NSW’s oldest Community Legal Centre is one of the first to embrace broadband technologies with a pilot program for the delivery of legal advice to regional and remote locations.
Redfern Community Legal Centre (RLC) has been running a legal advice service specially for international students for almost two years. The project extends RLS's advice services to international students from the University of New England (UNE), Armidale. Students can have direct access to the volunteer legal advisors in Sydney via the Legal Assistance with Armidale Project (LeAp), funded by a grant from the National Broadband Network (NBN) Legal Assistance Program. Students facing legal problems can have face to face appointment via webconferencing, and share papers and documents with their advising solicitors through document management software.
The pilot has been running since July 2012, overseen by Consult Point, a business technology consulting practice assisting RLC with the non-legal aspects of the remote service delivery.
“This project has allowed us to experience how new technologies can help us extend our services to people who need them. We’ve been providing assistance to students in Sydney and can now offer this in Armidale, where there are many international students unfamiliar with Australian systems and processes. As well as delivering services from our Redfern base, these technologies enable the involvement of more volunteer solicitors from other parts of Sydney and the State,” says Jacqui Swinburne (Chief Operations Officer RLC).
To explain LeAP to potential users in Armidale, to stakeholders in the legal sector in NSW, and to potential funders, RLC asked Art of Multimedia to help it communicate efficiently and effectively.
“We believe video is one of the most engaging ways to tell a complex story,” says Beata Kade, Managing Director, Art of Multimedia. “At a time when video production is growing exponentially, we do encourage clients to consider how and when to develop video content to communicate internally and externally, and to make use of their website, You Tube and other opportunities to position their services to wide audiences.”
AOM produced two videos for RLC, one pro bono as part of its community contribution.
The first outlines the project, including the challenges of the new technologies and of changing established ways of working. The second features UNE’s Vice-Chancellor and other senior staff and students on-site at Armidale, acknowledging the project’s funders, endorsing its contribution to expanding student services and explaining its benefits in their own words.
In an era of easily accessible hand-held video equipment, Beata reiterates the importance of maintaining the levels of quality that you maintain in your core business.
“Attention to lighting, sound, dynamic camera set ups and editing that brings information to life should be part of your visual communication, and is important to how you are presenting yourself and telling your stories to your stakeholders,” she says.
For RLC this may just be the start of a more dynamic approach to communication.