Law students in Melbourne’s west will now have a chance to work at the Victoria Legal Aid Sunshine office while they complete their legal studies, thanks to the inaugural Steve Myall Graduate Program

    Regional Managing Lawyer for the Western Suburbs Tamsin Mildenhall says the program was created to acknowledge the contribution Mr Myall made to legal services in Melbourne’s west – “this program will ensure the characteristics that His Honour Steve Myall spent his professional life defending and upholding endure in this region.

    ”His Honour was particularly interested in the professional growth of lawyers who chose, as he had, to spend their professional lives practicing in this area. He was known both within the profession and by those who came before him as compassionate and genuinely interested in social justice,” says Ms Mildenhal.

    The program will provide a student from a disadvantaged background with access to the networks, expertise, real-life work experience, mentoring and training that can open the door to a career in the social justice sector. It’s a great opportunity for “westies” who sometimes lack the cultural capital usually required to gain employment as a lawyer.”

    “At Victoria Legal Aid, we can offer hands-on experience within the areas of criminal, family and civil law based in the Sunshine office, which will assist in developing practical legal skills and knowledge, with exposure to a range of legal aid work.

    “Most importantly, it allows a person from this community to assist disadvantaged people in this community with their legal problems. This concept of “from the community, for the community” aligns with Victoria Legal Aid’s approach to cultural diversity and inclusion,” says Ms Mildenhall.

    His Honour Mr Steve Myall sat as a Magistrate at the Sunshine and Werribee courts for five years. On 14 March 2018 at the end of an unremarkable day hearing cases in the Sunshine Magistrates Court, he took his own life. Prior to being appointed as a Magistrate, His Honour practiced as a criminal lawyer in Melbourne’s west.

    Details on how to apply for the Steve Myall Graduate Program will be available shortly, with applications to open later in 2019.

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