Essendon Community Legal Centre
The Essendon Community Legal Service Working Group was formed in 1984. This group was established to investigate the legal needs of the local community, and meet them where possible. Advice services first commenced in 1985.
In 1988 the Legal Service joined with other unfunded Community Legal Centres to campaign for funds from Legal Aid. The campaign was successful, and since 1989 the Centre has been government funded. In the past we have also received the assistance of the Moonee Valley City Council.
The Centre provides a general service, however also focuses on family, multicultural and youth issues. It works to benefit and empower the community, and assist disadvantaged or disenfranchised people to be more knowledgeable about the law, and more confident and proactive in their dealings with the legal system.
The Centre is an independent, community managed, non-profit organisation that provides free legal advice and casework. We are not Legal Aid, but we do have a close relationship with Victoria Legal Aid and can assist clients in applying for Legal Aid assistance.
The Centre receives its funding from the Commonwealth and State Governments through Legal Aid. We are therefore accountable to them and must provide them with documents such as our Annual Report and other statistics. Information we take from our clients at advice sessions go into compiling these.