September Quarterly 2021


Skills development, training and collaboration are important. That's why we organise Quarterlies - a chance for everyone who works at community legal centres in New South Wales to catch-up, learn, share experiences, and coordinate advocacy.

This September, all of our events will be held online via Zoom. Full program is below Registrations.

Registrants with any questions can call Imogen on 0479 138 173 or email


Yarn Up

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Quarterly & Legal Training (Part 1)

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Legal Training (Part 2): Media skills intensive

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Yarn Up & Quarterly: Monday 6 September

6 September

Yarn Up

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

Convened by Zachary Armytage (Aboriginal Legal Access Program Coordinator, Community Legal Centres NSW)

Welcome to Country by Uncle Allan Murray

6 September

Domestic Violence & Victim's Compensation Network

The network discusses issues affecting domestic and family violence and victims compensation policies and legislation. It makes recommendations to government and non-government bodies.

Convened by Karen Mifsud (Senior Solicitor, Indigenous Women's Legal Program, Women's Legal Service NSW) and Kathy Keat (Solicitor, Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains Community Legal Centre)

6 September

Admin & Finance Network

The network discusses current operational issues for centres.

Convened by Kerrith Sowden (Chief Operations Manager, Refugee Advice and Casework Service)

Quarterly: Tuesday 7 September

7 September

OPENING PLENARY: Partnering for health and justice through a pandemic

Community legal centres have continued to provide legal services through a global health crisis. We discuss how legal problems intersect with health and social need and look at how services, in particularly health justice partnerships, have responded on the ground and the lessons we've learnt. We also question what our role is in the big policy debates like public health orders, security of housing and adequacy of income and what else we can do in our work to support our colleagues, clients and community.


  • Tessa Boyd‑Caine​ (Chief Executive Officer, Health Justice Australia)
  • Darren Wagner (Manager, Peer Support Team, Eastern Suburbs Mental Health Service)
  • Diane Anagnos (Principal Solicitor, Kingsford Legal Centre)
  • Alexis Goodstone (Principal Solicitor, Redfern Legal Centre)

Welcome to Country by Uncle Allen Madden

7 September

Prisoner's Rights Working Group

This network is for staff who visit clients in prison, work for, or have an interest in prisoners’ rights to share their experience, discuss current issues and contribute to policy development.

  • Convened by Carolyn Jones (Senior Solicitor, Women's Legal Service NSW)


Collaborations: Revenue NSW and NSW Ombudsman

A trial of Revenue NSW’s Electronic Fines Write-off System has been undertaken by Redfern Legal Centre. The portal creates a streamlined process allowing community legal centres to assist people struggling with debts from fines of up to $5,000 to have them written off. Hear from the Redfern solicitors who trialled the system and the benefits to both staff and clients. Revenue NSW will discuss how the system works and how your centre can access the portal to assist your clients.


  • Mathew Baker (Senior Technical Advisor Technical Advisory Branch, Revenue NSW)
  • David Hofierka (Credit, Debt and Consumer Law Solicitor, Redfern Legal Centre)

The NSW Ombudsman can receive and investigate complaints about NSW government and some non-government agencies delivering public and community services. Hear from staff about the work they do and how they can assist your clients to receive the right services and fair treatment.


  • Alison Shea (Manager, Inquiries and Resolution, NSW Ombudsman)


Coordinators and Directors Network (Part 1)

The network discusses sector issues relating to centre management, funding, and key stakeholder engagement. An agenda will be circulated to network members prior to the meeting.


  • Arlia Fleming (Managing Principal Solicitor, Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains Community Legal Centre)
  • Robert Pelletier (Executive Officer, Macarthur Legal Centre)
  • Tim Leach (Executive Director, Community Legal Centres NSW)

Please note: this meeting is for Centre Coordinators and Directors only. Where the Centre Coordinator or Director is unable to attend, they can nominate someone else to attend in their place by emailing

7 September

Care (Family Law, Care & Protection Network)

A session on care and protection and the impact on First Nations clients. 

Presenter: Zoe De Re (Acting Principal Solicitor, Care & Protection/Family Law Practice, Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT)


Coordinators and Directors Network (Part 2)

The network discusses sector issues relating to centre management, funding, and key stakeholder engagement. An agenda will be circulated to network members prior to the meeting.


  • Arlia Fleming (Managing Principal Solicitor, Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains Community Legal Centre)
  • Robert Pelletier (Executive Officer, Macarthur Legal Centre)
  • Tim Leach (Executive Director, Community Legal Centres NSW)

Please note: this meeting is for Centre Coordinators and Directors only. Where the Centre Coordinator or Director is unable to attend, they can nominate someone else to attend in their place by emailing


Sector induction - welcome to your role in community legal centres! 

Welcome to community legal centres. You have not just joined a centre, you have joined an active network of advocates in nearly 200 centres across Australia. Learn about community legal centres, piece together the puzzle of the legal assistance sector landscape in NSW, and meet colleagues in other centres because networking is what we are about.

Presenter: Katrina Ironside (Sector Development Manager, Community Legal Centres NSW)

7 September

Asking for a friend: For love or money?

