State Office Update April 2010









Community Legal Centres NSW


State Office Update

April 2010


This is the April 2010 edition of the State Office Update. These Updates come out four times a year. We ask CLC Coordinators and Directors to forward this Update to all staff, and also to your Management Committees, as the information is a useful overview of what the state office of Community Legal Centres NSW (CLCNSW) is currently doing.


For more information on CLCNSW visit:



CLCNSW 2010 state conference: last chance to register!

New-look CLCNSW website

Legal Needs Research and Strategic Planning: Phase 2

Aboriginal Legal Access Program

Advocacy & Human Rights Program

Learning & Development

On The Record March 2010 edition

Upcoming events

State office staff and contact details

CLCNSW 2010 state conference: last chance to register!

Plans are well in place for the CLCNSW 2010 state conference, which is now less than one week away. The program contains a broad range of sessions on a variety of topics, including legal updates, law reform, human rights, community legal education, legal research and partnerships. Highlights include:

RRR day keynote presenter: Dr. Jennifer Nielsen, Head of School of Law & Justice, Southern Cross University

Opening keynote address: Justice Virginia Bell, Justice of the High Court of Australia

Day 3 Keynote presenter: Associate Professor Eileen Baldry, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW

Closing plenary: 4 former CLC workers talking about their experiences in CLCs and how they’ve valued that time in their careers since (including launch of the DVD: Achieving social justice: working in NSW community legal centres).

If you haven’t yet done so, we urge you to register and pay by Friday 30 April.

Conference details:

4 May 2010: RRR and specialist CLC day (free but registration essential)

Sydney Law School, University of Sydney

5 – 6 May 2010: Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour

Further information:

Chloe Wyatt, Conference organiser:


New-look CLCNSW website

The new-look CLCNSW website went ‘live’ in February 2010. The website has sections on CLCs in NSW, CLCNSW programs, news, publications and events. There are also interactive sections such as online conference registration.

Future planned developments include enhancing parts of the existing website, online registrations for CLCNSW learning and development courses and an intranet for CLC workers.

If you haven’t done so, we encourage you to have a look at the website:


Legal Needs Research and Strategic Planning: Phase 2

Phase 2 of the CLCNSW Legal Needs Research and Strategic Planning is well underway, with four CLCs participating in this project: Elizabeth Evatt CLC, Inner City LC, Marrickville LC and North & Northwest LS.

CLCNSW, in conjunction with Judith Stubbs & Associates, is assisting these four CLCs to undertake data analysis of their CLC’s legal needs and to subsequently develop strategic plans based on the findings of the analysis.

The project will be completed by 30 June 2010. Outcomes will include a report and a re-developed planning toolkit that will be made available to the sector for their strategic planning needs.

Further information:

Alastair McEwin, email:


Aboriginal Legal Access Program

For this financial year, 2009/10, the Public Purpose Fund provided half of its 2008/09 funding for the Aboriginal Legal Access Program (ALAP). This resulted in CLCNSW offering reduced funding through its grants program and reduced sector development activities.

Grants have been made to the following CLCs:

To deliver services including outreach programs, Community Legal Education (CLE), casework and community development for local Aboriginal communities.

To undertake family violence work, engage in community consultations, legal advice and CLE outreaches, and develop improved service delivery strategies for local Aboriginal communities.

To support Aboriginal women and their children in accessing their legal, social and cultural rights free of sexual abuse and violence.

To focus on improving the delivery of environmental law services to Aboriginal people in NSW.

To target the needs of Aboriginal clients with a credit and debt focus.

To facilitate a consultation process to develop appropriate legal service delivery model for local Indigenous People and provide legal advice and community legal education to Indigenous people in the Macarthur region.

To provide education to local Aboriginal communities about legal issues relevant to both violence prevention and redress for victims.

ALAP is funded until 30 June 2010. CLCNSW, in conjunction with Legal Aid NSW, is currently reviewing the management and framework of the ALAP, with the view to establishing a revised program from July 2010 onwards.

Further information:

Alastair McEwin, email:


Advocacy & Human Rights Program

Police accountability

The major CLCNSW campaign this year is on police accountability. A set of recommendations to increase community confidence in the police complaints system is near completion. Thank you to the CLCs involved in this project to date. CLCNSW would like to hear from other CLCs, so please contact the Advocacy & Human Rights Officer, Roxana Zulfacar, if you have experience of lodging complaints on behalf of clients, and/or observations about why clients do not lodge complaints.

Other CLCNSW activities

Other recent CLCNSW activities have included a submission to the Inquiry into Scrutiny of Bills, contributing to the NSW Greens policy on Police & Criminal Justice, and endorsing the Youth Justice Coalition’s Bail Me Out report.

Looking forward, the Discussion Paper for the federal Family Violence Inquiry (Australian Law Reform Commission & NSW Law Reform Commission) is due out very soon. Please consider whether your centre will make an individual submission, or would like to contribute to a CLCNSW submission. A Discussion Paper will be circulated when it is available.

Law reform and human rights sessions at state conference

There are some very interesting law reform and human rights sessions on the program for the CLCNSW State Conference. We look forward to seeing you there.

