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Tuesday 22 September 2015

15-263MR ASIC lawyers win award for pro-bono volunteering with young people

ASIC lawyers this week won an award for their pro-bono volunteering work in helping young people.

The award, from National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, recognised the work of 38 ASIC lawyers.

These ASIC staff volunteer with the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre (NCYLC) Cyber Project, which is supported by ASIC, Telstra and law firm King & Wood Mallesons (KWM). The award was shared with lawyers from other supporting organisations.

Through its Cyber Project initiatives Lawmail and Lawstuff, NCYLC provides free legal advice to young people with lawyers volunteering two hours a month, to answer email from children and young people. 

Around 44 ASIC lawyers have volunteered since 2012 from Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

'Volunteering is a big part of the ASIC culture and spending time helping young people needing legal advice is a great way our lawyers can give back to the community,' said ASIC chief legal officer Michael Kingston.

The awards were presented to representatives of these organisations by his Excellency the Governor General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove, at Admiralty House Kirribilli. Thomas Hough, who is the ASIC Sydney Coordinator for NCYLC, represented ASIC at this event.

ASIC, KWM and Telstra were also nominated as joint finalists for the Annual Australian Law Awards Pro Bono Program of the year. The Award ceremony took place at the Westin Sydney on 17 September, and the winner was Salvo Legal.

Background on NCYLC

NCYLC is a community legal centre dedicated to providing advice to children and young people. NCYLC has developed a Cyber Project called Lawmail, which allows young people to easily access free legal advice from anywhere in Australia, at any time.

NCYLC was set up to ensure children’s rights are not marginalised or ignored. NCYLC helps children across Australia with their problems, including abuse and neglect. The AGD, UNSW, KWM, Telstra and ASIC collaborate by providing financial, in-kind and/or pro bono volunteer resources to NCYLC to operate Lawmail and/or Lawstuff.

In 2014, Lawmail helped over 1600 people, with 211 of these cases involving help to children under 18 with online safety. A further 337 children were helped with family disputes, child abuse or neglect.  An amazing 1.1 million children, young people and their advocates accessed Lawstuff’ s pages including those dealing with child abuse or violence, and 224, 000 of these viewed the new pages relating to online safety and mobile phones.