Acknowledgment 
 ARC Justice acknowledges Aboriginal Peoples as the traditional and current custodians of the land upon which we work. We respect that this land always was and always will be Aboriginal land. Aboriginal sovereignty has never been ceded. We pay our respect to Elders past and present, as well as all Aboriginal people who have fought, and continue to fight, for equality, self-determination, culture, Country and community. We recognise systemic injustices that have been caused by colonisation and remain ongoing today. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves about these issues. We aim to always respect and work with Aboriginal communities to bring justice. We know that we have a lot to learn and we are committed to doing this. We won’t always get it right, and we genuinely welcome feedback from community. We celebrate the strength, culture, connection to Country, incredible resilience and contribution of Aboriginal Peoples to our whole community. We are grateful for the knowledge and wisdom so many Aboriginal people have shared with us and we look forward to working together in the years ahead.

Artwork:  Tammy Atkinson:  “Tree of Life” 2017

Executive Officer's Report

I am pleased to introduce our annual report outlining ARC Justice’s work to
increase access to justice and secure housing for rural and regional Victorians.

 

People living in Central and Northern Victoria continue to experience forms of ‘postcode injustice’ that limit access to legal and tenancy support services. While many of the most disadvantaged local government areas in the state fall within ARC Justice’s catchment, we are privileged to be part of strong and resilient communities committed to working together to solve challenges and advocate for the rights of rural and regional Victorians.

 

This year ARC Justice has continued a strong focus on integrated and place-based services to reach people experiencing disadvantage in our community, and to find sustainable solutions to the underlying health and social issues that contribute to their legal and housing problems. The case studies throughout this report provide a snapshot of the impact of this work.

 

Building relationships and trust in regional and rural communities in order to work in a genuinely collaborative way takes time and requires long term commitment. We were pleased this year to expand our legal services in Maryborough and our Health Justice Partnership with Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative in Shepparton. We also established a new integrated service partnership with the Centre for Non-Violence in Bendigo, which is increasing access to early legal advice and ongoing assistance for women experiencing family violence.

 

I would like to thank the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and all of our supporters for their contribution this year, without which our work would not be possible.

 

I look forward to reporting to you on our progress in the year ahead as we continue working towards our vision of an inclusive community built on a foundation of human rights and equality.

 

 

 

Hayley Mansfield

Executive Officer ARC Justice

Chairperson's Report

This year I was honored to be nominated as Chairperson following Niall Hensey stepping down from the role in November 2018. On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Niall for his commitment and leadership during his seven years as a Director and five years as Chairperson. Niall was instrumental in the development of our current Strategic Plan which continues to provide clear guidance for the organisation as we work to protect and promote the rights of rural and regional Victorians.

 

Strengthening our organisational capacity continues to be a priority for the Board, supporting ARC Justice to grow sustainably while continuing to achieve strong outcomes for clients and community. Through the targeted appointment of new Directors as part of an ongoing Board renewal process, we have established a strong governance foundation for the organisation. On behalf of the Board I’d like to thank Directors who stepped down this year for their time and commitment to strengthening ARC Justice’s impact in the community.

 

We remain strongly committed to ensuring that our resources are directed to where they can have the biggest impact. This year we have further invested in monitoring and evaluation, drawing on evaluation findings and client feedback to inform service planning and improvement.

 

The growth and increased impact of the Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre (GVCLC) has been a highlight of the last 12 months. Starting out as a small place-based service in 2012, GVCLC has grown to 10 staff and supported 1056 clients in the last financial year.  As we enter the third year of our Strategic Plan, we will be assessing opportunities to expand our place-based services to smaller regional towns in order to address significant unmet legal need in our vast regional catchment. We will continue to draw from our experience establishing the GVCLC service, along with our work in other towns such as Maryborough, as we work to increase access to justice and secure housing for rural and regional Victorians in the year ahead.

 

 

 

 

Andrew Chittenden

Chairperson ARC Justice

 

 

This year we provided 3366 legal advice, casework and tenancy advocacy services to our clients.

We prioritise helping people who are experiencing systemic disadvantage or marginalisation to increase their access to legal and tenancy support services and to ensure they have a voice in the justice system.

“The lawyer treated me with respect and made me feel valued during the process – something that not many other legal firms do. I felt that I wasn’t put down and like I wasn’t being judged…” Child Protection Program Client “The lady that dealt with my case was so kind and understanding and so genuine, making sure I knew my rights and understood.” TENANCY ADVOCACY AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CLIENT
Legal Advice Duty Lawyer Appearances Casework Tenancy Advocacy and Support
PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY 1 2 3 4 5

Our vision is an inclusive community built on a foundation of human rights and equality.

 

We are working towards this vision with a focus on the five impact areas identified in our 2017-22 Strategic Plan:

PRIORITY 1

1,113

1,498

280

475

We aim to reach people where they live. To watch a video of our staff talking about the importance of local access to justice and support  click here.

 

 

Our Reach

What we do

ARC Justice is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that provides legal assistance, tenancy advocacy and support services to people experiencing disadvantage in Central and Northern Victoria.

We also provide rights-based education and campaign for systemic change to protect and promote the rights of rural and regional Victorians.

We recognise that legal and housing issues do not occur in isolation. We work in partnership with the community and other services to address the underlying health and social needs of our clients.

 

 

Structure

Our Strategy

This year we helped





in regional and rural
Victoria with legal and
tenancy assistance.

 

2412

128,531

Our staff travelled

 

 

 

 


to connect with clients and stakeholders across the region.

PEOPLE

KILOMETRES

Increasing access to
legal and tenancy support

Our Impact

Increase access to justice and secure housing for the most vulnerable individuals in regional and rural  Victoria

Our services will recognise and address the interconnectedness between social and economic circumstances, physical and psychological health and our clients’ interaction with the legal system and housing

The experience and expertise of our local communities will guide our work

Advocate for systemic change that enhances the rights of rural and regional Victorians

Build our organisation’s capacity to achieve its purpose

About Us

 “I didn’t feel stigmatized, worried or concerned. I was very emotional when I went in and they were very supportive.” 
Family Violence Program Client 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5
most common Legal issues: most common Housing support issues:

Our Family Violence and Child Protection Programs continued to experience high demand this year, with duty lawyer services provided at 10 courts across the region.

 

Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre saw a rapid increase in demand for its family violence and related family and criminal law services with the opening of the new Shepparton Law Courts, including Victoria’s first Specialist Family Violence Court.

 

Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre saw an increase in the number of children referred to its Child Protection Program, and established a new integrated service partnership with the Centre for Non-Violence to increase access to legal support for women experiencing family violence. To watch a video about our legal services, click here

 

 

 

“I was actually able to stay in my house because of them. Otherwise I would have been homeless.” Tenancy Plus Program Client

Family Violence

Civil Law
Family Law

Child Protection

Criminal Law

Employment Law

Other (e.g. Discrimination, Immigration, Environment)

Lack of housing availability continues to be one of the most significant challenges in our region. This year Housing Justice started the Sustainable Tenancies Project with support from the City of Greater Bendigo to help tenants maintain their rental properties to avoid tenancy breaches and reduce rates of eviction. To watch a video about our tenancy support, click here.

Rent Arrears

Poor Condition of Property - Living skills

Notices to Vacate

Bond Claims

Compensation claims

Jenny's Story

‘Jenny’ is a young mother who sustained a serious
injury as a result of physical abuse from her partner
and was put on pain medication by her doctor. Because of the
trauma Jenny had experienced, she quickly became addicted.

 

Jenny’s partner took out an intervention order against her and she was kicked out of her home and excluded from having contact with her kids. Jenny sought help for her addiction and was admitted to a residential rehabilitation program. She was charged with breaching the intervention order after trying to contact her kids. Jenny was referred to one of our duty lawyers at court, who listened to her story and identified that she had been the victim of family violence.

 

Our lawyer spoke to the court about Jenny’s history and advocated for her matter to be dealt with via a diversion order so that Jenny would not receive a criminal charge. The Magistrate agreed and acknowledged Jenny’s hard work completing the rehabilitation program. Jenny was given a diversion order and can now continue engaging with the supports she needs to be safe from family violence, to manage her trauma, and to work towards having contact with her kids again. Jenny’s story is unfortunately a common one. It highlights how women who are victims of family violence can find themselves at risk of criminalisation when they are misidentified as the perpetrator.

