NSW: My Legal Mate – App for international students

From Redfern Legal Centre:

Redfern Legal Centre have been funded and supported by Study NSW, the City of Sydney and the Fair Work Ombudsman to develop a groundbreaking new mobile app offering multilingual legal advice to international students studying in NSW.

The product was launched last month at the Lord Mayor’s Welcome for overseas students at Sydney Town Hall.

You can see an introductory demo video here: https://rlc.org.au/article/my-legal-mate-putting-law-students’-pockets

Redfern Legal Centre provides a free statewide legal advice service for international students funded by Study NSW, and City of Sydney and we can see about 600 students per annum. However we know that up to 40% of NSW’s 260,000 international students will experience some form of legal issue during their study – impacting welfare, retention and offshore reputation. These issues are most commonly around employment, housing, disputes with education providers and sexual assault. Many of these students issues would be mitigated or avoided if students had access to better information in real time.

With our technology partner edtech company Practera, we have developed MyLegal Mate – a first of its kind interactive app, with video streams providing students with instant access to customised legal information, delivered in ‘face to face’ question and answer format in English and six other languages. We are offering the app to education providers on an annual non-profit subscription basis, allowing any student to access the information free-of-charge. Any revenue beyond operating costs will be re-invested in direct legal service delivery to international students. The Practera platform is already used by a number of NSW Universities.

This is an innovative way to ensure international students can get instant access to tailored legal information and be empowered to take greater control if problems occur. By downloading the app on enrolment, international students will be armed with information about their rights before they start their course, with the ultimate aim of preventing issues arising while they are in Australia.

Contact for more info:

Redfern Legal Centre | 73 Pitt St. Redfern NSW 2016

p. 02 9698 7277

From the Fair Work Ombudsman: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces – Consultation with migrant workers and those on temporary visa.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is leading a National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces. Information about the National Inquiry and the full Terms of Reference can be found here.
The Commission would like to invite you or a representative from your organisation to a consultation that focuses specifically on migrant workers and people on temporary visas’ experiences of workplace sexual harassment. We would also be grateful for your assistance to share the details of this consultation with your networks.
The consultation will take place on Friday 15 February 2019, 9:30am – 11am at Settlement Services International, 2/158 Liverpool Road Ashfield NSW 2131. You can register to attend the consultation via this link.
If you have any questions, please contact the Commission’s National Inquiry team at SH.Inquiry@humanrights.gov.au or on (02) 9284 9750.
Online submissions — the closing date for online submissions to the National Inquiry is 28 February 2019. You can make an online submission to the National Inquiry here.
National Inquiry information and updates — for news and updates, you can subscribe to the National Inquiry website here.
The Commission is confident that this National Inquiry, by bringing together evidence, expertise and a range of views, will achieve the positive change that is clearly needed and looks forward to working together with you to develop solutions which will help ensure safe and respectful Australian workplaces.

International Student Exploitation in the spotlight

Work exploitation of international students
The recent story on SBS on the exploitation of international students in the Vietnamese hospitality sector is unfortunately not a new story. It is distressing to read that the exploitation of vulnerable international students is a continued practice. The article does note importantly that it takes two parties for this practice to occur. Students are sometimes willing to accept poor working conditions because they are either ignorant of their rights or preferring to accept under-payment to unemployment.  ISANA reminds all members of the news in an earlier newsletter where we informed members of efforts by DIBP and the FWO to address work exploitation of international students. Here is the excerpt:

Temporary visa holder like international students with a work entitlement and who may have been exploited, need to be aware that DIBP will generally not cancel a visa, detain or remove individuals, provided they have reported their circumstance to the FWO.  Please make this information known to your international students. For more information, please refer to the media release from Minister for Employment, Sen. M Cash and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Hon P Dutton of 15 February 2017.

ISANA National President

Mary Ann Seow

ISANA International Education Association Inc
ABN: 42 335 124 078

 

ISANA Secretariat
isana@isana.org.au

 

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