Another lawyer joins Invisible Hurdles team
A NEW family violence lawyer has joined the Invisible Hurdles project in Wangaratta to help provide legal advice to vulnerable young people.
Invisible Hurdles is a health-justice partnership between support services in the North East, such as Hume Riverina Community Legal Service (HRCLS) and North East Support and Action for Youth (NESAY).
Wangaratta’s new Invisible Hurdles lawyer, Andrea Georgiou, said she was particularly excited to work with disadvantaged youth in our rural city.
“I love learning about the language and nature of how young people communicate,” Ms Georgiou told the Wangaratta Chronicle.
“When this position came up, I jumped at the opportunity to work with young people and break down the hurdles they face in accessing legal help.”
Ms Georgiou said one of the challenges about providing free legal advice to young people was finding new ways to explain the law and “demystify the legal system”.
“It’s about changing the language and bringing it down to a level they understand,” she said.
“You don’t want them leaving here more confused than when they walked in, so it’s important to make it accessible.”
NESAY senior practitioner for community engagement, Sue Watts, said drug use was a growing problem among young people.
“Drug use is huge at the minute, and not just in Wangaratta - it’s everywhere,” she said.
“Family violence, domestic violence, unemployment, poor mental health, drugs, you name it, and it’s all linked.
“It’s been awesome having Andrea on board because it’s very difficult for young people to seek the help they need.
“The kids are much more relaxed and they’re able to take in what’s being said, so having that support has been wonderful.”
Ms Georgiou said the government-funded Invisible Hurdles program is due to end in June 2018.
“We’re hoping to find some funding from other sources,” she said.
HELP IS HERE: Wangaratta’s new Invisible Hurdles family violence lawyer, Andrea Georgiou (pictured, from left), provides legal advice to young people with the support of NESAY’s Sue Watts and Joy Ware.