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Postcard from the road: March 2014

Wednesday 05 March 2014

knowmore has been busy over the last eight months helping vulnerable clients tell their stories and navigate any legal questions about The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

WHO WE HAVE HELPED

Since turning on the phones in July 2013, we have received over 2400 calls through the national advice line. We have conducted over 200 community education and liaison meetings and provided more than 150 face to face client sessions through outreach services - often to remote and farflung corners of the country.

These statistics are all from our central office in Sydney, where our team of 15 managed to respond to client requests from across Australia – however, it quickly became apparent that knowmore needed to expand to office locations in other states.

NEW OFFICE LOCATIONS

It is with great pleasure that we have recently opened Melbourne, and Brisbane offices, and in coming months, a Perth office will be opened to continue to meet client needs.

While the national free call advice line will remain the first port of call, there is now more immediate access to face-to-face consultations, community education sessions and outreach that each office can conduct in the local and regional areas.

Stay tuned for more details about the office launches as they are announced.

OUTREACH

We have had a busy month for outreach, both accompanying the Royal Commission on visits to target areas, and meeting with clients and services independently.

knowmore works to ensure that people have their legal needs met and are supported through what can, in some cases, be a re-traumatizing event.

In February, alongside staff induction and new office set up; our teams of lawyers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Liaison officers visited Coffs Harbour, Rockhampton and Darwin, as well as assisting clients with the public hearing into Parramatta Girls’ Training School in Sydney and the Institution for Girls in Hay, NSW.

The recent outreach session to Coffs Harbour was a great success, with knowmore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Liaison officers, social workers and lawyers, holding community education sessions with the local community and providing an opportunity for survivors to ask questions about the process of telling their stories to the Royal Commission.

At the airport on the way home, knowmore social worker Will Hayward got to meet the legendary David Helfgott (from Shine fame) and it made his day…

Photo credit: Chris Lee

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