Legal Help

Consumer Law

Newly Arrived and Refugee Consumer Law Service

WEstjustice helps financially disadvantaged and vulnerable consumers from a refugee, asylum seeker or newly arrived background through advice, negotiation to prevent the need for litigation, preparation for Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hearings and representation at VCAT for consumers who are unable to represent themselves.

We can help with consumer problems such as motor vehicle purchases and repairs, claims of odometer tampering, small appliance purchases, gym memberships, rent to buy contracts, credit wash agreements, education fees, insurance claims, retirement villages and services including solar panels and heating.

We also raise complaints with regulators and identifies and works to address systemic issues.

The Newly Arrived and Refugee Consumer Law Service is offered from our Werribee Branch. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

This program is funded by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

 

 

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Debt

WEstjustice can assist with a range of different types of debt including credit card debt, utility and telecommunications debt, personal or car loan debt, debt arising from a motor vehicle accident, rent arrears and mortgage arrears.

Debt assistance is offered from our Footscray and Werribee Branches, and Djerriwarrh Community Health Centre in Melton. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

  

 

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Employment Law

Newly Arrived and Refugee Employment Law Service

WEstjustice’s Newly Arrived and Refugee Employment Law Service provides employment-related legal information, advice, advocacy and referral to people from a refugee or asylum seeker background, as well as newly arrived migrants.

The service helps with a range of employment-related problems including:

  • Bullying
  • Discrimination
  • Sham contracting
  • Underpayments and unpaid wages
  • Unfair dismissal
  • Workplace safety/injury

The service is available to refugees, asylum seekers and newly arrived migrants (who are from a non-English speaking background and have lived in Australia for less than 10 years) who live, work or study in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. 

The Newly Arrived and Refugee Employment Law Service is offered from our Footscray Branch. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

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General Legal Advice

WEstjustice provides free legal advice and assistance to people who live, work or study in the Cities of Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong or Wyndham.

We may be able to help you by providing advice, writing letters, helping with negotiations or offering a referral to a lawyer or other organisation best placed to help with your problem.

We can help with a broad range of everyday legal problems including consumer disputes, credit and debt, family law and family violence, fines, motor vehicle accidents, tenancy and more.

Because we have limited resources we cannot help everyone. We do not assist with:

  • Commercial businesses
  • Complex family law matters
  • Conveyancing
  • Immigration
  • Personal injury
  • Wills and estates

We can provide an interpreter on request.

General legal advice is offered from our Werribee and Footscray Branches. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

 

 

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Family Law and Family Violence

Family Law and Family Violence Legal Clinics

WEstjustice’s Family Law and Family Violence Legal Clinics focus on improving the safety of women and children in Melbourne’s West.

We provide duty lawyer services at the Sunshine and Werribee Magistrates’ Courts, as well as follow up assistance in complex matters to ensure that victims of family violence are able to obtain:

  • Final intervention orders with the conditions required to protect them
  • Family law assistance to ensure that safe parenting arrangements are made
  • Victims of Crime assistance, particularly in relation to safe housing and trauma support
  • Assistance in dealing with ancillary civil issues

We also provide family law services at the Sunshine Family Relationship Centre, including lawyer assisted family dispute mediation.

We do not assist with property settlement matters or filling out forms.

We prioritise victims of family violence and people who are newly arrived or from a refugee background.

The Family Law and Family Violence Legal Clinics are offered from our Werribee and Footscray Branches, and from the Laverton Hub (fortnightly). Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

 

Family Violence Duty Lawyer Services

WEstjustice offers a duty lawyer at the Werribee Magistrates’ Court and the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court that provides on-the-spot advice for applicants with family violence intervention order hearings and representation at court. Referrals are made through the Court. We do not make appointments for this service.

The Duty Lawyer Services are supported by the Victorian Government.

 

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Financial Counselling

General Financial Counselling Service

WEstjustice’s General Financial Counselling Service provides information, support, referral options and advocacy for people experiencing financial difficulty related to credit cards, loans, utility and telecommunications bills and disputes with credit providers such as banks.

Our financial counsellors help people by:

  • Ensuring their debt is valid
  • Providing information about the options available in relation to debts including bankruptcy
  • Ascertaining their eligibility for government schemes or other forms of financial assistance
  • Providing advocacy in relation to debts and debt-related disputes
  • Providing information about the legislative protections available including the prohibitions on harassment by debt collectors and the requirement that creditors consider variations to contracts
  • Providing referrals to other specialist services such as the Tax Help program, to microfinance providers for interest free or low interest loans, or to therapeutic counsellors

We do not assist with mortgage cases, preparation of tax returns or those seeking help with budgeting.

