Northern Community Legal Centre collaborates with community organisations and members, conducting projects that address the social and structural barriers that lead to disadvantage. Our projects aim to support individuals and families to enhance their skills, knowledge, self-efficacy, social inclusion and community connectedness. Through our community engagement activities, NCLC is able to build our understanding of the issues impacting upon our community members, ensuring that we have a solid evidence base for our advocacy work.
Family Violence in the Australian Indian Community
The phenomenon of abused and abandoned Indian brides in transnational spaces is well documented, yet minimal research has been undertaken on the broad issues faced by Indian women who experience domestic and family violence in Australia. NCLC operates in a region which has recently experienced a large arrival of Indian migrants. Through our work, we have become aware of the complexities Indian women face who are subjected to family violence.
Funded by the Victorian Legal Services Board, this project has enhanced our capacity to provide legal services through the employment of an Immigration Lawyer who provides free legal advice and casework assistance to Indian women who are victim/survivors of family violence. South Asian women from other countries are eligible for free legal advice and facilitated referral to other services.
In addition to enhancing our wrap-around service model, this project includes a research component to build understanding of the complex cultural issues that contribute to family violence experiences, and the adequacy of Australian laws to provide legal protection.
The project’s objectives are to:
· advance the understanding of the complex problem of abuse and abandonment in the Australian Indian community;
· identify gaps in the family violence system and state and federal laws which add to the vulnerability of Indian women affected by family violence in Australia, to abuse and exploitation; and
· identify and advocate for effective legal and non-legal protections.
Read the Indian Women's Family Violence Project findings and recommendations here:
Toward Equality 2020 and Beyond
Funded by the Communities for Children Grant (Department of Social Services), this project aims to work with grassroots groups to support gender equity by increasing awareness of factors that contribute to violence against women and children. Within each group, practical education and skill-building activities are balanced with cultural expression relevant to the community such as poetry, music, theatre, art, photography and dance.
The project aims to support these communities to identify and develop violence prevention strategies that are culturally appropriate and effective. The strategies identified and implemented throughout the project will be showcased at a joint forum to celebrate International Women’s Day in March 2020.
The three women’s groups are:
Oorja Women’s Group (in partnership with the Oorja Foundation) for Indian women
Didi Bahini Samaj Women’s Group (in partnership with Didi Bahini Samaj Victoria) for Nepalese women
El Amal for newly arrived women from Iraq, Syria and neighbouring countries
If you are interested in joining one of the woman’s groups, or would like further information, please contact the Project Coordinator via email@example.com.
Kangan TAFE Program: Embedding Legal Literacy in Education Institutions
From December 2018 to December 2020, Northern Community Legal Centre provided community legal education, legal advice and casework services to approximately 800 people of refugee and recently arrived backgrounds enrolled in the Adult Migrant English Programs (AMEP) at Kangan Institute, Broadmeadows.
With a grant provided by City of Hume, we employed a bi-lingual Paralegal Community Worker to respond to the needs of Arabic speaking students, by spending time listening to their legal concerns, booking appointments for students to see our lawyer, providing referrals to other services, and assisting with paralegal tasks such as filling out forms. The Paralegal Community Worker also supported our lawyer at Kangan TAFE to conduct community legal education sessions about common legal issues; how to recognise and avoid legal problems; when to see a lawyer, and information on how the Australian Legal System works.
For information on this Program's findings, read our Kangan TAFE Project Evaluation Report here.