 

 

June's Story

‘June’ was a victim of family violence before she herself was accused of perpetrating violence against her partner, resulting in the removal of her kids by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

 

June was connected to the Maryborough Therapeutic Justice Project (MTJP) when she met our lawyer at court after being charged with assault. Recognising that June was herself a victim of violence and in need of social supports, our lawyer connected June with the MTJP Case Worker at Maryborough District Health Service, who assisted June to get counselling and support from a specialist family violence service. Because of June’s willingness to engage with these support services, the Magistrate agreed to resolve her criminal charges by way of an undertaking without conviction. After working with the counselling services, June’s kids were returned to her care.

 

Without the integrated legal-health service offered by the MTJP, June’s story could have ended very differently. Recent research suggests that 70 to 90 per cent of women in prison in Australia have been victims of violence or abuse, an experience which experts say often leads to offending and criminalisation. The MTJP is helping to change the trajectory for women like ‘June’.

 

 

 

 

Integrated and place-based services 
This year saw the expansion of Loddon 
Campaspe Community Legal Centre’s legal 
services in Central Goldfields Shire, with the establishment of the Maryborough Therapeutic Justice Partnership with Maryborough District Health Service. 
This project builds on our ongoing place-based family violence initiative Tipping the Scales in Maryborough which has been strengthening coordination between legal, health and social services in the community. 


A lawyer and a social worker are now co-located at Maryborough District Health Service working together to provide integrated legal and health services to clients with complex needs who are in contact with the criminal justice system. The social worker also attends court with our lawyers to identify vulnerable clients and connect them with appropriate support services outside of court. This project is filling a significant service gap in the Central Goldfields Shire where specialist and therapeutic court services such as the Court Integrated Service Program do not extend.

 

PRIORITY 2
Partnering to improve client outcomes

Lucy's Story

‘Lucy’ was 15 years old when she was referred to our Child Protection Program after the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) sought a Permanent Care Order for Lucy to live with her aunt and uncle. The Permanent Care Order would give Lucy’s aunt and uncle full parental responsibility over her.

 

Our lawyer arranged to meet Lucy at school where she felt safe. The lawyer explained what the Permanent Care Order would mean and asked Lucy where she wanted to live. Lucy agreed to the order, but later told our lawyer that she was having some problems with her aunt and wanted to keep DHHS involved in her life. Lucy also asked for help arranging contact with her younger sibling who was living with a foster carer. With these instructions from Lucy, our lawyer advocated to DHHS for a Care by Secretary Order so that Lucy could live with her aunt and uncle but continue to receive support. Our lawyer also referred Lucy to a program to help her gain more independence by getting her  learner permit when she turned 16 and help to find a job and accommodation if she needed this in future.

 

Thanks to the assistance that Lucy received from our lawyer, she found out how to get contact with her younger sibling and felt happy knowing that support would be available from DHHS if she needed it. This story highlights how our lawyers work with young people in the Child Protection system to ensure that they have a voice in decisions about their future

 

 

John's Story

‘John’ came to Housing Justice after being issued with a Notice to Vacate his rental home. He had been experiencing difficulties with his landlord, who would often arrive at the property unannounced to conduct inspections and had ignored John’s requests to make repairs. No valid reasons were given in the Notice to Vacate and John felt that his landlord was forcing him out of the property to avoid doing the repairs that were needed.

 

John’s advocate at Housing Justice filed a Breach of Duty notice to stop the landlord from harassing John and issuing Notices to Vacate without reason. John still felt uncomfortable living in the property and told his advocate that he wanted to move out. He was stressed about breaking his lease and having to argue the issues with his landlord at  VCAT. His advocate arranged for the Breach of Duty matter to be negotiated outside of VCAT and John’s lease was terminated by consent. He was also awarded a compensation payment.

 

With help from Housing Justice, John was able to move out of the property without further stress. The compensation payment he received helped John to hire a removalist and to quickly settle in to his new home.

 

 

 

 “I was under the threat of an ex in all sorts of ways regarding a child. I only found out [about the legal service] through my doctor and I was really surprised…Having someone to talk to who knew about the law in black and white took weight off my mind. If something wasn't clear I could ask a question, it was such a relief…without that support it would have gone a lot worse than it did.” 
Health Justice Partnership Client

Video about our therapeutic

support model

This year saw the expansion of Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre’s Health Justice Partnership with Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative. A second lawyer has now been added to our team who are on-site at Rumbalara’s health service in Mooroopna five days a week, building relationships with staff and providing legal support to members of the local Aboriginal community in a culturally-safe setting. View a video about our Rumbalara Health Justice Partnership here:

 

When someone is experiencing family violence, struggling to pay a fine, in debt or facing eviction, they may not think about this as a legal problem or know that a lawyer can help them. We work in partnership with health professionals and other specialist support services to build their capacity to identify legal problems and help clients to access legal assistance.

Health Justice Partnerships

 

Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre’s pioneering Bendigo Health Justice Partnership also received further funding to continue providing legal assistance to clients at Bendigo Community Health Service in Kangaroo Flat. This project was one of the first of its kind in Australia and continues to generate lessons about the effectiveness of legal and health services working together.

Working together with specialist services 
Bendigo Family Violence Justice Project
This year Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre established a new integrated service partnership with the Centre for Non-Violence, a specialist family violence service in Bendigo. A lawyer is now based at the Centre for Non-Violence three days per week to provide legal advice and representation to women affected by family violence in an environment where they feel safe and supported. The lawyer also runs legal education sessions with family violence workers to increase their capacity to identify the other legal issues that are commonly experienced by women affected by family violence. Through this partnership we are reaching these women earlier and providing ongoing legal assistance for family violence and related family law and child protection issues. Employment Law Project
Another of our new projects this year saw Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre join forces with two other community legal centres (CLCs): Barwon Community Legal Service (BCLS) and the specialist employment law service JobWatch. This project aims to increase access to specialist employment law advice and representation services in regional parts of the state. Goulburn Valley is known as the fruit bowl of Victoria, and many migrants and backpackers come to the region in fruit picking season and for other forms of work. The Employment Law Project responds to growing concerns about underpayment, exploitation and poor work conditions for these working holiday makers and temporary visa holders. A full-time Employment Lawyer is now based at GVCLC providing legal advice and representation to migrant workers. BBQs and other outreach activities have been coordinated through the project to reach out to geographically isolated workers. Referrals and information 
sharing with JobWatch and BCLS have
increased capacity and access to
employment law services at GVCLC. 
Video about our Employment Law Project:

PRIORITY 3 Engaging our community 
 


Family violence education at Tarrengower Women’s Prison in partnership with the “Out of the Dark” Program

 

 

 

Family violence community forum in Maryborough with over 100 participants  in partnership with Maryborough Rotary Club

 

 

 

 

Seniors Rights Talks in Shepparton and Castlemaine,  in partnership with Seniors Rights Victoria

 

 

 

Legal information stall at Sisters’ Day Out community events in Shepparton and Echuca, in partnership with Djirra Aboriginal Women’s Legal Service

We work with our community to raise awareness of rights and responsibilities, to advocate for change and to learn how we can improve our services.

 

This year we visited schools, prisons, clubs, libraries and community groups to deliver rights-based education including:

Client Feedback
 The experience and expertise of our clients continues to drive our work. Our Annual Client Feedback Survey provides a valuable learning opportunity. This year clients told us: Quotes from clients: “I was able to fully understand the legal side of the problem, given options, also validated in my concerns, and felt the service was empathetic and professional.” loddon campaspe CLC Client “[their help] made a massive difference. Meant I didn’t lose my licence and didn’t lose my job so I could keep providing for my family” goulburn valley CLC Client “I did not think I had much rights when it came to the tenancy. I understand more after speaking with them” housing justice Client

felt that our services were respectful and tailored to their specific personal or cultural needs

felt that they had a better understand of their legal or housing issue and options after speaking to us

felt that the assistance they received from our services had made a positive difference in their lives

89 % 93 83 % %

We also learnt from client feedback that steps could be taken to improve our accessibility.  As a result, we made changes to our Client Intake system, which we will continue to strengthen in the coming year.

