financial and in-kind support to FWCLC Inc. particularly during the Far West Community Legal Centre funding campaign, to the Road Show Outreach to Tibooburra, Ivanhoe and White Cliffs and to the Festival of Respect. Annual Report Coordinator Annual Report Editors Annual Report Photos Design & Production

Tracey Willow Jen Mitchell & Eliza Hull Meg Kelly, Elilza Hull & Donna Kennedy Josh Cowdrey, Marketing & Branding Advisor Broken Hill Enterprise Development Centre Inc.

We respectfully acknowledge the Elders and the Aboriginal Nations who are the traditional owners of this land, particularly the Baarkintji people of the Far West NSW, and all of the other Nations who have worked, lived and contributed to our culture in Far West NSW. Published by Far West Community Legal Centre Inc. Address Phone Fax

PO Box 399 08 8088 2020 08 8088 2060

Copyright 2013 Far West Community Legal Centre Inc. All rights reserved

TABLE OF CONTENTS Our Vision, Values & Work


The 2012-2013 Board of Management


The Staff & Volunteers at Far West Community Legal Centre Inc.


Acknowledgments 12 Voices of Our Volunteers


President’s Report


CEO’s Report


Far West Community Legal Centre Report


Warra-Warra Legal Service Report


Far West Women’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Service Report


Far West Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Report


Highlights: Working with Our Community & Our Sector


Thank You to the Friends of the FWCLC Inc.


Financial Report


Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013




OUR VISION, VALUES & WORK FAR WEST COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTRE (‘FWCLC’) Far West Community Legal Centre was officially opened on 18 July 2000. FWCLC is committed to providing a responsive service for people in the Far West who have the least access to justice. The Far West Community Legal Centre is funded to provide services to the residents and communities of the Far West region including Tibooburra, White Cliffs, Wilcannia, Broken Hill, Menindee, and Ivanhoe.

WARRA-WARRA LEGAL SERVICE FAR WEST WOMEN’S (‘WWLS’) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COURT ADVOCACY SERVICE Warra-Warra Legal Service (formerly the Broken (‘FWWDVCAS’) Hill Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Service) was funded in 2007 by the Commonwealth Indigenous Justice and Community Safety Unit. The funding for this service is governed by the Far West Community Legal Centre Inc. WWLS aims to provide a holistic, culturally responsive and independent legal and family support program for victims of family violence and sexual assault.

FWCLC is managed by a volunteer Board of Management. Residents of the Far West region are invited to become members of the Association.

WLS provides legal advice and assistance in Family Law, Family Violence, Care & Protection and Victims’ Compensation matters.

FWCLC is committed to the provision of free and accessible legal services including:

WWLS initiates and facilitates preventative programs for long-term solutions to family violence and sexual assault. By conducting community education programs, WWLS informs people of their rights and conveys to the community that family violence and sexual assault are crimes and not a part of our culture.

• • • • • •

Legal Information & Advice Advocacy Representation Education Referral Law Reform

Services include: • • • • • • • •

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

Legal Information & Advice Advocacy Representation Education Referral Family Support Community Development Law Reform

Far West Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service was funded by the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Program in 2008. The funding for this program is governed by Far West Community Legal Centre Inc. FWWDVCAS is one of 28 Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services, servicing 108 local courts in NSW. FWWDVCAS is a locally-based and independent service for women and children seeking assistance and information about protection from family/domestic violence. FWWDVCAS provides women and children with support, advocacy, referral and information. FWWDVCAS facilitates women and children’s access to legal representation ensuring that women can access the justice system to overcome the violence they have experienced.


FAR WEST COOPERATIVE LEGAL SERVICE DELIVERY PROGRAM (‘FWCLSD’) Far West Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Program was funded in 2009 by the Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Program. The funding for this program is governed by the Far West Community Legal Centre Inc. The CLSD Program is a regionally-based approach to legal service delivery in NSW. It aims to improve outcomes for economically and socially disadvantaged people by building cooperative and strategic networks of key legal services and community organisations. The CLSD Program is based on the theory that better coordination and cooperation in the planning and delivery of legal services will enhance the efficient and effective use of scarce resources, and thereby improves access to justice for disadvantaged people.

Partners from Far West NSW include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Aboriginal Affairs Aboriginal Legal Service Broken Hill Court Broken Hill Lifeline Centacare Community Development Employment Program Centrelink Far West Community Legal Centre Far West Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service Greater Western Area Health Service Legal Aid NSW Maari Ma MERIT Program Mission Australia Other Broken Hill, Wilcannia, Menindee, Ivanhoe, Tibooburra and White Cliffs community service providers and businesses. Police Salvation Army Warra Warra Legal Service

The FWCLSD Program meets quarterly and identifies unmet legal needs in the region. As a result of a collaborative planning process, the FWCLSD Regional Coordinator facilitates consultation and discussion and encourages local projects, partnerships and community legal outreach in the Far West region.


Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013



2012-13 BOARD OF MANAGEMENT EXECUTIVE MEMBERS President Vice President Treasurer Secretary

Linda Nadge David Garland Ellen Day Elizabeth Sandow

ORDINARY MEMBERS Delece Manton (resigned October 2013) Julie-Anne Philp



The Board of Management and Staff at Far West Community Legal Centre Inc. acknowledge and sincerely thank Delece Manton, for her significant contribution throughout the year. We greatly appreciated Delece’s commitment and her support of our Senior and Outreach Staff. We wish her the best for her future.

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013





Tracey Willow Chief Executive Officer (started October 2011)


Mariette Curcuruto Principal Solicitor (started August 2012)

Kelly Oxford Principal Solicitor (started January 2013)

Vicki Cullen Finance Officer (started May 2000)

Cindy Grahame PPF Solicitor (July 2012 – June 2013)

Eliza Hull PPF Solicitor (started July 2013)

Jodie Lemon Solicitor (started October 2013)

Stacey Jackson Senior Administration, Information, Referral & Project Officer (2007-2009, returned September 2011)

Bianca Cattonar Legal Secretary/Intake (started February 2011)

Meg Kelly CLSD Regional Coordinator (started May 2009)

Jen Mitchell Community Development Worker (started August 2013)

Lynne Dalrymple Contract Community Development Project Worker (September 2013)

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

Prue Sulicich Finance Officer (started July 2009)

Loretta Stuart Coordinator/Aboriginal Specialist Worker (started April 2008)

Alexia Zsigmond Solicitor (started April 2013)

Narelle Blows Coordinator (started September 2009)

Ann- Maree Payne Administration, Information, Referral Officer (started 2009)

Prue Sulicich Finance Officer (started July 2009)

Anthony Hayward Community Development Worker (started March 2012)

Susan Marks Wilcannia Outreach/WDVCAS Worker (started July 2009)

Julie Dennis Family Support/CLE Worker (started June 3013) Victims of Crime Paralegal (started August 2013)

Ann Marie Shaw Wentworth Outreach/WDVCAS Worker (May 2012 – April 2013)

Fiona Camilleri Wentworth Outreach/WDVCAS Worker (started June 2013)

Lynne Dalrymple Contract Community Development Project Worker (June 2013)





an outreach presence in Wentworth. We have learnt many lessons, and as such, we are trialing a new model in relation to the Wentworth Outreach position.

