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Annual Report 2015 - 2016

What we did over the past year

We put clients at the centre of everything we do.

We stood in the shoes of our clients and partners to learn what we can do better

Legal Aid NSW provides legal services to disadvantaged people across New South Wales. We are proud to provide these services. We also want to do things better.

A new Client Service Strategy that puts clients at the centre of everything we do has the potential to transform the way we deliver our services. The Strategy draws on consultations with clients, staff and our main partners. See Client Services Strategy.

We addressed identified legal need in regional areas

Service delivery gaps in remote areas were addressed by:

  • placing a lawyer in Broken Hill and opening a new satellite office in Albury
  • expanding partnerships, such as a new Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Program partnership in Moree
  • providing more services for Aboriginal people in regional and remote areas
  • adopting new approaches to the mixed model (private and inhouse) of service delivery.

See Reshaping service delivery.

We improved safety for the victims of domestic violence

Legal Aid NSW developed a new Domestic and Family Violence Strategy across the organisation to ensure that we deliver high quality, client-centred and integrated services to people affected by domestic and family violence.

A new specialist Domestic Violence Unit began providing legal and non-legal support to victims of violence at crisis point. A Commonwealth-funded specialist service was also opened in South West Sydney to assist clients attending domestic violence list days at Bankstown and Liverpool Courts.

As a result of the NSW Government’s Domestic Violence Justice Strategy 2013–2017, Legal Aid NSW Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services assisted 73% more women with early intervention and support at court. See Safety for victims and WDVCAP.

Stronger partnerships linked people with health needs to timely legal assistance

A growing number of health justice partnerships with health and welfare agencies provide on-site legal assistance to vulnerable people in health-related settings, including hospitals, community health centres and health outreach services in public housing estates. See Health Justice partnerships.

We have a new five-year funding agreement with the Commonwealth

New performance indicators and benchmarks require that we provide 95% of our representation services to people experiencing financial disadvantage. We exceeded this with a rate of 99.2%. See NPA performance indicators.

These achievements were guided by our Legal Aid NSW Plan 2015–2016. The section Achievements against the Legal Aid NSW Plan shows a more detailed overview of our achievements. We also developed a new plan for 2016–2017.

Operating revenue increased by 7.8%

Financial summary

  2014-2015 ($M) 2015-2016 ($M) Change
Operating revenue 253.4 273.2 7.8%
Operating expenses 257.4 283.4 10.1%
Total assets 105.7 98.9 (6.4%)
Total liabilities 82.0 106.0 29.3%