knowmore legal service will today officially launch its Perth office. The Perth office will be opened by MP Steve Irons.
Until recently, knowmore has been providing services to WA residents on an outreach basis but the opening of the Perth office will allow knowmore to conduct regular legal clinics at a number of support services based in Perth and will increase our ability to provide outreach assistance to clients in remote and regional areas of Western Australia.
knowmore provides free and independent legal assistance to all people currently engaging with or considering engaging with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
knowmore Executive Officer Jenny Hardy said that the new initiative of opening legal clinics at support service providers such as Tuart Place was a way to make legal help more accessible.
“We have provided in excess of 4000 advices to people across the country since opening our first office in Sydney and establishing a national free call legal advice line a year ago. A large percentage of those advices have been provided to people in WA, so it is clear that there is strong demand for our service in WA. It has always been our intention to make sure that we are as accessible as possible, which is why we now have four offices nationally.
19% of our clients have identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to date. This has largely been as a result of the more than 300 outreach events we have conducted, with many of those in remote and regional locations. While we have already provided services to Aboriginal people in some regional locations in WA, we look forward to being able to expand those activities to other locations in WA.
“Some of the common issues and questions that people present with include options for engaging with the Royal Commission, whether a matter falls within the terms of reference of the Royal Commission, advice around unique individual legal circumstances such as the effect of confidentiality agreements, and compensation issues.
“knowmore can also assist people to obtain representation where they are required to appear at interviews or public hearings of the Royal Commission, and can assist with making referrals to experienced lawyers to seek compensation.
“We have a unique service model, giving our clients access to lawyers in the first instance, but also counsellors/social workers, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officers who provide support to clients and assist with making referrals to other support services for ongoing help.
“We have an emphasis on delivering safe, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate services,” Ms Hardy said.
For more information about knowmore’s services, please see our infographic.