Far West Community Legal Centre Inc. farewells and acknowledges Cindy Grahame, Ann-Marie Shaw and Lynne Dalrymple for their significant contributions to our organisation.

We acknowledge Lynne Dalrymple, a Queensland dynamo, who brought a backpack of skills, knowledge, creativity and energy to the Far West. Lynne was such an important gift for both WWLS and FWCLC. Lynne was the coordinator of the Festival of Respect’s first two events – Reclaim the Night and the Pink Breakfast.

We acknowledge Cindy Grahame and her heartfelt commitment to FWCLC. Cindy energetically supported the FWCLC funding campaign, and was the conduit to the Newcastle Legal community. We acknowledge Ann-Marie Shaw for her networking skills and for maintaining


We wish all three women the best for the future and thank them for the many gifts they brought to the Far West.

VOICES FROM OUR VOLUNTEERS I chose to come to FWCLC for my Year 11 Traineeship. I started in February. I have an interest in law and wanted to get a better understanding of the legal system. I have really enjoyed my time so far. The people I work with are amazing and helpful. They have taught me a lot of new things, not only legal terms but other skills like how to do reception properly. We also get to do a lot of great and fun things like outreach, and events in Sturt Park and in the Town Square. I also get to work with and experience other work places like WWLS. Overall, I am happy here and I am glad to have another year at FWCLC.

Djani Kelly Trainee

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

If someone had told me when I first started volunteering for FWCLC in February that by August I’d be a paid member of staff, living and working remotely from Sydney, I would never have believed them. Back then, I was living in Menindee, and making the commute to Broken Hill once a week to volunteer in the office face-to-face. It was a welcome change from hours spent at home studying a law degree by distance, and my first chance for some hands-on experience in the industry. Those first few months whizzed by in a blur of research, events, inter-agency meetings, and even a parliamentary submission. It was a steep learning curve, but I had the support of the terrific team at the CLC every step of the way. In August, the opportunity arose for a transition into a paid role as a Community Development Worker. Unfortunately, it coincided with news that my partner had been offered a 6-month transfer to Sydney. Never one to back down from a challenge, Tracey was able to negotiate a flexible arrangement whereby I could work my two days a week remotely. The rest, as they say, is history. When people picture ‘remote work’ they tend to think of things like the fantastic outreach services FWCLC provides to its clients in communities such as Tibooburra, White Cliffs, Ivanhoe, Wilcannia or Menindee. The last place they’d think to look for a ‘remote worker’ would be in the middle of Sydney, a stone’s throw from Central Station. I’m the leastremote remote worker for a remote organisation ever! As a Community Development Worker, my role mainly involves research, editing, event planning, and the

development of web resources and factsheets- all of which can be done from just about anywhere. Being based in Sydney has had the added advantage of being able to represent the FWCLC at training, conferences and meetings that would otherwise have required the time and expense of travel. Being a remote worker is not without its challenges. Not the least of which is (somewhat ironically) isolation. I’m lucky in that FWCLC have had a lot of practice in dealing with people over vast distances. It’s this can-do attitude to managing the complexities of distance, along with advances in technology and the support of a wonderful team that have made my work possible. I’d like to thank all of the staff at FWCLC for being so welcoming - it’s an honour and a pleasure to work with you. Particular thanks go to Tracey, Mariette and the Board of Management for being so accommodating in the provision of flexible working arrangements. In January I’ll return to the red dirt of Broken Hill, and leave the smog and sirens of the city behind. Until then, the adventure continues!

Jen Mitchell Community Development Worker



Linda Nadge President


PRESIDENT’S REPORT The FWCLC Inc. Board is thrilled to know that the financial future of the FWCLC has been secured with additional funding for the next four years. People in Far Western NSW can be assured that they will continue to receive ongoing professional support and advocacy and the communities we serve in the Far West will receive the benefits of this increased funding. It was a very busy year for the talented and professional people dedicated to providing the variety of services on offer. FWCLC Inc. is a strong organisation and a fine example of what remote and regional communities are capable of. Nurturing and growing with the right people, strategies and leadership. Part of that leadership is within the organisation and I thank Tracey and her team of amazing staff for turning around the prospects of the FWCLC and making FWCLC Inc. one of the most exciting and sustainable workplaces. Another part of the leadership is given generously by the volunteer board. I thank each and every board member for their contribution to the success of this organisation. Freshly communicated high benchmarks of professional service standards exist. There were very high standards of staff performance set and only the best professional services were tolerated. These benchmarks have now been consistently achieved by the services. It was a day for celebrations when WWLS filled every position on its books! That achievement can be shared

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

by the CEO Tracey Willow and the incredibly talented and professional Manager at WWLS, Donna Kennedy. It is also important to recognise the visible public display of dedication and commitment to the services by key staff, namely Tracey Willow, the FWCLC Principal Solicitor Mariette Curcuruto and the Finance Officers, Vicki Cullen and Prue Sulicich. With acts of selflessness and altruistic defiance during the lowest point of financial security in recent years, and during a time of great need and uncertainty, these four warriors defended the organisation at great financial cost to themselves. Who else do we know would defend an organisation’s sustainability with a significant pay cut in order that the community continued to receive consistent services, albeit with somewhat reduced hours of service, and also so that their colleagues maintained security of employment and financial stability. Strong leadership is sourced from deep within our communities. I would especially like to thank our extraordinary MPs John Williams at the State level and Sussan Ley at the Federal level for their valued efforts in looking for resources to extend the FWCLC’s future. There are also many organisations within the Far West communities who are also credited with contributing to the positive leadership of FWCLC Inc. Without their feedback, collaboration and responsiveness, FWCLC Inc. would not have evolved into the dynamic environment within which it now operates and make it strive to succeed and seek continuous improvement. Lastly, there is a form of leadership derived from our funders. They endure the good and the difficult times with us and they continue to offer sound guidance and advice. On behalf of all the staff and FWCLC Inc. board

members, I thank you for your demonstrated support and belief. I would like to extend my personal gratitude to everyone involved in the successful operations of the FWCLC Inc. in the last year, and during the important development and almost “revolutionary” change and improvement processes that took place since 2010. This is the period I am most familiar with. It is when I first stepped onto the board and the role of president. Tracey has been instrumental in steering the way through some tough times and on behalf of all of the board, I sincerely thank you Tracey her courage, strength of character and belief in the organisation and its people. My time as president must now end with other pressing obligations calling for more of my time. As I vacate the position I am confident that a healthy and high performing organisation will be handed over to the next president. I will continue to remain on the committee if re-elected. Thank you to all the staff, volunteers and my fellow board members for the interesting and eventful period of the last three years. Certainly, the culmination of efforts during the last year has resulted in a proper functioning and effective group of services – FWCLC Inc. Linda Nadge President, FWCLC Inc.



