CLCNSW September 2020 Quarterly


The Community Legal Centres NSW Quarterlies are three-day community legal centre sector network and training opportunities held in Sydney four times a year. The September 2020 Quarterly will be held via Zoom conferencing.

Dates and registration
  • Yarn Up: Monday, 7 September 2020
    Register now. Registrations close 10am, Thursday, 3 September
  • September Quarterly: Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, 7-9 September 2020
    Register now. Registrations close 10am Wednesday, 2 September
  • Legal Training Day: Thursday, 10 September 2020
    Register now. Registrations close 10am, Thursday, 3 September.

Scroll down for the full program and for more information on using Zoom.

Yarn Up | Monday, 7 September 2020

Yarn Up

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

Convenor: Zachary Armytage (Community Legal Centres NSW)

Aboriginal Advisory Group

Training for Aboriginal workers in the CLC sector

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights Working Group



Quarterly Day 1 | Monday, 7 September 2020

1.1 Domestic Violence & Victims Compensation Network

Convenors: Karen Mifsud (Solicitor, Women’s Legal Service NSW), Kathy Keat (Solicitor, Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains Community Legal Centre)

This network shares information on issues affecting domestic violence and victims compensation policies and legislation, and make recommendations to government and non-government bodies. The September network meeting will continue to focus on Victims Support changes and issues relating to the way Victim Support claims are being dealt with. Updates on DV reviews and other DV work and any requests for assistance around DV during COVID will also be on the agenda.

2.1 Administration and Finance Network

Convenor: Kerrith Sowden (Operations Manager, Refugee Advice and Casework Service)

The Administration and Finance Network will discuss recent challenges and solutions to financial management and administration of centres during the COVID-19 period to date, including audit processes and experiences. Attendees are encouraged to review and share any resources they have found useful in the last few months.

Community Legal Centres NSW board meeting



Quarterly Day 2 | Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Welcome to Country

3.1 Opening plenary: Black Lives Matter

Panellists will share their vision for justice and the role of the Black Lives Matter movement to campaign for and influence change to the justice system. Our panellists are international and local activists, including a family member who has lost family in custody. They will share the personal impact of loss and injustice, the cost of campaigning, and the wins their tireless work has achieved. How can the community legal sector best support the leadership and power of Black Lives Matter movement leaders in their struggle for self-determination and reform.

Facilitator: Nicole Jenkins (Centre Manager, Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre)

Elizabeth Jarrett, Gumbayngirr Dunghutti Bundjalung poet and activist
Hawk Newsome, New York-based Black Lives Matter activist
Lynda-June Coe, Wiradjuri and Badu Island Yinaa from Erambie, Cowra NSW; cultural educator, teacher, activist and PhD student

Possible CPD*: Advocacy

4.1 Coordinators and Directors Network

Convenors: Arlia Fleming (Chairperson, Community Legal Centres NSW, Managing Principal Solicitor, Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains Community Legal Centre), Robert Pelletier (Executive Officer, Macarthur Legal Centre)

Open to CLC coordinators and directors to discuss sector issues relating to centre management, funding, and stakeholder relationships. The agenda for September includes a brief centre update on COVID-19 arrangements, a report back on COVID-19 funding applications, supporting Aboriginal employment, Human Services Agreement, and reporting and presentations from Legal Aid NSW and Community Legal Centres Australia.

4.2 Prisoners' Rights Working Group

Convenors: Carolyn Jones (Senior Solicitor, Women's Legal Service NSW), Corinne Kew (Assistant Principal Solicitor, Western Sydney Community Legal Centre)

Member CLCs share what is happening for their criminalised clients, including those under Corrective Services and Youth Justice supervision, in custody or in the community. The network will discuss whether there are any specific trends or issues for the network to monitor or address, including the impacts of COVID-19, and/or examples of good practice.

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law, Advocacy

5.1 Employment and Discrimination Law Network

Convenors: Sharmilla Bargon (Solicitor, Redfern Legal Centre), Stanley Tao (Solicitor, North & Northwest Community Legal Centre), Justin Pen (Solicitor, Marrickville Community Legal Centre)

Federal Circuit Court processes for handling Fair Work matters.

