Vital Volunteer-led Community Legal Service Celebrates its 21st
Road warrior solicitors clock up 500,000 kilometres in 21 years
The North and North West Community Legal Service is honoured to host The Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO, President, Court of Appeal of New South Wales in celebrating 21 years of funded Service to the community at a formal function at the Armidale Bowling Club on Saturday 17th June 2017.
“In reaching this milestone we must first and foremost recognise the efforts of our staff, volunteers and Board members. They are the lifeblood of the organisation and the success and longevity of the Service is a tribute to their commitment and passion”, said Board Chairperson, Ms Bronwyn Pearson.
The Service provides free and confidential legal advice and assistance to everyone living in the North and North West of New South Wales who is having difficulties accessing, or is unsure how to access, the legal system. Its outreach program covers Walcha, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Wee Waa, Moree, Glen Innes, Glen Innes Correctional Centre, Inverell, Tamworth, Quirindi and Tenterfield. Offering telephone and face to face appointments, our solicitors travel all over the region, totalling approximately 28,000kms each year.
The service assists with matters as wide-ranging as assisting a client with poor literacy skills navigate a bankruptcy process, facilitating a conciliation process and obtain an apology from a government department for a client with an intellectual disability, negotiating with insurance companies, and assisting two young school girls through a mediated dispute, successfully avoiding court.
Part of its Mission is to provide community education with the aim of increasing people’s knowledge and understanding of the law and their legal rights. To this end, the Service presents to community organisations, participates in community expo’s and delivers a bi weekly radio program – Law Matters – on ARM 92.1FM. The Service leads the way as one of only two community legal centres taking this community education approach.
The Service is committed to working towards a more just, equitable, and accessible society for all. The Service began in April 1993, under the leadership of Ms Jennifer Crew, who founded the Armidale Community Legal Service, run solely by volunteer solicitors. This passionate and dedicated band of volunteers led the way for the creation of the North and North West Community Service in 1996.
The Service has dual call to celebrate with a recent funding injection announcement from NSW Attorney General Mr Mark Speakman. “This is the biggest increase in funding from the state over the past 20 years. We are delighted to have our sector acknowledged for the vital and indispensable service we provide to our communities,” said Terri King, Principal Solicitor
About the North and North West Community Legal Service
The Service began in April 1993, when Ms Jennifer Crew began the Armidale Community Legal Service, run solely by volunteer solicitors from Armidale. In 1995 Jennifer Crew, Ted Wright and Rhonda Wein and began research and consultation with the community to establish the need for a funded Community Legal Centre to service the entire New England & North West regions of NSW. The submission to the Commonwealth Government was successful and the North & North West Community Legal Service Inc was born.
About the Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO
The Hon Justice Beazley was the first woman appointed to the New South Wales Court of Appeal in 1996 and in March 2013 was appointed President of the Court of Appeal. On 12 June 2006, her honour was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for service to the judiciary and the law, particularly through contributions to professional and ethical standards and to the advancement of women in the legal profession and the community.