Tracey Willow CEO


CEO’S REPORT FWCLC Inc. is an exciting and inspiring organisation that works conscientiously to collaborate and celebrate positive change in the Far West. FWCLC Inc. is committed to building strong and sustainable partnerships within the region. Over the last two years, FWCLC Inc. has gone through an incredible transformation. Each service now stands strong and proud in its own right. Each service is led by highly skilled and innovative managers – Mariette Curcuruto, Vicki Cullen, Prue Sulicich, Stacey Jackson, Donna Kennedy, Kelly Oxford, Meg Kelly, Narelle Blows and Loretta Stuart - each bring out the best in their teams and have created vibrant and responsive services. This year’s annual report celebrates this transformational journey and recognises that this has been made possible because FWCLC Inc. has a visionary, passionate and committed Board of Management, Staff and Volunteer Team. It is fitting to acknowledge our President, Linda Nadge, who has walked with us, guided us, believed in us, and invited us to model integrity and professionalism. We thank her for her commitment to FWCLC Inc. Every day we are faced with the dilemma of how best to meet the needs of our diverse communities in a rural and remote region. We advise, educate and advocate in areas of law that are not profitable and give priority to individuals and local communities that have complex legal, financial and social needs. Each of our services strives to make a positive difference in the lives of disadvantaged and marginalised people in our region. Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

FWCLC Inc. operates from a strategic service delivery model informed by the following principles:

and actively supported, especially: •

• • • • • • •

Culturally respectful practice Evidence based programs Priority to clients with complex needs or multiple legal problems A flexible and responsive approach to service delivery A willingness to lead new initiatives Early intervention, community development and community education prioritised All programs are evaluated for their effectiveness and responsiveness

This year, there have been enormous funding challenges for the FWCLC Inc. These challenges made us resilient and robust. We made it our business to make our organisation more recognisable. We sought support, the community rallied and we secured additional grants of funding for the FWCLC. This year, we filled all of the vacant positions in each service and we attracted exceptional staff that brought new vision, skills and talents to the FWCLC Inc. We acknowledge Delece Manton, Cindy Grahame, Ann-Marie Shaw and Lynne Dalrymple who have left FWCLC Inc., and we wish them the best with their next adventures. Each service will state – we have been busy – and we have! Our activities, programs and projects profiled this year give a snapshot of what we do, and what we stand for. We are of the individual client advice, casework, court representation and referral work that we do. We are really proud of all that we have initiated

• • • • • • • • • •

The implementation and launch of the publication “Ripped off?” The WWLS Men’s Group The Family Domestic Violence Working Party Strategy The emergence of the HOPE Subcommittee WWLS cultural awareness strategy The two “Find the Faces” Road Shows to Ivanhoe, Tibooburra and White Cliffs The creative and educational work done in primary and high schools Our outreach strategies in Wilcannia, Menindee and Wentworth WWLS’ new Family Support and Victims’ of Crime Paralegal Programs The “We Belong” GLBTI Project The first two events of the Festival of Respect – Reclaim the Night and the Pink Breakfast

There are many stories that have emerged this year, that remind us, we are on the right track. Our photos will speak for us and will allow us to tell our story. There are many opportunities and challenges waiting for us in 2014. We will face these opportunities and challenges creatively and courageously, and we will continue to work with the same optimistic and innovative spirit that we did in 2013. Tracey Willow CEO, FWCLC Inc.




FAR WEST COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTRE REPORT WHAT A YEAR! This has been a year of great highs, and some not so bright moments. The most difficult part of this year is definitely in our rear view mirror – the first half of 2013, when funding difficulties forced the Centre into part time operation, and also forced us to reduce our advice and case load, our outreach activities, community legal education and community development activities. Thanks to the passion, drive and energy of our wonderful team, the brilliant support of the magnificent community that we are privileged to serve, and desperately needed funds from the Commonwealth Government, those times are behind us. Regardless of those troubling times, we have achieved so much this year, in providing legal advice and casework to the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community, in producing publications, and working collaboratively with our partner agencies in this region to deliver excellent community legal education and community development strategies.

OUR TEAM I gratefully acknowledge and thank the brilliant group of highly skilled women who are FWCLC: Stacey Jackson our Senior Administration, Information, referral and Project Officer, Reception and Intake Worker, Bianca Cattonar our Legal Secretary, Eliza Hull our Solicitor, Vicki Cullen our Finance Officer and Tracey Willow our fearless leader in all things CLC. I

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

also acknowledge Cindy Grahame, who left us in June, and welcome a new addition to our ranks in Jodie Lemon – our new (for the first time ever in FWCLC history) third full time Solicitor. These wonderful people have worked tirelessly this year, with immense commitment to our Centre and the community we serve. Thanks also to Lynne Dalrymple our Project/ Community Development Officer (she who can do anything, with tireless energy and boundless enthusiasm), Djani Kelly, our enthusiastic and always willing school based trainee and the inimitable Jen Mitchell, our brilliant volunteer and now indentured Remote Community Development Worker. A special vote of thanks this year goes to Tracey Willow from all of us. When times were difficult, you lead by example, with grace, dignity and a deep and pure ethical focus, never losing sight of the truth that the work of this CLC is vital to the people we serve in our community. Thank you for walking this journey with us – you are a rare treasure.


advice and casework handled this year, 31% involved family law, mostly dealing with parenting. Again, the trend continues, in that in over 55% of family law parenting matters, there is an issue of domestic and family violence. Other significant areas of advice and casework this year include: • • • • •

Employment law (nearly 3 times higher than last year) Credit and debt Issues with government departments Consumer complaints Other civil law disputes

In addition this year, advice and casework activities in Wills, Estates, Guardianship and Powers of Attorney have increased significantly, with this area of our work increasing to 9% of the total. We are excited that FWCLC is a hub for our community. This year we had 675 information activities.

Unfortunately, the staffing issues interlinked with the funding difficulties experienced this year negatively impacted on the amount of advice and casework undertaken by FWCLC. However, we were able to obtain high quality outcomes for clients in all aspects of our work. Of the





9% 9% 4.5%















3% Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013















Our clients are from the following geographic areas in the Far West region





Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013








COMMUNITY LEGAL EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT It has been a fantastic and busy year for FWCLC. In addition to LoveBites, Cross Roads, New VoicesNew Laws, the Youth Expos, Community Drug and Alcohol Forum, Children’s Week, Stress Less Day, NAIDOC Week, White Ribbon Day, 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women, Reclaim the Night and 1 Billion Women Rising, we have done so much more. As always, collaboration with partner agencies, and a strong focus on interagency activities are at the forefront of our work. We are proud to be a driving force behind, and instrumental in initiating the Family/Domestic and Family Violence Working Party and the Festival of Respect. This innovative community development and legal education strategy gives us an ability to challenge our community about respect – and the resultant issues of violence against women and children, cyber-bullying, sexual assault, bullying, discrimination, diversity and inclusion and so many other legal issues that our CLC assists clients to deal with and overcome every day. In addition, a wonderful little project, made possible by a $5000 Aurora Grant regarding the legal issues that affect Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex people (GLBTI) in the Far West has become so much more. This is a collaborative project and acknowledges the Far West Local Health District and Lifeline. The project achieved the following: • •


