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Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes acknowledges ECLC in Parliament

December 15, 2023


ECLC was so pleased that the Victorian Attorney-General, Jaclyn Symes MP took time to thank Community Legal Centres (CLC) in Parliament recently for their amazing work in helping people most at risk in the community.

The Attorney-General highlighted the series of Roundtables with CLCs and commended the sector on its work. ECLC’s Elder Abuse Awareness Program was given commended by the AG.

“I would like to update the house on the government’s continued support for Victoria’s amazing Community Legal sector. Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of joining many Community Legal Centres at the historic Queen Victoria Women’s Centre for our sixth round table since I have been Attorney-General, but it was the first in person. These Roundtables provide me with an opportunity to hear directly about the excellent work that our CLCs are doing in the community. The round table theme was community legal education and community development.

Community legal education is a core area of work for our CLCs. They delivered more than 3,643 community legal education and community development sessions last financial year, which is essential to help vulnerable people learn about their legal rights. I heard directly about Barwon Community Legal Service’s skill-building program for social services professionals, Eastern Community Legal Centre’s Elder Abuse awareness program, JobWatch’s continued support of vulnerable workers and Tenants Victoria’s outreach work with multicultural communities, and I particularly was interested in South-East Monash Legal Service’s sporting change program, which is an integrated service where they have put a lawyer into some local schools, providing increased access to justice for young people and for them to learn about their legal rights.

I would also like to thank the CLC sector for the work they do in supporting victims of family violence, including supporting agreements between parties to resolve family violence intervention order matters prior  to the first hearing and in some cases providing broader support for family law matters. Community Legal Centres are an important part of every community, which is why we provided almost $14 million in the last budget to continue 19 critical legal assistance programs. I would certainly like to take the opportunity, as I am sure many people would agree, to thank the CLCs for the work they do, the CLCs that presented on the day and the CEOs and staff, who just continue time and time again to step up when people need it most in our community. I look forward to further strengthening and consolidating the Government’s relationship with our CLCs, and I do indeed encourage all members of this place to support this fabulous sector.”

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