About Safe from Harm
The Safe from Harm program is run as a partnership through two not for profit community legal service providers; the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre and the Moonee Valley Legal Service.
The program provides free legal advice and casework assistance to people experiencing relationship breakdown or family violence through two specialist lawyers, one based at each service.
These lawyers are also responsible for engaging with local communities and services to raise awareness of family violence. They provide free community legal education and outreach services to a range of groups and locations. The program has a particular, but not exclusive focus upon assisting those from amongst culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
The program has been a finalist in the annual Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations (SWECO) award administered by the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women. It was recognised for raising awareness about family violence amongst CALD communities in public housing estates and building trust between cultural groups and legal services.
The Steering Committee responsible for administering the Safe from Harm program evolved over time to form the Moonee Valley Family Violence Network. The Network consists of a group of family violence service providers, council staff and Victoria Police representatives who meet regularly to co-ordinate local responses to family violence. The newly formed network is co-convened by Safe from Harm lawyers and the Moonee Valley City Council.
The Safe from Harm program currently receives funding from the Victorian State Government Department of Justice and Regulation. Pilot funding for the program was provided in 2014 by the Victorian Legal Services Board.
About Our Staff
Nadine is a Family Law and Family Violence lawyer and is responsible for the Safe from Harm program at the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre.
Nadine was admitted to practice in 2012 after completing a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. While studying, she worked as a paralegal in a Melbourne litigation firm and spent time studying international law in China and the U.K.
Since her admission to practice, she has worked exclusively in family and community law. She has volunteered for the West Heidelberg Community Legal Centre, Moreland (now Northern) Community Legal Centre and Darebin Community Legal Centre, where she ran their divorce application community workshops.
Prior to beginning her current role, Nadine worked as a family lawyer in a private Melbourne law firm, then as a family violence and community lawyer for the Darebin Community Legal Centre. Alongside her work, she is undertaking a Master of Laws in the area of family law.
Nadine has experience in a wide range of matters, including representing people in Intervention Order proceedings, negotiating parenting plans and obtaining parenting orders, divorce proceedings, tenancy matters, infringements and victims of crime assistance. She has represented clients in the Magistrates’ Court, the family law courts and VCAT.
Joseph joined the team in September 2017 and is a Family Law and Domestic Violence lawyer. He is responsible for the Safe from Harm program at the Moonee Valley Legal Service.
Joseph previously worked as a lawyer with Street Law, a homeless peoples’ legal service, providing advice and assistance to some of Canberra’s most vulnerable clients.
After relocating to Melbourne in early 2017, Joseph worked as a Prosecutor dealing with a wide range of Local Government matters.
Joseph has also worked with Legal Aid ACT as a paralegal, as well the Legal Services Commissioner in New South Wales.