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Volunteer opportunity for RMIT JD students – Neighbourhood Justice Centre Fines Clinic Spring 2019

Do you have a passion for social justice? Would you like experience working in a real courthouse?If yes, we need your help to provide a service for City of Yarra residents dealing with fines and infringements.

*** Please note, applications have now closed

What is the Neighbourhood Justice Centre?

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) was established in 2007 and is Australia’s only community justice centre. It is located in Collingwood, Melbourne, and serves the City of Yarra. Through bringing together a multi-jurisdictional court with a wide array of support services and community initiatives, the NJC has been effective in reducing crime, increasing community safety and creating savings through fewer cases in the system.

The Fines Clinic

We are seeking volunteers to work with the CIJ Student Programs Manager, the Fitzroy Legal Service and the NJC Financial Counsellors in the newly re-established NJC Fines Clinic. Students have an opportunity to contribute to the work of the NJC, through participating in its multidisciplinary fines clinic. The fines clinic sees law students, lawyers, financial counselling students and financial counsellors working together to assist disadvantaged clients to resolve issues relating to fines and infringements. Law students will work in pairs with financial counselling students and have direct contact with clients, managing files under the guidance of a supervising lawyer and financial counsellor.

Students should:

  • Be strong team players – as we will be working closely with financial counselling students, financial counsellors and other court staff;
  • Bring an open mind and a non-judgemental approach to their clients’ issues;
  • Be diligent in undertaking work assigned to them; and
  • Have a passion for justice.

The program also features guest speakers presenting each week, which will enable to you to diversify your workplace skills. Past speaker have included:

  • Fines Victoria
  • Corrections Victoria
  • The Sheriff
  • Fitzroy Legal Service
  • LGBTI family violence caseworker
  • Koori Justice Officer
  • Mental health caseworker


Induction Dates

Thursday 21 November, 9:30am-4pm and Friday 22 November, 9:30am-4pm

Clinic Placement Dates

Four Fridays before Christmas:

  • 29 November 2019, 9:30am-4pm
  • 6 December 2019, 9:30am-4pm
  • 13 December 2019, 9:30am-4pm
  • 20 December 2019, 9:30am-4pm

Six Fridays in 2020:

  • 10 January 2020, 9:30am-4pm
  • 17 January 2020, 9:30am-4pm
  • 24 January 2020, 9:30am-4pm
  • 31 January 2020, 9:30am-4pm
  • 7 February 2020, 9:30am-4pm
  • 14 February 2020, 9:30am-4pm

Students will have the opportunity to attend court at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre on other days to see fines & criminal matters listed in court.


How to apply

Applications are to be emailed for the attention of Kate Ottrey at and include the following:

—  Tell us in 150 words why you would like to undertake the volunteer opportunity and how it would benefit you. Include your year level and the expected completion date of your JD.

—  Attach a copy of your resume that includes current contact details.

Applications are due on Sunday 10 November 2019. 


*Students will be required to complete a police history check.