Picture: Open Day recently, 338 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204 tel. 9559 2899, fx 9558 5213, as part of NSW Law Week.
With so many topics of conversation to provide alternative media service it is sometimes easy to forget that there are public interest workers out there just getting on with it.
We do tip our hat to these folks whatever their overall political allegiances or machine loyalty.
We do presume without being sure for instance that the local legal centre is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Albanese ALP Left. [Principal solicitor Andrew Taylor since advises not at all, never met local Federal MP, which is a surprise in itself.]
We took the time to eat their free sausage sandwiches and interview the principal solicitor recently on the occassion of their open day.
Andrew Taylor told us they cover four areas of law - tenancy, children, adult, domestic violence. We presume this means also civil and maybe criminal as well. With 3-4 lawyers full time.
They are noticing an increase in employment and debt related issues.
Andrew got a little philosophical at our suggestion saying our "system is rampant with shallow materialism" underlying alot of problems, but he's not against development that has social benefit.
Resourcing is from state and federal governments.
In a quite heartening sign, he noted they get ALOT of pro bono support from the profession - and here comes a surprising list - very happy to include here, and may there be more of this eh?:
- and several others.
We then spoke with their children's specialist lawyer, Katrina, quite the cross cultural liaison with an Aboriginal lady/child visitors to the open day we noticed later. This youngish lawyer mentioned negative stereotyping of youth after the infamous Corey Delaney incident and if she had one wish it would be for more balance and sympathy for youth in relation to fairness, rehabilitation, and recognition of youth disadvantages (no money for paid spaces like restuarant dinners for a night out).
We like these folks, not least for a year at Canberra Welfare Rights Centre as a volunteer in 1988-9.