In 1690 the first advice column was published to answer questions from readers about “relationships, morals and etiquette”. The public have had a 300 year love affair with the advice column. Here, we present our third Asking for a Friend panel discussion addressing the age old question - do we do it for love or money? A bit of fun when covering serious issues, the panel will canvas topics such as attracting and retaining staff, chasing funding and managing constant uncertainty.


  • Helen Campbell (Executive Officer, Women’s Legal Service NSW)
  • Deb Macmillan (CEO, Central Coast Community Legal Centre)
  • Julie Robson (Senior Bookkeeper, CLCNSW Financial Services)
  • Tim Leach (Executive Director, Community Legal Centres NSW)

Includes launch of new Financial Literacy training program by Tina Froget (Manager, CLCNSW Financial Services)


Community Legal Education Workers Network

This network discusses activities, experiences and emerging practices in community legal education.


  • Nalika Padmasena (Solicitor, Seniors Rights Service)
  • Melanie Kallmier (Solicitor, Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre)


First Nations Justice Working Group

In the midst of the Black Lives Matter uprising, we were presented with a number of tangible areas where community legal centres are able to support Aboriginal communities’ fight for justice. This group is a place where we can share experience and knowledge about how we can better support and engage in First Nations justice work, and keep us accountable for the commitments we've made and continue to make going forward.

Convenor: Zachary Armytage (Aboriginal Legal Access Program Coordinator, Community Legal Centres NSW)

Quarterly: Wednesday 8 September

8 September

Law Reform and Policy Network

At the September Quarterly, we'll be hearing from Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) about the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and what community legal centres can do to support advocacy to ensure the Australian Government properly protects people at risk of persecution from the Taliban.

Community Legal Centres NSW will then present Change takes community: action for a fairer future, a draft, sector-wide law reform platform we've been working on to help frame our conversations with governments and communities about progressive law reform in NSW. We'll be running further consultations through September and October, but we'd love to hear your initial thoughts next week. Does it reflect the issues faced by people in the communities you work with? What's missing? What misses the mark? What's one change would make the biggest difference for the greatest number of people you work with?


  • Sean Bowes (Solicitor, Kingsford Legal Service)
  • Niamh Joyce (Solicitor, HIV/AIDS Legal Centre)
  • Alistair Lawrie (Senior Policy Officer, Public Interest Advocacy Centre)


Youth Advocacy Network (NSW)

This network discusses legal issues that affect young people. 


  • Ahram Choi (Principal Solicitor, Youth Law Australia)
  • Matthew Keeley (Director, Youth Law Australia)


Unexpected ways immigration law affects your clients

Australian Laws affect non-citizens in ways most Australian lawyers don’t expect. For non-permanent residents, leaving an abusive partner may lead to your visa being refused, a criminal sentence (even with no conviction recorded) may result in visa refusal or cancellation and telling the truth about planning to apply for asylum can land you in indefinite immigration detention. Knowing the common pitfalls in the intersection between immigration law and family violence, criminal law, employment law and and how they affect your clients is useful for solicitors and front line staff on intake/triage and referral.


  • Alexandra Stratigos (Principal Solicitor, HIV/AIDS Legal Centre)
  • Ben Lumsdaine (Senior Solicitor, Refugee Advice and Casework Service)
  • Ann Emmanuel (Solicitor, Immigration Advice and Rights Centre)

8 September

Communications Network

Good communications can change hearts and minds. This network discusses strategies, lessons and challenges in media engagement, storytelling, messaging, and social media for community legal centres. In this network meeting we'll share a new journalist contact database that Community Legal Centres NSW has purchased, and watch a launch screening of Passing the Message Stick, a two-year research project to find messages that are effective in building public support for First Nations self-determination and justice.


  • Finn O'Keefe (Communications & Volunteer & Manager, Redfern Legal Centre)
  • Stella Maynard (Media and Communications Officer, Community Legal Centres NSW)


Are your systems secure? Legal Practice and Cyber Security

In November 2020, a Sydney-based hedge fund - Levitas Capital - collapsed after a senior executive clicked on a fraudulent Zoom invitation. The company reportedly lost $8.7m to the cyber-attack. Hacking experts warn cyber attacks are likely to become more frequent, and that businesses underestimate the hidden impact the pandemic has had on their vulnerability, particularly when working from home. For community legal centres, poor IT security increases the liability we have as legal practices and lawyers and the risk of disciplinary action for inadvertent disclosure of information.


  • Kieran Doyle (Partner, Cyber Security Team, Wotton + Kearney)
  • Ellie Brooks (Senior Associate, Cyber Security Team, Wotton + Kearney)


PII (Professional Indemnity Insurance) Committee Meeting

The general PII meeting has been cancelled, so that committee members can attend the training on cyber security above. 


  • Ali Mojtahedi (Principal Solicitor, Immigration Advice and Rights Centre)
  • Louise Coady (Managing Principal Solicitor, Western Sydney Community Legal Centre)

Where the Principal Solicitor is unable to attend, they can nominate someone else to attend in their place by emailing

8 September

RRR (Rural Regional and Remote) Network

The network discusses issues involved in providing services in regional, rural and remote areas.