Community consultations and activities Generated media articles and letters to the editor

• • • •

Harvey Milk and Rent Movie nights in collaboration with the Silver City Cinema Led to the establishment of FWCLC and WWLS as “Safe Places” for the GLBTI communities Resulted in the development of informative legal fact sheets Inspired an event in the Festival of Respect in 2014– Fair Day in the Outback

PUBLICATIONS “Ripped Off? Your Rights about Unpaid Wages and Entitlements at Work” This year has marked the end of the brilliant collaboration. This was the brain child between Far West Community Legal Centre and Legal Aid NSW and resulted from an identified need to give employment law information in a straight-forward and practical way. “Ripped Off? Your Rights about Unpaid Wages and Entitlements at Work” provides legal information to employees about how to recover their entitlements as employees. The most common problems that people experience are: • • • • • •

Underpayment of wages confusion about what their employment contract means, or where to find the terms of their contract Confusion about what type of employee they are – particularly the difference between part time and casual employees Uncertainty about what type of rights they have as an employee (especially around leave) Finding that their superannuation entitlements have not been paid An employer goes bankrupt or into liquidation,

and the employee finds that no one is left to pay holiday or wage entitlements to them “Ripped Off? Your Rights about Unpaid Wages and Entitlements at Work” assists with those types of problems and provides information about National Employment Standards – the standards that every employee under the Federal system is entitled to. It also covers things like the difference between employees vs. contractors vs. volunteers. “Ripped Off? Your Rights about Unpaid Wages and Entitlements at Work” provides practical advice about how to approach problems with employee entitlements and how to start the process of making a claim in Court or via the Fair Work Ombudsman to recover entitlements. Many hours of work has gone into production, and many people have been instrumental in its success. It would be remiss not to mention the significant contributions of Simon Howard (Legal Aid NSW Employment Law Senior Solicitor) and Maria Robbins (HR Specialist). But so many people helped! In particular, thanks are extended to all of the people who tested the publication (so many locals, solicitors, and lots of very kind young people). The cool look and feel of the publication – which we are very proud of – was the work of Josh Cowdrey. We also acknowledge our guest speaker at the Broken Hill We hope that the resource is useful for every employee who is under the Federal employment law system – which is anyone, employed by any organisation other than the NSW State Government or a Local Council in NSW. We have tried to make it accessible, practicable and sensible. So far, the feedback has been brilliant. We feel that it is very worthwhile, as a publication which is employment law 101 for the everyday person.

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

Fact Sheets – Aurora Foundation Grant


Another great experience was the production of the Fact Sheets for the Aurora Foundation Grant. These legal and non-legal fact sheets deal with:

Thanks to an increase in funding, and also a small grant from the Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Program, we have been able to extend our outreach services.

• • • • • •

Equality before the Law – the changing face of law in NSW and Australia, and a challenge to the marriage equality debate Parenting Orders, Adoption, Surrogacy – A guide for GLBTI parents Young and GLBTI – Your Rights in School, Work and in Community Planning Ahead: death or incapacity – what next for GLBTI partners? Getting Help – a contact list for GLBTI people wanting support or information Protocol - What Does Inclusive Practice for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex (GLBTI) Communities that Live, Work and Socialise in the Far West mean?

Although the final products were great, the development of the resources – particularly the community consultation and engagement part of the process – was by far the best part of it. To all of the fantastic people who contributed to that process, we say a heartfelt thank you. It was a genuine pleasure and privilege to work with you. Not the end by far… Future plans for publications are well underway, with Domestic and Family Violence Publications and a specific Youth Publication firmly on the agenda. Our website will also be launched next year.

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

This year saw the implementation of outreach to Tibooburra, White Cliffs and Ivanhoe. That strategy has FWCLC working collaboratively with a number of important community partners to increase the profile of the services, and deliver programs and advice services to these locations at least every 6 months. Further expansion of this initiative is planned. We also visited Cockburn for a Wills and Powers of Attorney workshop. Although funding took a toll on the ability for the FWCLC to deliver outreach services in the Broken Hill Correctional Centre, Menindee and Wilcannia in the first half of this year, after our funding boost, our plans for regular fortnightly outreach have been realised in the second half of the year. We thank the local communities of Wilcannia, Menindee, Ivanhoe, Tibooburra, White Cliffs and Cockburn for their warm welcome, and willingness to engage with and work with us. Thanks also to the tireless efforts of the staff at the Broken Hill Correctional Centre, particularly the stellar welfare worker, Beverley Towers, for assisting us with outreach. Mariette Curcuruto, FWCLC Principal Solicitor


WE BELONG Published in the Barrier Daily Truth As the convener of the recently funded Far West Gal, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex (GLBTI) “We Belong Project”, I felt that it was important to provide another prospective on John William’s front page claims that – “other issues trump gay marriage”. The “We Belong Project” believes that it is important to share with our State Member, GLBTI stories of strength and stability. We believe that there are many examples of healthy, positive and stable relationships experienced by GLBTI people in this community. Recently, the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell came out publicly in favour of same-sex marriage last week after the New Zealand Parliament voted to change the country’s laws. “My view – a view that I’ve come to in recent years – is that as a Liberal who believes that commitment and family units are one of the best ways in which society is organized, I support the concept of same-sex marriage,” Mr O’Farrell said. “We should as governments be encouraging commitment. As societies we should be encouraging commitment. Because ultimately, people caring for each other work side by side with governments to create better communities.” In fact, 14 countries have now legalized same-sex marriage. For these countries, it is an “historic” moment. The French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira said: “It grants new rights, stands firmly against discrimination [and] testifies to our country’s respect for the institution of marriage.”

and families with a GLBTI family member to come along and share their stories about their relationships and why gay marriage is an issue of importance to people in this region. Whilst John can’t attend the community discussion due to his parliamentary commitment, we think it is important that he hears from his GLBTI constituents nad their supporters. We will arrange a delegation to present this information to John. Like John Williams, the Far West Community Legal Centre and the Warra-Warra Legal Service focus our energy, time and limited resources on many other issues of importance to the community but the majority of our clients requiring – support, advocacy and legal advice – are heterosexual and are victims of domestic/family violence and sexual assault, struggle with family breakdown and/or are engaged in disputes relating to children. The Far West Community Legal Centre and the WarraWarra Legal Service are guided by principles of human rights and equal access. We are Safe Places for all members of the Far West Community, but we especially invite the GLBTI community to contact us if they have issues of concern, whether they be legal or non-legal problems. Tracey Willow Chief Executive Officer Far West Community Legal Service

The “We Belong Project” has organized a community discussion on Thursday 23 May, 7pm at Lifeline. We encourage GLBTI community members and supporters


Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

No access to Justice is no Justice at all! Far West New South Wales is one of the most disadvantaged regions in the State of NSW. The Far West Community Legal Centre faces an ongoing and severe funding crisis – the Centre needs additional recurrent funding of $180,000 each year to operate. Without additional recurrent funding, the Centre will not be able to operate full time, must reduce advice sessions offered, cannot provide outreach services to remote communities, cannot provide community legal education or conduct law reform and advocacy for the people living in the Far West. As a result of this funding crisis, the Centre has already been forced to close its doors for 2 days each week. This will

also mean a reduction in senior staff hour and wages. This is a serious loss of worker skills that will have a significant effect on team morale. The Centre receives no funding from the NSW State Government at all. The amount of funding received from the Commonwealth has remained the same (save for small CPI increases each year) since the Centre was first funded in 2000. The Centre is an essential service, in a region with extremely high legal need, as well as economic and social disadvantage. This Community can’t afford to lose this CLC, but this Community can’t afford to keep this CLC. No access to justice is no justice at all.

