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                                                                                                                                   CN               Summer Newsletter 2008 Issue 01

                                                                                                            lcome to our
                  >    Executive Director Welcome
                  >    Recent Events
                                                                                                             t Newsletter
                  >    Support a Volunteer

                       Staff Profile
                       Networker Profile
                                                                                                        firs                                               for nearly 30
                                                                                                                                                                            years. We unde
                                                                                                                                                                                                rstand some
                                                                                                                                       around the co
                                                                                                                                                      urts                                     to you now.
                                                                                                                                                                            we’re writing
                                                                                                                    twork has been                          k. That’s why
                                                                                                        Court Ne                            about our wor                                               ork
                                                                                                                            ow too much                                                er. More Netw
                                                                                                        of you don’t kn                                              siest year ev
                                                                                                                                             ose on  Network’s bu                           le, improving
                                                                                                                             draws to a cl                              ith more peop
                                                                                                         The 2008 year                                  ts working w                                  s been
                                                                                                                              availabl e in more cour               t. This year    , our service ha
                                                                                                         vo  lunteers are                    d expe rience at cour                         mmun   ity and
                                                                                                                           ss to justice an                            nces in the co
                                                                                                          people’s acce                                hips and allia
                                                                                                                              through   new partners                          lly .
                      I was a court user once, and I know how
                                                                                                          made stronger                                     d internationa
                                                                                                                                           in Australia an                                         arris stood
                      stressful it can be. That’s why I know how
                                                                                                           philanthrop    ic sector here                                        ident Gillian H
                      important Networkers are.                                                                                                     held in  November, Pres                       ice Diana
                                                                                                                                   t Network AGM                               tron Chief Just
                                                                                                           Follo   wing the Cour                   and was   thanked by Pa                     u have made
                      Gavin, a volunteer at the
                                                                                                                     after complet
                                                                                                                                    ing her term                           hievements yo
                      Magistrates’ court, Melbourne                                                         down                                ngratulations for the ac
                                                                                                                               e accept my co                                    You made
                                                                                                            Bryant. “Pleas                                      urt Network.
                                                                                                                                the office of  President at Co                       ese.
                                                                                                             whilst holding                                     ent, Harvey Re
                      “I feel important as a Networker when those                                                                               s a new Presid
                                                                                                                            ” Th e Network ha                            d public
                      you’ve helped look back at you with recognition                                         a difference.                            d university an
                                                                                                                                      ound in law an                            NCH.
                      and a smile.”
                                                                                                              Harve   y has a backgr               previous  President of PA
                                                                                                                               em  ent and was a                     e to  the
                      Grace, a volunteer at the                                                                sector manag                        ion he will mak
                                                                                                                                    the contribut
                      Federal court, Brisbane                                                                  I lo ok forward to                developm   ent.
                                                                                                                                  next stage of
                                                                                                                                                           you and yours
                                                                                                                                           on is good to
                      I love the job. It’s great to be able to provide
                                                                                                                I hope th   e festive seas                you in the
                      support to people prior to their day in court.                                                                       working with
                                                                                                                 and I lo ok forward to                    prove informat
                                                                                                                                            w ways to im
                                                                                                                 New Year    as we find ne                         court.
                                                                                                                                                   for people at
                      Phone Volunteer, Melbourne                                                                                   ferral services
                                                                                                                  support and re

                                              Court Users Assisted

                                                                                                                  Nic Bolto

                                                                                                                  Executive Dire
People Assisted

                   100000                                                                                         Decem  ber 8th 2008


































                  The number of court users assisted this year has increased significantly
                  with more volunteers assisting more people in more courts.
CN Summer Newsletter 2008                                                                                                                                  page 02

                                                        Of what benefit was our                               Of what benefit was our
                                                        information service?                                  referral service?
                                                        “They are the only ones who are interested in         “They gave me so much information about my
                                                        answering questions. Others (in court) are too        problem. This was all new to me so I had nowhere

