IWD Leaders of MLC are #EachforEqual
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EachForEqual. MLC is celebrating the inspirational leaders who promote this value everyday by assisting women and other vulnerable groups who may be exploited in the workplace, escaping domestic violence, or locked out of affordable housing. These are some of the dynamic characters who are progressing gender equality through their work, while advancing access to #JusticeForUsAll.
Loren Katafono (pictured top-left) is MLC’s Domestic and Family Violence Worker. Loren’s job complements the legal and advocacy services within MLC by providing non-legal/social support to people who are experiencing domestic and family violence. The Domestic & Family Violence Support Service assists survivors with safety planning, risk assessments, referrals and applications for appropriate supports and promotes the rights and entitlements of survivors. Loren comes from a professional background in legal administration and completed social work internships at breakthru and Northern Sydney Sexual Assault Service. Loren was drawn to MLC for its commitment to social justice and proactive community involvement, and enjoys engaging with the team at MLC and local services who do invaluable work.
“Domestic and family violence has become a prominent social issue in the public sphere and, whilst it can touch many people from various backgrounds, women are 6 times more likely to be a victim of this abuse and offenders are overwhelmingly men they know. It is part of my role to work with women and unravel how male privilege is often one of the number of power and control tactics they used to silence survivors. One of the rewards of my job is seeing women who have the support, knowledge and confidence they need to not only escape domestic and family violence but to lead their lives on their own terms. MLC are also in the development stages of creating and delivering the ‘Savvy Finance Program’ which is an educational workshop which endeavours to reach women and girls in the Greater Sydney region to feel more empowered to make informed, independent financial decisions.”
Anastasia Kalos (pictured top-left) is a solicitor at MLC. Anastasia’s priority area is family law, as well as running MLC’s Health Justice Partnership (HJP) at Canterbury drug and alcohol unit. The HJP deals with matters such as criminal, family law and child protection. Prior to her career in law Anastasia worked in publishing, hospitality and nursing before going back to study in 2009 where she studied Science, Psychology, English and eventually a Juris Doctor in 2013. Once admitted Anastasia began working in the community legal sector to help people who have difficulty accessing legal assistance.
“With family law I get referrals from FRCs and my work overlaps with [MLC’s Domestic and Family Violence Support Service]. The work we do there helps women experiencing adversity through domestic violence or financial trouble. We provide a holistic approach to isolate issues and give people information so they don’t feel alone. Where we are unable to assist we will always make the appropriate referrals. We’re flexible about the provision of advice. We’ll work around what suits the client, providing women with as many resources as they can use to resolve their problem or to seek mitigation around the issue until they’re in the clear. This might include safety plans, consulting with LegalAid, or even calling police on the behalf of women whose safety may be at risk. Women who see me at our HJP clinic are already vulnerable, and often have issues that are family or child protection related. We apply for grants on behalf of clients for representation, so they’re not daunted by mountains of paperwork themselves when they’re already feeling traumatised. The work we do doesn’t solve the problem overnight. However it does give assurance to vulnerable women that there is a way forward.”