The General Financial Counselling Service is available to those who live, work or study in the City of Maribyrnong or in Sunshine.  It is offered from our Footscray Branch. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

If you require urgent financial counselling, please contact MoneyHelp financial counselling telephone line on 1800 007 007 between 9.30am and 5.00pm on weekdays.

Financial Counselling for Communities of Burma

WEstjustice’s Communities of Burma Financial Counselling Service provides information, support, referral options and advocacy for people from Burma from a refugee background who are experiencing financial difficulty related to credit cards, loans, utility and telecommunications bills and disputes with credit providers such as banks.

Our financial counsellors help people by:

  • Ensuring their debt is valid
  • Providing information about the options available in relation to debts including bankruptcy
  • Ascertaining their eligibility for government schemes or other forms of financial assistance
  • Providing advocacy in relation to debts and debt-related disputes
  • Providing information about the legislative protections available including the prohibitions on harassment by debt collectors and the requirement that creditors consider variations to contracts
  • Providing referrals to other specialist services such as the Tax Help program, to microfinance providers for interest free or low interest loans, or to therapeutic counsellors

We do not assist with mortgage cases, preparation of tax returns or those seeking help with budgeting.

Community workers are available to offer on-site interpreting.

Financial Counselling is available to people from Burma from a refugee background who live in the Western suburbs of Melbourne.   It is offered from our Footscray Branch. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

If you require urgent financial counselling, please contact MoneyHelp financial counselling telephone line on 1800 007 007 between 9.30am and 5.00pm on weekdays.

 

 

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Fines

WEstjustice’s Special Circumstances Fines Legal Clinic helps people with driving, toll, parking, public transport and other types of infringements.

The Clinic helps people by:

  • Providing advice about options for dealing with overdue fines
  • Providing advice about whether special circumstances apply
  • Applying for the revocation of fines
  • Providing court representation at the Special Circumstances List of the Magistrates’ Court

Priority is given to people with special circumstances who live, work or study in the Cities of Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay and Wyndham.  The Special Circumstances Fines Legal Clinic is offered from our Werribee Branch.  Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

An outreach service (including assistance with debt) is also offered to consumers of mental health services at Werribee Mercy Hospital.

 

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International Students

Help for International Students

In collaboration with Study Melbourne and with the generous funding of its International Student Welfare Grant, WEstjustice delivers free advice, casework and representation to international students in Victoria who are having problems with the place where they work or the place they are renting.

 

The International Students’ Work Rights Legal Service can help with work-related issues such as:

  • Bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment
  • Sham contracting
  • Workplace injury and workplace safety issues
  • Underpayments and unpaid wages
  • Unfair dismissal

The International Students’ Work Rights Legal Service is offered from the Study Melbourne Student Centre in the Melbourne CBD, in conjunction with Springvale-Monash Legal Service and JobWatch Employment Rights Legal Service. Please call 1800 056 449 to make an appointment.

 

The International Students’ Housing and Accommodation Legal Service can help with issues relating to your living situation, such as:

  • Disputes over bond
  • Issues with repairs to rental properties
  • Feeling unsafe in the place where you are staying
  • Evictions
  • Understanding tenancy and accommodation contracts
  • And other problems you may be having

The International Students’ Housing and Accommodation Legal Service is offered from the Study Melbourne Student Centre in the Melbourne CBD. Please call 1800 056 449 to make an appointment.

Mortgage Wellbeing

The Mortgage Wellbeing Service is delivered in partnership with Djerriwarrh Health Services.

It is an integrated legal and health wellbeing program that provides legal assistance, social work and financial counselling to people experiencing mortgage stress.

Assistance may include:

  • Legal information, advice and casework including negotiation with lenders, ombudsman services and regulators, and representation at court where appropriate
  • Social work information, casework and referrals where appropriate
  • Financial counselling information and support including communication with lenders and ombudsman services

The Mortgage Wellbeing Service is available to people who live in the Western suburbs of Melbourne (including Bacchus Marsh), have a mortgage over a single residential property that they live in and are experiencing financial problems. It is offered from our Werribee Branch and Djerriwarrh Community Health Centre in Melton. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

The Mortgage Wellbeing Service is generously funded by the H3 Alliance.

 

 

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Motor Vehicle Accidents

WEstjustice’s Motor Vehicle Accident Legal Clinic provides specialist legal advice in relation to a range of issues that can arise following a car accident including:

  • Disputes with insurance companies about liability, accepting claims and the payment of excesses
  • Negotiations with the other driver or their insurance company in circumstances where our client is uninsured and has no capacity to pay for the damage caused

The Clinic also provides referrals where a client has been injured in a car accident, raises complaints with regulators and identifies and works to address systemic issues.

