Francis Burt Law Education Programme and Old Court House Museum Advisory

2018/19 Annual Report

The Committee has continued to oversee the activities of the Francis Burt Law Education Programme (the Programme), including the Mock Trial Competition (the Competition), and the Old Court House Law Museum (the Museum); and the Law Society’s Education and Community Services.

These valuable services allow the Western Australian community, interstate and international visitors to reflect on the rule of law in Western Australia; its significance, its impact, the freedoms and opportunities that it affords as well as injustices that have taken place, looming threats and concerns. During the year under review, more than 15,000 participants received the benefit of programmes and services provided by the Education and Community Services.

A priority in 2018/2019 was to address the funding shortfall caused by the withdrawal of Department of Education funding for the Francis Burt Education Programme and the Mock Trial Competition from 1 July 2019, whilst ensuring equity of access to the services. Thanks to an increase in Public Purposes Trust funding and forecasted increased income resulting from the Programme and Competition fee increases, the Law Society has been able to continue Education and Community Services resources albeit with a minimal reduction and a reallocation of service delivery over the period. The reallocation of service delivery is anticipated to continue until resources can be increased to meet demand.

2019/20 onwards represents an important transition period for the Education and Community Services in order to maintain, and work towards building, resources and service delivery. The Committee and the Law Society have taken the view that it is time to re-evaluate the Education and Community Services funding model to attract and diversify income sources. Proposals include exploring the establishment of a foundation with Deductible Gift Recipient status, establishing a bequest foundation and a future fund all with defined policies and processes.

The Committee looks forward to working with the Law Society and the profession to ensure the continuation and expansion of its vital services which create a unique and valuable interface between the legal profession, the Court and the community.

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