News

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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Buying a car privately? Know your rights!

Whilst buying a vehicle from a private seller may be cheaper than buying from a licensed motor vehicle dealer, private sales offer significantly fewer legal protections. For example, there is no cooling-off period on the purchase and the vehicle is not covered by a statutory warranty. This means that if anything is wrong the vehicle, […]

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Helping clients navigate the Disability Support Pension changes

Since 1 July 2015, when the Commonwealth Government made changes to the way the Disability Support Pension (DSP) was assessed, it has been increasingly difficult for clients with long-term disabilities to receive this important support. Many people who could be eligible remain on Newstart Allowance with no ability to work or to meet their ‘mutual […]

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New Community Legal Education and Development worker at BCLS!

Alex Jones has joined BCLS as the new Community Legal Education and Development Worker. Alex has recently returned back home to Geelong after spending the last three and a half years in Darwin working in the Community Legal Education team at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. We offer free community legal education and information […]

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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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