Exciting job opportunity – Lawyer (NSW Care & Protection – Early Intervention)

Reference: 3705053

Due to exciting new service developments, an opportunity has arisen for appropriately qualified people to apply for the above part-time position based in Wodonga on a fixed term contact – 22.5 hrs p.w. Salary Range $78,330 to $82,300 p.a. pro-rata.

The Hume Riverina Community Legal Service (HRCLS), auspiced by UMFC, provides free and confidential legal advice and information to individuals who reside or work in North East Victoria and the Riverina of NSW, and is the only Community Legal Centre in the region.

Under the direction of the Principal Lawyer/Manager, the NSW Care & Protection Lawyer will provide early intervention assistance to clients with NSW care and protection matters including legal advice, casework and information to clients over the telephone and through face-to-face appointments at the Wodonga office and at outreach locations in NSW. The Lawyer will also establish relationships with key service providers engaging with clients who may be experiencing child protection issues, and build the profile of the program throughout the HRCLS NSW catchment area. From time to time, the Lawyer may also participate in the range of other HRCLS services including litigation support and community legal education.

For this role, it is essential that you are eligible to hold an unrestricted practising certificate in Victoria as an employee of a law practice.

Further information about the HRCLS can be found at www.hrcls.org.au

If you are passionate about UMFC’s mission

‘Strengthening families to build vibrant communities’

And strongly identify with our values of

‘Participation, Respect, Excellence, Justice and Honesty’

Then please apply now…

Your application must include:

  • A covering letter with your full name, address and contact details along with the title of the position being applied for
  • A copy of your current curriculum vitae including qualifications, professional affiliations and employment history and the names and contact details of at least three recent professional referees
  • Response to the relevant questions completed during the on line application process.

Enquiries to: Sarah Rodgers on 02 6055 8090 or to [email protected]


If successful you will be required to undergo and pass a National Police Check (completed and paid for by UMFC), which must be cleared prior to commencement in the role.

If a Working with Children Check (WWCC) is required it will be stated in the relevant Position Description.

  • If the role is in Victoria: you will need to hold a current Employee Victorian WWCC and supply your card as evidence for status checking by UMFC. You will also need to update your employer details on the relevant card.
  • If the role is in NSW: you will need to hold a current Employee NSW WWCC. You will need to supply the WWCC number and your date of birth so that your check can be verified by UMFC.

For further info/or to apply for a WWCC please visit:

New South Wales: www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au

Victoria: www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au

Applications Close: 06 Sep 2017

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North East renters deserve better treatment to secure safe, affordable housing

Hume Riverina Community Legal Service is one of 54 statewide services today calling on Premier Daniel Andrews to address significant issues in rental laws that make life harder for renters struggling to get fair access to secure housing. The State Government’s current review of the Residential Tenancies Act is underway, and HRCLS principal lawyer Sarah Rodgers said the community legal centre joined the Make Renting Fair campaign to add its strong support for key areas of concern around potential reforms.

These include increasing protection for low income and vulnerable tenants, removing ‘no reason’ eviction notices, implementing the Family Violence Royal Commission recommendations, and ruling out punitive measures that would harm tenants, particularly those at risk of homelesssness.

“We know people experiencing family violence are at greater risk of homelessness and will be impacted by unfair tenancy laws,” Ms Rodgers said.

“In 2015-16, 10% of people we assisted with legal casework were homeless or at risk. In Wangaratta, through legal advice in our health justice partnership with Gateway Health, this number was 26%, showing the importance of access to free legal assistance for this vulnerable group.”

Ms Rodgers said the service was committed to assisting this group of people, and there was no sign the homelessness problem in the North East was about to change.  The Open Letter to Mr Andrews came in the wake of Homelessness Week, which was recognised on the Border with a launch in Wodonga last Monday.

Beyond Housing (formerly known as Rural Housing Network) stated that in 2014-15 700 people presented to their service either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Of these 27% were couples/families, 33% were homeless for social reasons including family violence and 29% because of housing affordability.

“With this review, we are at risk of seeing consumer protections for tenants weakened,” Ms Rodgers said today. “If this happens, more vulnerable tenants will be the ones hit hardest. We are already seeing many of these people with multiple legal issues. Their legal protections and their right to safe and secure housing should not be compromised.”

Ms Rodgers echoed the statement from the Make Renting Fair Campaign, saying the groups most impacted would include people who have been homeless, people living with mental illness, people with a disability, older tenants, students, people from CALD backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women and children, and low income households.

“The challenges these groups face are often exacerbated in the country and in cross-border locations such as Albury-Wodonga,” she said.

Make Renting Fair_Open Letter to Premier Daniel Andrews – RTA Review_August 17_2017

Happy 18th Birthday HRCLS!

There was cause for celebration (and cake) on Friday July 28 when Hume Riverina Community Legal Service celebrated its 18th birthday, after Federal Attorney General Daryl Williams AM QC MP launched the service on that date in 1999.

From humble beginnings – four staff and a budget of $200,000 – the service has grown to become an accepted and key member of the legal sector, locally and nationally, with 11 legal and five admin/community development staff. The team is also about to grow further, thanks to Legal Aid NSW confirming funding for the NSW Care Partner Program, and a family law/family violence role.

While staff and budgets have changed, the commitment to providing a professional service for disadvantaged and vulnerable people and families in North East Victoria and Southern Riverina of NSW remains as strong as it was on day one. HRCLS provides family violence and family law legal assistance, as well as generalist legal services on everyday legal problems, including fines, credit and debt issues, consumer complaints and motor vehicle accidents.

Being auspiced by UMFC and with strong relationships in the community service sector, HRCLS continues to work together with other services, such as financial counselling and drug and alcohol support for clients struggling with multiple issues in their lives.

From the beginning we have been a voice for rural, regional & remote (RRR) Australia, and we continue to speak up for this sector of our community, with a particular emphasis on the complex issues of living on the border through differing laws in Victoria and NSW.

We are passionate about linking our community to the law, and our involvement in community legal education and law talks has continued to expand as our staff go out and about through our catchment of 17 local government areas, helping people to understand the law and how to access it.

Our commitment to law reform has long been a foundational pillar of our service and we continue to work for a fairer and more just society. Most recently we have been involved in the Access to Justice Review in both Victoria and NSW, the Royal Commission into Family Violence in Victoria and the Elder Abuse Inquiry (Vic).

We are grateful for the community support over the past 18 years and look forward to continuing to make a difference in our region by providing free legal advice to people who otherwise can’t afford a lawyer.

Reaching 18 is worth a celebration and cake! It's been a wonderful journey making a difference with free legal assistance for vulnerable people and families in our community.

Reaching 18 is worth a celebration and cake! It’s been a wonderful journey making a difference with free legal assistance for vulnerable people and families in our community.

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