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$1m in funding announced to improve Victorians’ access to legal services

22 October 2020

Providing women in regional Victoria with a pathway out of the justice system and supporting people to apply for the Disability Support Pension are the aims of just a few of the projects awarded funding under the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner’s legal grants program.

Victorian Legal Services Board CEO and Commissioner Fiona McLeay will today announce the seven grant recipients who receive a share in $1 million in funding for projects that help ordinary and vulnerable Victorians access simple and affordable legal support services.

This years’ funding will enable organisations to continue to refine or expand on existing, proven services. For many of these organisations, without this funding their critical work would not be able to continue.

Victoria Legal Aid’s ‘Joined-Up Justice for Gippsland’ project will improve access to timely, appropriate and culturally safe legal assistance for priority clients and communities in the Gippsland region. The project aims to establish and improve referral pathways, create a network of non-legal service providers and help member organisations coordinate services.

The Mental Health Legal Centre has received funding to assist people managing complex health and mental health issues apply for the Disability Support Pension, by providing improved access to Centrelink resources. This project builds on the work of Social Security Rights Victoria, who earlier this year launched an online support service, including a medical chat bot, to support people to apply for the Disability Support Pension.

Since 2007, the VLSB+C’s grants program has provided $45 million in funding to legal and community organisations to improve access to justice for all Victorians, support policy research and law reform and develop education programs for consumers and legal professionals.

Quotes attributable to VLSB+C CEO and Commissioner, Fiona McLeay

“This program provides vulnerable Victorians with innovative new ways to get access to legal services when they need it the most.”

“I’m pleased to be announcing this year’s successful grant applicants, and I congratulate each of the organisations for their innovative projects and commitment to increasing access to justice for Victorians.”

“During times of crisis, such as now, these organisations are more important than ever as increasing numbers of Victorians find themselves in need of help.”

Watch the video below to find out more.

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