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BCLS urges the City of Greater Geelong to sign the Mayoral Joint Statement regarding social security for our refugees and asylum seekers

In May 2015, the Department of Home Affairs announced that those who had entered Australia by boat as so-called unauthorised maritime arrivals between 13 August 2012 and 1 January 2014 would be invited to apply for Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) or Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV). Before this, those falling within this category were unable

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Respect Cup brings young people together to talk about dating violence and respectful relationships

This year we again partnered with services across the Barwon region to deliver the 2018 Respect Cup which brought ten schools and 150 students together for an interactive day of netball and workshops at the Kardinia Netball Complex. The event engages young people through combining interactive workshops which explore elements of respectful relationships with a

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Sometimes one Emma just isn’t enough

How long have you been with BCLS and what drew you to the community legal sector? Emma C: I began volunteering at BCLS in early 2016 for the Seeking Refuge Project. I’m drawn to the community legal sector as I appreciate that in the public sector the focus is always directed to our clients first

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Great result for local dad with Child Support Debt

Peter* has been paying child support for his daughter since she was born. In December 2014 he was incarcerated at the Geelong Withdrawal Unit for 15 months. During this time he was unable to contact the Child Support Agency (CSA) to advise of the change in his circumstances. While he was incarcerated, the CSA assessed

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The new faces of the BCLS Social Work Project

BCLS has been offering Social Work services alongside Legal and Community Education services since April 2016. In that time, BCLS social workers have assisted more than 150 clients. Our clients are mostly women who are experiencing, have experienced or are escaping from family violence.  Family violence is a major cause of poverty, disadvantage and mental

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Where are they now?

“The best thing about PLT at BCLS is that it is an organisation that could use me. Other placements just find something to keep you occupied, while BCLS immediately puts you to work contributing to the team and the community”.  – Luke McGowan At BCLS we love to see where our volunteers, students and lawyers

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Two weeks in the life…

  I came to this position expecting to be inundated by calls and complex paperwork, however, I was pleasantly surprised to be working in such a supportive and manageable team. I primarily worked alongside Charmaine who knows everything there is to know about the service and very happily showed me the ropes. In the event

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Elsie’s Secondment

BCLS often works with other Victorian and National Legal Centres. Last year over 9 weeks from August to October, an informal training secondment program was set up between BCLS and Social Security Rights Victoria*. Our lawyer, Elsie Stokie, trekked to Melbourne for a day each week to experience a barrage of social security problems and

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Seeking Refuge Project Stage 1 Complete

The Seeking Refuge Project (SRP) is a partnership between local group Bellarine for Refugees, Refugee Legal and BCLS. The project has been in operation since January 2016 with Marijana Hawkins coordinating as the Project Worker for two days a week. The SRP has assisted Asylum Seekers who arrived by boat between 13 August 2012 and

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