PRIORITY 4
Advocating 
for change

We also worked collaboratively with other organisation and peak bodies in our sector to add a regional voice to state-wide advocacy campaigns, such as the Make Renting Fair Campaign which resulted in changes to the Residential Tenancies Act in Victoria to better protect the rights of renters.

 

Our legal services were active in advocating for improvements to regional court facilities, calling for better disability access and safety at Maryborough Magistrate’s Court, and a dedicated safe space for women and children within the new Shepparton Law Courts. Our advocacy ensured that the voices and needs of our clients, particularly those affected by family violence, were represented in the planning, design and redevelopment of these
court facilities, making them
safer and more accessible
.

In November 2018 we hosted our annual Talking Justice Forum with guest speakers Gillian Triggs, Hugh de Kretser and Misha Ketchell. They spoke about the importance of Speaking Truth to Power in the context of increasing attacks on institutions like the judiciary and the Australian Human Rights Commission. Over 150 people attended this event in Bendigo and engaged in the conversation. Click here to view a video trailer of the event, or click here to view a full video of the event.

Strengthening our capacity to achieve impact 
This year we continued to strengthen the back-of-house support for our programs and services with a focus on capacity building in our Finance, Communications and Monitoring and Evaluation teams. We undertook significant work to strengthen our IT systems and processes, including moving to the Cloud. We also successfully completed QIP accreditation this year against the DHHS Human Services Standards. This capacity building is enabling our frontline staff to work more flexibly offsite, to reach out to clients in towns outside of regional centres, and to make sure that people with legal and housing problems know where and how to get help. It is also enabling us to effectively manage and direct our resources to where they can have the greatest impact. We continue to invest in monitoring and evaluation across our programs, measuring the outcomes of our projects and core services, and improving client feedback processes to identify what we are doing well and opportunities for improvement. By embedding monitoring and evaluation into our work we will continue to improve our services and identify and address barriers to legal and housing assistance for vulnerable people in the community. 

PRIORITY 5
Our Staff Our dedicated staff provide critical help to people in need every day. We have 37 staff in total working across our offices in Bendigo, Shepparton and Maryborough. Over three quarters of our staff are involved in frontline service delivery, including: • 17 Community Lawyers • 4 Housing Advocates • 6 Reception, Intake and Paralegal Officers • 2 Community Development / Social Workers

Our People

Our frontline staff are supported by our Corporate Services Team who are the backbone of our organisation providing Finance, Facilities, Human Resources, Communications and Monitoring & Evaluation services to enable us to work effectively with clients and community.

 

We would like to thank all of our current staff, and those who left the organisation this year, for their hard work supporting our clients and community. You can find more information about our leadership team by clicking here.

 

3042

Hours contributed by volunteers to ARC Justice programs.

Volunteer Lawyers Aaron Day Alastair Lyall Alison Ross Amilee Myson Anne Steed Ben Thompson Caroline Granger Cathryn Wardrop Chris Casey Ella Thompson Emily Chamberlain Erin Molenaar Greg Westbrook Greta Sabatino James Maxwell James Penman Jennifter Lay Jenny Orchard John McPherson Kayla Kristensen Volunteer Students Ashleigh Shankly Ben Whitty Camille Johnstone Chelsea McRae Cheyenne Cadence Dallas Terlich Danielle Wright Eleisha Cairns Georgia Klaver Indi Rumbold Isobelle Maybury Jess Cooke Joseph Keily Kate Blanks Kate Lawn Keely McDonald Khayshie Tilak Ramesh
Our Volunteers We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our volunteers, whose contribution is integral to the effectiveness of our programs and services. This includes the volunteer lawyers who dedicate their time and expertise providing free legal advice to vulnerable clients after hours, as well students who undertake training placements and volunteer their time and skills in support of our work. We thank all of our dedicated volunteers for their continued support and contribution to our programs and services this year.
Our Board The Board drives ARC Justice’s strategic direction and ensures a strong system of governance and oversight to maximise the organisation’s impact. Guided by the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, the Board works closely with the Executive Officer to enable the organisation to obtain and effectively allocate resources to implement the organisation’s strategic priorities. Through a structured risk management framework and sub-committees, the Board ensures ARC Justice complies with all legal and policy obligations, while ensuring the organisation’s ongoing sustainability. Our Board members are:
Andrew Chittenden – Chair Andrew is a long term Bendigo resident and high performing manager in various financial roles, with over 15 years of experience leading successful and cohesive teams. Andrew is currently the General Manager of Finance at Haven; Home, Safe and also chairs the Audit & Risk Committee for Inglewood & Districts Health Service. His background includes financial roles in Food and Beverage, Construction and Accommodation organisations, and he is known for his commitment to achieving high levels of accuracy using ethical work standards, as well as a broad knowledge of corporate services practices, including HR/payroll, IT and procurement. Andrew is an excellent communicator with a can-do approach to problem solving and resolution. Andrew is also involved with local community through extensive volunteer experience outside of his work commitments.

Kelsey Johnston

Kim Pethybridge

Kim Parker

Kristen Nicholls

Lachlan Singe

Louise Hanby D’Wynn

Megan McDonald

Melissa Buchanan

Michael Hennessy

Natalie Westbrook

Neil Thredgold

Olivia Barlow

Polly Symons

Sarah Notarianni

Shea Stewart

Siobhan Liston

Thibaut Clamart

Trent McGregor

Trevor Kuhle

 

Kym Wallace

Lachlan Perkins

Lena Charnley

Lucy Witham

Madeline Thomas

Majed Al-Tuhmazy

Natalie Diener

Peter Korteman

Roweena Ilsley

Sam Oliver

Shannon Robinson-Hore

Shaun Stephenson

Sophie Maxted

Sophie Hogan

Stuart Timms

William Griffin

Clare Fountain - Secretary Clare Fountain is the owner operator of local Bendigo business Sorted, who provide workshops, planning, facilitation, consulting, training and business mentoring for a wide range of businesses. Her book “Sorted,” has been widely used by small businesses and entrepreneurs to establish and organise their businesses. She is co-founder of the Synergize Hub, a co-working space for social entrepreneurs and micro-business owners in Bendigo. Her membership on a number of Boards and active volunteering in leadership positions with a number of local organisations in Central Victoria make her a key driver in the community. In 2016, her business Sorted won the Bendigo Business Excellence Award for Professional Services.
Melinda Charlesworth Melinda is currently the Director of Governance and Strategy at Bendigo Health, and has worked for over 25 years in the health industry. Melinda is a credentialed Speech Pathologist with post graduate qualifications in Health Systems Management and Executive Coaching. Melinda has managed a broad variety of services focusing on provision of high-quality leadership for teams who provide excellent patient care. With a passion for communication, she applies evidence based leadership principles to inform governance and accountability, ensuring best practice, values based outcomes for her community.
Christopher McDermott Christopher McDermott is a Barrister at the Victorian Bar specialising in public law and general civil litigation. Prior to joining the Bar, he was a Senior Lawyer with the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) specialising in administrative law, appearing on behalf of Commonwealth Departments in complex litigation in federal courts and tribunals. Prior to working with the AGS, Christopher was Senior Associate to the Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court. Before this, Christopher worked at the Attorney-General’s Department on human rights and access to justice strategies. He is the Vice President of the Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men’s Health Centre (trading as Thorne Harbour Health), and a Director of Mental Health Victoria Ltd. He is the Secretary of both the LGBTI Working Group and the Equality & Diversity Committee of the Victorian Bar.
Kate Scarce Kate is a qualified CPA and proud Bendigo local who has been working in audit, risk management and accounting roles for 30 years. Currently, she is an Audit Manager at AFS & Associates and has worked with the Victorian Auditor General’s Office, Telstra, CPA Australia and Haven; Home, Safe. She is an audit committee independent member for Remembrance Parks Central Victoria and is a former Chair of the Audit Committees for the City of Greater Bendigo and Gannawarra Shire. Her experience encompasses many sectors including health, local government, waste management, catchment management, credit unions, telecommunications, for profit and not for profit organisations. She is also a community representative on the Specialist Clinics Steering Committee at Bendigo Health and a member of the GMHBA Consumer Consultation group. Kate loves supporting the local community, and is passionate about the not for profit sector with a particular interest in good governance and accountability Khayshie Tilak Ramesh Khayshie is a final year Law student at La Trobe University in Bendigo who has distinguished herself as the Law Institute of Victoria student of the year in 2019. She was also awarded Young Citizen of the Year by Bendigo council in 2017. As well as volunteering at Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre since 2015, she has fulfilled roles with the Bendigo Economic Strategy Steering Committee as a Committee Member, and Multicultural Ambassador for Bendigo Foodshare. She has also commenced a role as the Multicultural Youth Commissioner of Victoria.
 Below are summary financial figures for the 2018-19 Financial year. For full financial figures in our Audited Financial report, please click the link below:

