Victoria Legal Aid

Our history: 1980–89

In 1981 we officially opened as the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria and by the end of the decade had grown to 11 offices across the state.

On 1 September 1981, we officially opened as the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria (LACV), with headquarters at 179 Queen Street, Melbourne, and offices in Brunswick, Geelong, Glenroy and Sunshine. In our first year we provided grants of assistance to almost 25,000 Victorians and started work in fulfilment of our obligations to educate the community about legal matters and advise the government on law reform.

Public Law Library

Our Public Law Library was opened in 1982 and offered a range of resources to the public and lawyers.

New offices in metropolitan and regional areas

We opened metropolitan and regional offices in Dandenong (1983), Preston (1983), Frankston (1984), Morwell (1985), Ringwood (1987) and Bendigo (1989).

Our Education and Information Unit started country community legal education programs in Wangaratta and Warrnambool, the first of their kind in Australia.

Educational video wins international award

Our educational video, Getting Court, which told the story of a young man who goes to court to defend charges of car theft and exceeding 0.05, won an award for creative excellence in the United States.

Representation of South African woman affected by apartheid

We applied to the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs on behalf of a black South African immigrant who was applying for permanent residency on the grounds that her basic human rights were denied in South Africa as a result of the apartheid policy.

Sexual harassment case

We conducted the first case to come before the Equal Opportunity Board involving alleged sexual harassment by an employer. We also made the first application to the Victorian Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of a Crimes Compensation Tribunal decision.

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at

Reviewed 17 March 2022