Population and Economics

Legal Need Indicators

Our population is approximately 23,000. Based on the last Census Data, about 32% of the population receive some type of Centrelink benefit. If children under the age of 15 years of age are deducted from that figure, then the percentage of the population receiving Centrelink benefit increases to 41%. The average wage of people in Far West NSW is only $39,800.00. The National Average wage is $69,100.00. The average wage of people in NSW is $69,600.00. This is despite the existence of high paying industries such as mining in our region.

High numbers of people accessing the CLC service for: • Family Law • Domestic Violence Issues • Welfare Problems • Housing and Homelessness • Credit and Debt • Injuries

Disadvantage Factor Rankings Menindee Wilcannia Broken Hill


Source: Dr Tony Vinson: Jesuit Social Services and Catholic Social Services Australia: Dropping Off the Edge – Mapping the Distribution of Disadvantage in Australia, 2007

Limited Referral Base BROKEN HILL

Our region has the lowest per capita rate of solicitors of all regions in New South Wales – with one solicitor for every 2000 residents.

SYDNEY 13 Hour Drive

Far West NSW Region

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

Population: 23,000. The Far West NSW Region covers 118,000 square kilometres and is isolated from major capital cities.

• •

What Does This Mean?

Legal Need Indicators


Source: ABS Census Data & Regional Profile 2011; NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service, 2011, Statistical Information

Source: CLCNSW/NLAF: Judith Stubbs & Associate, 2010: Planning for Legal Needs: Legal Needs Assessment Framework

9 Hour Drive

Unlike most centres in NSW, there are very few legal firms to which clients can be referred. There is no Legal Aid Office in the Far West. The closest Legal Aid Office is in Dubbo, 9 hours’ drive from Broken Hill, the only city in Far West NSW. No private firms travel to Menindee, Tibooburra, Ivanhoe, Wanaaring, Packsaddle or White Cliffs. Source: Forell, S Cain, M & Gray, A 2010, Recruitment and retention of lawyers in regional, rural and remote New South Wales. Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney

High percentage of persons on disability support pension – Broken Hill 110/1000 - Ranked 2nd in NSW. High percentage of parents in a de facto relationship – Central Darling Shire 9.3% - Ranked 2nd in NSW. High percentage of Indigenous persons – Central Darling Shire – 32.9% - Ranked 2nd in NSW. High percentage of Social Renters – Central Darling 21.5% - Ranked 2nd in NSW. High ranking on SEIFA Index of Relative SocioEconomic Disadvantage – Central Darling 821 – Ranked 2nd in NSW, Broken Hill 912 - Ranked 10th in NSW. Higher than average need ratio by SEIFA – CLCs – Central Darling (821.26) and Broken Hill (911.7) Ranked Very High – 3rd and 4th in NSW. High percentage of People on Centrelink Benefit – Broken Hill 380/1000 - Ranked 5th in NSW.

Source: CLCNSW/NLAF: Judith Stubbs & Associate, 2010: Planning for Legal Needs: Legal Needs Assessment Framework

Domestic Violence

It is clear that the percentage of Domestic Violence incidents per population is much higher in rural and regional areas. In the top 20 local government areas (LGA) where the rate of incidences of domestic violence per head of population was greatest, only one area was in Sydney City or surrounds. Broken Hill is ranked as the 6th highest LGA in the State of NSW for domestic violence incidents. Although Central Darling Shire was not given a ranking because of its minimal population, the percentage of the population reporting domestic violence related crime equates to 6.1% - only slightly less than Broken Hill and Wentworth. Indigenous Australians are more likely to become victims of domestic assault. The problem is usually greater in areas of the State with higher percentages of sole parents under 25, a higher percentage of public housing and a higher male unemployment rate and residential instability. Source: Katrina Gretch, Melissa Burgess, May 2011, Trends and patterns in domestic violence assaults: 20012011, Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research; Dr K Carrington, Janet Phillips, September 2006, Domestic Violence in Australia – an Overview of Issues

Please help... This service is an essential service in providing socially and economically disadvantaged people, in a forgotten part of NSW, with legal advice – those people who need legal advice and assistance services the most. Your voice counts. Please contact us on 08 8088 2020 or reception@farwestclc.org.au to find out how you can support the Far West Community Legal Centre.



Warra-Warra Legal Service


WARRA-WARRA LEGAL SERVICE REPORT 2013 has been a busy year for Warra Warra Legal Service. As the Manager of WWLS, I begin my report by proudly acknowledging our new team. I would like to welcome to WWLS: our new Principal Solicitor – Kelly Oxford, our new Solicitor – Alexia Zsigmond, and our new Family Support/CLE Worker and Victims of Crime Paralegal – Julie Dennis. I acknowledge Ann-Maree Payne, our Administration, Information & Referral Officer for her dedication and excellent work. Ann-Maree started in 2009 and is the longest serving member of the team. Ann-Maree has added a new role to her title as a WDVCAS Seconded Worker. I acknowledge Anthony Hayward, our Community Development Worker, who was original employed on a three-month contract. Anthony is now a permanent employee. Anthony is an enthusiastic and inspiring young man and was recognised at this year’s NAIDOC Ball and was awarded for Community Leadership and Involvement. Although completely surprised, Anthony was proud to receive this award. Anthony believes that being active in his community helps to strengthen the community in terms of reconciliation and understanding of different cultures. Anthony looks forward to being actively involved in next year’s NAIDOC with the support of WWLS. Our service is pleased to have a full team. Together we have achieved a lot this year, walking side by side with our clients to provide support, advice and representation to meet both their legal and non-legal needs.

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

WWLS staff travel to outreach at Wilcannia and Menindee on a fortnightly basis to network with services, deliver information on our service and to see clients for their appointments. All staff participated in professional development opportunities including Trauma and Resilience Training, ECAV Core Domestic Violence Training, and Mental Health First Aid. This training makes our organisation stronger in delivering services that are needed to the Broken Hill community and the surrounding communities of Wilcannia, Menindee, Ivanhoe, White Cliffs and Tibooburra.

