The National Children’s and Youth Law Centre (NCYLC) based at UNSW Law will receive a funding injection of $90,000 from the Federal Government.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General Shayne Neumann announced the one-off financial support during a visit to UNSW this week.
The NCYLC is Australia’s only national community legal centre dedicated to representing the rights and interests of children and young people. It provides an avenue for UNSW law students to gain experience in the community legal sector.
"The National Children’s and Youth Law Centre believe children have the right to information, freedom of thought and to be heard," Mr Neumann said.
“This is a succinct summary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Australian Government wholeheartedly endorses these sentiments.
Mr Neumann said the Australian Government recognises that community legal centres such as the NCYLC play an invaluable role in the delivery of legal assistance services to the community.
NCYLC Director Matthew Keeley welcomed the funding: “$90,000 is a significant sum, and it will certainly assist to sustain the Centre’s existing operations in youth law and child rights,” he said.
“Our service is a national one working in partnership with children’s and youth community legal centres in most states and territories,” Mr Keeley said. “We provide over 1,000 written legal advices with just one funded solicitor.”
One of the Centre’s programs, Lawstuff, delivers free online legal information about a range of topics as they relate to children and young people, including information about their rights, in a way that they can understand and apply to their daily life.
“Lawstuff is an example of the innovative programs provided by the Centre and addresses the growing demand for cyber safety and cyber-related law,” Mr Neumann said.
The website, which covers topics such as mobile phone bill-shock, cyber bullying and cyber safety, had more than a million hits in the past 12 months, including about 418,000 unique visits.
Mr Keeley said the $90,000 one-off funding would help the Centre provide services in the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
“The Territory and Tasmania are the only jurisdictions without a youth-specific community legal centre. NCYLC’s ambition is to address this inequity by enhancing our presence in these jurisdictions.
“This announcement will certainly assist us to begin to address those needs. However, the Centre would need additional recurrent funding to increase staff to five if it is to ever have the capacity to fully meet those needs.”
More information can be found on the NCYLC website.
Media contacts: Matthew Keeley, Director NCYLC (02) 9385 9585 | 0434 046 120
Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office, (02) 9385 1583