CLCNSW February 2020 Quarterly


The Community Legal Centres NSW Quarterlies are two-day community legal centre sector network and training opportunities held in Sydney four times a year. 

Dates and registration

Scroll down for the full program.

Venue for the Quarterly (Days 2 and 3): UTS Building 5B - 1-59 Quay St, Ultimo


Day 1 | Monday, 24 February 2020

Yarn Up

For community legal centre Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff only to meet and discuss key policy and practice issues.

Monday, 24 February 2020 

Gilbert + Tobin
Level 35, Tower Two, International Towers
200 Barangaroo NSW 2000

Convenor: Zachary Armytage, Community Legal Centres NSW

Register here.



Day 2 | Tuesday, 25 February 2020

1. Opening Plenary: What does it mean to be a community-based organisation in 2020?

Community legal centres argue that one of the factors making our services so distinctive, and so valuable, is that we are embedded within local communities. We say this means we’re responsive to the needs and expectations of our constituencies. The inference is that our memberships and boards reflect the communities we serve, and that our work is informed and guided by community.

But it can be hard to focus on connection with community as service demands increase and funders require more and more reporting on what can be easily counted.

If asked to explain how we’re community-based in 2020, what would we say and how confidently would we say it? What long-term strategies can/should centres implement to demonstrate a truly community-based approach?

Speakers: Dr John Rule (Senior Research Manager, National Association of People With HIV Australia) and community legal centre panellists (these are to be announced).

Facilitator: Arlia Fleming (Managing Principal Solicitor, Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre and Chair, Community Legal Centres NSW)

2.1 Network Meeting

Aboriginal Legal Access Program and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Rights Working Group

Convenor: Zac Armytage (ALAP Coordinator, Community Legal Centres NSW)

This network supports community legal centres operating Aboriginal Legal Access type programs by sharing experience and knowledge.

2.2 Network Meeting

Employment & Discrimination Law Network: 

Co-convenors: Sharmilla Bargon (Solicitor, Redfern Legal Centre), Stanley Tao (Solicitor North & NorthWest Community Legal Centre), Vasili Maroulis (Managing Principal Solicitor, Marrickville Community Legal Centre)

Presenter: Simon Rice (Chairperson, Welfare Rights Centre)

Employment lawyers share experience and updates in employment law practice. Simon Rice will be providing an update on discrimination law.

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law

2.3 Network Meeting

Domestic Violence & Victims Compensation Network

Convenor: Karen Mifsud (Solicitor, Women’s Legal Service NSW)

Solicitors working with Domestic Violence and victims compensation share experience and update on legal issues affecting victims of Domestic Violence.

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law

2.4 Network Meeting

Coordinators & Directors Network

Co-convenors: Arlia Fleming (Managing Principal Solicitor, Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre; Chair, CLCNSW Board) and Robert Pelletier (Executive Officer, Macarthur Legal Centre; member of CLCNSW Board)

Coordinators & Directors discuss key policy positions.

3.1 Network Meeting

Prisoners’ Rights Working Group

Convenors: Carolyn Jones (Senior Solicitor, Women’s Legal Service NSW).

For staff of community legal centres working with prisoners or interested in advocacy for prisoners rights share experience and knowledge.

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law

3.2 Legal Practice Issues

CLCs & Environmental Challenges

3.3 Network Meeting

Coordinators & Directors Network

Guest: Mia Zahra, Program Manager, Community Legal Program Legal Aid NSW

Facilitator: Arlia Fleming (Managing Principal Solicitor, Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre) and Robert Pelletier (Executive Officer, Macarthur Legal Centre)

This is the follow-up session from the previous network meeting. Legal Aid NSW will provide an update of key issues.

3.4 Network Meeting

Admin/Finance Group

Facilitator: Kerrith Sowden (Finance and Operations Manager, RACS)

Community legal centre administration and finance officers share relevant systems information and associated policies.

4.1 Network Meeting

CLC Care & Protection Network

Co-convenors: Kenn Clift (Solicitor, Parents with an Intellectual Disability, Intellectual Disability Rights Service) and Sym'mon Andrews, Solicitor, Central Coast Community Legal Centre.

The Care and Protection network provides an opportunity for community legal centres to discuss relevant care and protection practice and law reform issues. This session will also enable discussion of key focus areas for 2020.

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law 

4.2 Network Meeting

Communications Network — Social Media and the CLC Sector: Current state-of-play and moderating the risk

Convenor: Finn O’Keefe (Communications and Volunteer Manager, Redfern Legal Centre)

Facilitator: Darren Smith (Communications Officer, Community Legal Centres NSW)

Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram are now established tools used by community legal centres to engage with their communities, promote their services, and campaign on law reform issues. Based on a recent review conducted by Community Legal Centres NSW, the first part of this session will present a snapshot of how CLCs across the state are using social media — which platforms they're using, how frequently they post, and what content they're posting.

