Over the past 14 years, our Grants Program has invested over $46 million in projects that aim to improve access to justice for Victorians and advance important research and development in the community legal sector.
In our 2021 Grants round, we have awarded $1.4 million in funding to thirteen legal and community organisations. You can read our media release here.
Introducing our 2021 Grant Recipients
Unravelling the Complex Infringement System
Peninsula Community Legal Centre Inc
$133,000 over 1 year
Peninsula Community Legal Centre (PCLC) undertakes capacity building across the health and community services sector to improve knowledge of responses available for clients with fine enforcements, garner sponsor involvement for the Work and Development Permit (WDP) Initiative and enhance access to PCLC’s fines clinic.
Practice to Policy: Elevating the HJP Pipeline Project
Health Justice Australia
$50,000 over 1 year
Victoria has led the rest of Australia in the evolution of Health Justice Partnerships (HJPs). Increasing numbers of organisations are describing their services as HJPs, yet many fall short of or are missing key elements of HJP best practice. The Pipeline Project is about deepening and strengthening the process of partnering with HJPs and providing tools to achieve greater impact and enhancing evaluation.
South-East Monash Legal Service
$100,000.00 over 1 year
Sporting Change educates diverse young people to engage constructively in their community and society by using sport to educate them about the justice system. A multidisciplinary program, it incorporates community development and legal support. The program is delivered at partner schools weekly, and a school lawyer attends the school one day per week to provide direct legal assistance.
Hume Riverina Community Legal Service
$100,000 over 1 year
The Invisible Hurdles Project aims to identify the hurdles that prevent young people and their families from accessing legal assistance, and to develop service delivery models that most effectively overcome those hurdles. The project supports a lawyer and project worker to work with other non-legal professionals at Partner Agencies to reach currently excluded young people and their families.
The Safe Landing Project
Northern Community Legal Centre
$120,000 over 1 year
Northern Community Legal Centre operates in a region which has recently experienced the largest arrival of migrants of Indian origin in the country. Their initial project conducted local case work and built an understanding of the issues facing Indian women and improved coordination of legal and non-legal responses at a local, state and national level.
This project will extend the successful model of migration and family violence related law, as piloted within the Indian Women’s Family Violence project, to all women experiencing family violence on temporary visas in Melbourne’s northwest.
First Step HOPE
First Step Legal
$33,000 over 1 year
The First Step Legal team will continue to work closely and collaboratively with the Windana Therapeutic Community staff, to build upon the positive preliminary outcomes of the pilot, First Step HOPE, refining processes and systems of best practice integrated care, in support of the ongoing recovery and rehabilitation of residents.
Community Legal Mental Health Partnerships
Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre
$100,000 over 1 year
The Community Legal Mental Health Partnerships project aims to explore the integration of legal help into acute mental health settings in partnership with Inner West Area Mental Health and lived experience experts.
Taskforce Community Agency
$180,000 over 1 year
The Living Free Project is a place based multi-faceted response for girls at risk of, and women in contact with the justice system. Leveraging partnerships with legal, health and community services, the project enhances opportunities for women to address their multiple needs that have contributed to contact with the justice system. The project provides advocacy for these women and girls to improve their justice outcomes whilst simultaneously working to reduce the likelihood of further contact with the justice system.
Policing Family Violence: Changing the Story
Flemington-Kensington Community Legal Centre
$140,000 over 1 year
The Policing Family Violence: Changing the Story project drives collaborative, sector-based advocacy for law reform and police accountability. It combines legal assistance and support directly to family violence survivors experiencing police duty failures, evidence gathering with multi-level strategic advocacy.
This legal-advocacy project will simultaneously advocate for systemic reforms to radically improve the effectiveness of the Family Violence Prevention Act in Victoria.
Youth Law – Breaking Cycles of Disadvantage for Young People
$100,000 over 1 year
WEstjustice has been working with vulnerable young people for many years. During this time, they have been influential in spotlighting inadequacies within the justice system and provision of legal services for these young people.
The next stage of their reform agenda, to have a larger impact across the State, will dedicate resources to a full-time senior level role, who will work across the sector and client groups, to lead more impactful reform within the justice and youth services sector.
Maryborough Family Justice Project
Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre (ARC Justice)
$180,000 over 1 year
This project has embedded an integrated model of legal service delivery and coordination to increase access to wrap-around support for vulnerable families to foster sustainable outcomes. It aims to address systemic barriers to justice and other factors contributing to intergenerational cycles of disadvantage experienced by families in the Central Goldfields Shire.
Women and Mentoring (WAM)
$100,750 over 1 year
To continue WAM’s mentoring program to support vulnerable women in their early stages of contact with the criminal justice system to:
- connect with services in their community to address their legal issues and the complex vulnerabilities which led to their criminalisation
- overcome barriers to community engagement and inclusion through the development of pro-social connections, and
- reduce the likelihood of custodial outcomes (whether on remand or sentence) and ultimately to avoid reoffending
Pathways Out of the Justice System for Women in Regional Victoria
Law and Advocacy Centre for Women
$99,000 over 1 year
This project aims to improve access to holistic, legal and support services for women in regional Victoria, particularly Mildura/Swan Hill, who are at risk of entrenchment in the criminal justice system.
More information about these grants is available from the Grants Program.