The Hon Christian Porter MP
Senator for Western Australia
Senator Dean Smith
Visual arts and storytelling will be used to communicate legal advice to people in remote Indigenous communities as part of a new program being officially launched today at Kununurra, Western Australia.
The Blurred Borders project relies on the use of art and storytelling to assist frontline legal assistance staff in supporting people to better understand and communicate effectively about the law, to make informed legal choices and to actively participate in legal processes.
Attorney-General Christian Porter said the Government had provided almost $160,000towards the project and the rollout of a community legal education resource kit developed by Legal Aid Western Australia.
"The kit is now available in several communities, including at Kununurra, Halls Creek, Balgo, Billilun and Mulan in Western Australia, and the Victorian River District, Kalkarindji, and Lajamanu in the Northern Territory," Mr Porter said.
"Blurred Borders draws on the strong cultural ties that have long existed between these cross-border communities and their rich traditions in the arts and storytelling to communicate legal information in a way that is more accessible and can more easily be understood."
Western Australian Liberal Senator Dean Smith launched the Blurred Borders project on behalf of the Attorney-General at Whitegum Park this afternoon.
"This is a fantastic and innovative project that will help people to engage with the justice system, and to understand their legal rights, protections and responsibilities," Senator Smith said.
"Training in the use of the kit has been provided to frontline legal assistance staff in several communities, and there is a strong sense that the approach we are taking will make a real difference to people and the communities in which they live."
Blurred Borders is funded under the Community Legal Services Program within the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department. The multi-faceted kit also includes child protection resources and technology providing access to online legal resources.
It has been developed with the assistance of the Australian Government, Legal Aid Western Australia, Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission, Kimberley Community Legal Services, Aboriginal Family Law Services, Aboriginal Legal Service of WA, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, North Australian Aboriginal Family Law Services and Katherine Women's Information Legal Services.