The Motor Vehicle Accident Legal Clinic is available to people who live, work or study in the Cities of Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay and Wyndham. The majority of our clients are uninsured drivers with no capacity to pay damage bills. It is offered from our Werribee Branch. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

 

 

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Newly Arrived and Refugee Legal Clinics

Burmese Refugee Legal Clinic

WEstjustice's Burmese Refugee Legal Clinic is a generalist service that provides legal information, advice, advocacy and referral to people from Burma from a refugee or asylum seeker background.

The Clinic helps with a wide range of legal issues including:

  • Car accidents
  • Consumer complaints
  • Debt
  • Fines
  • Some discrimination matters
  • Some family law matters
  • Some criminal matters

We do not assist with immigration matters.

The Burmese Refugee Legal Clinic is available to people from Burma from a refugee or asylum seeker background who live, work or study in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. It is offered from our Footscray Branch. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

 

General Newly Arrived and Refugee Legal Clinic

WEstjustice’s General Refugee Legal Clinic is a generalist service that provides legal information, advice, advocacy and referral to people from a refugee or asylum seeker background.

The Clinic helps with a wide range of legal issues including:

  • Car accidents
  • Consumer complaints
  • Debt
  • Fines
  • Some discrimination matters
  • Some family law matters
  • Some criminal matters

We do not assist with immigration matters.

Through casework, the Clinic also seeks to identify systemic issues that impact refugee and newly arrived communities and develop responsive projects that provide broader, system level advocacy for communities.

The General Newly Arrived and Refugee Legal Clinic is available to people from a refugee or asylum seeker background who live, work or study in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. It is offered from our Footscray Branch. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

 

Newly Arrived and Refugee Consumer Law Service

WEstjustice helps financially disadvantaged and vulnerable consumers from a refugee, asylum seeker or newly arrived background through advice, negotiation to prevent the need for litigation, preparation for Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hearings and representation at VCAT for consumers who are unable to represent themselves.

We can help with consumer problems such as motor vehicle purchases and repairs, claims of odometer tampering, small appliance purchases, gym memberships, rent to buy contracts, credit wash agreements, education fees, insurance claims, retirement villages and services including solar panels and heating.

We also raise complaints with regulators and identifies and works to address systemic issues.

The Newly Arrived and Refugee Consumer Law Service is offered from our Werribee Branch. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

This program is funded by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

 

Newly Arrived and Refugee Employment Law Service

WEstjustice’s Newly Arrived and Refugee Employment Law Service provides employment-related legal information, advice, advocacy and referral to people from a refugee or asylum seeker background, as well as newly arrived migrants.

The service helps with a range of employment-related problems including:

  • Bullying
  • Discrimination
  • Sham contracting
  • Underpayments and unpaid wages
  • Unfair dismissal
  • Workplace safety/injury

The service is available to refugees, asylum seekers and newly arrived migrants (who are from a non-English speaking background and have lived in Australia for less than 10 years) who live, work or study in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. 

The Newly Arrived and Refugee Employment Law Service is offered from our Footscray Branch. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

 

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Pasifika Legal Clinic

WEstjustice’s Pasifika Legal Clinic is a generalist service that provides legal information, advice, casework, advocacy and referral to people from a Pacific Islander or Maori background in Western Melbourne.

The Clinic helps with a wide range of legal issues including:

  • tenancy
  • car accidents
  • consumer complaints
  • debt
  • fines
  • discrimination matters
  • some family law and child protection matters
  • some criminal matters

We do not assist with immigration matters but our client’s immigration experiences are forming part of our advocacy work. 

Through casework, the Clinic also seeks to identify systemic issues that impact Pasifika communities and develop projects that provide broader, system level advocacy for communities. We do community legal education, both to the broader Pasifika community, as well as caseworkers who work with the Pasifika community in Western Melbourne. 

Our volunteers are from the Pasifika community, as is the majority of our steering group. 

The Pasifika Legal Clinic is offered from our Werribee Branch. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

 

 

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School Lawyer Program

The Grange P-12 College

School lawyer: Nadia Baldassi-Winderlich

WEstjustice provides a School Lawyer on-site two days a week to help students and parents of the Grange P-12 College, located at Deloraine Drive, Hoppers Crossing with a range of legal problems. We do not make appointments for this service.