Using social media can also present risks that need to be managed. One of these is how to deal with potentially harmful user-generated content (such as comments posted on your Facebook page or in response to your tweets), which might be discriminatory, abusive, or trolling. The second part of the session will look at good practices and policies for moderating user-generated content that help build and manage a safe environment for your social media followers. This includes specific technical solutions as well as a Moderation Policy.

As always, the session will include a round-up of the latest communications activities, successes, and challenges experienced by centres.

4.3 Service Sustainability

Impact Evaluation Measurement

Presenter: Laurel Draffen (Community Legal Centres NSW)

This session will focus on data collection tools and strategies to measure outcomes and report on impact.

5.1 Network Meeting

Care and Protection Network Training

Facilitator: Kenn Clift (Intellectual Disability Rights Service)

Presenter: Melanie Kallmier (Mid North Coast CLC)

Melanie Kallmier will present on the LevelUP program.

LevelUP  was funded by the Law and Justice Foundation’s 50th anniversary grants program, delivered through the Mid North Coast CLC between March 2018 and December 2019. It was a proactive, wrap around civil law service for young people transitioning from OOHC into adult legal responsibility. A civil law solicitor worked with an Aboriginal Engagement Officer and a steering committee to provide intensive assistance to 45 young people on the mid north coast of NSW. 

The LevelUP program is revealing the extensive need for legal assistance to this cohort of young people. We’ll be discussing the structure of, and outcomes from, the project and our plans for seeking government interest in the issues that it raises for vulnerable young people.

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law, Advocacy



Day 3 | Wednesday 26 February 2020

6.1 Induction for new workers

Facilitator: Laurel Draffen (Community Legal Centres NSW)

Presenter: Various presenters from Community Legal Centres NSW.

Introduction to the community legal sector - Orientation for new workers and volunteers.

6.2 Network Meeting

Community Legal Education Workers (CLEW) Network

Facilitator: Duhita Lewis (CLE Coordinator, Hunter Community Legal Centre), Nalika Padmasena, Seniors Rights Service

Community Legal Educators share recent updates to their practice and provision community legal education programs

Possible CPD*: Professional Skills

6.3 Network Meeting

Law Reform and Policy Network – Sector Law Reform Priorities

Convenors:  Leo Patterson-Ross & Elizabeth de Freitas

Facilitator: Emily Hamilton (Acting Advocacy & Communications Manager, Community Legal Centres NSW)

MP meetings 101. Want to meet with your local MP to raise your centre’s profile? Or meet with a Minister to advocate a law reform proposal that would improve outcomes for the people you work with? Not sure where to start? At this meeting, Leo Patterson Ross, Senior Policy Officer from the Tenants Union of NSW, will take us through some key do’s and don’t’s when planning and going to meetings with parliamentarians.

Community Legal Centres NSW will give a brief update on the Community Legal Centres’ Roadshow to Parliament on Thursday, 27th February.

There will also be an opportunity to hear from colleagues across the sector about centres’ law reform and advocacy priorities and challenges for 2020.

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law, Advocacy

6.4 Committee Meeting

Professional Indemnity Insurance Committee (PII) committee - combined with the Coordinators and Directors for this meeting only: Data Consistency and Cross Checks.

Convenors: Ali Mojtahedi (Principal Solicitor, Immigration, Advice and Rights Centre) and Hilary Kincaid (Principal Solicitor, Inner City Legal Centre).

Data Consistency and Cross Checks: Two issues that centres continue to seek clarity on include data consistency and the application of cross checks to non legal and quasi legal programs. As a departure from the usual PII Network meeting, this session will bring together Coordinators and Directors and Principal Solicitors to discuss these issues.

This session aims to reach agreement about policy positions and strategies to promote more uniform practices.

Possible CPD*: Practice Management

7.1 Rural Regional & Remote (RRR) Network Meeting

Facilitator: Arlia Fleming (Managing Solicitor, Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre)

This network session is open to any RRR members to discuss issues particular to providing legal services in rural, remote and regional areas. This session is open to attendance by workers from FVPLS providers and ALS providers.

7.2 Legal Services

Electronic record keeping for legal practices

Panel of presenters: Sarah Dale (Managing Principal Solicitor, RACS), Alexis Goodstone (Principal Solicitor, Redfern Legal Centre), Vasili Maroulis (Managing Principal Solicitor, Marrickville Legal Centre).

