In the lead up to Law Week 2023, Deakin Law Clinic has published a suite of information sheets to help the community navigate the law as it affects them.
Ten information sheets are now available for download via the Deakin Law Clinic website and in hard copy at Neighbourhood Houses Victoria.
The first information sheet outlines key aspects of a referendum, including what they are, how they work and how you participate. The second information sheet discusses the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, what is it, a brief history of government policy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and how the Voice is proposed to operate with Parliament.
Principal Solicitor at the Law Clinic Michele Tucker says, ‘We have provided these information sheets for people who want to learn about the referendum and its impact, but who are not sure where to start.’
The accessibility of the information is critical, she says, ‘we’ve taken care to communicate facts in plain language that doesn’t assume any prior knowledge of the referendum process or of the proposed Voice to Parliament.’
Distributing the sheets via neighbourhood houses provides an alternative to contested information sources she says, ‘While there is a lot of noise about the referendum in news and social media, we can share clear and accurate information through important community hubs.’
‘I think we are well regarded as a source of trusted information, as our drop-in advice sessions have been a regular occurrence in neighbourhood houses over the years.’
The information sheets have been developed as part of Deakin Law Clinic’s Policy Advocacy Practice, involving the input of Deakin Law students and clinic supervisors Karen Powell and Law School Dean, Professor Jenni Lightowlers.
The Policy Advocacy Practices was established in 2022 and has already made a mark with its submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s enquiry into Judicial impartiality and the law on bias, which was cited 25 times in the Commission’s final report.