Community Program in 2015

In 2015, the Community Program’s third year, Review members continued to assist Community Legal Centres (‘CLC’) with the research, writing and editing of publications in a way that utilised the skillset of Members and minimised the administrative burden on CLCs.

An awareness of the Community Program within the community legal sector is steadily increasing. To date, the Community Program has been in contact with a number of CLCs and other Not-for-Profit Organisations, and is constantly receiving expressions of interest for assistance. Much of this interest in 2015 was generated with the encouragement of Kate Fischer-Doherty, the Director of Melbourne Law School’s Public Interest Law Initiative, who has been a valued source of enthusiasm and support.

This year, the Community Program provided assistance to Justice Connect Homeless Law by editing a report aimed at assisting prisoners at Port Phillip Prison with their debt, tenancy and infringement matters. This involved proofreading and editing the report, as well as revising footnotes and collating a bibliography.

Further, the provision of editorial assistance to Tamar Hopkins, the Principal Solicitor at Flemington & Kensington CLC, comprised a major project for the Program in 2015. Interested members assisted Tamar by editing and critiquing an article directed at furthering the CLC’s law reform agenda regarding police accountability. The article raised concerns arising from a recent court decision feared to allow police to make arbitrary traffic stops and engage in racial profiling. Members assisted with both editing for grammar and footnotes, as well as critiquing the article’s assertions by highlighting areas where there was a need to strengthen academic support or address any inconsistencies in logic. The integral contribution of Review members enabled Tamar to successfully publish the article.

The program continues to be underpinned by members’ enthusiasm to use the Review as a platform to engage in social justice issues. In 2016, we look forward to continuing to grow the Community Program by fostering current relationships within the community legal sector and remaining open to new opportunities to explore the scope of the Community Program as they arise. Many thanks go out to all members that contributed their time towards the Community Program in 2015.