                                                        busy/occupied…” (Male, 20s)                           to start. I have brochures, phone numbers and
                                                                                                              they reassured me that others have been in my
                                                        “They were very helpful and very pleasant. They
                                                                                                              situation and told me what helped them. When
                                                        always give really good info about which cases
                                                        to watch. This is good from an educational            I was at their office, I called a drug and alcohol
                                                        perspective… I have watched them in action            service and they were able to give me immediate
                                                        at the Family Court. They are “angels of mercy .
                                                                                                       ”      help and calmed me down. I don’t know where I
                                                        (Female, 22)                                          would have been without the two Networkers on
                                                                                                              that day, please thank them for me.” (Male, 28)
                                                        Of what benefit was our
   Does Court Network make                                                                                    How we’ve helped
                                                        support service?
   a difference?
                                                        “The Court Network puts you at ease. Talking          Court users are a diverse range of people. While
   The results of the 2008 Court Network Service User   with someone gets the butterflies out… the            some of them are quite comfortable in a court
   Survey conducted by Victoria Erlichster identify     first time I used the service they helped by          environment (finding their time in court more
   very high levels of satisfaction with the court      entertaining the kids even though it wasn’t           inconvenient than anything else), others find
   network service. 100% found the service useful       part of their job” (Female, 33)
                                                                         .                                    the experience terrifying, nerve wracking and
   and 97% would use it again. 45% reported being                                                             anxiety ridden.
   in court alone and 42% of those surveyed were        “The emotional support. The Networker never left
   attending court to have an intervention order        my side. I had no real family support and the         Court Network is challenged on a daily basis by
   heard. Most of those surveyed used the service       Networker could see I was frightened and wanted       the diversity and range of clientele we serve.
   for between 15-30 minutes. 25 people made            to help. Last time I was in court I had a Barrister   Nonetheless, we have managed to provide a
   comments about improvements to the service           I couldn’t afford. This time I had no support so      valuable service that the vast majority of clients
   such as more networkers should be available,                                       ”
                                                        it’s great to have the service. (Female, 37)          would access again if they found themselves
   more entertainment and interactive services                                                                back in court.
                                                        “The Networkers are very diligent at introducing
   should be available at court to help pass the        themselves. I think it’s a good service for those     The survey feed back provides a greater insight
   time spent waiting for their case to be held.        who are a bit nervous. Some people can see the        into the nature of Court Network users, and is a
                                                        law as bigger than themselves… they helped my         useful information tool for Court Network’s cycle
                                                        friend.” (Female, 49)                                 of continuous improvement.
                                                        “They reassured me. They helped me feel more
                                                        confident about my case and explained to me
                                                        what would happen in the court. It’s good
                                                        because I am no longer alone.”

   Recent Events
   Court Network held its annual Conferences in         on the role of women in the force. Other guest        On another note, Court Network continues its
   November and December this year. Both events         speakers included Troy Hakala, the Community          push into new areas. Initial meetings were
   were well attended.                                  Educator from the Family Relationship Centre who      conducted in September between Court Network
                                                        provided insight into mediation and the effect of     and court stakeholders to identify the need for a
   The Victorian Conference was held at the William
                                                        separation on children and families, and Helen        Court Network service in New Zealand. A public
   Angliss Conference Centre in Melbourne. More
                                                        Boreham, who spoke on the role of the Legal Aid       forum will be held early next year to promote the
   than 130 volunteers participated on the day.                                                               Court Network model and assess the potential
                                                        Service. A number of guests attended the event
   Guest speakers came from a range of backgrounds                                                            support for a pilot program in Wellington.
                                                        including Chief Magistrate Butler from the Brisbane
   and included Judge Paul Grant, President of the
                                                        Magistrates Court, and representatives from
   Children’s court, who spoke about his involvement
                                                        QPILCH and the Supreme Court Registry team.
   with the Koori court, Leading Senior Constable
   Matt Griffiths from Victoria Police who talked on    Another event recently held was the Court
   Generation Y in the courts and the Governor-         Network AGM. Three new volunteers were elected
   General’s wife Jan de Kretser, who endorsed the      onto the Board of Court Network. Congratulations
   role of volunteering in the community.               are extended to the new President of the Court
                                                        Network Board, Harvey Reese, and the election of
   The Queensland Conference was held in the            new members Rosemary Syme and Vi Branagh.
   Balmoral Room at City Hall in Brisbane in
   December. Approximately 60 volunteers and            Former President Gillian Harris wishes to thank
   guests attended the event. A diverse group of        the Board, staff and volunteers of Court Network
   guest speakers presented, including Chief Judge      during her term in Office. “It has been an
   Patsy Wolfe, of the District Court and also Court    honour to serve in this role for such a reputable
   Network Patron, who spoke about the role of                       ”
                                                        organisation, Gillian says. “I look forward to
   the volunteer in our community, Will Brennan         participating in Court Network’s continued
   the Statewide Coordinator from Forensic Mental       success, as I am confident that their work
   Health, who spoke on the Client Liaison Service,     enriches the community at large.”
                                                                                                              PICTURED: Event Organiser Beth Parle with Judge
   and Donna Sturgess, Acting Superintendent,                                                                 Paul Grant at the Victorian Court Network Conference.
   of the Queensland Police Service who spoke
page 03
                                                                                                             CN Summer Newsletter 2008