2018-2019 Audited
Financial Report

 

Statement of profit and loss and other comprehensive income for the year ended 
30 June 2019 Revenue Employee Benefits Expenses Supplies & Consumables Depreciation and Amortisation Audit Fees Total Expenditure Operating Surplus

 2019

 $

 

 3,192,814

 

 2,438,465  678,765  44,313

 7,200

 

3.168.743

 

24,071

 2018

$

 

2,874,195

 

2,075,382

662,942

45,228

4,730

 

2,788,282

 

85,913

Balance Sheet Current Assets Cash & Cash Equivalents Investments Trade and other receivables Other assets Total Current Assets Non Current Assets Property, Plant & Equipment Total Assets Current Liabilities Trade and other payables Prepaid Income Provisions Total Current Liabilities Non Current Liabilities Provisions Total Liabilities Net Assets Equity Retained Earnings Total Equity

2019

$

 

 

 

 1,205,671

562,557

255,110

79,541

2,102,879

 

 

214,144

 

2,317,023

 

 

197,729

892,216

185,723

1,275,668

 

 

76,597

 

1,352,265

 

964,758

 

 

964,758

 

964,758

 

2018

$

 

 

 

 1,502,595

56,036

-

58,670

1,617,301

 

 

141,026

 

1,758,327

 

 

149,905

373,276

239,306

762,487

 

 

55,153

 

817,640

 

940,687

 

 

940,687

 

940,687

Financials

Our Supporters ARC Justice is a not-for-profit organisation that relies on the generosity and support of our partners to achieve impact in the lives of our clients and communities. We would like to extend a big thank you to the following organisations who have provided funding and/or in-kind support to our programs and services this year.

LCCLC and GVCLC core funding, family violence and child protection legal services

  • Victoria Legal Aid
  • Victorian Government
  • Commonwealth Government

 

Housing Justice – Tenancy Assistance and Advocacy Program (TAAP), Tenancy Plus and generalist support

  • Victorian Government
  • CafeSmart
  • City of Greater Bendigo

 

Rumbalara Health Justice Partnership

  • Victorian Government
  • Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative

Maryborough – Tipping the Scales Project

  • Victorian Legal Services Board Grants Program
  • Go-Goldfields, with funding administered by Centre for Non-Violence
  • Winn Legal
  • Maryborough District Health Service

 

Maryborough – Therapeutic Justice Partnership

  • Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety Integrated Services Fund, administered by the Federation of the Community Legal Centres Victoria
  • Maryborough District Health Service

 

Bendigo Health Justice Partnership

  • WCF Thomas Charitable Trust, administered by Equity Trustees
  • Victorian Government
  • Bendigo Community Health Services

Bendigo Family Violence Justice Project

  • Frances and Harold Abbott Foundation, administered by Equity Trustees
  • Centre for Non-Violence

 

Employment Law Project (assisting working holiday makers)

  • Victorian Government
  • JobWatch

 

Bendigo Student Association

  • La Trobe University

 

Talking Justice

  • Arnold Dallas MacPherson Lawyers
  • CatholicCare Sandhurst
  • Haven; Home, Safe
  • Reichstein Foundation
  • Robertson Hyetts Solicitors
  • Strategem Community Foundation
  • Women’s Health Loddon Mallee

 

Thank you also to

  • Clayton Utz
  • Deakin University
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • Victoria Law Foundation
Many Thanks ARC Justice would like to thank all our supporters, funders, workers and volunteers for their support throughout the year. Without your generous support we would not be able to provide all the services we provide for the most vulnerable members of our community. Contact

ARC Justice

171 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo.

Postal: PO Box 432, Bendigo, VIC 3552


Phone:
(03) 5445 0909

FREECALL: 1800 450 909

 

Email: reception@arcjustice.org.au

Web: arcjustice.org.au

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/arc-justice/

Twitter: @arcjustice

 

Annual Report 2018-19
Acknowledgment 
 ARC Justice acknowledges Aboriginal Peoples as the traditional and current custodians of the land upon which we work. We respect that this land always was and always will be Aboriginal land. Aboriginal sovereignty has never been ceded. We pay our respect to Elders past and present, as well as all Aboriginal people who have fought, and continue to fight, for equality, self-determination, culture, Country and community. We recognise systemic injustices that have been caused by colonisation and remain ongoing today. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves about these issues. We aim to always respect and work with Aboriginal communities to bring justice. We know that we have a lot to learn and we are committed to doing this. We won’t always get it right, and we genuinely welcome feedback from community. We celebrate the strength, culture, connection to Country, incredible resilience and contribution of Aboriginal Peoples to our whole community. We are grateful for the knowledge and wisdom so many Aboriginal people have shared with us and we look forward to working together in the years ahead.
PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY 1 2 3 4 5
“The lawyer treated me with respect and made me feel valued during the process – something that not many other legal firms do. I felt that I wasn’t put down and like I wasn’t being judged…” Child Protection Program Client “The lady that dealt with my case was so kind and understanding and so genuine, making sure I knew my rights and understood.” TENANCY ADVOCACY AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CLIENT
Legal Advice Duty Lawyer Appearances Casework Tenancy Advocacy and Support PRIORITY 1
 “I didn’t feel stigmatized, worried or concerned. I was very emotional when I went in and they were very supportive.” 
Family Violence Program Client 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5
most common Legal issues: most common Housing support issues: “I was actually able to stay in my house because of them. Otherwise I would have been homeless.” Tenancy Plus Program Client
Integrated and place-based services 
This year saw the expansion of Loddon 
Campaspe Community Legal Centre’s legal 
services in Central Goldfields Shire, with the establishment of the Maryborough Therapeutic Justice Partnership with Maryborough District Health Service. 
This project builds on our ongoing place-based family violence initiative Tipping the Scales in Maryborough which has been strengthening coordination between legal, health and social services in the community. 
 PRIORITY 2
Partnering to improve client outcomes
 “I was under the threat of an ex in all sorts of ways regarding a child. I only found out [about the legal service] through my doctor and I was really surprised…Having someone to talk to who knew about the law in black and white took weight off my mind. If something wasn't clear I could ask a question, it was such a relief…without that support it would have gone a lot worse than it did.” 
Health Justice Partnership Client
Health Justice Partnerships
Working together with specialist services 
Bendigo Family Violence Justice Project
This year Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre established a new integrated service partnership with the Centre for Non-Violence, a specialist family violence service in Bendigo. A lawyer is now based at the Centre for Non-Violence three days per week to provide legal advice and representation to women affected by family violence in an environment where they feel safe and supported. The lawyer also runs legal education sessions with family violence workers to increase their capacity to identify the other legal issues that are commonly experienced by women affected by family violence. Through this partnership we are reaching these women earlier and providing ongoing legal assistance for family violence and related family law and child protection issues. Employment Law Project
Another of our new projects this year saw Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre join forces with two other community legal centres (CLCs): Barwon Community Legal Service (BCLS) and the specialist employment law service JobWatch. This project aims to increase access to specialist employment law advice and representation services in regional parts of the state. Goulburn Valley is known as the fruit bowl of Victoria, and many migrants and backpackers come to the region in fruit picking season and for other forms of work. The Employment Law Project responds to growing concerns about underpayment, exploitation and poor work conditions for these working holiday makers and temporary visa holders. A full-time Employment Lawyer is now based at GVCLC providing legal advice and representation to migrant workers. BBQs and other outreach activities have been coordinated through the project to reach out to geographically isolated workers. Referrals and information 
sharing with JobWatch and BCLS have
increased capacity and access to
employment law services at GVCLC. 
Video about our Employment Law Project:

