Alternative Law Journal
The Crimes Amendment (Child Protection - Physical Mistreatment) Act 2001 (NSW), which will come into effect in NSW on 5 December 2002, sets limits on the force used by parents to physically punish their children and clarifies the legal defence of 'lawful correction'. It aims to reduce the harm caused to children through excessive physical punishment.
Under the amendment, it will be considered unreasonable to:
• use force on a child above the shoulders;
• use force that causes harm that lasts for more than a short time below the shoulders.
Community education activities under the title Remember - There's a Limit have been organised to inform parents, carers and workers about the amendment.
The activities involve:
• a poster to alert parents to the new law;
• a brochure to explain the law to parents and direct them to sources on child rearing that will be available in ·10 versions: English, a version for Pacific Islander people, a version for indigenous people, Arabic, Turkish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Croatian and Serbian;
• information on the NSW Parenting Centre's website at <www.parenting.nsw.gov.au/limits> providing information
and resources to assist parents and including a brief description of the new law, a downloadable version of the brochure as well as links to information for parents and research that can assist professionals working with parents; and
• working with cultural and linguistically diverse language communities through their cultural and spiritual leaders.
For more information about Remember – There’s A Limit please contact Michelle Neathercote or Tracey Young at the NSW Commission for Children and Young People on tel 02 9286 7276.
WISE Employment, a not-for-profit community-based employment agency recently launched its newly created Community Investment Division into which it has ploughed $1.5m toward assisting those people too often relegated to the 'too hard basket' find sustainable employment.
The first project of the Division is Make It Work, an innovative program that assists people on bail to successfully reintegrate into the community and workforce by providing early intervention and specialist vocational and mentoring services.
Make It Work works closely with the Melbourne Magistrate's Court where it receives its referrals.
Make It Work is currently looking for mentors who will be trained to guide and assist people on bail to help overcome the challenges they face, which could include low self-esteem, alienation, and low confidence.
For more information about Make It Work or about the Community Mentor Program, contact David Christian on 03 9391 0755.
The Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) would like to extend an invitation to Alternative Law Journal readers to register as delegates for the GAJE Regional Conference being held at the University of Sydney from 9-1 1 December 2002. GAJE brings together legal academics, students, activists, jurists, advocates and legal practitioners from around the world with the common goal of achieving justice through education. This vear. Australia-based GAJE initiatives 2 , included the speaking tour in Australia given by South African AIDS activist and lawyer Brendon Christian, on the access to anti- retroviral drugs by people living with HIVIAIDS in sub-Saharan Africa; and a program of tutoring asylum seekers held in Australian detention centres.
The conference theme is 'Social Justice in the Asia- Pacific' and the program is divided into three streams: 1) Access to justice for asylum seekers; 2) HIVIAIDS in developing countries and 3) Indigenous justice.
The conference constitutes workshops and has a practical, grass-roots focus. Confirmed speakers include Julian Burnside QC, Aniceto Guterres (Chairman of the East Timor Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation), Bomal Gonapa (Policy and Legal Advisor, PNG National Aids Council Secretariat), Eileen Pittaway (Director, Centre for Refugee Research) and Professor Larissa Behrendt (Director, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning UTS).
Further information about the conference and the registration form can be found at <http://www.gaje.net.au> , or by contacting the Conference Administrator Edwina Kobus (email:firstname.lastname@example.org).