Staff Profile
Manal Abbas
Program Support Officer
Having spent just over six months at Court Network, Manal Abbas
provides support to a young, energetic team of five Program
Managers. She says she was first attracted to the job because of its                                      Support a volunteer for a year!
unique operating environment in the courts. “I’ve never worked in
the courts before, so this position is a great learning experience                                        Alice has volunteered at Melbourne’s County
for me, Manal explains.
      ”                                                                                                   court for seven years. And like most of our
                                                                                                          volunteers, she prefers anonymity. For one day
Her favourite aspect of the job is ensuring that Networkers remain                                        a week, she puts her own life demands to one
fully supported with the supplies and tools they need on a daily                                          side so she can contribute to the needs of
basis to efficiently deliver the service. In 2003, Manal completed                                        others. “This is my way of giving back to my
a Diploma in Business at Victoria University of Technology and then                                       community. The work is demanding, at times
went on to finish a Minute Taking course earlier this year to upgrade                                     shocking in its rawness. ”
her administrative skills.
                                                                                                          The investment is worth every cent. Many people
However, it’s not all hard work for Manal. In her spare time, she                                         leave the court feeling as though the experience
enjoys shopping, going to the movies and catching up with friends                                         was as traumatic as the crime that brought
over coffee. “I also want to learn a new language,” she says. Coming                                      them to court in the first place. Court Network
from a family of ten children, it may be hard to find the time. “I am                                     manages assessment and referral services to high
the youngest in my family” she says, “but I don’t really get any special                                  need court users. Court Network supported over
treatment. Except for my brother Ahmad, he’s pretty cool. Manal lives                                     128,000 people this year.
with her family in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Originally from
Lebanon, Manal speaks Arabic and English fluently.                                                        Please contact the Court Network office
                                                                                                          on 03 9603 7420 or
A self confessed sweet tooth, Manal adores Lindt milk chocolate and                                       e-mail nic@courtnetwork.com.au
her Mum’s home cooking. As for summer, Manal says: “bring it on!”                                         if you would like to help us find the next
“The best thing about summer is the holidays and the hot weather.”                                        Alice and spread the promise of humanity in
Manal hopes 2009 brings even more opportunities and success for                                           the courts a little further. You donation is
Court Network.                                                                                            fully tax deductible and will touch the lives
                                                                                                          of thousands of people.

Networker Profile
Tri is a 19 year old second year law/commerce
student who reports that “Networking is
awesome!” He has been volunteering at court for

                                                        is awesome!”
half a day a week since early 2008 and plans to
stay volunteering for the duration of his degree.
“I help myself by helping others, he explains.
                                  ”                                                                       New Court Network Patron:
“And what a ride! Being in court is real life.                                                            Queensland Chief Judge Patsy Wolfe
                                                        Volunteering is win: win for Tri
Why would I lounge around at home or at uni?                                                              At the 2008 Queensland Court Network Conference,
The role is dynamic, it’s unique, we promise to                                                           Chief Judge of the District court Patsy Wolfe spoke
honour the humanity of people at court and                                                                about accepting her new role as patron of Court
that’s what we do through respect, courtesy,                                                              Network. “You are the court angels,” she said
reassurance and empowerment.    ”                                                                         to the 40 volunteers present, “you have made
When he saw an advertisement Court Network had                                                            the courts so much more humane and the court
placed in a major daily newspaper, Tri jumped at                                                          experience far more bearable for so many people.”
the chance to volunteer thinking it would further                                                         Court Network has been operating at the higher
his career prospects. “But in reality, the work is                                                        courts building for just over twelve months and
much more important than that. I get to use my                                                            has recently opened a Blue Jacket Information
Vietnamese language skills to help others, they                                                           Service at the ground floor entry to the court.
trust me, they open up to me and I can be a                                                               “I am very pleased to say,” Her Honour reported,
support to them. Afterwards, they shake my hand,                                                          “that this service has assisted over 2,400 people
or pat my shoulder, this shows me the difference                                                          in the past two months alone. What a marvelous
my contribution makes. I feel honoured to do                                                              achievement and such a benefit to the courts
this work, after all, we are just people in different                                                     and community of Queensland.
circumstances, together in court.”                      PICTURED: Court Network volunteer Tri (pictured   The Chief Judge accepted her role as Patron in
                                                        right) with Chief Judge Patsy Wolfe of the
Court Network is powered by volunteers and we                                                             October. Patsy Wolfe was called to the Queensland
                                                        District court, Brisbane.
thank them for the contribution they make,                                                                Bar in 1986 and the District Court in 1995. She
all 428 of them!                                                                                          has been Chief Judge since 1999 and has served
                                                                                                          on numerous committees and enquiries and was
                                                                                                          instrumental in bringing the Court Network
                                                                                                          service to the Brisbane higher courts.
   page 04
                                                                                                                     CN Summer Newsletter 2008