Guest Speaker: Judicial Registrar James Cho (Deputy District Registrar, Federal Court of Australia; Registrar, Federal Circuit Court of Australia)

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law

5.2 Care and Protection Network

Convenors: Kenn Clift (Solicitor, Intellectual Disability Rights Service), Sym'mon Andrews (Solicitor, Central Coast Community Legal Centre)

Presenter: Brooke Greenwood (Senior Solicitor, Strategic Litigation, PIAC)

Brooke will talk about the joint project with the Aboriginal Legal Service on Indigenous families and care and protection.

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law, Advocacy

6.1 Care and Protection Network Training

Convenors: Kenn Clift (Solicitor, Intellectual Disability Rights Service), Symmon Andrews (Solicitor, Central Coast Community Legal Centre)

Presenter: Professor Megan Davis (Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous UNSW, and Professor of Law, UNSW Law)

Professor Davis will speak about the Family Is Culture Independent Review into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care in NSW, the NSW Government’s response to the final report’s recommendations, and what community legal centres can do to support community-led advocacy calling on the government implement system-wide reforms to reduce the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, cultures and countries.

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law, Advocacy

6.2 Communications Network

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

Presenter: Steven Varady (Director, Australasian Reporting Awards) 

Steven has been involved with annual reporting for about 15 years and has been a part of the Australasian Reporting Awards (ARA) for almost as long. He is currently a Director on the Board of the ARA and Chair of the Awards Committee. He is also the Coordinator of the Federal/International Public Sector Division of the awards. He looks at around 250 annual reports every year and reviews in great detail about 50 of those. He speaks regularly to many Federal Government Departments and statutory authorities, New Zealand Ministries and other government agencies across the South East Asian region. Reports that he has been directly involved in or have been produced by teams that he has managed have won around 75 awards at international, national and state level. 

The links to the ARA resources are available here:

The Guide -

The Criteria -

Description: Your annual report is your opportunity to share your performance story with your stakeholders. It is an opportunity to remind yourselves and others of your vision, the very reason that you exist. It provides an opportunity to communicate a coherent and compelling story of your success, or sometimes disappointments, and engender greater trust from your stakeholders by providing information on your business practices and the governance principles that you adhere to. I will share with you what I believe to be the most critical elements of an excellent report in terms of content and communication. I will also share with you some excellent free resources that you can use when preparing your next annual report.

Zoom drinks and quiz

At most in-person Quarterlies we have the opportunity to get together and socialise as a sector. Unfortunately COVID-19 is keeping us apart at the moment, so this Quarterly we're trying the next best thing: a Zoom hangout! On Tuesday evening, join via Zoom between 5pm and 6pm, with or without a drink, for some socialising and some trivia. There will be an opportunity for smaller breakout rooms upon request.



Quarterly Day 3 | Wednesday, 9 September 2020

7.1 Law Reform and Policy Network

Convenors: Niamh Joyce (Solicitor, HIV/AIDS Legal Centre), Sean Bowes (Law Reform Solicitor / Clinical Supervisor, Kingsford Legal Centre), Alastair Lawrie (Senior Policy Officer, PIAC)

Collaborating for Change: COVID-19 is keeping us physically apart, but that doesn't mean our work is siloed. In fact, we've seen some incredible examples of cross-organisation and cross-movement campaigning in recent months. This Law Reform and Policy Network meeting will focus on how proactive and deliberate collaboration between different organisations and campaign groups has helped build important progress within various social movements.

Maria Nawaz (Grata Fund) will talk about the Grata Fund's work collaborating with grassroots activist groups to support people taking protest action and to educate protesters about their rights.
Seth Dias (Co-Convenor, Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN) NSW) will talk about historical and current cross-movement solidarity between Climate Justice and First Nations Justice campaigns, and how this has grown in the past few months with the expansion of the Black Lives Matter and Stop Black Deaths in Custody movements in Australia.
More presenters TBC

Possible CPD*: Advocacy

7.2 PII Committee

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

Principal solicitors meet to discuss and resolve practice issues. Attendance is a requirement of the national Public Indemnity Insurance Scheme and Risk Management Guide.

