Category Archives: Radio

CLCs band together to #unlockthelaw


Have you always wondered what to do if you got tangled up in a dispute over an unpaid bill? Or perhaps you got into a bit of a fight and now you’re facing charges? But what happens if you’re not eligible for Legal Aid, and you don’t have the money for a lawyer?
Every year, thousands of Australians seek the legal advice and help from community legal centres all around Australia. And it’s no different in Sydney, where there are at least ten different types of community legal centres in the city centre alone, ranging from generalist claims to consumer credit and even to intellectual disability representation. But now in the wake of $43 million cuts to community legal centres announced by the Federal Government late last year, these community legal centres are starting to wonder if they’re going to start turning away more and more clients.
Today is the National Day of Action for Community Legal Centres, and reporter Rachel Worsley sat down with some of our city’s busiest community legal centres to discuss their future.

Broadcast 3 April 2014.

Knowledge is Independence, not Power


What happens when you suffer a spinal cord injury? What are the treatments out there? And what are the services that will help you navigate your injury from the moment you leave the hospital?

These are the questions that are raised in this year’s Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, or SCIA, Independence Expo, held last weekend at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh. This year, the expo received more attention due to the high-profile coverage of the devastating spinal cord injury to NRL Newcastle Knights player, Alex McKinnon.

Rachel Worsley reports.


Broadcast 10 April 2014.

CLCs galvanised into action to #unlockthelaw

For many people in our society, community legal centres function as a symbol of access to justice, the rule of law, community development and the defender of individual human rights. But now their role in the community is under threat with proposed $43 million dollar cuts from the Federal Government announced late last year.

That’s stung the national community law sector into response. They launched a National Day of Action for Community Legal Centres in early April this year, promising to uphold their commitment to “unlock the law” for the large numbers of people who cannot afford legal representation, but do not qualify for Legal Aid.

Rachel Worsley reports.

Photo Credit: Clyde Robinson/flickr

Note: This is the national version of a story I did for Razors Edge earlier, which focused on Sydney-based CLCs rather than rural or other states.

Legally Student: Lachlan Daly


Welcome to this special edition of Legally Student, where we speak to law students working at community legal centres. This is to tie into the National Day of Action for Community Legal Centres that was held on 3rd April 2014.
Lachlan Daly is a fifth year law student at Macquarie University looking to blaze a social justice path in his legal career. He’s volunteering one day a week at the Welfare Rights Centre based in Surry Hills, with only 8 full-time staff and 1-2 student volunteers per shift. And he’s the first point of contact when people call up with legal issues, where he summarises their case and passes it on to the relevant caseworker.

Rachel Worsley asked Lachlan what it was like to be on the frontline of a community legal centre, and why community legal services remain as important as ever.

Legally Student: Jenny Tridgell


There’s no doubting that third year Macquarie University law and politics student Jenny Tridgell has social justice in her blood. In her second year she was part of the executive for Macquarie University Students for Community Legal Engagement, otherwise known as MUSCLE. This year she is the Social Justice Director at the Macquarie University Law Society. Over her time in law school, she has planned many social justice events including panels featuring social justice lawyers and hopes to one day hold a Social Justice Careers Fair to better promote careers in the law outside of the traditional commercial law path.

She spoke with Rachel Worsley at her home turf, Macquarie University.

Broadcast on 16 April 2014.

Legally Student: Alix Piatek


Law and journalism often make good company, but few can imagine the path of one particular law student who has embodied every facet of that delicate balance between the two disciplines. Alix Piatek is in her final year of a law/journalism degree, and has worked as a barrister’s assistant, a political fact-checker, a writer for legal publication Justinian and now a producer on SBS’s talk show Insight. She talks to Rachel Worsley about how she straddles the divide.


Music: Prelude No.15 by Frederic Chopin.

Inner West Light Rail extension ignores cyclists and commuters with disabilities


It’s been debated, put on hold, built and now finally opened to the public. The Dulwich Hill light rail extension from Lilyfield was finally open today, with the first tram service running at 6am. It’s been hailed as a victory for public transport after years of wrangling over building this tram line.


The Liberal O’Farrell Government is happily taking all the credit for completing this public transport project that will benefit inner west commuters for years to come.


But not everyone is happy about the way the project has been planned and executed. Inner west commuters may be the real beneficiaries, but what about cyclists and commuters with disabilities or mobility restrictions who have been left out of the equation?

Rachel Worsley rode the tram this morning and brings you this report.


Picture credit: Rachel Worsley

John Mateer on ‘Unbelievers, or The Moor’

Poetry has the power to take us to imaginary places, but often those rooted in the geography and history of past civilisations. And that’s what South-African born Australian poet John Mateer aims to achieve in his latest collection of poetry called Unbelievers, or The Moor. This collection aims to trace the influential but invisible histories of the Moorish state Al-Andalus, where the present day Spain and Portugal lie.

But there’s no mistaking the politics of apartheid, or the war on terror that has torn apart the Islamic and Western worlds. Nor can you mistake the startling similarities between Mateer’s adopted home of Western Australia and his ancestors’ hometown of Cape Town, South Africa. By drawing together these histories in parallel, Mateer succeeds in asking us: just how do the histories of civilisations survive the information age?

Here, in conversation with Rachel Worsley, he begins a reading of one of his poems from the collection.