Chapter 4. Obtaining assistance from non-legal, advocacy and complaint-handling bodies
4.1 This chapter explores the issues of accessing assistance from non-legal advocacy and support, which were identified through the consultation process, as well as issues relating to government and industry-based complaint bodies. It considers barriers for disadvantaged people, mechanisms and innovations which enhance access, and suggested solutions to further enhance the accessibility of these advocacy and support options.
4.2 For the purposes of this project, non-legal advocacy and support, and complaint-handling bodies includes:
- at the most informal level, assistance from family members, friends and acquaintances
- general support, including assistance or referral in relation to a legal problem from community workers such as social workers, welfare workers, health workers, libraries, financial counsellors, psychological counsellors and other community workers
- community based mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services
- non-legal advice and assistance provided by government authorities or institutions (e.g. police), non-government organisations and professional associations
- government and industry-based complaint bodies including State and Commonwealth Ombudsman’s offices, and bodies such as the Australian Industry Banking Ombudsman, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and the Insurance Complaints Scheme.1