Strengthening our engagement with community legal centres

Strengthening our engagement with community legal centres

Thursday, 30 September 2021

We are developing a new strategic engagement plan and a range of new initiatives to support community legal centres (CLCs), in response to our first engagement survey of the legal assistance sector.

‘We conducted this survey of CLCs and Aboriginal Legal Services to better understand how our partners experiencing working with us, the varied challenges that CLCs may experience and how we can better support and engage with individual centres,’ said Peter Noble, Victoria Legal Aid Executive Director, Regions and Service Delivery.

‘The results show that overall satisfaction with Victoria Legal Aid is high with a mean score of 7.1 out of 10. We also scored highly on four out of five engagement measures including sector co-ordination and support (76 per cent), collaboration (71 per cent), mutual respect (74 per cent), and communication (78 per cent).

'But we acknowledge that with a score of 38 per cent for transparency CLCs are seeking more clarity from Victoria Legal Aid, particularly around how funding decisions are made, and we are planning a range of actions in response,’ said Peter.

Download the CLC Engagement Survey summary response (docx, 232.94 KB) for a summary of the results and our response. 

As part of the survey CLCs provided good feedback on what we’re doing well, including operating collaboratively, with open-mindedness and mutual respect.

Survey respondents also provided many helpful suggestions ways to further improve our working relationship, which are reflected in our response to the survey.

‘We are implementing a range of strategic and operational changes to ensure we’re supporting all CLCs, whether they are generalist or specialist services, and helping metropolitan or regional and rural communities,’ said Peter.

Our response will include:

  • Countinuing to build our relationships with individual centres, particularly with smaller CLCs and those in regional and rural areas.
  • Providing greater clarity when funding decisions are made by the Commonwealth or State governments, and when they are made by Victoria Legal Aid.
  • Improved opportunities for CLCs to engage with Victoria Legal Aid senior leaders and program areas.
  • Increased sharing and collaboration on community legal information and internal strategy documents.

The survey was sent to the 46 CLCs with which we have a funding relationship. We received responses from 38 centres or an 83 per cent response rate.

More information

For more information about the survey and our response, contact VLA’s Community Legal Centre Funding and Development team at

Read more about community legal centres.


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