Possible CPD*: Practice Management

8.1 Community Legal Education Workers

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

Presenter: Craig Gear (Chief Executive Officer, Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN))

COVID and Beyond: Craig has been a strong advocate during the recent failures of the Aged Care system to protect vulnerable older people during COVID. OPAN provides education services for consumers and providers about aged care advocacy. Craig will share his experience of advocacy during COVID, the role of community education to support OPAN's advocacy work, and what community lawyers can learn from OPAN's experience.

Possible CPD*: Advocacy

8.2 Case management software systems showcase

Find out more about case management systems software under development, and hear a national update on case management systems in use.

Presenters: Matthew Keeley (CEO, Youth Law Australia), Susan Scott (Community Legal Centres Australia), Marrickville Legal Centre. Speaker TBC.

Possible CPD*: Practice Management

9.1 RRR Network

Convenor: Lianne Davids (CEO, Western NSW Community Legal Centre)

RRR members discuss issues involved in providing legal services in rural, remote and regional areas.

9.2 Identifying and referring Social Security issues 

Facilitator: Chloe Wyatt (Community Legal Education Officer, Women’s Legal Service NSW)

Presenters: Benjamin Jackson (Intake Officer, Welfare Rights Centre), Sally Cameron (CLE & Communications Officer, Welfare Rights Centre)

This session will give attendees the tools to identify a social security issue, know what to ask, and understand how to make targeted referrals. This session will be particularly useful for reception and intake workers and volunteers, but all welcome.

This session will be recorded.

Possible CPD*: Substantive Law

9.3 Sector induction

Facilitator: Laurel Draffen (Capacity Building Coordinator, Community Legal Centres NSW)

An overview of the community legal sector in NSW and Australia for new workers.

Closing plenary - how can CLCs stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter?

The closing plenary further explores how the community legal sector can stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and pursue an end to the systemic racism and injustices the movement highlights. What could you do right now, both professional and personally, to address racism and oppression? Strategies include structural systemic reform, supporting leadership opportunities for First Nations people and communities at both state and national level and more. How do we sustain action and help support demands for future reforms? Panellists include First Nations colleagues working in the justice system.


Mark Holden, Solicitor,  Financial Rights Legal Centre NSW

Tony McEvoy, SC, a Wirdi man and Australia's first Indigenous Senior Counsel
Alison Whittaker, Gomeroi poet and Senior Researcher, Jumbunna Institute Indigenous Education and Research NSW 
Cheryl Axelby, proud Narungga woman, Co-Chair of NATSILS and CEO of the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement in South Australia


Possible CPD*: Advocacy



Additional Information

Zoom is a video conferencing system that is used to run network meetings, training and webinars for Community Legal Centres NSW events. Using Zoom will allow you to actively participate in training and network meetings.

Click here to download Zoom now.

You will be able to dial in to sessions via phone if you wish, although we recommend you use Zoom for full functionality and session experience. 

All registered participants will be sent Zoom links and phone dial-in details for Yarn Up and Quarterly sessions in the week of 31st August.

If you have any questions about Zoom prior to the event please contact CLCNSW on 9212 7333 or email

If you have any Zoom questions or issues during the event please call or text 0401 262 873.

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.

With thanks to guests, event sponsors and pro bono presentations from: Legal Aid NSW, the Federal Court of Australia, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, UNSW, Grata Fund, the Australian Student Environment Network, Older Persons Advocacy Network. Thanks also to all community legal centre speakers for sharing their practice, expertise and knowledge.

A special thanks to the panellists from both plenary sessions.

We acknowledge the Lands upon which these meetings take place. Community Legal Centres NSW acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation as the land on which our office operates and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. The land on which we meet, physically, digitally or otherwise is stolen land of which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' sovereignty was never ceded.