Past community education projects

Past community education projects

We evaluate our past community education projects to measure their success and inform future projects, and to share our work with others who may want to undertake similar projects.

Read about the following past projects:

Australian law in orientation

About the project

Australian law in orientation is an educational resource tailored to people in the Humanitarian Settlement Services Onshore Orientation Program. This program is offered to refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 15 years and over, to help them understand Australian society, laws and culture.

We developed this resource following a request from AMES Australia, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and services working with recently arrived clients.

We adapted five topics from our What’s the law? Australian law for new arrivals kit, using pictorial PowerPoint presentations, speakers’ notes and engaging group activities. We have also trained AMES staff to deliver the resource.

The resource is easy to use with an interpreter or by a bilingual worker. It’s designed for community members who have been in Australia for less than six months and have low or no English and nominal legal literacy.

Watch a video about the project

The legal issues

The five topics covered are aligned with the Australian law element of the Onshore Orientation Program. The legal issues are:

  • Australia’s legal system, including voting and going to court
  • driving
  • police
  • child protection
  • family violence.

Our partners

We have partnered with AMES Australia on this project.

Connect Sessions – delivering education to mosques

About the project

We delivered thirteen Connect Sessions to metropolitan, regional and rural mosques from 2011 to 2013. These sessions provided legal education to a hard to reach audience – Muslim communities across Victoria.

More than 600 members from various communities participated, including Turkish, Afghani, Iraqi, Lebanese, Malaysian and African communities.

The legal issues

The Connect Sessions covered:

  • discrimination
  • racial vilification
  • human rights and the Victorian Charter of Human Rights.

We know from casework and community consultations that Muslim people experience discrimination at work, school, TAFE, hospitals, shopping centres and so on. This is confirmed by research reports such as VicHealth’s Mental health impacts of racial discrimination in Victorian CALD communities. For many Muslim people, knowledge about legal rights and where to receive legal assistance is low. These high-need and diverse communities require tailored education to empower members to be active and informed citizens.

Our partners

Our project partners were:

  • Muslim Legal Network
  • Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

Do Not Knock campaign

About the project

From 2010 to 2011 we developed an engagement and education strategy to support the national Do Not Knock campaign and to raise awareness of legal rights in relation to door-to-door selling and telephone marketing.

We distributed more than 300,000 'Do Not Knock' stickers over three years.

We have delivered sessions to more than 3000 older people, members of newly arrived communities, rural Victorians and people experiencing a disability. We have also trained aged care workers, nurses and other workers to deliver this education to their clients.

If you are interested in running a session or need further information, see our Dealing with door-to-door sales resources.

The legal issues

The legal, financial and social problems caused by the intrusive practice of door-to-door selling and telephone marketing continue to raise problems. This is despite the decision by the Federal Court in 2012, where two companies were ordered to pay total penalties of $1 million for contravening the national consumer law. It was noted that the door sellers had failed to leave the premises upon the consumer’s request and when they had displayed a ‘Do Not Knock’ sign.

Isolated and vulnerable people appear to be targeted by companies selling items like vacuum cleaners, water purifiers and vocational training courses or online educational software.

Our partners

Our project partners include:

  • Consumer Action Law Centre, the initiators of the ‘Do Not Knock’ campaign
  • Moreland City Council.

Family Harmony Sessions

About the project

In 2010 we developed and delivered the Family Harmony Sessions. These sessions were face-to-face child protection and parenting education sessions for newly arrived communities. They began in Shepparton and have been adapted and delivered to other communities and regions, including Dandenong and Fitzroy.

The process for the Family Harmony Sessions involved consulting with the community and gathering their stories, then retelling these stories using a sensitive, preventative and holistic approach.

The legal issues

Through their local service providers, newly arrived communities across Victoria have expressed confusion and fear about the Victorian child protection system. These communities include various African and Burmese communities.

Our partners

Our project partners include:

  • St Paul’s Lutheran Church, Shepparton
  • Goulburn Ovens TAFE
  • Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc.
  • UnitingCare – Cutting Edge
  • Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights
  • Greater Shepparton City Council
  • FamilyCare – Shepparton
  • Goulburn Valley Community Health Service.

Evaluation

Read the Family Harmony Sessions for newly arrived communities report (doc, 220 KB).

Space Invaders

About the project

Space Invaders was a legal education theatre project for young people about police powers. We created a theatre show with three key scenarios and quizzes in-between. We also had a short segment of ‘playback theatre’, where the performers asked for stories from the audience and then ‘played these back’ theatrically.

We planned and developed the project in 2010, and the show was performed in 2011. We reached more than 600 students in a fortnight-long season of touring performances.

Watch highlights of the Space Invaders project on YouTube.

The legal issues

Negative interactions between police and young people is an ongoing issue. Unfortunately, young people can get into even more trouble if they don’t know their rights or if they escalate a heated situation by losing their temper or being overly defiant. The legal consequences can include arrest, getting charged and a criminal record. Space Invaders aimed to equip young people with information and the skills to keep level-headed in tense situations.

Our partners

Our project partners included:

  • Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre
  • Western Edge Youth Arts.

We also worked with a group of young African people to develop the scenarios.

The Australia Council and Creative Victoria helped fund the project.

Evaluation

Read the Space Invaders evaluation (doc, 1.41 MB).

Shepparton Sessions for newly arrived communities

About the project

In 2010 the Shepparton Sessions engaged with newly arrived communities in the Goulburn region, using community cultural development principles.

Consultations with community advocates, workers and representatives revealed a high need for legal education to address compounded legal problems, stress, confusion and fear. In response, we developed and delivered sessions to 400 participants from the Congolese, Burundi, Sudanese, Afghani and Iraqi communities, as well as to community workers for these groups.

The legal issues

The following sessions covered common legal issues and problems faced by the communities:

  • money problems
  • driving
  • unemployment and work
  • living in Australia
  • family harmony.

Our partners

Our project partners included:

  • St Paul’s Lutheran Church, Shepparton
  • Goulburn Ovens TAFE
  • Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc.
  • Uniting Care – Cutting Edge
  • Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights
  • Greater Shepparton City Council.

A great number of community representatives and project supporters and collaborators also informed the project.

Evaluation

Read the Shepparton sessions for newly arrived communities evaluation report (doc, 7.14 MB).