Supporting Victoria’s community sector advocates

We understand that to provide information and advice directly to the residential tenants who contact our service isn’t enough – that working in conjunction with community sector advocates helps provide tangible benefits to the maximum number of tenants possible.

The Tenants Victoria Training Service provides this vital link.

This service aims to ensure that accurate information about residential tenancy laws is accessible to the greatest number of staff and volunteers working in Victoria’s community sector who can, in turn, provide this specialised support to their own clientele.

Tenants Victoria receives funding from Consumer Affairs Victoria to provide training and induction to Tenancy Assistance and Advocacy Program (TAAP) providers and the wider community sector, and funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to provide training to public tenancy advocates.

Training to the wider community sector is accomplished primarily through a series of Community Capacity Training Workshops conducted by our training and legal services staff.

In 2017-18 alone, a total of 19 workshops have been schedule across Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria which focus on a range of topics including VCAT overview and simulation, family violence issues, and tenancy issues in rooming houses and caravan parks.  Feedback from these workshops has been overwhelmingly positive, with more than 70% of respondents giving it the highest possible rating.

Another important function of our Training Service is to provide specialised training, information and resources to a broader reach of communities, with a specific focus on residential tenants from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and indigenous backgrounds.  These tenants often face significant challenges understanding and exercising their rights under the Residential Tenancies Act due to social and financial disadvantage.  We have already developed a number of relationships with community services supporting these vulnerable tenants and are always seeking to build new relationships with other services across the state.

Training Officer, Adrian Campion feels honoured to help community sector organisations provide vital assistance to Victorian tenants.

“As a trainer – whether I’m delivering or watching one of our Legal Services Team members conducting the training – seeing the ‘ah-ha!’ moments where people see how the law can protect tenants and maintain tenancies makes this work so worthwhile,” he says.

Campion also acknowledges the ongoing expertise and support provided by the Tenants Victoria Legal Service, which has been invaluable for the ongoing success of these programs.

“I would particularly like to thank outgoing Senior Lawyer, Hannah Dodd (pictured) for her commitment and endeavours delivering and promoting the training program and – in particular – her amazing work across the state doing the Family Violence Tenancy Trainings over the past two years.”

The second half of this financial year has seen some big changes in the way our Training Service supports the community sector.

Thanks to the ongoing generous support of DHHS, we are currently investigating additional methods of extending our support of public tenant advocates.  This includes conducting a trial run of one-on-one training workshops in the near future.

We also recently launched a brand new resource for community sector advocates called the Tenants Victoria Tenancy Assistance Resource – or TUTAR for short.  This free online tool for advocates provides on-demand written resources and videos on a range of tenancy issues, as well as a forum to seek additional advice and liaise with other community sector advocates across the state.  We look forward to continuing to expand this resource to a wider audience.

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If your organisation would like to find out more about our training programs, please contact Training Officer Adrian Campion on 03 9411 1444 or admin[AT]tuv.org.au.

 

Related links:

Advice: Resources for organisations