Our Djirra September 19

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September 2019
Hi everyone, 

On the eve of the start of the coronial inquest into the death in police custody of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day, the Victorian Government finally announced its plan to decriminalise public drunkenness.  
Djirra commends the Victorian Government's decision however laments that it took over 30 years for the Victorian Government to implement this recommendation from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody.
Many deaths could have been avoided if this unfair law had been repealed when it was recommended. It took the endless and fearless advocacy of the Day's family with the support of many organisations, including Djirra, to make this happen.
Now the challenge is to ensure the Victorian Government commits to a community led and implemented response to public drunkenness.

Today I would like to take the opportunity to highlight once again the purpose of the policy and advocacy work we undertake at Djirra which is to influence systemic change. Everything we do, you all do, at Djirra informs our advocacy. We all work for change.

Enjoy your read, 

Antoinette has been invited to speak with Tracey Spicer at the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture and Award Ceremony on 14 November in Sydney. 
Global women-led movement of solidarity with survivors of sexual violence and harassment Me Too has won the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize. The movement’s founder Tarana Burke and Australian Me Too leader Tracey Spicer will receive the Prize on behalf of the movement. 
Antoinette whereabouts 
9 & 10 September - JCU Social Justice Lecture - QLD
Antoinette will deliver the annual Social Justice lecture (9/09 in Townsville and 10/09 in Cairns). She will discuss the importance of voice and visibility for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who experience family violence.

12 September - eSafety conference in Sydney
Antoinette will participate in a panel on the topic of tech-facilitated abuse.
Welcome to the team!
We all warmly welcome Pam Fraser as Corporate Services Manager at the Abbotsford office, Sandra Pattern as Paralegal Support Worker in Morwell, and Katie Mliswa as Senior Lawyer in Ballarat!

We are also very pleased to re-welcome (can we say that? well, let's say we can) Kate Lighfoot and Terri Pollard in their new roles respectively as Managing Lawyer West and Lawyer in Bendigo. Congratulations to both of them!

A message from Beck in Bendigo:
"I would like to congratulate my manager Kate Lightfoot on her promotion to Regional Managing Lawyer and welcome Terri Pollard to our Bendigo office as our new lawyer effective September.
Kate has been an outstanding manager and our local community has welcomed her as one of their own. I know that she is going to be a spectacular Managing Lawyer for the regional offices and cannot wait to see what the future brings for not only her but the offices that she will be managing.
I also cannot wait to work with Terri who brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge.
I know our community will embrace her just as much as they have Kate."
Community Engagement updates
Don't miss it! Tahnee takes us on a tour of the new counselling room and it rocks! [the video, not the room, the room is great though]
KWP September calendar is available here!
Dance competition between agencies at SDO Dandenong. I am told Djirra staff were amazing but some agencies were even better for this fierce chicken dance competition. Practice makes perfect! 
AFVLS updates
"Antoinette met with the Legal Services team last week to discuss cultural safety and share stories about our work with Aboriginal women. Antoinette was also joined by Meriki and Claire from Strategy and Naya from KWP. It was a really productive session and great to have the opportunity to share some of our experiences working with clients with disabilities and in relation to e-safety to feed into Djirra’s external advocacy. We look forward to future sharing stories sessions and a huge thank you to Antoinette for making the time available out of her hectic schedule as well as to Meriki, Claire and Naya for joining us." Megan
"Last week, Natalie, Kehndra and Shelley were in Brisbane for the 2019 National Community Legal Centres Conference Power, Purpose, Possibilities to learn about new innovations in the Community Legal Sector. The feedback so far has been great, ‘NACLC is awesome, so many cool speakers!’ We look forward to hearing all about new developments in the sector when they return this week." Megan
Regional offices updates
Kate from the Bendigo office and Sandy from Echuca will feature in VLA's next newsletter. Sandy and Kate will talk about their work as Djirra lawyers, specifically the work they undertake in Child Protection. 
You can already read it here: https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/about-us/news/supporting-aboriginal-families-to-have-voice
The Bendigo office received generous donations
"The first is a very generous donation we received for a client who needed a little support to get her and her child through. We have a local grassroots charity run by mother Sammy Lysaght called Bendigo Mums 4 Mums. They do “call outs” to their members on social media to get the items required for each individual case.
They don’t receive funding nor are they a registered charity, just a fantastic group of people with big hearts.
We have referred a number of our clients to this group and each time the Bendigo community shines.
This request was for freezer items for our client. Mums 4 Mums turned up with boxes and bags of food and household items that went above and beyond expectations.
We thank Sammy, Mums 4 Mums and their supporters for their kind contribution.
"The second was a donation of “Sensory Box” items for the Bendigo and Mildura offices that came from Rachelle Fox from Uniquely Awesome Kids.
These items will be welcomed not only for children visiting the office who may require sensory input and output, but also for mothers visiting the office who are experiencing trauma.
Items such as stress balls, tangles, fidget spinners and squiggle sticks may help clients relax during an appointment and may improve their ability to self-regulate and calm themselves during a meeting with Djirra staff.
We wish to thank Rachelle and Uniquely Awesome Kids for this very generous donation."
Strategy updates
Djirra's recommendations to the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System are now available as a one-pager and as individual tiles.

There are 12 in total and you can download them by clicking here.
KWP Blanket appeal updates
Special shout out to Janelle Cockerell for her amazing donation. Janelle is an Aboriginal woman who regularly donates to KWP. 
She calls up every now and then to find out what KWP needs and heads out to purchase brand new items. This week she’s brought in blankets, underwear, shoes, clothes and towels.

On the right, Teresa's donation of sleeping bags. 

If you have spare winter items, don't forget to drop them off to KWP!
Staff news
Wise Ways & Inspiration - exhibition by Fiona Clarke
"If you are around St-Kilda, you have until the 12th of September to see the paintings of Kirrae Whurrong woman Fiona Clarke at the Alliance Francaise de Melbourne on Grey Street. I was lucky to have the opportunity to chat with Fiona at the opening of the exhibition. We had a lot to talk about as she is Djirra Keepers and Board Member Bernice Clarke's sister! Also, Fiona visited France last year and we talked about that as well. Carole"
Crate Café: a good tip!
Meet Tori and B. the lovely and generous owners of Crate Café, Shanel's local cafe in Heidelberg Heights, who have started a tip jar in favour of Djirra! 

If you're around don't hesitate to pop by and say hi, and tell all your friends in the area!


Emma is running for Djirra! 
Meet Emma!
Emma has decided to run her first marathon this year and because she loves running for a purpose, she's decided to organise a fundraiser in favour of Djirra. The picture on the left was taken just after Emma ran her first 40km ever a few weeks ago. 
Go Emma! 
Emma's fundraiser page.

Job opportunities at Djirra

Do not hesitate to circulate to your networks! 
  • NEW! Reporting Analyst (PT) - Northcote; 
  • Senior Lawyer (FT, fixed term contract 12 months) – Mildura;
  • Senior Lawyer/Lawyer (FT or PT, maternity leave replacement) – Warrnambool;
  • Senior Lawyer/Lawyer (full time, permanent) – Morwell.
Job opportunities are advertised here: http://bit.ly/DjirraJobs, and on Djirra's social media especially Twitter and LinkedIn.  
Copyright © 2019 Djirra, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
292 Hoddle street - Abbotsford VIC 3067

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