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Lauren Gibsone

Lauren Gibsone

LAUREN GIBSONE

MY EXPERIENCE AT NAAFLS

Volunteering at NAAFLS gave me a unique and invaluable experience unlike anything I have had before! Entering my final year of my law degree at James Cook University in Cairns I wanted a different experience which would contribute to my growth towards becoming a law graduate and in turn young lawyer. Growing up in the Top End provided me with a certain context for the work that NAAFLS does, but it wasn't until I spent 4 weeks at NAAFLS' Darwin office over my uni break, did I realise the complexity of the reality Aboriginal people in remote communities face when it comes to family violence and dealing with the Australian courts system. I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Daly River (Nauiyu community) with one of the Solicitors and a Client Support Officer to see firsthand the wonderful work NAAFLS is doing in these remote communities. Alas, due to the wonders of the Top End's wet season, nearly had us flooded in and consequently the Bush Court day for that trip was cancelled, making it abundantly clear the disadvantages that still plague these communities. I was able to shadow a number of the wonderful staff in client interviews, community networking meetings, courthouse hearings, and engage with Aboriginal Interpreters. I was provided the opportunity to enhance my legal skills in drafting letters to clients, creating Community Legal Education resources, researching legislation to determine client legal advice, attending client meetings and interviews, compiling reports for the Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, research and draft submissions to the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Law Society Northern Territory. I honestly don't think I could have asked for a better experience!