"A big thank you to commUnity+

English can make my life and my world wide. I got many inspirations, I know new foreign friends because I can communicate in English and I can exchange my Thai language and learn many different experiences from them. English makes me enjoy many new things, I feel happy when I can understand it. I want to be a good English speaker. I believe that English will make my family and friends happier, as I can understand and communicate with them now."

- Adult Migrant English Student

“Now I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder. I feel free.” - Rochelle*, Sunshine Hospital legal outreach clinic client

Following escalating physical and psychological abuse from an ex-partner, Rochelle* made an application for an IVO against him. But when Rochelle wasn’t informed about a follow-up court date that required her attendance, her failure to appear resulted in the application being thrown out.

A new fear for her life only compounded the impact of pre-existing long-term mental and physical health problems, and before Rochelle could file another application for her safety, she became too unwell to go anywhere.

While a patient at Sunshine Hospital, a BMCLC Family Violence Lawyer was able to discretely meet with and advocate for Rochelle, which resulted in an indefinite IVO being granted to protect her.

She told us: “Now I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder. I feel free. Thank you.”

This legal clinic operates as a partnership between BMCLC and Western Health at Sunshine Hospital and provides assistance to victims of family violence. For more information call BMCLC on (1800 266 675).


- Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre

Positive outcomes for BMCLC client 

When it comes to family violence matters, our BMCLC lawyers are focused on better protecting survivors and their children from abuse, through advice and court representation.

Mina (not her real name) is a refugee to Australia who arrived with her partner and four young children. After enduring years of escalating physical abuse from her partner and pressure from her community to stay in the marriage, Mina finally gained the courage to leave. BMCLC lawyers supported Mina through the process of obtaining an intervention order, which prevented her ex-husband from contacting her and her children for one year.

After a year, without warning or consent, her ex-husband returned and took the children away. Thankfully, Mina’s BMCLC family lawyer acted quickly and within a few days, the matter was before the Federal Circuit Court, which ultimately ordered that the children live with Mina, ensuring their safety for years to come. 

Mina’s story is not unique to women and children in communities new to Australia, but BMCLC’s quick response to it is.

- Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre

IMG 5193 1600pxThe Vietnamese Lawyer Project

Melbourne’s western suburbs are home to a large Vietnamese-born community.  Within the Brimbank local government area, this community represents about 10% of the population. The Vietnamese community is isolated by language and cultural barriers which prevent many from accessing mainstream legal and other services.

Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre (BMCLC) (a program of commUnity+) delivers the Vietnamese Lawyer project in partnership with the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association (AVWA).

This is a two-year pilot project funded by the Department of Justice and Regulation and aims to improve access to justice for the Vietnamese community in the western suburbs by delivering legal services in the Vietnamese language through a bilingual lawyer.  Continue reading...


- Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre

Relief from debt for BMCLC Client

John (name changed) is an asylum seeker from an African country and on a Temporary Protection Visa granted to asylum seekers in Australia. He speaks very little English. This did not hold him back from working casually to make a basic income to support himself. All the savings that he could build up were sent overseas to pay for the medical treatment of his ill mother.

Unfortunately, John got involved in a motor vehicle accident in mid-2016 where he believed he was not at fault. But in their insurance claim, the other driver stated that John had merged into their lane and caused the collision. John was subsequently pursued by the insurer of the other driver for a total of approximately $9,500!

During the course of this file, John also experienced medical issues requiring a knee reconstruction and mental health treatment. Understandably, this was a very tough situation for him, worsened with the constant psychological pressure of having a debt that he couldn’t possibly pay.

He then approached Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre (BMCLC) for help. Given that no independent witnesses made themselves available at the scene, the lawyer at BMCLC commenced disputing liability on behalf of John and requested that the matter be closed.

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To further demonstrate to the insurer that they should stop pursuing him, the lawyer completed a notice of financial hardship and provided the insurer with a statement of financial position which showed that John’s expenses were greater than his modest income.

Following 6+ months of negotiation, John could take a sigh of relief as the BMCLC lawyer successfully convinced the insurer to close their file and stop pursuing John for the approximate $9,500.

What a great example of the how our team at BMCLC helps the most vulnerable members of our community to access justice.

- Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre (BMCLC), commUnity+