Film focuses on legal training for Islamic leaders

08 December 2016 By Melissa Coade

A short film has been launched this week, offering a glimpse of an innovative legal program engaging with the leaders of Victoria’s Islamic community.

Imams and women leaders representing Victoria’s various Islamic communities have been given a crash course in Australian civics, family law and legal systems. Run by Victoria University’s Sir Zelman Cowen Centre in Melbourne, it followed a similar initiative for rabbis in 2014.


The innovative program is featured in a special film called Australian Law for Islamic Community Leaders – A Dialogue.

Centre director Professor Kathy Laster said she wanted the film to encourage more legal groups to share their knowledge with the wider community.

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“We hope this film will help other organisations and communities learn from this model of collaboration and help them to undertake projects aimed at assisting vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities,” she said.

The training was supported by the Islamic Council of Victoria and a philanthropic group, the Scanlon Foundation.

The participants are among a range of leaders from Victoria’s multi-faith community who have benefited from programs offered by the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre. A number of its community-facing programs focus on issues of governance and legal training for non-lawyers.

“The success of [this] program is a result of three organisations pursuing the shared goal of implementing culturally sensitive, whole-of-community responses to the unique issues confronting diverse faith-based organisations,” Professor Laster said.

The film was funded by a grant for the national Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week (5 to 11 December 2016) – seven days to showcase and promote the great things community groups and their philanthropic partners are able to achieve together.

Film focuses on legal training for Islamic leaders
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