CALL TO ARMS: Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices Sunraysia branch deputy chair, Jenny Bennett, and signing centre co-ordinator, Trevor Aust, are leading a local charge to encourage more people to become Justice of the Peace volunteers.

By MADISON EASTMOND

MEMBERS of the Sunraysia Branch of the Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices (RVAHJ) are keen to raise awareness about the services they provide.

Members are available five afternoons a week at the Mildura Police Station – the group’s home for the past decade.

The RVAHJ is a volunteer-run organisation, with members offering their services free-of-charge. This includes certifying ‘true copies’ of an original document, assisting with the execution of a document, witnessing an affidavit for use in court, or helping with any number of documents like a power of attorney, a medical Treatment Decision Maker or a Statutory Declaration.

“What we really want the public to know is that our services are free,” RVAHJ Sunraysia branch deputy chair, Jenny Bennett, said.

“Other people, such as dentists and pharmacists, may also offer this service but they often charge – and they aren’t always able to attest to all documents that we are able to.”

Jenny said acting as a JP was something she found very rewarding. 

“I’ve been volunteering  for 20 years,” she said. “I think that we do this to give back to this wonderful community.

“I find it so rewarding to do what we do, and it’s the perfect way to help our local community.”

Over the past 10 years, 36 Justices of the Peace volunteers have sat in at the signing centre at the Mildura Police Station.

Today, the local branch boasts 15 volunteers with RVAHJ Sunraysia branch signing centre co-ordinator, Trevor Aust, saying the group was always looking for new members. 

“This is an extremely rewarding position. I have been volunteering for 25 years, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough,” he said.

“If anyone is interested in joining, I would strongly advise them to get in contact with the Victorian Department of Justice.”

For more information about how to become a Justice of the Peace visit www.justice.vic.gov.au.