News + Views

New multidisciplinary taster placement 

The CIJ's first multidisciplinary taster placement took place at the Child Witness Service, the Intermediaries Pilot Program and the Office of Public Prosecutions.

RMIT law & social work students Danielle Watts, Eliza Hew, Louise Grant & August Parkinson with the OPP's court support dog Lucy.

In August the CIJ held its first multidisciplinary taster placement for law and social work students. The theme was ‘innovations in support for victims’ and the students were hosted by the Child Witness Service, the Intermediaries Pilot Program and the Office of Public Prosecutions.

Students toured the purpose-built Child Witness Service and learned about their important work supporting children and young people who are witnesses in court proceedings across the state. The students also heard about the trailblazing work being done by the Intermediaries Pilot Program providing access to justice for vulnerable witnesses and improving fair trial outcomes.

At the Office of Public Prosecutions, the students had a discussion with social workers and lawyers regarding their multidisciplinary practice, which better supports witnesses and victims in prosecutions of serious crime. Lucy – the court support dog – stole the show and students heard her amazing story of being trained by a woman serving a custodial sentence, to supporting sexual offence complainants during the often-traumatic process of cross-examination.

Feedback from students was resoundingly positive as you can see from the reflections below:

“I left the day feeling incredibly hopeful and excited about the growing field of work between law and social work and how these programs are at the forefront to creating a more adaptive and holistic approach to justice.”

– Danielle Watts, JD & MSW concurrent degree student

“It was exciting to realise how many jobs exist where interdisciplinary and collaborative work is happening between lawyers and social workers. It made me feel like I was heading in the right direction with my studies! To top it off, meeting Lucy and learning of the therapeutic effects of court dogs was incredible – all in all an awesome day.”

– Eliza Hew, JD & MSW concurrent degree student

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Taster Placements

The CIJ offers RMIT JD students opportunities to experience the legal sector and court system through our taster placements at the Court of Appeal, the Fair Work Commission and the Magistrates’ Court. These short placements are not for course credit.

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