PRIORITY 3 Engaging our community 
 

Advocating 
for change
Client Feedback
 The experience and expertise of our clients continues to drive our work. Our Annual Client Feedback Survey provides a valuable learning opportunity. This year clients told us: Quotes from clients: “I was able to fully understand the legal side of the problem, given options, also validated in my concerns, and felt the service was empathetic and professional.” loddon campaspe CLC Client “[their help] made a massive difference. Meant I didn’t lose my licence and didn’t lose my job so I could keep providing for my family” goulburn valley CLC Client “I did not think I had much rights when it came to the tenancy. I understand more after speaking with them” housing justice Client 89 % 93 83 % %
PRIORITY 4 Strengthening our capacity to achieve impact 
This year we continued to strengthen the back-of-house support for our programs and services with a focus on capacity building in our Finance, Communications and Monitoring and Evaluation teams. We undertook significant work to strengthen our IT systems and processes, including moving to the Cloud. We also successfully completed QIP accreditation this year against the DHHS Human Services Standards. This capacity building is enabling our frontline staff to work more flexibly offsite, to reach out to clients in towns outside of regional centres, and to make sure that people with legal and housing problems know where and how to get help. It is also enabling us to effectively manage and direct our resources to where they can have the greatest impact. We continue to invest in monitoring and evaluation across our programs, measuring the outcomes of our projects and core services, and improving client feedback processes to identify what we are doing well and opportunities for improvement. By embedding monitoring and evaluation into our work we will continue to improve our services and identify and address barriers to legal and housing assistance for vulnerable people in the community. 
 PRIORITY 5
Our Staff Our dedicated staff provide critical help to people in need every day. We have 37 staff in total working across our offices in Bendigo, Shepparton and Maryborough. Over three quarters of our staff are involved in frontline service delivery, including: • 17 Community Lawyers • 4 Housing Advocates • 6 Reception, Intake and Paralegal Officers • 2 Community Development / Social Workers
Volunteer Lawyers Aaron Day Alastair Lyall Alison Ross Amilee Myson Anne Steed Ben Thompson Caroline Granger Cathryn Wardrop Chris Casey Ella Thompson Emily Chamberlain Erin Molenaar Greg Westbrook Greta Sabatino James Maxwell James Penman Jennifter Lay Jenny Orchard John McPherson Kayla Kristensen Volunteer Students Ashleigh Shankly Ben Whitty Camille Johnstone Chelsea McRae Cheyenne Cadence Dallas Terlich Danielle Wright Eleisha Cairns Georgia Klaver Indi Rumbold Isobelle Maybury Jess Cooke Joseph Keily Kate Blanks Kate Lawn Keely McDonald Khayshie Tilak Ramesh
Our Volunteers We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our volunteers, whose contribution is integral to the effectiveness of our programs and services. This includes the volunteer lawyers who dedicate their time and expertise providing free legal advice to vulnerable clients after hours, as well students who undertake training placements and volunteer their time and skills in support of our work. We thank all of our dedicated volunteers for their continued support and contribution to our programs and services this year.
3042
Our Board The Board drives ARC Justice’s strategic direction and ensures a strong system of governance and oversight to maximise the organisation’s impact. Guided by the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, the Board works closely with the Executive Officer to enable the organisation to obtain and effectively allocate resources to implement the organisation’s strategic priorities. Through a structured risk management framework and sub-committees, the Board ensures ARC Justice complies with all legal and policy obligations, while ensuring the organisation’s ongoing sustainability. Our Board members are:
Andrew Chittenden – Chair Andrew is a long term Bendigo resident and high performing manager in various financial roles, with over 15 years of experience leading successful and cohesive teams. Andrew is currently the General Manager of Finance at Haven; Home, Safe and also chairs the Audit & Risk Committee for Inglewood & Districts Health Service. His background includes financial roles in Food and Beverage, Construction and Accommodation organisations, and he is known for his commitment to achieving high levels of accuracy using ethical work standards, as well as a broad knowledge of corporate services practices, including HR/payroll, IT and procurement. Andrew is an excellent communicator with a can-do approach to problem solving and resolution. Andrew is also involved with local community through extensive volunteer experience outside of his work commitments.
Clare Fountain - Secretary Clare Fountain is the owner operator of local Bendigo business Sorted, who provide workshops, planning, facilitation, consulting, training and business mentoring for a wide range of businesses. Her book “Sorted,” has been widely used by small businesses and entrepreneurs to establish and organise their businesses. She is co-founder of the Synergize Hub, a co-working space for social entrepreneurs and micro-business owners in Bendigo. Her membership on a number of Boards and active volunteering in leadership positions with a number of local organisations in Central Victoria make her a key driver in the community. In 2016, her business Sorted won the Bendigo Business Excellence Award for Professional Services.
Christopher McDermott Christopher McDermott is a Barrister at the Victorian Bar specialising in public law and general civil litigation. Prior to joining the Bar, he was a Senior Lawyer with the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) specialising in administrative law, appearing on behalf of Commonwealth Departments in complex litigation in federal courts and tribunals. Prior to working with the AGS, Christopher was Senior Associate to the Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court. Before this, Christopher worked at the Attorney-General’s Department on human rights and access to justice strategies. He is the Vice President of the Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men’s Health Centre (trading as Thorne Harbour Health), and a Director of Mental Health Victoria Ltd. He is the Secretary of both the LGBTI Working Group and the Equality & Diversity Committee of the Victorian Bar.
Kate Scarce Kate is a qualified CPA and proud Bendigo local who has been working in audit, risk management and accounting roles for 30 years. Currently, she is an Audit Manager at AFS & Associates and has worked with the Victorian Auditor General’s Office, Telstra, CPA Australia and Haven; Home, Safe. She is an audit committee independent member for Remembrance Parks Central Victoria and is a former Chair of the Audit Committees for the City of Greater Bendigo and Gannawarra Shire. Her experience encompasses many sectors including health, local government, waste management, catchment management, credit unions, telecommunications, for profit and not for profit organisations. She is also a community representative on the Specialist Clinics Steering Committee at Bendigo Health and a member of the GMHBA Consumer Consultation group. Kate loves supporting the local community, and is passionate about the not for profit sector with a particular interest in good governance and accountability Khayshie Tilak Ramesh Khayshie is a final year Law student at La Trobe University in Bendigo who has distinguished herself as the Law Institute of Victoria student of the year in 2019. She was also awarded Young Citizen of the Year by Bendigo council in 2017. As well as volunteering at Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre since 2015, she has fulfilled roles with the Bendigo Economic Strategy Steering Committee as a Committee Member, and Multicultural Ambassador for Bendigo Foodshare. She has also commenced a role as the Multicultural Youth Commissioner of Victoria.
Melinda Charlesworth Melinda is currently the Director of Governance and Strategy at Bendigo Health, and has worked for over 25 years in the health industry. Melinda is a credentialed Speech Pathologist with post graduate qualifications in Health Systems Management and Executive Coaching. Melinda has managed a broad variety of services focusing on provision of high-quality leadership for teams who provide excellent patient care. With a passion for communication, she applies evidence based leadership principles to inform governance and accountability, ensuring best practice, values based outcomes for her community.
 Below are summary financial figures for the 2018-19 Financial year. For full financial figures in our Audited Financial report, please click the link below: Statement of profit and loss and other comprehensive income for the year ended 
30 June 2019 Revenue Employee Benefits Expenses Supplies & Consumables Depreciation and Amortisation Audit Fees Total Expenditure Operating Surplus Balance Sheet Current Assets Cash & Cash Equivalents Investments Trade and other receivables Other assets Total Current Assets Non Current Assets Property, Plant & Equipment Total Assets Current Liabilities Trade and other payables Prepaid Income Provisions Total Current Liabilities Non Current Liabilities Provisions Total Liabilities Net Assets Equity Retained Earnings Total Equity
Our Supporters ARC Justice is a not-for-profit organisation that relies on the generosity and support of our partners to achieve impact in the lives of our clients and communities. We would like to extend a big thank you to the following organisations who have provided funding and/or in-kind support to our programs and services this year.
Many Thanks ARC Justice would like to thank all our supporters, funders, workers and volunteers for their support throughout the year. Without your generous support we would not be able to provide all the services we provide for the most vulnerable members of our community. Contact
Annual Report 2018-19
Acknowledgment 
 ARC Justice acknowledges Aboriginal Peoples as the traditional and current custodians of the land upon which we work. We respect that this land always was and always will be Aboriginal land. Aboriginal sovereignty has never been ceded. We pay our respect to Elders past and present, as well as all Aboriginal people who have fought, and continue to fight, for equality, self-determination, culture, Country and community. We recognise systemic injustices that have been caused by colonisation and remain ongoing today. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves about these issues. We aim to always respect and work with Aboriginal communities to bring justice. We know that we have a lot to learn and we are committed to doing this. We won’t always get it right, and we genuinely welcome feedback from community. We celebrate the strength, culture, connection to Country, incredible resilience and contribution of Aboriginal Peoples to our whole community. We are grateful for the knowledge and wisdom so many Aboriginal people have shared with us and we look forward to working together in the years ahead.
“The lawyer treated me with respect and made me feel valued during the process – something that not many other legal firms do. I felt that I wasn’t put down and like I wasn’t being judged…” Child Protection Program Client “The lady that dealt with my case was so kind and understanding and so genuine, making sure I knew my rights and understood.” TENANCY ADVOCACY AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CLIENT
Legal Advice Duty Lawyer Appearances Casework Tenancy Advocacy and Support
PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY 1 2 3 4 5
PRIORITY 1
 “I didn’t feel stigmatized, worried or concerned. I was very emotional when I went in and they were very supportive.” 
Family Violence Program Client 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5
most common Legal issues: most common Housing support issues: “I was actually able to stay in my house because of them. Otherwise I would have been homeless.” Tenancy Plus Program Client
Integrated and place-based services 
This year saw the expansion of Loddon 
Campaspe Community Legal Centre’s legal 
services in Central Goldfields Shire, with the establishment of the Maryborough Therapeutic Justice Partnership with Maryborough District Health Service. 
This project builds on our ongoing place-based family violence initiative Tipping the Scales in Maryborough which has been strengthening coordination between legal, health and social services in the community. 