Convenor: Hannah Robinson (Solicitor, Western NSW Community Legal Centre)


Employment and Discrimination Law Network: Bad Deeds - Traps and pitfalls in employment deeds of release

The network discusses issues in employment and discrimination.

Presenter: Elisabeth Peden, Barrister, Wentworth Chambers. 


  • Sharmilla Bargon (Head of Employment Practice, Redfern Legal Centre)
  • Stanley Tao (Solicitor, North and Northwest Community Legal Centre)

Outcomes Frameworks: Lessons Learnt in Evaluation

In May we asked whether outcomes frameworks mattered. We decided they do: they demonstrate relevance, and help us better respond to disadvantage and vulnerability, linking what we do and what we want to achieve. In this session we do a deep dive into evaluation and discuss what we want to know, what we can know and what can we measure.

Presenter: Jacqui Swinburne (Chief Operations Officer, Redfern Legal Centre)

8 September

Health Justice Partnerships (inaugural meeting)

This newly-convened network is not just for centres with health justice partnerships. The way we work in community legal centres -client focussed and in collaboration with other stakeholders - is central to the success of health justice partnerships. Come along to learn and contribute to the discussion about working with clients in an interdisciplinary practice.

Convenor: Diane Anagnos (Principal Solicitor, Kingsford Legal Centre)


“Good” charities don’t do activism

You’ve heard about the crackdown on “activist organisations masquerading as charities". Hear from the people who have been working on these issues. The panel will discuss the detail of the legislation for the ACNC to deregister a charity, the AEC’s third party campaigner laws, and the implications and impact this may have on centres undertaking advocacy and activism (even inadvertently).


  • Alice Drury (Senior Lawyer, Human Right Law Centre)
  • Saffron Zomer (Director, Australian Democracy Network)
  • Lou Dargan (Co-Head of Strategic Litigation, Grata Fund)

Legal Training: Thursday 9 September

9 September

Welcome to Country

Uncle Craig Madden


Who gets the car? Family law financial matters and property settlement for community legal centre clients

While community legal centres generally don’t provide substantial assistance in property settlement, it’s useful to know what the issues are, even of if it’s just to convince a client that they need to go to a private solicitor to protect their assets. We will cover what preliminary advice to give a client and discuss issues such as superannuation splitting, stamp duty on the family home, discharging a mortgage, and spousal maintenance.

Presenter: Maria Monastiriotis (Solicitor, Redfern Legal Centre)

9 September


Natural Disaster Insurance

Following our May plenary on climate justice, people wanted to know more. With extreme weather events becoming more common, this session discusses what is happening to clients who have lost their homes and livelihoods. Does their insurance cover their losses? We cover what the future of insurance looks like for people in natural disasters and what to look for in insurance contracts.

Presenter: Amy Knox (Senior Solicitor, Financial Rights Legal Service)

9 September


The grey areas: Do our ethics and professional responsibilities ensure we treat vulnerable people well?

The rules around issues like a conflict of interest and confidentiality are straight-forward...aren’t they? In this session, we discuss whether the application of rules around professional responsibility rules pose challenges for us as lawyers and whether they disadvantage vulnerable clients.


  • Arlia Fleming (Director & Principal Solicitor, Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains Community Legal Centre)
  • Sarah Dale (Centre Director & Principal Solicitor, Refugee Advice and Casework Service)
  • Rachael Martin (Principal Solicitor, Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre)

9 September

Developing a Community of Practice: Vicarious Trauma

This newly-convened group will work in a community of practice model. Our first meeting will cover what a community of practice is and will look at how two practices work with vicarious trauma. There will be lots of opportunity for discussion and information sharing.


  • Roslyn Cook (Centre Director & Principal Solicitor, Inner City Legal Centre)
  • Sarah Dale (Centre Director & Principal Solicitor, Refugee Advice and Casework Service)
  • Pip Davis (Principal Solicitor, Women's Legal Service NSW)

Legal Training: Thursday 16 September

16 September

Media skills intensive for community legal centres

Learn how to get your message across in an increasingly crowded media landscape.

This half-day intensive covers the essentials of engaging with the media and changing hearts and minds. Designed especially for community legal centres in New South Wales, the course is suitable for all levels of media experience. This intensive will equip you with the practical tools to tell newsworthy stories, advocate for/alongside your clients in the media, and develop relationships with journalists.

The workshop will cover:

  • The current media landscape
  • Findings an angle and the factors of newsworthiness
  • What journalists need to run your story
  • How to maximise the impact and prominence of your story
  • Finding case studies: challenges and options
  • Managing a crisis
  • Messaging and storytelling
  • Interview tips and techniques
  • Reactive media and how to respond to ‘issues of the day’
  • Building relationships with journalists


  • Gemma Pearce (Media and Communications Manager, Public Interest Advocacy Centre)
  • Tim Brunero Previous ABC public broadcaster, producer and media trainer)

Register here