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Project Respect

About the Project

Legal Aid NSW is committed to being a culturally safe and genuinely inclusive organisation and workplace for all people and communities that work with and interact with us. Everyone must feel valued, welcomed, and respected, and all perspectives and voices must be heard.

Project Respect’s objectives are:

  • To bring together the voices of staff to lead discussions about strengthening culture, recommitting to our values, and ensuring that our processes and polices support an inclusive, fair, safe and equitable organisation.
  • To develop a work environment at Legal Aid NSW that is inclusive, safe and fair.
  • To listen to the voices of difference so the Legal Aid NSW Executive and management are better aligned with the concerns of staff
  • To equip and support managers to listen and respond to staff concerns in a culturally safe way
  • To equip the organisation to act against racism and discrimination
  • To develop a new model for managing complaints and grievances that is culturally safe.
  • To ensure the Legal Aid NSW workplace lives up to the organisation’s values of safety, belonging and respect.

Some of the other work is already underway, including:

  • Launching the Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework that calls for Legal Aid NSW to provide a culturally safe workplace, actively engage in culturally safe practices and commit to delivering culturally safe services to Aboriginal people and communities in NSW.
  • Established a new role of Director, Aboriginal Services to ensure the voice of Aboriginal staff is represented on the Legal Aid NSW Executive.
  • Establishing both internal and external reporting mechanisms that staff feel safe to use to report issues of cultural safety or negative workplace behaviour.
  • Formally established a program to support our Aboriginal Field Officers, which will comprise of 15 roles throughout Legal Aid NSW.
  • Publishing and operationalising Legal Aid NSW Aboriginal Employment Policy and Guidelines to support achieving our 11% target.
  • Establishing partnerships with TAFE NSW and universities to place scholars and cadets at Legal Aid NSW whilst they complete vocational training.

We are in the process of developing a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy 2023 – 2025 that will outline our vision, the culture we are striving for, how we will prioritise initiatives and the governance model for ensuring we deliver.  This year all our staff will also receive mandatory cultural safety and anti-racism training, which will be ongoing and provided on an annual basis.

Project Respect will review our complaints management system and co-design with staff alternative models for handling complaints and grievances. We will be engaging leading experts, including First Nations professionals who bring expertise in interrogating systems of racism, to work with us to carry out this work.

We will provide further information and regular updates about Project Respect with our Legal Aid NSW team and external partners.


Current and past Legal Aid NSW staff will be able to join in the conversation and share their experiences of working at Legal Aid NSW as part of the broader program of consultations.

Past staff who wish to participate in consultations should send an email to project.respect@legalaid.nsw.gov.au