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Strategic Plan


 

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Vision

Access to justice for all in a fair and inclusive community.

Purpose

CLCNSW leads and supports Community Legal Centres to deliver access to quality legal services and champion social justice.

Values

CLCNSW is committed to:

History

The first Community Legal Centre in NSW openedin Redfern in 1977, two years after lawyers, volunteers, academics, social workers and community activists identified a need for accessible community legal services at the Comunity Control of Legal Services Conference.

Since Redfern Legal Centre began - delivering a model for community legal access and services - CLCs are now operating throughout NSW offering legal advice and assistance to urban, regional, rural and remote people and communities. In 2014-2015, CLCs in NSW provided advice to 58,428 clients and delivered 74,754 advices.

 


 

Our priority areas

CLCNSW has five Priority Areas

Priority Area 1: Highlight access to justice

Priority Area 2: Advocate for social justice

Priority Area 3: Promote the value of Community Legal Centres

Priority Area 4: Strengthen the organisational capacity of Community Legal Centres in NSW

Priority Area 5: Strengthen Community Legal Centres NSW Inc.


 

Priority Area 1: Highlight access to justice

Increased awareness of, and strategic responses to, access to justice.

We will:

  • Collaborate with CLCs and our community and legal assistance sector partners to identify and work on issues of access to justice, including research into unmet legal needs and emerging trends.
  • Promote the outcomes of research into unmet legal needs.

To achieve this we will:

  • Develop collaborations with key legal and community stakeholders.
  • Create partnerships between CLCs and universities and research centres to identify and understand unmet legal need.
  • Communicate the benefits of Justice Reinvestment and its relationship with CLC activities.
  • Apply research knowledge for projects that contribute to law reform and policy discussion.

 

Priority Area 2: Advocate for social justice

Advocate for law reform that delivers social justice for Community Legal Centre clients.

We will:

  • Undertake and collaborate on specific sector-identified campaigns on law reform and policy.
  • Respond to law reform issues of significant injustice for local communities of need, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Position ourselves strategically to ensure the community legal sector’s views are included in law reform and policy processes.
  • Increase awareness amongst all CLC staff and management of the importance and value of systemic advocacy by CLCs to their clients.

To achieve this we will:

  • Prioritise sector-wide law reform areas, especially in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • communities.
  • Coordinate consultation by, and with, CLCs and their clients, for timely contribution to policy discussions.
  • Assist individual CLCs to develop law reformprojects.
  • Advocate for social justice through participation in key legal and other law reform forums.
  • Ensure all CLCs access up to date information and training on law reform in NSW.

 

Priority Area 3: Promote the value of Community Legal Centres

Increased political and societal awareness and recognition of Community Legal Centres as unique and valuable contributors to the justice system.

We will:

  • Promote and strenthen awareness of CLCs to stakeholders, funding bodies and the broader community through events, publications, media and online activities.
  • Be a leading public commentator on the value and contribution of CLCs to the justice system in the media and to decision-makers.

To achieve this we will:

  • Use our online and social media presence to highlight how CLCs assist clients to access justice.
  • Sponsor the Community Legal Centres NSW award at the annual NSW Justice Awards.
  • Engage directly with law students (under- and post-graduate) at careers events and expos.
  • Promote CLCNSW resources including publications and member directory.
  • Develop proactive media relations for greater awareness of the role of CLCs in access to justice issues.
  • Assist CLCs to promote their local projects and activities.

 

Priority Area 4: Strengthen the organisational capacity of Community Legal Centres in NSW

Increased capacity for Community Legal Centres to grow and deliver services.

We will:

  • Advocate for additional funding for CLCs to address unmet legal needs.
  • Assist CLCs to diversify funding sources and identify cost savings.
  • Investigate alternative organisational models for CLCs.
  • Work with CLCs to continually improve the viability and quality of their services to clients and the community, including through the National Accreditation Scheme.
  • Provide professional development opportunities based on sector-identified needs for CLCs.

To achieve this we will:

  • Outline the value of CLCs in addressing unmet legal needs.
  • Assist CLCs to identify and access diverse funding sources.
  • Provide information to CLCs on alternative organisational models to improve their financial sustainability.
  • Support CLCs to maintain certification under the National Accreditation Scheme.
  • Assist CLCs to improve the way they work with Aboriginal communities.
  • Maintain regular contact and communications with all CLCs.
  • Deliver professional development opportunities, including remote access.
  • Deliver a mentoring program specific to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander CLC staff.
  • Provide induction for all new staff and volunteers in CLCs.
  • Seek pro bono assistance with CLCNSW’s professional development program.

 

Priority Area 5: Strengthen Community Legal Centres NSW Inc.

A strong peak body assisting Community Legal Centres to deliver access to justice.

We will:

  • Review governance and operations to ensure effective delivery of the strategic plan.
  • Strengthen our membership and supporter base.
  • Ensure the State Office of CLCNSW can efficiently and effectively deliver services to members to improve their operations and sustainability.

To achieve this we will:

  • Improve service delivery by the State Office.
  • Initiate ways for organisations and individuals to become supporters of CLCNSW.
  • Diversify CLCNSW’s funding sources.
  • Create more volunteer opportunities at the CLCNSW State Office.

 

Consultation to develop this strategic plan

The 2015–18 strategic plan was a result of consultation with the CLC and justice sector stakeholders from February to June 2015. CLCNSW undertook a range of activities to seek feedback and ideas for this strategic plan, including:

Implementation and reporting of the strategic plan

This strategic plan covers the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2018. It aims not only to capitalise on CLCNSW’s strengths, but also to take advantage of opportunities through the introduction of new initiatives in response to our members’ needs, as well as those of the wider NSW justice sector. CLCNSW is committed to continuous improvement of all aspects of its operations, including its strategic planning process.

Implementation

Detailed and shorter-term strategies and actions, based on the five Priority Areas within this plan, are developed every year into a State Office annual workplan. Individual staff members have actions relating to their specific areas of responsibility.

Reporting

Six-monthly reports against the plan are provided in written form to the Board and the funding manager, Legal Aid NSW. Regular reports on significant actions in the State Office annual workplan are also provided to the Board and sector. The CLCNSW Annual Reports also provide a report of achievements under the plan.

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