Once again, the State Office of the NSW Combined Group has played an important role in resourcing and representing the work of NSW CLCs. The State Office is a small yet dynamic organization that has seen a significant turn over of staff – but has remained focused on its core work over the year.
Brigid Inder (Director since December 2000) resigned from her position in December 2003. We acknowledge some of the foundational work Brigid undertook in ensuring a process for CLCs to participate in the State’s pre- budget processes.
Polly Porteous came on board as the Advocacy and Human Rights Officer in May 2003, and very ably stepped in as Acting Director in Brigid’s absence. CCLCG was very pleased to officially appoint her to the position of Director in May 2004.
Julie Smith and Carol Roberts continued to provide excellent administrative and financial support to the office over the year.
A number of key projects were undertaken during the year. They were:
A review of OHS policies and procedures in the State Office, and liaison with other State CLC Offices to establish some ‘model’ policies and procedures.
A change in the way the State Office prepares and interacts in the pre-budget process – this has required going ‘back to basics’ on some of the key components of our submission, and skilling ourselves in the new process. This is an ongoing process and will develop over the next few years.
Preparation for the impending Commonwealth/State Review of NSW CLCs. After many years of anticipation, the NSW review officially began in August 2004.
The sector is participating in a pilot called Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Model, and the State Office has had an ongoing involvement in the development of the model with Legal Aid.
The State Office has been working with the Board and other States on developing a more comprehensive Membership Policy.
A number of CLC people served as Board members over the period, and I would particularly like to acknowledge their interest and dedication to the State Office and the broader sector.
Janet Loughman resigned as Chairperson in August 2003, and we thank Janet for her years of work for the Board. Other people we would like to thank for involvement with the Board in 2003 are Steve Bolt, Fran Gibson, Vedna Jivan, Tracy Leahy, Natalie Ross.
Thank you also to the following organizations and individuals who provided various forms of support to the State Office throughout 2003/2004:
Blake Dawson Waldron, for pro bono design for ‘On The Record’ and for providing meeting space for ad hoc CCLCG meetings
Freehills, for providing pro bono design for the 2004 Directory
Dennis Roach, CLC Funding Program Manager, Legal Aid Commission, for his patience and ongoing support for individual community legal centres and the State Office
And lastly, but not least, I would like to thank all those fabulous NSW CLC people (staff, management, volunteers) for making the sector such a vibrant place. We look forward to working together over the next year.