I am one of the Community Lawyers at Social Security Rights Victoria and my work spans two projects. I work on the Worker Helpline and the remainder of my week is spent working with clients who have experienced family violence.
Both projects involve collaborating with other workers, meaning clients are supported from many directions and have the best possible outcomes.
Over the last 12 years, I have worked in other integrated justice roles in community legal centres around Melbourne. Since 2012, I have also worked as an academic, including five years as an evaluator for a large regional integrated justice project.
The SSRV family violence project looks at the intersection between social security and family violence. Victim survivors of family violence are vulnerable and susceptible to economic abuse and coercive behaviours which can present as social security problems, sometimes long after the relationship has ended.
The family violence project at SSRV provides victim survivors with access to legal assistance to address the consequences of this economic abuse. It is a serious injustice that Australia’s financial ‘safety net’ often fail the most vulnerable, including people who are not safe at home.
My qualifications include Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Literature (yes, a strange combination!), a Bachelor of Laws, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, and a Master of Laws. I have taught in Practical Legal Training at two universities and led the design of work integrated learning and practice management courses. I have published work and presented at several international law conferences.
I complement my professional life with volunteer work which I am equally passionate about. My best friend is a ‘fetch’ enthusiast with four legs, who is almost always by my side.