Victoria Legal Aid

Creating workspaces for growth, collaboration and the future

Our newly relocated office in Sunshine has already become a hub for collaboration with sector colleagues, assisting us to deliver more accessible legal services together.

Wednesday 13 March 2024 2:56am
Attendees at the opening of our Sunshine office walk through smoke as part of the Smoking Ceremony, performed by Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Perry Wandin.
Our opening event began with Uncle Perry Wandin giving the Welcome to Country and performing a Smoking to cleanse the land and people of bad spirits.

We were delighted to be joined by our legal sector partners and colleagues to officially ‘cut the ribbon’ at our relocated office in Sunshine on Wurundjeri Country.

After 22 years at our old premises on Ballarat Road, our Western Suburbs Regional Office has moved to a more modern and fit-for-purpose office space on Level 2, 12 Clarke Street.

Representing the Attorney-General, Member for Laverton Sarah Connelly gave the keynote address at our official opening event, paying tribute to our staff and the work they do.

‘Victoria Legal Aid helps those most in need,’ she told the gathering.

'And with this new office in Sunshine, I’m confident that we’ll be able to reach the people who need it most and deliver access to justice for all Victorians.’

Read more about the office’s state-of-the-art design

‘We’re seeing families and we’re seeing individuals experience increased social need and often there is a clear link between social need and sadly legal need,’ Sarah said.

‘(We) are very much aware of the challenges communities like Sunshine are facing … people who are unemployed or experiencing insecure housing are more likely to experience other legal issues, which is why it’s absolutely critical that people get access to legal information and advice early in the piece.

Regional Manager Liraz Jedwab said there had already been major changes and successes in the way the team worked, just three months on from relocating.

They have been able to host larger meetings with sector partners, like WEstjustice and Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre (CLC) – something the previous office was unable to accommodate.

L-R: WEstjustice CEO Melissa Hardham, Family Violence and Family Law Director Cleona Feuerring and Magistrate Michael McNamara.
L-R: WEstjustice CEO Melissa Hardham, Family Violence and Family Law Director Cleona Feuerring and Magistrate Michael McNamara outside the entrance of our relocated office in Sunshine.

Liraz also thanked staff for navigating a busy 18 months of planning and working around the relocation.

‘We’re proud of our team culture here,’ he said.

‘We’re inclusive and passionate about our work, we’ve got a healthy dose of cynicism, but we also are open-minded and engaged, and we love that the design has really taken that on board – it’s rewarded and celebrated that.

‘It will help us preserve that culture in a lot of ways and as a team, help us grow.’

Our contribution to the west

The Sunshine relocation is one step in our broader plan to transform our regional offices into functional, safe and accessible workplaces that meet the needs of those who use them, utilising people-centred design.

Board Chairperson Bill Jaboor reflected on the building of the nearby Brimbank Community and Civic Centre which was also designed to support the local community.

‘And it just showed me what a profound effect something like that can have on a community, it makes people feel proud and willing to use it,’ he said.

‘Good design is vitally important and crucial to the growth and development of the west of Melbourne.’

Connection and collaboration

L-R: Regions and Service Delivery Executive Director and MC Peter Noble, Member for Laverton Sarah Connolly, CEO Louise Glanville, Western Suburbs Regional Office Regional Manager Liraz Jedwab, Victoria Legal Aid Board Chairperson Bill Jaboor.
L–R: Regions and Service Delivery Executive Director and MC Peter Noble, Member for Laverton Sarah Connolly, CEO Louise Glanville, Western Suburbs Regional Office Regional Manager Liraz Jedwab, Victoria Legal Aid Board Chairperson Bill Jaboor.

Chief Executive Officer Louise Glanville said the sector as a whole was ‘realising what can be done in terms of environment delivering the sorts of outcomes we’re looking for’.

She thanked attendees for making the time to celebrate a milestone that would ultimately support a stronger legal assistance sector.

‘The west is a big region and will be the biggest in Australia at some stage in the not-too-distant future,’ Louise said.

‘There is room for all of us (in the legal assistance sector) given the quantity of work that needs to be done … and to really support people in the circumstances they’re in, it’s essential for us to do this together.

‘For far too long we’ve thought of CLCs, private practitioners and legal aid and divvied them all up, but that is not the future for us.

‘The future is for us to work collaboratively and together on all the sorts of things that we can do for people who live and work in the western suburbs of Melbourne.’

Visit us in Sunshine
We are open 8.45 am to 5.15 pm Monday to Friday
Level 2, 12 Clarke St, Sunshine

The Sunshine opening comes as work continues on the Wyndham Law Courts – set to be Victoria’s largest law complex outside of the Melbourne CBD and which will service the western growth corridor.

Currently under construction next to the Werribee Police Station on Bunurong Country, it will house the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, the Children’s Court, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, along with specialist courts and services.

More information

Read about our regional model refresh.

Reviewed 13 March 2024