Want to assist disaster-affected Victorians with their legal problems?
4 November 2015
Victoria has a long and tragic history of bushfires and other natural disasters, and each year disaster response agencies provide various forms of assistance to people who have been affected. Disaster Legal Help provides legal advice, information and assistance to people after a disaster to assist them with their legal issues and help them in their recovery.
We need volunteer lawyers to assist in the event of a disaster
Disaster Legal Help is a collaboration between legal assistance partners. We assist in the event of natural disasters (such as bushfires, floods and hailstorms) as well as other disasters such as building fires, chemical spills and much more. We rely heavily on volunteer private practitioners and barristers to assist, as well as volunteer lawyers from community legal centres and Victoria Legal Aid. We are looking to grow our volunteer base to ensure we are prepared to respond in the event of a disaster.
What does volunteering involve?
In the event of a disaster, volunteers will assist by attending relief and recovery centres and providing information and advice to people as required. Volunteers also attend community meetings and forums after a disaster to speak about legal issues and how to get help. We approach volunteers when Disaster Legal Help is to be mobilised and volunteers assist based on their availability at that time.
We welcome any currently practising lawyers with a good general law knowledge. Any experience and expertise in the areas of tenancy and insurance law would be an advantage given the prevalence of these issues in a disaster situation.
Training for volunteers on 12 November 2015
Volunteers are provided with training in the areas of tenancy and insurance, as well as general training on providing assistance to disaster-affected people. Training generally takes place in October/November and is a short session outside of work hours.
The next training session is scheduled for 12 November 2015:
Location: Lionel Murphy Centre, 360 Queen Street Melbourne
Time: 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
This session will include information from the Insurance Council of Australia.
About Disaster Legal Help
Disaster Legal Help Victoria is a collaboration between the Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria, Justice Connect, the Law Institute of Victoria, Victoria Legal Aid, the Victorian Bar and Victoria Law Foundation.
If you would like further information about Disaster Legal Help, including about volunteering, please contact Kate McDonald at Victoria Legal Aid: Kate.McDonald@vla.vic.gov.au