*****IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR ALL HONORARY JUSTICES FROM RVAHJ******

Dear Honorary Justices

This Covid-19 emergency is proving to be very challenging for everybody and so I wanted to give you an update of things as we see them from RVAHJ.  Please be aware that our team is very strongly engaged with the folks at HJSS and Department of Justice & Community Safety and our inputs and recommendations are being well received and acted on where possible.

HJSS advise that they are focusing on two key areas:

  1. Trying to find a way to support Document Signing Centres in a safe way that protects JPs and also the public.  The approach is to set up a small number of special Document Signing Stations at locations which can be managed and controlled.
  2. Looking at ways to support Bail Justices for remote hearings in some form.   This raises many technical and security challenges as well as underlying legislative support issues that all need to be worked through.

It is good to note that the program for the recruitment of 200 new JPs is continuing with a lot of the training moving to online and the reference checks under way.

Our Tuesday Morning Online Coffee Shop chat with the Pres is going well.  We are using Zoom on the computer to have a virtual meeting where everyone can have a discussion and catch up with Paul on the latest Honorary Justice gossip.   Next Tuesday at 10am we are exploring some of the AHPRA requirements as part of the session.  Feel free to join at https://zoom.us/j/480757860 – if you don’t have a computer, you can join in by phone by calling 03 7018 2005 using Meeting ID: 480 757 860#

Our Facebook pages have been getting a lot more attention during this virus crisis.  We have two pages – www.facebook.com/honoraryjustices for everybody and also a special secret page www.facebook.com/groups/306894373364282/ only for RVAHJ members.

I need to remind members that Association membership fees fell due on 1 January 2020.  If you are not yet up to date, please help us all by renewing online at www.rvahj.org.au

We recognise that many, many of our members are in the higher risk categories for this virus and that catching it could lead to very severe consequences indeed.   Thank you for your assistance and co-operation.  We want all our members to remain safe and well and come through this challenge together. (if anyone is sitting at home with spare time and would like to help with some Association administration work, we have huge need to call every member and update their contact details – phone, email etc – let me know if you would like to help with this project)

For those who have chosen to manage your exposure to the risks with appropriate social distancing and protective controls, including many JPs and also BJs, we say “thank you” on behalf of the whole team. Your commitment to the role is exemplary and goes beyond the normal expectation for volunteers. We look forward to recognising your special effort just as soon as we get through this thing together.

For those of you who are still active could you kindly let us know, we can then direct enquiries to you rather than have people calling all over the place looking for a JP, please. Please contact the Elwood office (Cathy) on 9525 7099 or you can send an email to me at pres@rvahj.org.au or call on 0418 885 122. It is important that we have an up to date list of those of you who are in the lower risk category and have chosen to continue to still be active.

On behalf of the whole Association membership and the Board, I would like to thank each Justice of the Peace and Bail Justice for their commitment and understanding – especially our members, and also those who are yet to join.    We are convinced that by working through these tough times with compassion, patience and respect for each other and for our stakeholders and partners, we will become better people and come out the other end in a good place.

Feel free to reach out to me or to any other member of the RVAHJ Board if you have any questions, concerns or if you would just like a chat..  And above all else, stay safe and well.

Yours sincerely,
Paul Mracek JP FRVAHJ
President, RVAHJ

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