Legal Education for New Migrants

 
For people who face the complex challenges of resettling in Australia, legal education and information about accessing legal services can significantly reduce the risks of hardship and social isolation. Traditionally, migrant communities have negotiated the first years of settlement in Australia with a limited understanding of the laws and operation of our legal system.

Community legal education (CLE) plays a key role in assisting new migrants, particularly those of non-English speaking backgrounds, achieve greater self-reliance and social mobility through improved awareness of their rights and responsibilities under Australian law.

OUR APPROACH

 Our approach to working with new migrant communities in legal education is based on:

  • community-based service delivery models;
  • non-academic, practical and culturally appropriate methodologies; and
  • ongoing support for relevant community leaders and organisations working with new migrants in the process of their settlement.

The community-based service delivery model is aimed at ensuring our legal education meets the specific needs of new and emerging migrant communities. We work with these communities to find out what they need to know about Australian law and how they like to learn.

CURRENT PROGRAMS

Migrant Information Legal Education (MILE) Program

We provide legal education workshops on a variety of topics for new migrant communities and organisations working with these communities. Workshops can be tailored to meet specific needs and interpreters can be provided.

Our workshops are highly interactive and are provided by experienced professionals.

Please see our MILE Program page for more information.

What's the Law

The What's the Law education kit was produced by legal aid commissions throughout Australia. The kit consists of 10 simple English photo stories about common legal problems that new migrants may encounter. It is accompanied by activity and answer sheets, including notes for those coordindating the use of the kit.

Please see our What's the Law page for more information or to access the kit online.

Tips and Traps for Working with New Migrants

These sessions outline culturally appropriate approaches relevant to developing and implementing initiatives for migrant communities.

PAST PROGRAMS

Family Law and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities Project

In 2003, this project commenced as a partnership between the Commission, the Migrant Resource Centre and the Multicultural Communities Council, with the assistance of a grant from the Law Foundation. It was designed, through consultation, to research culturally appropriate ways to educate culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities about Australian family law and family violence. In 2004, following consultation and research and the production of a Legal Education Kit, a Legal Education Officer was employed by the Commission to commence delivering legal education workshops to CALD clients.

Enough is Enough

In 2005, the Family Law and CALD Communities Project team collaborated with the Adelaide Registry of the Family Court of Australia and members of South Australia's African communities to celebrate Law Week. A mock trial, called "Enough is Enough" was staged in the Family Court. This was designed, with the assistance of a narrator, to educate new migrants about family law and the court process.

In 2007, the Commission produced a DVD resource based on the mock trial and of the same name.

Learning About the Law in Australia

Evaluation of the Family Law and CALD Communities Project in 2007 uncovered that there were community members who wanted to participate in our legal education workshops but were often unable to do so because of English language classes or difficulties arranging transport and childcare. As a result, the Commission formed a relationship with TafeSA English Language Services to provide legal education to new arrivals enrolled in the Commonwealth funded Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

In 2008, the Commission assisted TafeSA English Language Services to develop a series of books called "Learning About the Law in Australia". This series was designed to provide a basic awareness of Australian laws to adult migrants of non-English speaking backgrounds.

 

To book an education workshop or to discuss your education requirements, please contact Kate Muslera, MILE Legal Education Officer, on (08) 8111 5742 or email kate.muslera@lsc.sa.gov.au

 

 


 




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