About the 2019 Grants Round - Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner

About the 2019 Grants Round

July 29, 2019

The 2019 Grants round prioritised funding around the theme of Designing Justice Differently: Using human-centred design and technology.

This means that applications had to meet the theme requirements of using technological and/or human-centred design orientated interventions to interrupt, streamline or change legal services and the justice system to improve access to justice. 

Two Unique Streams

We ran two streams for this grant round which focused on different phases of the innovation continuum.

Build Stream. This was for applicants who have a project piloted and prototyped around human-centred design and are ready to build and scale.

Explore Stream. This was for those wanting to explore the concept of human centred design and develop a suitable project to pilot. Early in the round, a series of three tailor-made workshops with design specialists were held at our office to assist participants in learning how to use a human-centred design approach and explore practical ways to achieve the impact they seek.

Why this theme

Human-centred design is a framework that develops solutions to problems through involving the human perspective in each step of the design process; approaching them from the point of view of those experiencing the problems.

This theme was chosen in response to:

  1. collective feedback from across the justice and community legal sector through our consultation process
  2. the Justice Legislation Amendment (Access to Justice) Act 2018 which added “innovative improvements to access to justice” to the purposes of VLSB grant program funding.

The theme aims to stimulate new ways of thinking to achieve change in some of the seemingly intractable legal and social problems that face society and the legal sector.

Through utilising this framework, we hope to increase our impact through fostering different ways of working towards a justice system that better meets the needs of vulnerable people.



The designers at Portable delivered workshops to support the delivery of this Grants round theme.

For over a decade, Portable has been at the forefront of design and technology, working with governments and for-purpose organisations to drive change. They have a particular interest in working to transform the justice system by creating more efficient and accessible user-centred services.



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