PRIORITY 2
Partnering to improve client outcomes
 “I was under the threat of an ex in all sorts of ways regarding a child. I only found out [about the legal service] through my doctor and I was really surprised…Having someone to talk to who knew about the law in black and white took weight off my mind. If something wasn't clear I could ask a question, it was such a relief…without that support it would have gone a lot worse than it did.” 
Health Justice Partnership Client
Health Justice Partnerships
Working together with specialist services 
Bendigo Family Violence Justice Project
This year Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre established a new integrated service partnership with the Centre for Non-Violence, a specialist family violence service in Bendigo. A lawyer is now based at the Centre for Non-Violence three days per week to provide legal advice and representation to women affected by family violence in an environment where they feel safe and supported. The lawyer also runs legal education sessions with family violence workers to increase their capacity to identify the other legal issues that are commonly experienced by women affected by family violence. Through this partnership we are reaching these women earlier and providing ongoing legal assistance for family violence and related family law and child protection issues. Employment Law Project
Another of our new projects this year saw Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre join forces with two other community legal centres (CLCs): Barwon Community Legal Service (BCLS) and the specialist employment law service JobWatch. This project aims to increase access to specialist employment law advice and representation services in regional parts of the state. Goulburn Valley is known as the fruit bowl of Victoria, and many migrants and backpackers come to the region in fruit picking season and for other forms of work. The Employment Law Project responds to growing concerns about underpayment, exploitation and poor work conditions for these working holiday makers and temporary visa holders. A full-time Employment Lawyer is now based at GVCLC providing legal advice and representation to migrant workers. BBQs and other outreach activities have been coordinated through the project to reach out to geographically isolated workers. Referrals and information 
sharing with JobWatch and BCLS have
increased capacity and access to
employment law services at GVCLC. 
Video about our Employment Law Project:

PRIORITY 3 Engaging our community 
 

Advocating 
for change
Client Feedback
 The experience and expertise of our clients continues to drive our work. Our Annual Client Feedback Survey provides a valuable learning opportunity. This year clients told us: Quotes from clients: “I was able to fully understand the legal side of the problem, given options, also validated in my concerns, and felt the service was empathetic and professional.” loddon campaspe CLC Client “[their help] made a massive difference. Meant I didn’t lose my licence and didn’t lose my job so I could keep providing for my family” goulburn valley CLC Client “I did not think I had much rights when it came to the tenancy. I understand more after speaking with them” housing justice Client 89 % 93 83 % %
PRIORITY 4 Strengthening our capacity to achieve impact 
This year we continued to strengthen the back-of-house support for our programs and services with a focus on capacity building in our Finance, Communications and Monitoring and Evaluation teams. We undertook significant work to strengthen our IT systems and processes, including moving to the Cloud. We also successfully completed QIP accreditation this year against the DHHS Human Services Standards. This capacity building is enabling our frontline staff to work more flexibly offsite, to reach out to clients in towns outside of regional centres, and to make sure that people with legal and housing problems know where and how to get help. It is also enabling us to effectively manage and direct our resources to where they can have the greatest impact. We continue to invest in monitoring and evaluation across our programs, measuring the outcomes of our projects and core services, and improving client feedback processes to identify what we are doing well and opportunities for improvement. By embedding monitoring and evaluation into our work we will continue to improve our services and identify and address barriers to legal and housing assistance for vulnerable people in the community. 

