Staff members of the Philippine consulate general in Sydney underwent a seminar on Australia’s Family Law so they can better handle cases of violence against women and children in the Filipino community in New South Wales.
Filipino-Australian solicitor Atty. Virginia Odtojan conducted the seminar, which also touched on the topics of domestic violence and child support assessment.
“Atty. Odtojan has over a decade of legal practice specializing in family, immigration and commercial law. She gave an overview of relevant Australian legislation addressing domestic violence particularly Family Law. She also discussed the definition of domestic violence and that it may be inflicted in various forms such as physically, sexually, emotionally, socially or financially,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
The seminar was part of the Consulate’s Personnel Development Program to improve the delivery of consular services and assistance to Filipinos in distress.
Consul General Anne Louis said the information from the seminar can be useful to Filipino women who may be in domestic violence situations but are afraid to seek help.
During the seminar, Odtojan pointed out Australian law prioritizes the immediate safety and well-being of the individual, making it important to get victims of domestic violence out of harm’s way.
She also informed the embassy staff on the services that agencies in New South Wales can give victims of domestic violence.
These may include financial assistance, housing, counselling and compensation for damages.
Louis thanked Odtojan for her insights, adding the consulate will disseminate the information to the Filipino community organizations and groups in New South Wales.
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