Grants program sows the seeds of success

Lizzie O'SheaA recipient of a Victoria Law Foundation grant has been nominated as a finalist in the prestigious film and media sector SAE ATOM Awards.

Snodger Media received a grant of $24, 924 from the Foundation in May 2015 to complete a series of short Legal Briefs videos aimed at explaining key areas of Australian law to secondary school students.

The ten videos in the Legal Briefs series are titled:, What is Law?, The Adversarial System, The Constitution, Mabo, Civil Justice, Criminal Intent, Contracts, Property, Free Speech and Mediation.

Each video is presented by social justice lawyer Lizzie O’Shea and contains interviews with leading legal figures including former Justice of the High Court Michael Kirby, Justice of the Federal Court Susan Kenny, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria Betty King, Julian Burnside QC, Bryan Keon-Cohen QC, Richard Lancaster SC, Fiona McLeod SC, Robert Richter QC, barrister Gautam Mukherji, solicitor Peter Gordon, Professor Cheryl Saunders and Professor Larissa Behrendt.

The highly-regarded SAE ATOM Awards celebrate the best of Australian and New Zealand screen content from the education sector and screen industry professionals. The Legal Briefs series, which has already been broadcast on ABC Television, is a finalist in the 2016 “Best Educational/Training Video or Website (Primary/Secondary)” category.

The Victoria Law Foundation executive director Joh Kirby said the Foundation used its Grants Program to fund organisations to deliver a diverse range of projects that addressed gaps in legal information and services in Victoria, and strengthened the important relationship between the legal sector and community.

“We are drawn to grant projects that have a connection to our own work – legal projects that reach out to the community, that engage Victorians with the law or that provide better legal information,” Ms Kirby said.

“The fact that the Snodger Media’s Legal Briefs series has been nominated for such a prestigious award is a fine example of the way the Foundation’s Grants Program works in a targeted and strategic way to support high quality projects aimed at making the law more accessible to the public.”

“The Foundation congratulates Snodger Media on their nomination and also thanks the many leading members of the legal profession who kindly donated their time and expertise in support of the Legal Briefs series.”

Snodger Media producer and director Catherine Gough-Brady said the support of the Victoria Law Foundation had been invaluable in ensuring the Legal Briefs series was produced.

“Through its Grants Program and other work, the Victoria Law Foundation plays a leading role in helping companies, organisations and individuals educate the broader community about the law,” Ms Gough-Brady said.

“The more that the community knows about the law, and the more people are encouraged to connect with the law, the greater the likelihood that we can all live and participate equally in a socially just society.”

Ms Gough-Brady said that Snodger Media’s Legal Briefs series was developed with this in mind.

“Legal Briefs is primarily focussed on secondary school students because we believe that if we can help educate and inspire the next generation of leaders about the law and particularly social justice, then the potential for this to contribute to a better society is limitless.”

“A particular aim of the Legal Briefs series is to give students who are not from a family of lawyers, or who don’t live in a big city, a chance to see some of Australia’s top legal minds. Then a teenage girl from Maryborough can think, ‘Oh yeah, I could do that, I can be a lawyer’”.

In recent years, the Foundation has had a pool of approximately $200,000 to be distributed through the Grants program each financial year. The Foundation is funded by the Victorian Legal Services Board Public Purpose Fund. This includes the Grants program.

Projects funded due to the support of the Grants Program in recent years include:

Magistrates’ Court of Victoria - Family violence online engagement
The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria received funding to create a new website for unrepresented clients in intervention order proceedings. The website, for both applicants and respondents, includes information about court processes, legal assistance and support.

Women’s Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE) Inc. – Separation and settlement options for women: information booklets
WIRE received funding to publish two new family law related information booklets: ‘Separation: deciding to leave a relationship’ and ‘Separation and property’.

National Trust of Australia (Victoria) – Culpable driving courtroom drama
Funding for this project allowed for the redevelopment of the National Trust’s popular culpable driving education program. The program engages students with the case of a young man charged with culpable driving in the County Court.

Barwon Community Legal Service Inc. – Pop-up legal health check shop
During Law Week 2016, Barwon Community Legal Service operated a pop-up legal health check site in Geelong, Colac and Corio. Through the legal health check, the organisation identified legal issues and provided advice or referrals to the members of the public who attended.

The winners of the 2016 SAE ATOM Awards will be announced on 24 November 2016.

To read more about the awards, go to http://atomawards.org/.

Schools interested in using Legal Briefs as part of their curriculum can visit the website at http://legalbriefs.com.au/ to view episodes and access curriculum information.

To find out more about the Victoria Law Foundation’s Grant Programs, go to https://www.victorialawfoundation.org.au/grants.

Please direct media enquiries to the publicist, Mick Paskos:
T:
0412 201 044
E: mpaskos@onmessage.com.au
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VicLawFoundn

This page was last updated on June 06, 2017