Seeing the joy on a clients face – being a JP

Monday, 30 October 2023 at 11:45 pm
Asher Kuhn

Asher Kuhn’s motivation to be a justice of the peace (JP) is simple, he finds it rewarding.

Mr Kuhn was appointed a JP in October 2022. Originating in a country town with a population 3000 in Western Victoria, he has always understood the value of community service. His grandfather was a long-serving JP in regional New South Wales, which influenced him to follow in his footsteps.

Mr Kuhn recognises his JP role is about community and giving back and while everyone’s circumstances differ, he strongly feels every JP should have a community focused mindset with respect to conducting their volunteer duties.

“The best part about offering JP services in my community and surrounds, is the joy on a client’s face when you confirm you will be able to assist them,” Mr Kuhn said.

“With people often coming to you for matters that they may find quite distressing or hard to deal with, being able to offer a calm safe environment to assist them always beings about a sense of relief and thankfulness, which is often a kind reprieve from what they may be going through.

“From a simple certified copy to a lengthy and urgent Power of Attorney, what you will be asked to do can vary but it is knowing that almost everyone you assist is genuinely grateful, is more than enough.”

At just 22, Mr Kuhn feels it is important to show that being a JP is not about age or experience, but about being well intentioned, mature and community minded.

“While the role of a JP is often associated with people of a retirement age, I would strongly encourage younger people to apply for volunteer roles within their community, especially honorary justice roles,” he added.

“Whether 18 or 68, all that matters is a willingness to give your time, a positive community-first mindset, and a sense of maturity. In less than a year of being a JP, it has been a pleasure to meet so many likeminded individuals, willing to give up their time to serve their community.

“I hope I can go forward and continue the good work of the honorary justices in Victoria and be an inspiration to even just one young person looking to see what they can offer.”

Mr Kuhn is proud about his humble beginnings, having worked at his local supermarket since he was 15, he most recently held the role of Assistant Store Manager, only leaving in the last months to pursue a career in law enforcement.

“Through my supermarket role I have had endless opportunities to connect with the community through various networking opportunities, I also offered JP services through the supermarket as it is a central hub in the town,” he added.

“Working in a supermarket opens you to the world of customer service and community engagement; after seven years you build a rapport with the local community. I think a retail role is a great experience for anyone who enjoys engaging with people there are endless opportunities for growth."

Mr Kuhn is now set to begin training in a new role. He anticipates this adventure will bring a new set of challenges and adds he will continue to serve in a JP role simultaneously with his new job.