Principal Solicitors responsible for 3 different legal practices share how their centre has implemented electronic record keeping and ditched paper for discrete legal services (advices, tasks etc.) and in some cases, representation files. 

Possible CPD*: Practice Management

7.3 Sector Sustainability

National Accreditation Scheme & Organisation Risk Management

Presenter: Ingrid Rikkert, Regional Accreditation Coordinator, CLCNSW

The next 3 year cycle of the National Accreditation Scheme has commenced. Five centres have now been through the latest assessment process. This session will cover updates to the scheme as well as the requirements and expecations of the Risk Assessment standard.

Possible CPD*: Professional Skills

7.4 Legal Practice Issues

CLCs & Climate Justice Activism

Presenter: Holly Brooke, CLCNSW, Katrina Ironside, Kingsford Legal Centre

Non-violent direct action (NVDA) and civil disobedience have been central to movements and campaigns for centuries - from the suffragettes to the labour movement to climate action and more. With the looming climate crisis, these types of tactics are growing in popularity and shifting in their nature.

Increasing numbers of people are getting involved with climate justice activism through protest and other forms of civil disobedience, which at times cross legal boundaries and/or are met with police or legislative pushback. 

What is the role of CLCs in this context? How can CLCs get involved with CLE for people wishing to take non-violent action in the climate justice movement, and/or with giving legal support to those arrested for participating in non-violent climate justice activism?

8.1 Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training for CLCs

Presenters: Latoya Smith (Aboriginal Engagement Officer, Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre) Mark Holden (Solicitor, Financial Rights Centre) Dixie Link Gordon (Senior Community Access Worker, Indigenous Womens Legal Program, Womens Legal Service).

Aboriginal colleagues share their knowledge, wisdom and expertise working with clients and community legal centres. Participants should develop their knowledge of cultural issues that are important for culturally safe service and workplace behaviours.

Possible CPD*: Professional Skills



Legal Training Day | Thursday 27 February 2020

Legal Training Day

A Legal Training Day for our members, with individual and panel presentations on immigration law, strategic litigation, disability discrimination, mental health law, and legal ethics

The Legal Training Day is open to staff from Community Legal Centre NSW member centres only as an opportunity for staff to access CPD points*. Please ensure your registration clearly indicates the centre you are associated with to secure your place at the training.

Places are limited and registration is required.

See the full program here. 

Register here.

Thursday, 27 February 2020, 8:30am–4:15pm

State Library of NSW,
Macquarie Street, Sydney.



Additional Information

Community Legal Centres NSW indicates whether a session may be appropriate to attract Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points but takes no responsibility if the content does not meet CPD requirements. Sessions are not accredited by the NSW Law Society. Community legal centre solicitors should make their own assessment of whether the session meets their CPD requirements, and maintain their own records for meeting CPD requirements.

Further information about CPD requirements are available on the Law Society NSW website.


  • Experience and/or interest in the area of the network 
  • Commitment and availability to attend and lead network session at each Quarterly
  • Willingness to be a point of contact between CLCNSW and the network 
  • Assisting CLCNSW to maintain email groups of people interested in work of the network 

Preparation for Quarterlies 

  • If appropriate, arrange speakers - notify CLCNSW one month in advance to enable inclusion in the program
  • Advise CLCNSW of any technology or other requirements for the network meeting at least one week prior to the date of Quarterly

Facilitate network meeting 

  • Prepare and distribute agenda 
  • Facilitate network meeting - welcome participants, introduce guests, review any action items from previous meeting, keep agenda items to time, facilitate discussion and any decision making within time frame 

Meeting Administration 

  • Ensure meeting minutes are kept
  • Ensure participants sign in (registration forms provided) at each meeting 
  • Distribute and collect evaluation forms - return to room folder at the end of the session 

Reporting and Accountability 

  • Ensure an oral summary report of the network meeting is given at the end of each Quarterly at the Sector wide meeting
  • Emailing copies of the minutes to the Network members
  • Ensure meeting minutes are emailed to CLCNSW for record keeping


  • Welcome and introduce speaker.
  • Ensure remote participants are included throughout the session.

  • Liaise with volunteer / CLCNSW staff member at the session regarding technology.

  • Manage Q&A section of session.

  • Monitor time, keeping the session to time limits.

  • Thank the speaker and close the session.

With thanks to guests, event sponsors and pro bono presentations from:

Legal Aid NSW, Community Legal Centres Australia, University of Technology Sydney. Thanks also to all community legal centre speakers for sharing their practice, expertise and knowledge.

We acknowledge that the land upon which these meetings are taking place is land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land; sovereignty never ceded.