2007/2008 CCLCG (NSW) Annual Report


The Annual Report for the Combined Community Legal Centres' Group, for the 2007-2008 financial year.


Chairperson's Report:

2007/2008 was an extraordinary year of growth and recognition for NSW community legal centres, and a year of consolidation for the Combined Community Legal Centres’ Group. The work of the sector was recognised in several awards, and with the signi cant funding increases. CCLCG also held an extremely successful State Conference – Justice – CLCs celebrating change and connecting communities, which helped strengthen the network and progress the work of the sector.

Rudd Government recognises CLC work with injection of $10 million one-o funding across Australia

On April 18th 2008 the new Federal Attorney General, Robert McLelland announced a one-o payment to CLCs, $2million of which went to NSW centres saying:

“Community legal centres and legal aid provide valuable assistance to disadvantaged people in a range of areas ...The Rudd Government recognises that without such support people can be prevented from fully participating in society, causing their problems to escalate and entrenching disadvantage.”

The funding announcement coincided with the release of the Report of the Commonwealth Review of the Community Legal Services Program. The Review found that CLCs can’t meet client demand on current resource levels and made
16 recommendations to improve the Program. CCLCG will work through the National Association of CLCs to ensure the implementation of the Review results in long-term improvements in funding and program development.

Public Purpose Fund approves grants to 15 CLCs

In May 2008, a successful submission by Legal Aid NSW to the NSW Public Purposes Fund (PPF) provided 3 years of funding to 15 of NSW’s smallest CLCs. The centres, including most centres in rural and regional NSW, previously received either no or very small amounts of funding from the NSW Government. The funding from the PPF is for a wide variety
of programs developed by the centres themselves. These include: Care and Protection Early Intervention Advocacy (Elizabeth Evatt CLC); state education discrimination matters (Disability Discrimination Legal Centre); provision of outreach to key NSW towns in the Southern Riverina (Albury-Wodonga CLS); Isolated Client Advocacy Program (Western NSW CLC); and the establishment of an outreach in the Tweed Valley (Northern Rivers CLC).

Public Purpose Fund provides 3-year funding to CCLCG for Learning & Development Program

Also in May 2008, the Public Purpose Fund (PPF) approved 3-year funding for an expanded version of the CLC Training Program which the PPF had funded as a pilot in 2006. (See Page 26)

State Office Staff

As a result of the PPF funding, the State Office continued to increase the number of staff and the quality of programs being run from the Office. On behalf of the Board, our sincere thanks to the team at the State Office (Polly Porteous, Alison Aggarwal, Renee Williamson, Joanna Mantziaris, Jean Parker, Norico Allen, Larteasha Smith and Ellen Davis) for their enthusiasm and commitment throughout the year. Thanks also to Liz Snell for her work as a locum Advocacy and Human Rights officer, and in compiling the proceedings from the State Conference.

Funding and Support

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the following individuals and organisations for their support of the State o ce during 2007/2008:

  • Mr John Hatzistergos, NSW Attorney-General, for his continuing interest in and support of CLCs;
  • Mr Robert McLelland, Federal Attorney-General, for his support for the CLC program;
  • Mr Bill Grant, CEO of Legal Aid NSW, for his support of CCLCG and his willingness to collaborate with CLCs;
  • Mr Dennis Roach, CLC Funding Program Manager, Legal Aid NSW, for his continued support of the State office and the community legal service program;
  • Mr Richard Funston and Ms Louise Blasejowska from Legal Aid NSW;
  • The Trustees and Administrator of the Public Purpose Fund for supporting two new CCLCG programs;
  • Mr Geo Mulherin and Ms Sue Scott from the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW for their continued support for CLCs particularly the community education training program and subsidies for RRR centre staff to travel to CLC conferences;
  • Ms Julie Bishop, and Ms Julia Hall, Directors of National Association of CLCs;
  • Ms Chloe Wyatt from the Ideas Unit, for her dynamic work as the State Conference Organiser.

Thanks to my fellow Board members for their expertise and commitment to the State Offie over the past 12 months.

Finally, I would like to thank the management committees, staff and volunteers of community legal centres in NSW. Without their continued dedication and support of the CCLCG State Office, community legal centres would not be in the strong position we are in today.


Helen Campbell



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