Francis Burt Law Education Programme and Old Court House Museum Advisory

2017/18 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).

During the year under review, more than 10,000 participants received the benefit of programmes and services provided by the Programme. The Cluedunnit Kids competition continued its success in 2018 with joint winners from Peter Moyes Anglican Community and St Lawrence’s Primary School in Geraldton.

382 primary and secondary students and teachers benefitted from the Subsidised Schools Programme thanks to sponsorship from the WA university law faculties. Approximately 100 people attended the 2017 Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture presented by the Hon Robert French AC.

Progress has been made with the Lore Law Project; a long-term Aboriginal youth-led, skills for life approach that acknowledges Aboriginal youth often walk in two worlds. The project involves building and training a strong Aboriginal Youth Leadership Team to facilitate a Human Centred Design process with high risk communities; Stage 1: Five years, Stage 2: 10 years and Stage 3: 10+ years.

The winners of the 2017 Mock Trial Competition were from Chisholm Catholic College; the second year in a row that a team from this school won the Competition. In the 2018 Competition, over 1,300 students from 53 schools in 124 teams participated. The support and assistance of volunteers from the legal profession, who take on the role of either a team coach or a judge, is invaluable to the success of the Competition.

The number of visitors to the Old Court House Law Museum in the reporting period was 6,971, a 28% increase. Temporary exhibitions during the reporting period included John Burdett Wittenoom, The Anatomy of Crime – Cracking the World of Forensics, Kate George: The First Aboriginal Person to Study Law at UWA and The History of the Law Society of WA. Public programmes delivered included My Culture, My Story: Aboriginal Women Leaders in Law, a talk by historian Dr Pamela Statham-Drew on John Burdett Wittenoom and school holiday programmes. The Museum’s Oral Histories Project focused on digitising and standardising the collection in order to make it more accessible.

In December 2017 the Department of Education advised that it would cease its funding of the Francis Burt Law Education Programme and the Mock Trial Competition as at 1 July 2019. The Advisory Committee has commenced a project of strategic planning, in conjunction with other stakeholders, to investigate ways in which funding might be obtained to ensure the continuation of these valuable community services beyond July 2019.

For more information about this committee please email schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au