The Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) and NSW Young Lawyers are delighted to announce the launch of a new project designed to help people seeking asylum who came by boat with the protection visa application process.

The Refugee Assistance Project, developed by the Human Rights Committee of NSW Young Lawyers, is designed to assist a proportion of the 7,000 people in NSW who are requesting asylum and are currently unrepresented with filling in their visa application forms under the Fast Track process.

This project will complement and feed into RACS’ Legal Help for Refugees Clinic which provides statement-taking assistance and pre-lodgment migration advice.

The President of NSW Young Lawyers, Renée Bianchi said “This is something that the team has been hard at work developing for a while now. We are delighted that the project has come to fruition and that we are able to contribute to the important work that RACS does in providing access to justice to people seeking safety”

NSW Young Lawyers is calling for applications for volunteer interviewers and interpreters. “If you are a young lawyer who wants to contribute in a professional capacity and make a real difference to the lives of asylum seekers in NSW, email or follow this link.” Interpreters do not have to be accredited but can be community members who wish to support this project with their language skills.

The Executive Director of RACS, Tanya Jackson-Vaughan, expressed her gratitude to NSW Young Lawyers for their dedication to human rights and access to justice. “RACS is overwhelmed by the support we have received from the Human Rights Committee of NSW Young Lawyers and we congratulate them in the establishment of this important social justice project.”

“The completion of protection visa forms is an essential part of the process of claiming asylum. These forms are dense, legalistic and need to be completed in English. This Refugee Assistance Project gives the people we help a better chance of a successful application” explained Ms. Jackson-Vaughan.

For further comment, please call
Tanya Jackson-Vaughan, Executive Director of RACS – 0417 204 098 And/or
Renée Bianchi, President of NSW Young Lawyers – 02 9335 3050

For a pdf version of the media release, the link Joint Statement RACS and NSW Young Lawyers.