   NAB and the Corporate
   Volunteering Program
   Earlier this year, Court Network engaged in its first corporate volunteer program with the
   National Australia Bank. The NAB has generously provided the time and expertise of one
   employee per month to Court Network. Each Wednesday a NAB volunteer can be seen at the
   Melbourne Magistrates’ coffee cart assisting the Court Network Barista serve brilliant coffee!

   “The National Australia Bank is proud to support Court Network’s corporate volunteering program.
   This year we have provided NAB employees with the opportunity to work at the Court Network
   coffee cart at the Melbourne Magistrates’ court. Just like Court Network, we are committed to
   making a positive impact in the community.”

   Matt Temple,
   Volunteer Coordinator, National Australia Bank

                                 Getting on Board with Law Firms and Universities
                                 Court Network is looking to duplicate its corporate volunteering
                                 program with law firms and universities. More work will be
                                 undertaken to facilitate this new initiative early in the new year.

   Winner: Volunteer Organisation of the Year
   Court Network is the proud winner of the NAB            “We are extremely proud to receive the
   Volunteer Organisation of the Year. The Award           award which has been achieved through
   recognises the commitment of volunteers around          the commitment, dedication and hard work
   Australia and acknowledges organisations that           of our volunteers, management and staff,      ”
   demonstrate best practice in their management           Executive Director Nic Bolto says. “This is an
   of the volunteer workforce. Over 800 nominations        outstanding result that has been recognised
   were received from a diverse collection of              by a panel of independent judges throughout
   companies. Court Network was thrilled to be             Australia. It is great to see Court Network’s
   presented with an award at both the state               tireless effort recognised in this way,” he said.
   and national level.                                     Congratulations to all involved!
                                                                                                                 Well done Court Network: Pictured: NAB Volunteer Awards
                                                                                                                 Ambassador Raelene Boyle (left), NAB representatives, Nic Bolto,
                                                                                                                 Executive Director, Gillian Harris, President, Richard Peters from NAB
                                                                                                                 (second right) and Volunteering Australia CEO Julia Pollard (right).

                                                           CN Snapshot of Activity
Court Network Inc.                                          Organisational                                             Units       2006-07          2007-08          Change
Ground Floor
565 Lonsdale Street                                         Key Performance Measures
Melbourne VIC 3000                                          Number of active volunteers                             persons              374             422             14%
www.courtnetwork.com.au                                     Number of court users assisted                          persons          95,184         128,842              33%
                                                            Court users assisted per volunteer                      persons              255             295             16%
                                                            Government income per service contact                         A$            8.59            6.74            -22%
T 03 9603 7433
F 03 9670 8804                                              Networker wage value                                        A$M            6.200           7.100             15%
E phonevol@courtnetwork.com.au                              Average volunteer length of service                        years              6.9             6.1           -12%
QUEENSLAND                                                  Income                                                      A$M            1.097           1.270             16%
T 07 3227 7625                                              Expenditure                                                 A$M            1.070           1.210             13%
F 07 3211 2278
                                                            Program Manager hours per Networker                    hrs/mth              0.64            0.66              2%
E brisbane@courtnetwork.com.au
                                                            Number of courts Networkers assist in              court houses                32              34             6%
ABN 85 517 169 601
ARBN 122 324 805

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