Currently SCLS’s nominated projects have a consistent thread and reflect our community’s abhorrence of the continued prevalence and perpetration of domestic and family violence. It is an organisational imperative for the Service to be part of the movement for change.
Joining with the University of the Sunshine Coast, SunnyKids, SCOPE, In Place and UnitingCare Community to form the Sunshine Coast Domestic Violence Action Group.
The Group hosted the inaugural Sunshine Coast Domestic and Family Violence Symposium, with the theme of ‘Make It Stop – A Sunshine Coast Plan to Stop Domestic Violence’, in December 2015. Our guest speaker for the event was domestic violence campaigner and the 2015 Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty.
* Piloting the Legal Health Check, which is a user-friendly tool developed by QPILCH (Queensland Public Interest Legal Clearing House) for collaborating with community workers to assess and address their clients’ immediate, as well as broader, legal needs. Our partners in this pilot project are Legal Aid Queensland and SunnyKids.
This is a short video about the Legal Health Check, and our collaboration with SunnyKids:
* Participation in the new Domestic and Family Violence Duty Lawyer Service at Maroochydore Magistrates Court. Suncoast Community Legal Service, Legal Aid Queensland and other lawyers assist domestic violence clients so they can readily access legal advice and support.
* Producing and staging Piano Forte, a play which explores family violence in the context of Elder Abuse. The radio play was launched to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 15 June 2016 (you can listen via our homepage). The play will also be staged at local theatres (in Noosa, Nambour and Buderim) in September 2016. See our Events page for online booking details.
In 2009/10, one-off funding was granted to establish a pilot program of Outreach services across the Sunshine Coast. The project aim was to improve access and provision of face to face legal advice appointments in areas in need of services.
Legal needs studies and extensive community consultation with neighbourhood and community centres as well as local legal professionals was undertaken to ensure new outreaches were well located and adequately resourced. Volunteers for the new locations were recruited from the local community.
The initial pilot program is now a permanent part of our legal service delivery constituting almost half of all legal appointments. Clients can now access appointments in Caloundra, Nambour, Pomona, Landsborough, Maleny, Noosaville and Maroochydore.
This project was supported by the LPITAF (Legal Practitioners Interest on Trust Accounts Fund) administered by the Department of Justice and Attorney General.
Dance Like a Butterfly – Theatrical Performance and Discussion Forum
As part of Seniors Week 2012, Suncoast Community Legal Service held two performances of Dance Like a Butterfly (by Aviva Ravel) at the Caloundra RSL and Pomona’s Majestic Theatre.
The performances explored one woman’s journey as she transitioned from independent living to full time care in an aged care facility. Through the thoughtfully crafted monologue, Tillie (played by actress, Una Way) peopled the empty stage with family, friends, husbands, doctors, nurses and patients as she shared insights into the gradual erosion of her autonomy and declining sense of self-worth. A discussion forum featuring lawyers from Suncoast Community Legal Service and Seniors Legal Assistance and Support Service (SLASS) followed the performances. Audiences were given information on elder abuse and the legal and support services available to them.
This project was supported by Caloundra Community Centre, Pomona Neighbourhood House and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council Community Grants program.