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Author: Kerri

Human Rights Day | 10th December 2023

“Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All”

On 10 December 2023, the world commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  This historic document upholds the inherent rights to which every individual is entitled as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.

Human rights violations have far-reaching consequences across borders and generations.  Over the past 75 years since the UDHR’s proclamation, significant strides have been made in advancing human rights.  However, progress does not mean the fight for rights and equality ever ends.

The theme for this year is “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All”.

As the world faces challenges new and ongoing; pandemics, conflicts, inequalities, racism, climate change, the values, and rights enshrined in the UDHR provide guideposts for our collective actions that do not leave anyone behind.

ILC actively contributes to the advancement of human rights by providing free legal services to members of our community. We strive to empower individuals to realise their legal rights, with a particular focus on those experiencing social and economic disadvantages in the Illawarra and surrounding areas.

By acknowledging this significant day, we underscore the importance of promoting initiatives to address issues such as exclusion, gender equity, homelessness, poverty and justice for all.

We need to stand up for our rights and those of others.  We all have a role to play.

To find out more visit:

https://www.un.org/en/observances/human-rights-day

#HumanRightsDay

ILC Annual Report | 2023

Acknowledgement AR 2022

ILC Annual Report 2022-23

For an organisation such as Illawarra Legal Centre (ILC), change and the risk of change has been part of our DNA and this year has been no different.

The year has been hallmarked by our successes and our challenges.

International Day of People with Disability | 3rd December 2023

IDPwD - Today

#IDPwD

International Day of People with Disability is held on 3 December each year.

It is a day to raise community awareness, understanding, and acceptance of the 4.4 million people with disability in Australia.

Be part of creating an inclusive and diverse community.

Learn more at www.idpwd.com.au

#IDPwD #IDPwD2023

NAIDOC Week 2-9 July 2023

NAIDOC Week Poster

For Our Elders

Celebrated every July, NAIDOC week is an opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and heritage.

2023’s NAIDOC Week theme is ‘For Our Elders

This year’s theme is about honouring, celebrating and paying respect to Elders; for their wisdom, knowledge, resilience and unwavering strength.  They are the cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, teachers, survivors, leaders, advocates and activists.  They are the custodians of their culture and have paved the way for future generations.

You can support NAIDOC Week and get to know your local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities through activities and events held across the country.  This year you will find Illawarra Legal Centre participating in the following NAIDOC events:

Monday 3/7/22 11am-2pm – Shellharbour City Council NAIDOC Event at Shellharbour Civic Centre

Tuesday 4/7/22 10am-1pm – NAIDOC Family Fun Day at Darcy Wentworth Park Warrawong

Thursday 6/7/22 10am-2pm – CareWays NAIDOC Event at Koonawarra Community Centre

#NAIDOC2023

#ForOurElders

#NAIDOCWeek

#NAIDOC

Celebrate NAIDOC week with us!

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day | 15th June 2023

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Elder abuse is the mistreatment of an older person that is committed by someone with whom the older person has a relationship of trust; such as a partner, family member, friend or carer.  Elder abuse can take various forms, including: physical, social, financial, psychological (emotional) and sexual abuse, or neglect.

No older person should be subjected to any form of abuse.  Older people have the right to choose how they want to spend their money, when they can see their family, and where they want to live.

In Australia, the incidence of abuse towards older people is predicted to increase as the 65 and over age group is expected to more than double, from 3.8 million to 8.8 million in the next 25 years.

Illawarra Legal Centre is committed to safeguarding the rights, dignity and independence of older Australians.  If you need legal help, call us on 4276 1939. The staff at ILC can provide you with free legal advice.

This day, and every day, we must remind ourselves that older people are valued members of our community.

#WEAAD

#WEAAD2023

National Reconciliation Week | 27 May – 3 June 2023

National Reconciliation Week – Be a Voice for Generations

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us (individuals, families, communities, organisations and governments) can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The dates for NRW are the same each year; 27 May to 3 June.  These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

The theme for NRW this year is “Be a Voice for Generations.”

The theme encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise.

Reconciliation is about creating respectful relationships between the wider Australian community and Australia’s First Nations peoples.  It is an ongoing journey that reminds us that while generations of Australians have fought hard for meaningful change, future gains are likely to take just as much, if not more, effort.

For the work of generations past, and the benefit of generations future, act today for a more just, equitable and reconciled country for all.

We all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation.

To find out more about a just, equitable and reconciled Australia visit:

Reconciliation Australia

Reconciliation NSW

To find out out how ILC is contributing to the collective action for reconciliation, you can read our Reconciliation Action Plan

ILC’s Reconciliation Plan

National Day of Healing | 26 May 2023

The 26th May is National Day of Healing / National Sorry Day.

National Day of Healing (National Sorry Day) on May 26 is held each year on the day before Reconciliation Week begins.

On this day in 1997 the “Bringing Them Home” Report was tabled in Parliament.  One of the many recommendations of this report was that the Prime Minister apologise to the Stolen Generations.  Then Prime Minister John Howard refused to do so.

A year after the ‘Bringing Them Home’ report, the first National Sorry Day was observed and was held as a day for reflection, mourning, and healing.

In 2005, the National Sorry Day Committee renamed the day as the National Day of Healing and called on Australians to reflect upon the mistakes of the past, learn more about current issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and show a commitment towards reconciliation.

On 13 February 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly to the Stolen Generations whose lives had been blighted by past government policies of forced child removal and assimilation.

“… today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations – this blemished chapter in our national history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry….”

Each year, commemorations are held to remember and acknowledge the mistreatment of Australia’s First Nations peoples, particularly the Stolen Generations.

It is a day of observance, before moving into a week of reconciliation and finding a better way forward.

This day serves as a reminder of the ongoing work that needs to be done to address the lasting impacts of these past injustices and to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

It is a day when Australians have the opportunity to work together for healing and reconciliation.

We extend our respect to the Stolen Generations and acknowledge the strength and resilience of all survivors, their families and their communities.

#NationalDayOfHealing 

#NationalSorryDay

#SorryDay

National Volunteer Week | 15-21 May 2023

Join us this National Volunteer Week in recognising the fantastic contribution volunteers make and to say thank you.

The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering; it is an activity with immense economic, social and cultural value.

The theme this year is ‘The Change Makers’The week-long event recognises the vital support that the millions of volunteers in our country provide to their communities and encourages people to consider volunteering.  Here at Illawarra Legal Centre (ILC), we have first-hand experience of the impact volunteers make and it all starts with the act of giving their time to a cause they believe in.

So, Thank You! to our incredible volunteers; our volunteer management committee, volunteer solicitors, volunteer students and all our centre volunteers.  ILC can reach more people and provide more services because of the work you do.

We are grateful for your hard work, dedication and ongoing commitment, even in the most challenging of times.

Contact us if you’re keen to volunteer and to learn more about opportunities with ILC.

Happy National Volunteer Week!

#NVW2023

#TheChangeMakers

#volunteers