At Northcote Lawyers, our working day is framed by our 3 Commitments, one of which is our commitment to the Inner North community, providing worthy pro bono and public service promoting active involvement and leadership on the part of our associates and ourselves.
A key focus for me and my team is on using our expertise and leadership to increase access to justice and opportunity for the benefit of the local community.
If wish to live in a society ruled by law, then everyone must have access to legal representation and advice. Pro bono work helps to ensure that our legal system is accessible to, and therefore respected by, all members of our community, regardless of their ability to afford a lawyer.
I was recently approached by three trainee nurses after their weekly hours at a Westgarth nursing home were slashed.
Maryan Maalin and sisters Hawa and Faduma Bare had been employed on a permanent part-time basis for more than two years at Westgarth Parkwood Aged Care Service when their shifts were reduced from 30 to 6.5 hours a week.
Naturally, this was very distressing for the women as they relied on their income to support their families and continue their nursing studies.
We lodged a claim with Fair Work Australia and challenged the decision at the national workplace relations tribunal.
Maryan, Hawa and Faduma were ecstatic with the outcome. Their shifts were reinstated and they are all back at work, doing what they do best.
It is extremely rewarding to see how we can make a difference to people’s lives. I believe pro bono practice is enormously important, and not because it makes us better lawyers, or keeps our feet on the ground. For me it’s about making people’s rights mean something and correcting injustice.
Read the Northcote Leader’s article about it here.