PRIORITY 5
Our Staff Our dedicated staff provide critical help to people in need every day. We have 37 staff in total working across our offices in Bendigo, Shepparton and Maryborough. Over three quarters of our staff are involved in frontline service delivery, including: • 17 Community Lawyers • 4 Housing Advocates • 6 Reception, Intake and Paralegal Officers • 2 Community Development / Social Workers
3042 Volunteer Lawyers Aaron Day Alastair Lyall Alison Ross Amilee Myson Anne Steed Ben Thompson Caroline Granger Cathryn Wardrop Chris Casey Ella Thompson Emily Chamberlain Erin Molenaar Greg Westbrook Greta Sabatino James Maxwell James Penman Jennifter Lay Jenny Orchard John McPherson Kayla Kristensen Volunteer Students Ashleigh Shankly Ben Whitty Camille Johnstone Chelsea McRae Cheyenne Cadence Dallas Terlich Danielle Wright Eleisha Cairns Georgia Klaver Indi Rumbold Isobelle Maybury Jess Cooke Joseph Keily Kate Blanks Kate Lawn Keely McDonald Khayshie Tilak Ramesh Our Volunteers We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our volunteers, whose contribution is integral to the effectiveness of our programs and services. This includes the volunteer lawyers who dedicate their time and expertise providing free legal advice to vulnerable clients after hours, as well students who undertake training placements and volunteer their time and skills in support of our work. We thank all of our dedicated volunteers for their continued support and contribution to our programs and services this year.
Our Board The Board drives ARC Justice’s strategic direction and ensures a strong system of governance and oversight to maximise the organisation’s impact. Guided by the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, the Board works closely with the Executive Officer to enable the organisation to obtain and effectively allocate resources to implement the organisation’s strategic priorities. Through a structured risk management framework and sub-committees, the Board ensures ARC Justice complies with all legal and policy obligations, while ensuring the organisation’s ongoing sustainability. Our Board members are:
Andrew Chittenden – Chair Andrew is a long term Bendigo resident and high performing manager in various financial roles, with over 15 years of experience leading successful and cohesive teams. Andrew is currently the General Manager of Finance at Haven; Home, Safe and also chairs the Audit & Risk Committee for Inglewood & Districts Health Service. His background includes financial roles in Food and Beverage, Construction and Accommodation organisations, and he is known for his commitment to achieving high levels of accuracy using ethical work standards, as well as a broad knowledge of corporate services practices, including HR/payroll, IT and procurement. Andrew is an excellent communicator with a can-do approach to problem solving and resolution. Andrew is also involved with local community through extensive volunteer experience outside of his work commitments.
Clare Fountain - Secretary Clare Fountain is the owner operator of local Bendigo business Sorted, who provide workshops, planning, facilitation, consulting, training and business mentoring for a wide range of businesses. Her book “Sorted,” has been widely used by small businesses and entrepreneurs to establish and organise their businesses. She is co-founder of the Synergize Hub, a co-working space for social entrepreneurs and micro-business owners in Bendigo. Her membership on a number of Boards and active volunteering in leadership positions with a number of local organisations in Central Victoria make her a key driver in the community. In 2016, her business Sorted won the Bendigo Business Excellence Award for Professional Services.
Christopher McDermott Christopher McDermott is a Barrister at the Victorian Bar specialising in public law and general civil litigation. Prior to joining the Bar, he was a Senior Lawyer with the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) specialising in administrative law, appearing on behalf of Commonwealth Departments in complex litigation in federal courts and tribunals. Prior to working with the AGS, Christopher was Senior Associate to the Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court. Before this, Christopher worked at the Attorney-General’s Department on human rights and access to justice strategies. He is the Vice President of the Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men’s Health Centre (trading as Thorne Harbour Health), and a Director of Mental Health Victoria Ltd. He is the Secretary of both the LGBTI Working Group and the Equality & Diversity Committee of the Victorian Bar.
Melinda Charlesworth Melinda is currently the Director of Governance and Strategy at Bendigo Health, and has worked for over 25 years in the health industry. Melinda is a credentialed Speech Pathologist with post graduate qualifications in Health Systems Management and Executive Coaching. Melinda has managed a broad variety of services focusing on provision of high-quality leadership for teams who provide excellent patient care. With a passion for communication, she applies evidence based leadership principles to inform governance and accountability, ensuring best practice, values based outcomes for her community.
Kate Scarce Kate is a qualified CPA and proud Bendigo local who has been working in audit, risk management and accounting roles for 30 years. Currently, she is an Audit Manager at AFS & Associates and has worked with the Victorian Auditor General’s Office, Telstra, CPA Australia and Haven; Home, Safe. She is an audit committee independent member for Remembrance Parks Central Victoria and is a former Chair of the Audit Committees for the City of Greater Bendigo and Gannawarra Shire. Her experience encompasses many sectors including health, local government, waste management, catchment management, credit unions, telecommunications, for profit and not for profit organisations. She is also a community representative on the Specialist Clinics Steering Committee at Bendigo Health and a member of the GMHBA Consumer Consultation group. Kate loves supporting the local community, and is passionate about the not for profit sector with a particular interest in good governance and accountability Khayshie Tilak Ramesh Khayshie is a final year Law student at La Trobe University in Bendigo who has distinguished herself as the Law Institute of Victoria student of the year in 2019. She was also awarded Young Citizen of the Year by Bendigo council in 2017. As well as volunteering at Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre since 2015, she has fulfilled roles with the Bendigo Economic Strategy Steering Committee as a Committee Member, and Multicultural Ambassador for Bendigo Foodshare. She has also commenced a role as the Multicultural Youth Commissioner of Victoria.
 Below are summary financial figures for the 2018-19 Financial year. For full financial figures in our Audited Financial report, please click the link below: Statement of profit and loss and other comprehensive income for the year ended 
30 June 2019 Revenue Employee Benefits Expenses Supplies & Consumables Depreciation and Amortisation Audit Fees Total Expenditure Operating Surplus

 

Balance Sheet Current Assets Cash & Cash Equivalents Investments Trade and other receivables Other assets Total Current Assets Non Current Assets Property, Plant & Equipment Total Assets Current Liabilities Trade and other payables Prepaid Income Provisions Total Current Liabilities Non Current Liabilities Provisions Total Liabilities Net Assets Equity Retained Earnings Total Equity
Our Supporters ARC Justice is a not-for-profit organisation that relies on the generosity and support of our partners to achieve impact in the lives of our clients and communities. We would like to extend a big thank you to the following organisations who have provided funding and/or in-kind support to our programs and services this year.
Many Thanks ARC Justice would like to thank all our supporters, funders, workers and volunteers for their support throughout the year. Without your generous support we would not be able to provide all the services we provide for the most vulnerable members of our community. Contact
Annual Report 2018-19
Contents
Acknowledgment 
 ARC Justice acknowledges Aboriginal Peoples as the traditional and current custodians of the land upon which we work. We respect that this land always was and always will be Aboriginal land. Aboriginal sovereignty has never been ceded. We pay our respect to Elders past and present, as well as all Aboriginal people who have fought, and continue to fight, for equality, self-determination, culture, Country and community. We recognise systemic injustices that have been caused by colonisation and remain ongoing today. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves about these issues. We aim to always respect and work with Aboriginal communities to bring justice. We know that we have a lot to learn and we are committed to doing this. We won’t always get it right, and we genuinely welcome feedback from community. We celebrate the strength, culture, connection to Country, incredible resilience and contribution of Aboriginal Peoples to our whole community. We are grateful for the knowledge and wisdom so many Aboriginal people have shared with us and we look forward to working together in the years ahead.
“The lawyer treated me with respect and made me feel valued during the process – something that not many other legal firms do. I felt that I wasn’t put down and like I wasn’t being judged…” Child Protection Program Client “The lady that dealt with my case was so kind and understanding and so genuine, making sure I knew my rights and understood.” TENANCY ADVOCACY AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CLIENT
Legal Advice Duty Lawyer Appearances Casework Tenancy Advocacy and Support
PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY PRIORITY 1 2 3 4 5
PRIORITY 1
 “I didn’t feel stigmatized, worried or concerned. I was very emotional when I went in and they were very supportive.” 
Family Violence Program Client 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5
most common Legal issues: most common Housing support issues: “I was actually able to stay in my house because of them. Otherwise I would have been homeless.” Tenancy Plus Program Client
Integrated and place-based services 
This year saw the expansion of Loddon 
Campaspe Community Legal Centre’s legal 
services in Central Goldfields Shire, with the establishment of the Maryborough Therapeutic Justice Partnership with Maryborough District Health Service. 
This project builds on our ongoing place-based family violence initiative Tipping the Scales in Maryborough which has been strengthening coordination between legal, health and social services in the community. 

PRIORITY 2
Partnering to improve client outcomes
 “I was under the threat of an ex in all sorts of ways regarding a child. I only found out [about the legal service] through my doctor and I was really surprised…Having someone to talk to who knew about the law in black and white took weight off my mind. If something wasn't clear I could ask a question, it was such a relief…without that support it would have gone a lot worse than it did.” 
Health Justice Partnership Client
Health Justice Partnerships
Working together with specialist services 
Bendigo Family Violence Justice Project
This year Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre established a new integrated service partnership with the Centre for Non-Violence, a specialist family violence service in Bendigo. A lawyer is now based at the Centre for Non-Violence three days per week to provide legal advice and representation to women affected by family violence in an environment where they feel safe and supported. The lawyer also runs legal education sessions with family violence workers to increase their capacity to identify the other legal issues that are commonly experienced by women affected by family violence. Through this partnership we are reaching these women earlier and providing ongoing legal assistance for family violence and related family law and child protection issues. Employment Law Project
Another of our new projects this year saw Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre join forces with two other community legal centres (CLCs): Barwon Community Legal Service (BCLS) and the specialist employment law service JobWatch. This project aims to increase access to specialist employment law advice and representation services in regional parts of the state. Goulburn Valley is known as the fruit bowl of Victoria, and many migrants and backpackers come to the region in fruit picking season and for other forms of work. The Employment Law Project responds to growing concerns about underpayment, exploitation and poor work conditions for these working holiday makers and temporary visa holders. A full-time Employment Lawyer is now based at GVCLC providing legal advice and representation to migrant workers. BBQs and other outreach activities have been coordinated through the project to reach out to geographically isolated workers. Referrals and information 
sharing with JobWatch and BCLS have
increased capacity and access to
employment law services at GVCLC. 
Video about our Employment Law Project:

