Go to content

2016-2017 Annual Report shows more support for vulnerable and disadvantaged clients

23 Nov 2017

Our 2016-2017 Annual Report – tabled in Parliament on Wednesday 22 November 2017 – shows Legal Aid NSW has increased legal support for women and families experiencing domestic violence, refugee communities and disadvantaged people across regional and rural NSW.

Annual Report cover showing group of people outside building
Our 2016-2017 Annual Report - tabled in Parliament on Wednesday 22 November 2017 - shows Legal Aid NSW has increased legal support for women and families experiencing domestic violence, refugee communities and disadvantaged people across regional and rural NSW.
 
Last year Legal Aid NSW delivered a record number of outreach services, and the proportion of Legal Aid NSW clients living in regional and remote parts of the state grew from 47 per cent to 49.1 per cent.
 
The most common areas of everyday law in which people sought advice from Legal Aid NSW involved consumer rights, debt and employment - issues that disproportionately affect people who are already doing it tough.
 
Other highlights of the 2016-2017 financial year included the establishment of a dedicated Refugee Service, and the innovative Family Advocacy and Support Service, which puts lawyers who understand domestic violence in our state's busiest family law courts.
 
Last year, lawyers in our family law practice gave free advice and assistance about apprehended domestic violence orders more than 18 times every week – a threefold increase compared with the previous year. Women made up the vast majority of the people seeking this support, and two in three said that the violence was still occurring at the time they reached out to lawyers.
 
Another highlight was the agency-wide rollout of training to help legal staff recognise the signs of domestic violence and support people affected by it. Over 850 members of staff took part in this training. The result is that frontline staff across Legal Aid NSW - from those staffing the phones to lawyers in courtrooms - are now better able to support victims of this often insidious abuse.