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Annual report

2021–2022 Annual report

Connecting through crisis: collaborating with our partners to support our state

A second wave of COVID-19 lockdowns and several significant floods tested the resilience of the people of NSW in the 2021-2022 financial year. Through it all, Legal Aid NSW lawyers were there to provide legal education, advice and representation.

We provided 423,431 total client services in 2021–2022, with over 59.5% of services provided in rural and regional areas (including Wollongong and Newcastle). Over 21.4% of our services were provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, our seventh year of continuous growth in the proportion of our services that support these communities.

We launched our Family Law Service for Aboriginal Communities (FamAC) to provide outreach, casework and duty services at court to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Family dispute resolution conferences for issues like parenting, adoption and property increased 6.8 per cent.

Our new, streamlined One Legal Aid triage system improved the client experience by creating a file that follows clients through the LawAccess NSW and Legal Aid NSW systems and allowing staff to book a client into any advice clinic across the state. Telephone call volumes have reduced to pre-2019 levels, presumably due to decreased call bounce and wait times for clients.

From 1 March to 30 June 2022, our Disaster Response Legal Service (DRLS) provided over 2,700 legal services to victims of floods, bushfires and other disasters, a 230 per cent increase on the previous year.