Sharing challenges and insights

Sharing challenges and insights

Monday, 13 February 2017

 Group of 23 people who attending the Community Legal Centre Innovation and Transformation Fund information session
Victoria Legal Aid staff with colleagues from various community legal centres, health services and community organisations at Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative.

‘Assumptions need to be rigorously tested and challenged’. This was one of the many shared learnings during a recent Community Legal Centre Innovation and Transformation Fund information session. 

In early February, a significant representation of our staff met with colleagues and stakeholders from various community legal centres (CLCs), health services and community organisations at Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative.

The Community Legal Centre Innovation and Transformation Fund was created by our Board as a one-off investment to support projects that aid community legal centre sector evolution and transformation. After two funding rounds, 11 special projects have been rolled out by community legal centres working individually and in partnerships. All projects have a significant focus on evaluation, to ensure that the lessons from each can be applied across the sector.

In the Harmony Centre at Rumbalara, the group discussed the progress of seven innovation and transformation projects.

Annie Nash, Senior Project Officer, Community Legal Centre Funding and Development Program, says the session was a great chance to come together to hear first-hand about the progress and learnings from this crucial investment.

‘CLCs funded through the Innovation and Transformation Fund ordinarily meet every two months as a peer support network to exchange project updates and learnings,’ Annie said.

‘Initiated by the round two funded projects, we have recently adopted a ‘showcase’ model - an approach that gives individual projects the opportunity to share in-depth insights with their colleagues in CLCs and relevant partners in the broader legal and non-legal assistance sector. This approach is consistent with Victoria Legal Aid's objective of sector wide transformation.  

‘The recent forum hosted by Rumbalara gave Goulburn Valley CLC (GVCLC) the opportunity to present and reflect on the intersections of Aboriginal cultural safety, community partnerships, (legal and non-legal), and importantly, therapeutic justice outcomes for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal clients in the Goulburn Valley region.

‘Embedding a lawyer at Rumbalara complements the core funding VLA administers to GVCLC alongside multiyear funding from the Legal Services Board.’

More information

For more information about the Innovation and Transformation Fund, contact Senior Project Officer Annie Nash in the Community Legal Centre Funding and Development Program team on 0429 729 726 or (03) 9269 0643.