Law Reform & Policy Committee

The Law Reform & Policy Committee continues to meet at the Quarterlies (next one in August 2010), and we welcome Emma Golledge (Kingsford Legal Centre) as the new co-convenor of the committee, along with Natasha Case (CLCNSW board representative).

Further information:

Roxana Zulfacar, email:


Learning & Development

It has been a very busy time for the Learning and Development Program with many new initiatives and L&D opportunities.

In general, the program has been working on many different projects including the 2nd edition of the Induction Kit for CLCs in NSW, a CLC specific Practice Management Course with the College of Law, and scoping a Mentoring Project for CLCs. It has convened the Training Reference Group in March, which comprises of community and government sector L&D representatives; represented CLCNSW at the Legal Information and Referral Forum in March; and undertaken planning for the NSW State Conference (4 – 6 May).

Apart from organising the L&D opportunities at the November and February Quarterlies, there have been other L&D opportunities such as the Legal training days in November 2009 and March 2010 and the Management training day in February 2010.

The program is also currently planning the L&D opportunities for the August Quarterlies and legal and management training days as well as face-to-face CLSIS training following the August Quarterlies.

Legal training days, November 2009 and March 2010

After the success of the pilot Legal training day in May 2009, we ran another Legal training day in November 2009 covering the new mandatory training (MCLE) areas for all solicitors as well as two sessions on highly requested areas of law being Criminal Law and Employment Law. The areas covered are based on the results of the Legal Training Needs Analysis, which was conducted over September - October 2009.

The State Office was overwhelmed by the response of participants for the day with over 75 people attending and many more on a waiting list.

This prompted a repeat of the MCLE sessions in March 2010, which included a session on the Mandatory 176 course and a session on Apprehended Violence Orders. This day was again popular with up to 60 people attending. Many thanks to Henry Davis York for hosting the day and for their delicious catering.

We can safely say that a Legal training day is a popular way to deliver Legal Training especially in the MCLE areas and the Learning and Development Program will be committed to organising at least two such days per year.

Management training day, February 2010

A pilot Management training day took place in February after the Quarterlies with the topic of 'Governance from the point of view of Directors / Coordinators'. As many CLCs have undertaken Governance training for their Management Committees / Boards, it was an opportunity to look at the Coordinator's / Director's responsibilities and issues in terms of Governance.

Despite a few hiccups and lessons learnt it was still a success and the L&D Program will endeavour to continue this opportunity for Coordinators / Directors on a twice-yearly basis.

OH&S Training

There will be an Occupational Health and Safety Consultation course running in June (date to be confirmed). OHS Consultation training is a 4-day mandatory course and is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that their OHS representative is OHS certified. Expressions of interest have already been noted, however if you still wish to send your staff OHS representative to the course, please contact CLCNSW or 9212 7333

Learning and Development Subcommittee:

We have a full team of L&D subcommittee members consisting of Amanda Smithers (CLCNSW Board member and Coordinator, Illawarra Legal Centre), Dan Stubbs (Coordinator, Inner City Legal Centre), Alastair McEwin, (Director, CLCNSW) and Joanna Mantziaris (L&D program, CLCNSW).

The committee has been looking at the current L&D Program and its future directions. In light of the program's funding ending in June 2011, an evaluation process will soon begin and future direction recommendations made with the committee's input in the application for refunding.

The committee also assesses applications and selects the participants for the Diploma in Management course in which CLCs are offered 2 free places by Legal Aid NSW.

Further information:

Contact CLCNSW or 9212 7333


On The Record March 2010 edition

In March 2010, the 10th edition of On the Record (OTR) was sent out to subscribers. If you haven’t read this edition you can link to it from the CLCNSW website:

Please email stories and reports about developments in your centre to Alastair McEwin at the State Office on email and these will be included in the next edition of OTR.

Please also direct interested people to our website to subscribe to OTR, or send email addresses to Julian Laurens to add to the database.

Upcoming events

Following are 2010 dates for key CLCNSW and sector events.

Please let the State Office know if there are other dates for other meetings or events and we will include this in the Events calendar on the CLCNSW website.

4 – 6 May 2010

CLCNSW State conference

RRR & specialist CLC day: Sydney Law School, University of Sydney

Open days: Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour

16 – 17 August 2010


CLCNSW Quarterlies

Marque Hotel, 803 George Street (corner Quay St), Central

24 – 27 October 2010

NACLC National Conference


29 – 30 November 2010

CLCNSW Quarterlies (including AGM and end-of-year drinks on 30 November)

Marque Hotel, 803 George Street (corner Quay St), Central






State office staff and contact details


The current staff at the State Office are:

Alastair McEwin, Director

Julian Laurens, Administrator

Roxana Zulfacar, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer

Norico Allen, Finance Officer

Joanna Mantziaris, Learning and Development Coordinator


CLCNSW is the peak body for CLCs in NSW. It is resourced by a small State Office which is funded by the NSW Government and Public Purpose Fund. CLCNSW has 39 member organisations including generalist and specialist community legal centres.

The State Office is located at:

C17/ 99 Jones St

Ultimo NSW 2007

Ph: (02) 9212 7333

Fax: (02) 9212 7332






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