TRANSITION FROM COORDINATOR TO MANAGER In July 2013, I was renamed ‘Manager’ in recognition of my expanded role and position description at WWLS. This is an important change in terms of the organisational leadership for our service. It was a decision made by the FWCLC Inc. CEO and Board of Management in recognition of the importance of giving more autonomy and decision-making back to WWLS.


year in Canberra and Alice Springs and the State Network meetings in Sydney, twice this year. There have also been a number of teleconferences, facilitated by the National FVPLS Forum Secretariat. New changes and challenges are ahead for all Family Violence Prevention Legal Services across Australia. It is crucial that WWLS remains actively involved in both our State and National Networks, and communicates any new changes to our communities.

NEW FAMILY SUPPORT PROGRAM People are referred to the Family Support Worker for assistance in relation to family/domestic violence, care and protection, FaCS involvement, crisis, homelessness, financial support, and support with accessing services. They can choose to self-refer, be referred from external organisations, or are referred internally by WWLS solicitors. The Family Support Worker’s role includes: • • • • •

Supporting, assisting, advocating, and empowering with advice and guidance Attending community meetings to obtain accurate information to assist clients Attending community and interagency meetings to promote the services provided by WWLS Travelling to our outreach communities in Wilcannia and Menindee once a week Promoting the role of the Family Support Worker and the referral process


• Strengthening WWLS’ community sector relationships to assist with making effective referral on behalf of clients with services such as, Police and Police Prosecutor, Health, Maari Ma, Mental Health Team, local Court staff, FWWDVCAS, Centrelink, social workers and counsellors, St Vincent de Paul, Mission Australia, Compass Housing, FaCS, Corrective Services, and Catherine Haven

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Community development is a service strategy, and all staff are committed to building relationship with their communities and with service providers to promote WWLS and its programs. In this period, there were 141 non-casework activities.


Family Domestic Violence Working Party & the HOPE Subcommittee

This has been an outstanding program for victims of crime seeking victims’ compensation. This is another healing program offered by WWLS. In a very short period, this program has provided support and assistance with the online lodgment of claims for 25 Aboriginal women. This role includes:

WWLS is an active member of this interagency strategy. The FDV Working Party developed a Prevention Plan in February 2013. As a result of Outcome 3: Strengthen Aboriginal Communities in the Far West, WWLS and Kerrie Standley (ACJG Coordinator at Broken Hill Local Court) initiated the HOPE (Healing Our People with Empowerment) Sub Committee. This subcommittee is an important strategy for making WWLS more accessible to its communities. In 2014, we will invite other services to participate in a Portfolio Referral Project to ensure a better referral pathway for Aboriginal people accessing local services in the Far West.

• • • • • • • •

Interviewing clients Lodging claims Obtaining medical and police reports Referrals to counsellors, social workers, WDVCAS, and Police for ADVOs Attending court with clients Arranging appointments at Centrelink for crisis payments Assisting with accommodation and safety planning with clients Liaising with service providers to promote the new program

There are 10 new claims pending.


WWLS Aboriginal Men’s Group This group has come a long way since starting late last year. The WWLS Aboriginal Men’s Group has secured a partnership with the Centre for Community and the group meets every Wednesday to work on art works, woodwork or carpentry. This year, the men held art exhibitions and won local art prizes. They have also been successful in gaining funding for the group from local businesses. There was a Men’s Shed Open Day on 3rd July 2013.

The plan for next year is to expand even more and to seek further funding opportunities. The WWLS Aboriginal Men’s Group hopes that 2014 will bring prosperity to the group as well as more local support and funding. The WWLS Aboriginal Men’s Group actively supported the Reclaim the Night March and Rally. Remembrance night On 2nd April, the WWLS Aboriginal Men’s Group held the second Remembrance Night for Broken Hill at the Wesley Uniting Church. Anthony Hayward was the main driving force behind the event. Anthony worked with the Uniting Church and Pastor Will Pearson to make this night memorable. Approximately sixty people attended this event, which consisted of a short service followed by a smoking ceremony. Afterwards, people then gathered in the hall behind the church to talk. Anthony Hayward says “healing is a big issue for our people, along with grief and loss. We must work together as a community to heal and strengthen ourselves. That is why we at WWLS have identified this as an important event. We want to work towards building a stronger and more empowered community.” NAIDOC This year was a big success for the NAIDOC celebrations in Broken Hill. WWLS was actively visible in the Day in the Park, the NAIDOC Ball and events at Broken Hill Correctional Centre and Alma School. WWLS was an active member of the NAIDOC Committee.

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

Cultural Awareness Training Program This year Donna Kennedy and Anthony Hayward delivered the Cultural Awareness Training Program twice. The first session was delivered to the staff of FWCLC Inc. and the second session was delivered to workers and board members from FWCLC Inc., and to a number of other people from outside our organisation. WWLS acknowledges Jodie Edge, NSW National Parks & Wildlife for resourcing the training program and participating in both sessions. WWWL believes that this training has the potential to become accredited. It is WWLS’ intention, with the support of the community, to deliver this training around the region. “Find the Faces” Road Show WWLS participated in the two outreach visits to White Cliffs, Ivanhoe and Tibooburra. WWLS are committed to coordinating and participating in this important community strategy in 2014. “We Belong” GLBTI Project WLS actively supported, participated in and promoted this new community project. As a result of this project, WWLS became recognised by ACON as a “Safe Place” for the GLBTI community and their families.

at the Rally. Anthony Hayward concluded the Rally with a moving didgeridoo piece. Other events planned for 2014 include: Broken Hill White Ribbon, Human Rights Day, and the Anniversary of Apology to the Stolen Generations. Support for Community Sporting Groups WWLS again provided in-kind support to Alma Soccer Club and Geebungs Rugby Club. In return, both sporting clubs promoted anti-violence messages to their clubs. Educational Work in Schools – Primary & High Schools WWLS participated in structured programs such as Love Bites, Cross Roads and the Year 7 Day, and accepted invitations to speak to classes in primary and high schools in Broken Hill. Drumbeat Training In August, Anthony Hayward attended three-day training on Drumbeat. This is a program that supports disengaged young people. WWLS will use this training in 2014 as a tool to engage more with young people, as well as with adults. I would like to say a very big thank you to the whole team. Everyone has worked extremely hard to achieve excellent results for our service and for our clients. The staff brings an array of skills that make our service strong and deadly. Donna Kennedy, WWLS Manager

Festival of Respect Project WWLS is an active partner of the Festival of Respect, and are coordinating a number of events as part of the program. WWLS lead the Reclaim the Night March, along with Aboriginal women and children, and spoke Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013




