Welcome to the first edition of 'Be heard!', IMCL's quarterly newsletter bringing our 2018- 2021 Plan of Action to life with stories about how:

We’ll be sending out four 'Be heard!' editions throughout the year so you can follow what we get up to.

“I told the doctors 'you're sending me to a coffin'... I hate to think what would have happened if Maie didn't come into the hospital. My mental health probably could have got much more dangerous ... If she didn't come in there, I don't know where I'd be ...” 

At the heart of our work are our clients. We listen to people experiencing difficulty and help them be heard. People like Joe. 
Through IMCL's Health Justice Partnership (HJP), Joe received legal help to put in place an intervention that relieved him from family violence. This is his story, in his words. Read it here.

Senior Lawyer Maie remembers the first time she saw Joe. A hospital staff member had accompanied him in a wheelchair to see her in the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) outpatient clinic. He was in crisis. "Joe had a really low mood. He didn't think he had any options ... He was experiencing a great deal of stress," she recalls.

For three years, IMCL lawyers have been a weekly fixture in the outpatient clinic deep within the bowels of the RMH where IMCL sets up an office alongside allied health practitioners. 

Wanting to support people experiencing family violence was the very reason Maie wanted to become part of a HJP. Read about her pathway to becoming IMCL's HJP Senior Lawyer here.

Reaching people experiencing challenging life circumstances like Joe is the reason why we work in major metropolitan hospitals. 

We were pleased to launch our Partners in Care Report on Wednesday the 27th of March with our hospital partners and the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC, MP. Completed in order to monitor and evaluate the work we are doing, the report has underscored the benefits of having generalist community lawyers in a hospital setting. Read more here. 

To build on our successful HJP work and the evidence surrounding mental ill-health and legal need, we’re working on a new two-year project with the Inner-West Police and Clinician Emergency Response (PACER) team, supported by funding from the LSB.

PACER involves a mobile mental health response comprising of a Mental Health clinician and a Victorian Police member. The PACER team provide on-the-spot clinical assessments for people experiencing a mental health episode. Our project will complement this model to provide specialised and timely legal assistance to these individuals. The partnership will provide an opportunity to strengthen existing relationships with the Victorian Police and mental health services to enable them to identify and to refer legal issues they encounter.

IMCL was in The Age talking about international students "being taken advantage of by landlords who use students’ lack of knowledge of rental laws to dupe them..." with misleading rental ads, unreturned bonds, unlawful additional fees, and unhealthy and unsafe conditions. Read the full article here
Stay tuned for our next quarterly instalment! 
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Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre
2/508 Queensberry St
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051

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