Despite cuts to funding, Community Legal Centres NSW won’t be deterred from its work in supporting community legal centres in NSW.

Earlier this year, Community Legal Centres NSW (CLCNSW) hosted its Symposium 2014: rCommunity Legal Centres: Advocates for Justice. The event offered CLCNSW the opportunity to connect with law-based professionals outside the community sector. “And, as the host, have an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in the industry,” says Kerry Nettle, locum advocacy and human rights officer for CLCNSW.

“The Symposium was definitely a success,” Nettle adds. “We had over 100 delegates attend, which exceeded our targets, and they extended from wide reaches across the industry.”

At a time when the sector faces significant funding cuts, such events present incredible networking opportunities. “The current funding cuts will mean our staff numbers and scope of work will lessen; this is why it’s so important that we remain as visible as possible.”

NSW Attorney General Brad Hazzard delivered the welcoming address to delegates, in which he praised the valuable work of community legal centres, vowing to do what he could to support them in this work. “In encouraging CLCs to speak up, he said that his door was always open to hearing from CLCs,” Nettle says.

Social commentator and activist Eva Cox delivered the inaugural CLCNSW oration, ‘Creating a good society: Access to justice and the role of the law and the CLC’. “She said we had much to learn from Aboriginal people who value community and sharing, values which are not reflected in wider society. In advocating for a fair society, she reminded delegates that lobbying is not the only way to effect change; there are many alternatives,” Nettle says.

To view PowerPoint presentations of the Symposium 2014 sessions, click here.

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