Legal education kit for new arrivals helps educators

Legal education kit for new arrivals helps educators

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

What's the law? Australian law for new arrivals is helping educators teach refugees and migrants about our legal system and some of our laws.

In National Legal Aid’s recent evaluation, 97 per cent of educators surveyed said the legal education kit was a useful tool to provide information about common legal issues to new arrivals.

The kit was designed to be used by English language teachers in the Adult Migrant English Program to help new arrivals adjust to life in Australia. The evaluation indicates that the kit is also being used in other community settings.

What’s the law? includes 10 video stories that reflect the legal issues recent arrivals may encounter in their first years of settlement. According to the evaluation, the most useful topics for students addressed issues about driving and renting.

Educators reported that their students liked the kit because it is clear, simple and practical. Students also liked the use of real people like them in the videos and were engaged by the scenarios and effective use of humour.

One educator said, ‘Story telling is easier to follow than hypothetical legal principles and this appealed to our clients'.

Around half of the educators who used the kit said that it increased their knowledge and confidence to provide information about the law. The evaluation also indicated the importance of providing teachers and community workers with training to help deliver the kit.

Author of the report and Victoria Legal Aid Community Legal Education Manager Monica Ferrari said, 'Training supports educators to confidently and effectively deliver community legal education. The evaluation shows there is an unmet need for training. This is an opportunity for legal services to seek partnerships and funding to increase this type of activity'.

What’s the law? was developed by Victoria Legal Aid and legal aid commissions across Australia with support of National Legal Aid. The project builds on the groundbreaking work conducted by Footscray Community Legal Centre.

Further research is underway to assess the impact of the kit on the attitudes of students. This research will be available in 2014.

More information

Read the full evaluation report.

Download or order What’s the law? Australian law for new arrivals.

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