Tarneit Senior College

School lawyer: Vincent Shin

WEstjustice provides a School Lawyer on-site two days a week to help students and parents of Tarneit Senior College, located at Leakes Road, Tarneit with a range of legal problems. We do not make appointments for this service.

Wyndham Central College

School lawyer: Rachel Gregory

WEstjustice provides a School Lawyer on-site two days a week to help students and parents of Wyndham Central College, located at Shaws Road, Werribee with a range of legal problems. We do not make appointments for this service.

Wyndham Community and Education Centre (VCAL)

School lawyer: Rachel Gregory

WEstjustice provides a school lawyer on-site one day a week to assist VCAL students of Wyndham Community and Education Centre, located at 4 Synnot Street Extension, Werribee. We do not make appointments for this service.

 

 

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Tenancy

WEstjustice’s Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Program (TAAP) provides specialist advice, casework and representation to vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians who are having residential tenancy issues.

 TAAP may help with:

  • Information and referral
  • Negotiation to prevent matters going to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
  • Preparation for a VCAT hearing
  • Representation at a VCAT hearing 

We do not assist with social housing tenants, residents of retirement and rental villages or tenants with tenant-to-tenant disputes and do not assist with housing applications or securing accommodation, or provide emergency funds.

TAAP is available to all WEstjustice clients and other tenants who are financially disadvantaged or are experiencing family violence and are within the following Local Government areas:-

  • Hobson Bay (Altona Meadows, Altona North and Brooklyn, Altona - Seaholme, Laverton, Newport West, South Kingsville and Spotswood, Williamstown)
  • Maribyrnong (Braybrook, Footscray, Kingsville, Maidstone, Maribyrnong, Seddon, Tottenham, West Footscray, Yarraville)
  • Wyndham (Point Cook, Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Truganina, Wyndham Vale, Mt Cottrell – Quandong, Little River, Mambourin, Werribee South, Williams Landing – Laverton North, Manor Lakes)
  • Melbourne (Carlton, Docklands, East Melbourne, Kensington and Flemington, North Melbourne, Parkville, Port Melbourne, Southbank, South Yarra – West, West Melbourne, Melbourne)
  • Moonee Valley (Aberfeldie, Airport West, Ascot Vale, Avondale Heights, Essendon, Essendon Fields, Essendon North, Essendon West, Flemington (part), Keilor East (part), Kensington (part), Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, North Melbourne (part), Strathmore, Strathmore Heights, Travancore)

The program has a particular focus on working with people who are vulnerable, including those with a mental illness, disability or addiction, experiencing family violence and from refugee and non-English speaking backgrounds. It primarily helps tenants in private tenancies, however help is also offered to some tenants who are rooming house residents or are residential and caravan park residents. TAAP appointments are offered from our Footscray and Werribee Branches, and a location in Docklands.

The Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Program is offered from our Footscray and Werribee Branches, and from the Docklands Library. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

The Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Program is generously funded by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

 

 

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Youth Law

WEstjustice’s Youth Law Clinic provides free legal advice and assistance to people 25 years and younger who live in Melbourne’s West.

We may be able to help you by providing advice, taking you on as a client, representing you at court or offering a referral to a lawyer or other organisation best placed to help with your problem.

We can help with a broad range of everyday legal problems including consumer disputes, credit and debt, family law and family violence, fines, motor vehicle accidents, tenancy and more.

Because we have limited resources we cannot help everyone. We do not assist with:

  • Complex family law matters
  • Conveyancing
  • Immigration
  • Personal injury
  • Wills and estates

The Youth Law Clinic is a holistic service which also provides referrals to drug and alcohol, homelessness and mental health providers. We can also provide an interpreter on request.

The Youth Law Clinic is offered from our Sunshine Youth Office at the Visy Cares Hub. It is a drop-in service available between 9.30am and 4.30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is also offered from the Wyndham Youth Resource Centre. Please call us on (03) 9749 7720 to make an appointment.

 

 

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WE are located

  • Footscray
  • Werribee
  • Sunshine
Footscray

Level 1 / 72 Buckley Street, Footscray VIC 3011

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.30am-1.00pm and 2:00pm-5:00pm.

Advice by appointment only. We do not provide advice by telephone or email

Werribee

Level 1 / 8 Watton Street, Werribee VIC 3030

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5:00pm.

Advice by appointment only. We do not provide advice by telephone or email.

Sunshine

Visy Cares Hub, 80B Harvester Road, Sunshine VIC 3020

Tel: + 61 3 9091 8237
Fax: + 61 3 9091 8207
Email:  sunshine@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9.30am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-4.30pm.

Drop-in service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.30am-4.30pm, for people up to 25 years old ONLY.