The Indian crescent society of Australia (ICSOA) organised free Legal Forum for the community on Saturday 16 September 2017 in cooperation with Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) in Parramatta NSW.

The event was organised to promote awareness, impart knowledge and to clarify day to day legal issues faced by community and was attended by people of Indian origin from different states, including representatives and office bearers of various community organisations and people associated with the CMRC.

The speakers at the event included Mr Mark Fozzard Criminal Barrister, Mr Marc Pericaud Solicitor, SGT Jason Russel Police Local Area Command, MCLO Ms Rachna Malik and Ms Rosemary.  The Guests of Honour, Hon Julie Owens, Federal Member and Hon Dr Geoff Lee, State Member also graced the occasion.

The program started with the recitation of Quran by Aleena Jafar. Dr Fasihuddin Khan, Secretary of ICSOA welcomed all guests attending the event and gave a brief overview of the purpose of Legal Forum, its relevance, benefit and importance.

Mr Abbas Raza Alvi, President of the Indian Crescent Society of Australia, welcomed everyone with a formal acknowledgement of traditional owners of the land and provided an update of ICSOA activities, mission, objectives and future goals.

Mr Alvi extended his thanks and gratitude to Mr Narayan Dhimal of CRMC for providing an opportunity to organise the program at their venue and acknowledged all volunteers and specially Mr Syed Jafar, ICSOA IT Coordinator, for volunteering to do photography for the event.

Mr Narayan Dhimal from CMRC, welcomed the guests, audiences and explained the services provided by CMRC. Mr Siddique Panwala, ICSOA Legal Coordinator, welcomed speakers, guests and attendees for accepting the invitation and coming over to address the members of community.

Mr Mark Fozzard, The Criminal Barrister and Mr Marc Pericaud, spoke about Domestic Violence, Local Court Appearance, Citizens Rights and how to protect and defend them.  He highlighted the rights of being silent during arrest, while at police station and while questions posed by an officer.  He said that Citizens can maintain their silence as long as they like or until they talked to their solicitor.  Keeping silence cannot be considered as an acceptance of guilt.

Sergeant Jason Russell, spoke in detail about policing, customer service and dealing with day to day hurdles while policing.  He highlighted that maintaining customer service is important and paramount while on duty. It is the duty of Police Officers to treat every citizen humanely, with dignity and respect.

He further added that to minimize trouble and hardship, Citizens should cooperate with law enforcement agencies honestly, and by saying truth. When asked to stop by a police officer while driving, try to stop immediately and be seated and wait for a police office to attend.  Never get out of the car unless requested to do so.

Multicultural Liaison Officer Ms Rachna Malik and Ms Rosemary also spoke briefly about the police perception among migrant community.  Ms Malik e said that there was a wide gap and difference in policing here in Australia compared to most of the third world countries. She informed that police are here to help, cooperate and maintain peace, harmony, safer environment and neighbourhood safety.

Hon Julie Owens, thanked the organisers and praised the efficiency and dedication of police force in maintaining law and order. She presented a Plaque to Sergeant Jason Russel and to Mr Narayan Dhimal along with Mr Siddique Panwala, Mr Alvi and Dr Fasih Khan.

The audience posed questions regarding day to day policing, parking, traffic and domestic violence.  Questions were also asked regarding elders abuse.

Sergeant Jason emphasised that whenever you see any trouble in your neighbourhood, street or surroundings, please inform police and never involve yourself. He said the best way to cooperate with police is to tell the truth and honestly give details regarding the incident.

The program was concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr Abbas Chelat, Treasure of ICSOA. Acknowledgement ere extended to the volunteers for help in organising the event, Mannan, Majid, Vaseem, Jawwad, Aleena, Zaara, Abid and Affan.