10% 10% 11%












Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013












Our clients are from the following geographic areas





10% 1%







Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013


The cases we now have on foot represent a positive use and application of scarce resources and we feel privileged to be entrusted with such important and meaningful work. Outreach has continued to be a highlight for both myself and Alexia with fortnightly trips made by us to Wilcannia and Menindee. The legal team has also participated in this year’s road shows to Ivanhoe, White Cliffs and Tibooburra. Together the legal team is currently investigating whether there are other areas of need which should be included within the outreach program for 2014. Alexia attended the National Victims’ of Crime Conference in September. This conference gave Alexia the opportunity to participate in a conference that explored victim’s rights and empowering victims through the framework of the criminal justice system and provided her with valuable insight into new perspectives and new ways of thinking about victims of crime and victim’s rights. This year has also seen the successful implementation of our Victims of Crime Program, funded by a one off ‘Victims of Crime’ grant. Under the program we have successfully employed Julie Dennis to work in the role of paralegal, eight hours per week. Julie works intensively with our clients and is able to assist them with their immediate needs following a critical incident or family crisis. Implementation of our new program has been timely as this year has marked a significant change in the legislative landscape for victims of crime. In New South Wales the right of victims to claim compensation through a statutory scheme is no longer, with the new Victims’ Rights and Support Act 2013 providing for ‘support’ and ‘recognition payments’ only. The new


scheme is prescriptive and encompasses both existing and future applications. Julie has been trained in both schemes and is able to sensitively assist our clients to navigate the comprehensive changes and ensure they claim their maximum entitlement. In only a short period the program has become a resounding success, freeing resources and resulting in capacity building for the legal team. I am very proud of the quality of legal service delivery and thank Alexia and Julie for their commitment and seamless transition into their roles. Finally, as I reflect back on the year that was, I can say with pride that 2013 has been a fantastic year for the legal team. It is an amazing opportunity to work with the likes of our amazingly diverse and talented team at WWLS, and provide a holistic approach and showcase what can be achieved in a multi-disciplinary service model. I look forward to a new year and a new opportunity to build on our achievements and to further embed ourselves and to serve the fabulous community in this, the Far West. Kelly Oxford, WWLS Principal Solicitor

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013



FAR WEST WOMEN’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVOCACY SERVICE REPORT Once again this year the Far West Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service has been busy and productive. As always, we are continually working to maintain our links with the other agencies in the region and with the community. However, we are always mindful that our court work and being advocates for our clients is our main priority and we focus on this by our constant presence at all the local courts in our district (Broken Hill, Wilcannia and Wentworth). We are always available and easily visible to court staff, Police, clients and other service providers.

control, dominate or instill fear. It doesn’t have to be physical abuse. It can be emotional, psychological, financial, sexual or other types of abuse. It can affect anyone in the community, regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, age, culture, ethnicity, religion, disability, economic status or location.

The service strives to maintain its involvement in community events such as the NAIDOC celebrations, Reclaim the Night, White Ribbon Day and the Festival of Respect activities. This raises the profile of the FWWDVCAS in the community and with other service providers, and reinforces the message that Domestic Violence is not acceptable. Once again, Narelle was involved in the delivery of the LoveBites program into the schools along with many other services and organisations in the community.

We recruited Fiona Camilleri as the FWWDVCAS Wentworth Outreach Worker in June 2013. This year we are trying a new strategy where the worker is based in the Broken Hill office, and has the dual role of being both a Broken Hill court worker, and travelling to attend court in Wentworth.

While we are involved in many community events, we ensure that our core practice is met and maintained by the FWWDVCAS staff. We attend court on Tuesdays and Fridays and provide support and referrals to victims of Domestic Violence by offering them a safe and friendly environment to sit and wait in Broken Hill, Wentworth (1st Tuesday of each month) and Wilcannia (3rd Wednesday of each month).

The FWWDVCAS have continued to work hard to fulfil their obligations to Legal Aid NSW and have attended Network Meetings and training as required. The service is also represented quarterly at the WDVCAP Workers Forums in Sydney.

Domestic and family violence takes many forms. It involves violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour carried out by a partner, carer or family member to

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

It is the role of the FWWDVCAS to advocate for the client with the Police and through the court process to ensure that women feel safe and secure and comfortable with the decision that they have made, which is to ‘stop the violence’.

We also gained the services of a seconded worker this year. Ann- Maree Payne from WWLS assists at court on a fortnightly basis.

and a workable strategy to reduce the issue of conflict of interest. This has led to an improvement in the statistics for FWWDVCAS. We hope that this will only improve, and the service will continue to go from strength to strength. These changes not only allow us to meet the requirements of the funding body but also to work more effectively and more responsively with our clients. We thank Tracey Willow and Mariette Curcuruto for their encouragement, support and motivation. We acknowledge and thank our Team – Susan Marks (on maternity leave), Fiona Camilleri, Prue Sulicich and Ann-Maree Payne. As always, we thank the Board of Management for their ongoing support and dedication to not only our service but the organisation as a whole. Narelle Blows & Loretta Stuart, Joint Coordinators

Being auspiced by a Community Legal Centre has often created issues for FWWDVCAS and on the odd occasion, benchmarks set by Legal Aid NSW have not been met. However, we now have a solid and collaborative working relationship with the FWCLC Principal Solicitor and have implemented an effective




FAR WEST COOPERATIVE LEGAL SERVICE 2013 has been an exciting year for the Far West Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Program. 20 service providers attended the quarterly meetings in February, June, August and November. There are several issues carrying over from 2012 that will be addressed in 2014. These include: • • • • •

The lack of a Child Contact Centre Homelessness is still an issue in the region with emergency housing reaching capacity, for men and women There are two Drug and Alcohol Counsellors in the Far West region who service the entire Far West region No Anger Management program No accredited Men’s Perpetrator’s program

HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE YEAR The Regional Coordinator’s meeting of CLSD Regional Coordinators was held in Sydney on 11th and 12th April in Sydney. The majority of workers expressed concern about the amount of time spent at interagency meetings. I have and will continue to attend interagency meetings and network at local community events to garner information on unmet legal needs. Mandy Young, the newly appointed Commissioner for Victims Services presented at the June CLSD meeting. Geoff Mulherin from the Law and Justice Foundation attended the August CLSD meeting. Geoff consulted with service providers and gathered information on the unmet legal needs in the Far West region

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

in relation to access to justice. Service providers communicated that people accessing the Victims Compensation Scheme have complex problems and there is a need for early intervention and a holistic approach. It was also identified that to be successful, local service providers in the region need to be included in decision making around community issues. There is need for government collaboration with rural and remote services for competent delivery. The Far West Rural, Remote Network was reestablished. This Network reinforced the need for outreach to White Cliffs, Tibooburra and Ivanhoe. This year the two “Road Show” outreach visits to these communities was funded by the CLSD Program. This collaborative strategy was led by FWCLC Inc. and partners included Lifeline, Mission Australia, Centacare, Far West Local Health District, Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health and Maari Ma. The FWCLSD Regional Coordinator organised a Wills Workshop/outreach at Cockburn at the request of the community, in collaboration with FWCLC. FWCLSD is also a partner in the Family Domestic Violence Working Party. Four consultations occurred, a strategic plan was developed and many ideas were discussed this year including: strengthening Aboriginal Communities, promoting respectful relationships in the Far West, addressing the needs of women and children, and engaging boys and men in the project. The aim is to have the Far West safe and free from violence.