PRIORITY 3 Engaging our community 
 

Advocating 
for change
Client Feedback
 The experience and expertise of our clients continues to drive our work. Our Annual Client Feedback Survey provides a valuable learning opportunity. This year clients told us: Quotes from clients: “I was able to fully understand the legal side of the problem, given options, also validated in my concerns, and felt the service was empathetic and professional.” loddon campaspe CLC Client “[their help] made a massive difference. Meant I didn’t lose my licence and didn’t lose my job so I could keep providing for my family” goulburn valley CLC Client “I did not think I had much rights when it came to the tenancy. I understand more after speaking with them” housing justice Client 89 % 93 83 % %
PRIORITY 4
Strengthening our capacity to achieve impact 
This year we continued to strengthen the back-of-house support for our programs and services with a focus on capacity building in our Finance, Communications and Monitoring and Evaluation teams. We undertook significant work to strengthen our IT systems and processes, including moving to the Cloud. We also successfully completed QIP accreditation this year against the DHHS Human Services Standards. This capacity building is enabling our frontline staff to work more flexibly offsite, to reach out to clients in towns outside of regional centres, and to make sure that people with legal and housing problems know where and how to get help. It is also enabling us to effectively manage and direct our resources to where they can have the greatest impact. We continue to invest in monitoring and evaluation across our programs, measuring the outcomes of our projects and core services, and improving client feedback processes to identify what we are doing well and opportunities for improvement. By embedding monitoring and evaluation into our work we will continue to improve our services and identify and address barriers to legal and housing assistance for vulnerable people in the community. 

PRIORITY 5
Our Staff Our dedicated staff provide critical help to people in need every day. We have 37 staff in total working across our offices in Bendigo, Shepparton and Maryborough. Over three quarters of our staff are involved in frontline service delivery, including: • 17 Community Lawyers • 4 Housing Advocates • 6 Reception, Intake and Paralegal Officers • 2 Community Development / Social Workers
3042
Volunteer Lawyers Aaron Day Alastair Lyall Alison Ross Amilee Myson Anne Steed Ben Thompson Caroline Granger Cathryn Wardrop Chris Casey Ella Thompson Emily Chamberlain Erin Molenaar Greg Westbrook Greta Sabatino James Maxwell James Penman Jennifter Lay Jenny Orchard John McPherson Kayla Kristensen Volunteer Students Ashleigh Shankly Ben Whitty Camille Johnstone Chelsea McRae Cheyenne Cadence Dallas Terlich Danielle Wright Eleisha Cairns Georgia Klaver Indi Rumbold Isobelle Maybury Jess Cooke Joseph Keily Kate Blanks Kate Lawn Keely McDonald Khayshie Tilak Ramesh
Our Volunteers We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our volunteers, whose contribution is integral to the effectiveness of our programs and services. This includes the volunteer lawyers who dedicate their time and expertise providing free legal advice to vulnerable clients after hours, as well students who undertake training placements and volunteer their time and skills in support of our work. We thank all of our dedicated volunteers for their continued support and contribution to our programs and services this year.
Our Board The Board drives ARC Justice’s strategic direction and ensures a strong system of governance and oversight to maximise the organisation’s impact. Guided by the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, the Board works closely with the Executive Officer to enable the organisation to obtain and effectively allocate resources to implement the organisation’s strategic priorities. Through a structured risk management framework and sub-committees, the Board ensures ARC Justice complies with all legal and policy obligations, while ensuring the organisation’s ongoing sustainability. Our Board members are:
Andrew Chittenden – Chair Andrew is a long term Bendigo resident and high performing manager in various financial roles, with over 15 years of experience leading successful and cohesive teams. Andrew is currently the General Manager of Finance at Haven; Home, Safe and also chairs the Audit & Risk Committee for Inglewood & Districts Health Service. His background includes financial roles in Food and Beverage, Construction and Accommodation organisations, and he is known for his commitment to achieving high levels of accuracy using ethical work standards, as well as a broad knowledge of corporate services practices, including HR/payroll, IT and procurement. Andrew is an excellent communicator with a can-do approach to problem solving and resolution. Andrew is also involved with local community through extensive volunteer experience outside of his work commitments.
Clare Fountain - Secretary Clare Fountain is the owner operator of local Bendigo business Sorted, who provide workshops, planning, facilitation, consulting, training and business mentoring for a wide range of businesses. Her book “Sorted,” has been widely used by small businesses and entrepreneurs to establish and organise their businesses. She is co-founder of the Synergize Hub, a co-working space for social entrepreneurs and micro-business owners in Bendigo. Her membership on a number of Boards and active volunteering in leadership positions with a number of local organisations in Central Victoria make her a key driver in the community. In 2016, her business Sorted won the Bendigo Business Excellence Award for Professional Services.
Christopher McDermott Christopher McDermott is a Barrister at the Victorian Bar specialising in public law and general civil litigation. Prior to joining the Bar, he was a Senior Lawyer with the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) specialising in administrative law, appearing on behalf of Commonwealth Departments in complex litigation in federal courts and tribunals. Prior to working with the AGS, Christopher was Senior Associate to the Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court. Before this, Christopher worked at the Attorney-General’s Department on human rights and access to justice strategies. He is the Vice President of the Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men’s Health Centre (trading as Thorne Harbour Health), and a Director of Mental Health Victoria Ltd. He is the Secretary of both the LGBTI Working Group and the Equality & Diversity Committee of the Victorian Bar.
Melinda Charlesworth Melinda is currently the Director of Governance and Strategy at Bendigo Health, and has worked for over 25 years in the health industry. Melinda is a credentialed Speech Pathologist with post graduate qualifications in Health Systems Management and Executive Coaching. Melinda has managed a broad variety of services focusing on provision of high-quality leadership for teams who provide excellent patient care. With a passion for communication, she applies evidence based leadership principles to inform governance and accountability, ensuring best practice, values based outcomes for her community.
Kate Scarce Kate is a qualified CPA and proud Bendigo local who has been working in audit, risk management and accounting roles for 30 years. Currently, she is an Audit Manager at AFS & Associates and has worked with the Victorian Auditor General’s Office, Telstra, CPA Australia and Haven; Home, Safe. She is an audit committee independent member for Remembrance Parks Central Victoria and is a former Chair of the Audit Committees for the City of Greater Bendigo and Gannawarra Shire. Her experience encompasses many sectors including health, local government, waste management, catchment management, credit unions, telecommunications, for profit and not for profit organisations. She is also a community representative on the Specialist Clinics Steering Committee at Bendigo Health and a member of the GMHBA Consumer Consultation group. Kate loves supporting the local community, and is passionate about the not for profit sector with a particular interest in good governance and accountability Khayshie Tilak Ramesh Khayshie is a final year Law student at La Trobe University in Bendigo who has distinguished herself as the Law Institute of Victoria student of the year in 2019. She was also awarded Young Citizen of the Year by Bendigo council in 2017. As well as volunteering at Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre since 2015, she has fulfilled roles with the Bendigo Economic Strategy Steering Committee as a Committee Member, and Multicultural Ambassador for Bendigo Foodshare. She has also commenced a role as the Multicultural Youth Commissioner of Victoria.
 Below are summary financial figures for the 2018-19 Financial year. For full financial figures in our Audited Financial report, please click the link below: Statement of profit and loss and other comprehensive income for the year ended 
30 June 2019 Revenue Employee Benefits Expenses Supplies & Consumables Depreciation and Amortisation Audit Fees Total Expenditure Operating Surplus Balance Sheet Current Assets Cash & Cash Equivalents Investments Trade and other receivables Other assets Total Current Assets Non Current Assets Property, Plant & Equipment Total Assets Current Liabilities Trade and other payables Prepaid Income Provisions Total Current Liabilities Non Current Liabilities Provisions Total Liabilities Net Assets Equity Retained Earnings Total Equity
Our Supporters ARC Justice is a not-for-profit organisation that relies on the generosity and support of our partners to achieve impact in the lives of our clients and communities. We would like to extend a big thank you to the following organisations who have provided funding and/or in-kind support to our programs and services this year.
Many Thanks ARC Justice would like to thank all our supporters, funders, workers and volunteers for their support throughout the year. Without your generous support we would not be able to provide all the services we provide for the most vulnerable members of our community. Contact