The FWCLSD Regional Coordinator was involved in the ‘Ripped Off’ Employment Law Guide Launch in September. The publication was a collaboration between Far West Community Legal Centre and Legal Aid NSW. The FWCLSD Regional Coordinator was actively involved in the GLBTI “We Belong” project. This was a pilot project that has developed into a community strategy. Events have included community consultations, media reports, a Community Chalking event in the Town Square, movie nights, the development of legal fact sheets, and a launch on 5th July at the Pro Hart Art Gallery. The FWCLSD Regional Coordinator has been actively involved in the new community strategy – the Festival of Respect. This project was launched on 25th October 2013 with the Reclaim the Night March and Rally, and will conclude on 29th March 2014 with many exciting events in between. Finally, the issue that generated the most discussion by CLSD partners related to inadequate funding. This is at times a desperate issue in the Far West, and needs to be prioritised, if we are to better care for our community. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of a great team and support network that is the Far West Legal Centre Inc. Meg Kelly, FWCLSD Regional Coordinator






THANK YOU TO THE FRIENDS OF THE FWCLC FWCLC Inc. sincerely acknowledges the individuals and businesses that supported us throughout the year, especially through FWCLC’s funding campaign. There are so many people to thank. We have appreciated everyone’s support.

• • •

We would like to particularly like to acknowledge the generosity of the following: The people of Broken Hill, the Far West and NSW for their big hearts and generous souls. Thank you for signing petitions and donating funds. The Newcastle Legal Fundraising Event •

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Rob Williams and Terry Tomlin from Lawyers Plus, Cath Whelan, proprietor of ‘Groovin the Moo’, and a team of other amazing people organised the event Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG gave an inspiring address on the value of social justice for all Will Grahame acted as the MC, entertainer and auctioneer

The FWCLC Fundraising Dinner with Stefano De Pieri • • • •

Stefano and Donnata De Pieri delivered a truly memorable gustation event Dr. Steve Flecknoe-Brown inspired the fundraising evening Dionne Devlin gifted time, energy and contacts Phillip O’Keefe, local agent for regional wines and beers, persuaded Chalmers Wines and Mildura Brewery to provide pre-dinner refreshments and

Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

matching wines for each course John Gavranich provided the Royal Exchange Hotel at no charge and provided staff at a cost basis The Far West Local Health District supplied linen The Legion and Musicians Clubs supplied additional tables, chairs and cutlery at no charge

Local Businesses • • • •

John Wren, Silver City Cinema supported our fundraising and GLBTI events Outback Pharmacy, Fabric Closet and the Duke of Cornwell supported our raffles Top End Meats supported all our BBQ’s and Roadshow events Woolworths supported our fundraising events

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and speaking and entertaining at the Reclaim the Night Rally Maari Ma for organising the children’s tent and activities Kerri Baker from the Broken Hill Breast Cancer Support Group and the health workers from the Far West Local Health District for collaborating on the Pink Breakfast The Hotels and Clubs in the Broken Hill and Menindee for allowing posters and coasters to be visible on the night of Reclaim the Night and during the Festival of Respect Broken Hill Domestic Violence Committee for being a collaborative partner

The Local Media • • • • •

For Real Magazine 999 ABC Broken Hill 2BH / HILL FM Barrier Daily Truth Southern Cross Television

Festival of Respect Project • • •

Josh Cowdrey, for all his design work Darriea Turley for acting as the MC of the Reclaim the Night Rally Synitta Adams, Georgie Bloor, Kate Osman and the Broken Hill Community Voices, Acting Sgt. Tania Linfield, Donna Kennedy and Mariette Curcuruto for donating their skills and experience




FINANCIAL REPORT This last year has been a year of significant challenge for the Finance Team at FWCLC Inc. The Finance Team includes the FWCLC Inc. President, Treasurer, CEO, the two Finance Officers and the Manager of WWLS. The greatest challenge this year for FWCLC Inc. was managing FWCLC’s finances. Many crucial decisions had to be made to keep FWCLC strong and the doors open. From December 2012 – 1 July 2013, we closed our doors two days a week and the CEO, the FWCLC Principal Solicitor and the FWCLC Finance Officers elected to take a pay cut to support the organisation financially. The service also adopted a more frugal approach to its spending. FWCLC staff also volunteered a significant and incalculable amount of unpaid hours in fundraising and in lobbying the State and Federal Government for additional funding. For a significant part of this funding campaign it seemed as though nothing would be forthcoming and we would have to close the doors of the centre indefinitely. We are indebted to the Broken Hill Community, the Newcastle Legal Community, and to those who individually volunteered money and in-kind support. This generosity not only raised important funds, but assisted in raising awareness about the plight of the service and its value to the Far West. We believe that our complete transparency in all our financial operations assisted us to build credibility with our community and gained extra funding to ensure that FWCLC and the auspiced services of FWCLC Inc. operate at the highest standard. This year, we had two life-saving announcements: Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013

In May 2013, we received one-off Commonwealth funding of $215,000.00 on top of our Core Funding of $259,441.00. In September 2013, we received Commonwealth funding of $660,000 to be spent over the next 4 years to enable FWCLC to employ more frontline lawyers and staff to help with family law, mortgage stress, employment law, child protection matters and consumer law. In terms of the FWCLC Inc. and its operations with all of the funded services: Most services have received their quarterly funding on time and all debts have been paid accordingly. The PAYG Group certificates have all been issued and finalised together with all superannuation guarantee payments. GST payments have been paid and forms lodged up until 30/06/2013. The total auspice fees collected for year account for $104,951.00: • •

This year the auspice fee for WWLS was decreased to 10% as per the Attorney General’s Department recommendation The auspice fee for the FWWDVCAS and the FWCLSD program remains the same (5% respectively) and enables the FWCLC Inc. Finance Team to comply with all grant funding contractual obligations

The funding for the Public Purpose Funding (PPF) which pays the wages for the FWCLC Solicitor had its funding decreased by 2.5% - $1,749.81.

Gallagher Bassett who holds our Workers’ Compensation policy has updated our policy based on actual wages for the year 2012/2013 and has issued a $1,289.06 reimbursement. The final premium for the year was $15,598.01 The Audit for the FWCLC Inc. has been completed and this includes the financials for the FWCLC, WWLS, FWWDVCAS and FWCLSD. Two surplus funding requests have been forwarded to the Funding Managers: • •

WWLS ($8,152) for client disbursement FWWDVCAS ($13,223) for Coordinator hours

The financials in the opinion of the Auditor is a true and fair view of the financial position of FWCLC Inc. as at the 30th June 2013. The results of its operations for the year then ended 30th June 2012 are in accordance with the accounting policies described in the audit notes of the financial statements. In conclusion, we thank the Board of Management for their support and commitment throughout the year, especially through the trying times. We particularly acknowledge our dedicated Treasurer, Ellen Day. We also thank all our colleagues who have been extremely supportive of all the changes and have done so with a high standard. We acknowledge our Auditors WHK and Dale Sayers. Prue Sulicich & Vicki Cullen, Finance Officers



Far West Community Legal Centre Annual Report 2013