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Annual Report 2021 - 2022

Community legal education

The Legal Aid NSW Community Legal Education Program provides targeted education for priority client groups and community professionals.

This year we were again affected by COVID-19 restrictions, which limited face-to-face community legal education (CLE). We responded by ramping up online offerings such as webinars, podcasts and social media content, and introducing Facebook live webinars.

We delivered 164 CLE events face to face and attended 31 stalls at events across NSW. We distributed thousands of educational resources. In total, we held 797 CLE events, a 38.4% decrease on the previous year. Three hundred and eighty-five of those CLE events were to community and health workers, with a total audience of 11,954.

We published 25 ‘Law for Community Workers on the Go’ podcast episodes, which were downloaded 10,000 times, up 31.7% from the previous year. In 22 of those podcasts, we partnered with another organisation. We have now passed 30,000 downloads since the podcast launched in 2018.

We hosted 305 online CLE events, including 49 live webinars that reached 3,640 attendees. We uploaded 86 videos to the Legal Aid NSW YouTube channel which were viewed about 13,800 times – about the same as the previous year.

This year, we added a new Content Creator and Videographer role to our team to respond to the growing need for accessible, creative CLE. This employee created our first ever joint Instagram and Facebook campaign, which educated 198,000 young women on sexual harassment at work. Our best performing post was viewed 69,100 times.

Area of law


2020–21 2021–22

Change from previous year

Criminal law



153 -59.3%

Family law



207 +7.3%

Civil law



437 -39.6%





Keeping community workers up to date

We have a strong focus on building the capacity of community workers to identify legal issues and know where to refer the people they support for legal help.

We publish an e-newsletter called Law for Community Workers and this year sent 23 editions to our 3,575 subscribers. Each email covers special events like NAIDOC, Seniors Week, Youth Week, Law Week and Refugee Week, and contains links to our webinars, podcasts, publications and more. We also promote webinars and events run by community legal centres and others in the sector.

Community legal education highlights

  • This year we recorded the highest attendance ever for one of our webinars – 496 attendees in October 2021 for a very topical session on COVID-19 Public Health Order fines.
  • In partnership with the Cooperative Legal Service Delivery (CLSD) Program and Kurri Kurri community centre, we ran 12 sessions online and in-person in 2021–2022 to build the number and capacity of support people available to help youth in the Hunter region.
  • Following a change to consent laws in NSW on 1 June 2022, we acted quickly to help inform community and youth workers and the public about the changes. We published a factsheet, hosted a webinar for community workers and released a podcast.
  • We conducted 15 CLE sessions for 486 workers and target clients this year about a pilot program to help women on temporary visas experiencing domestic violence access legal and financial support. Sessions were held in person and online in partnership with teams across Legal Aid NSW and the Australian Red Cross.
  • We livestreamed our first two webinars targeting the public on Facebook live. ‘Let’s Talk Scams’ was held during Scams Awareness Week on 9 November 2021. It reached 1,400 people and received 516 views on Facebook. ‘Need Legal Help? Start Your Journey with LawAccess NSW’ was held on 1 December 2021. It reached 581 people and received 258 views on Facebook.
  • Our podcast series ‘Renting Matters’ is produced in partnership with the Tenants’ Union of NSW and is part of our popular ‘Law for Community Workers on the Go’ podcast. Our most downloaded podcast episode this year was ‘Renting Matters: Episode 1 – Getting a Foot in the Door’ with 487 downloads.

Free diary helps older people know their legal rights

Our Legal Aid NSW’s Legal topics for older people diary is Legal Aid’s most popular publication. The diary meets an identified need for legal information for older people in an accessible, useable and attractive format.

We produce the diary with essential funding support from our primary sponsor DCJ and from other sponsors including the Law Society of NSW. This year we distributed 50,000 diaries and 25,000 wall calendars.

New edition of the Discrimination Toolkit

This year, teams across Legal Aid NSW collaborated with the Australian Human Rights Commission and Anti-Discrimination NSW, as well as courts and tribunals, to issue edition four of the Discrimination Toolkit, a guide to making a discrimination complaint in NSW.

Students in the Northern Rivers learn legal life skills

Legal life skills is a quiz-based three-part workshop covering topics like understanding power, healthy relationships and setting yourself up. The program was successfully piloted in over nine sessions at three primary and high schools to a total of 383 students this year.

Year ahead iconThe year ahead

  • We will work with the Civil Division to promote the new Respect at Work Legal Service and educate the community about sexual harassment.
  • In collaboration with CLSD and local Central Coast services, we will consult, draft and promote a new resource for Aboriginal communities, ‘Sorry business and the law’.
  • We will work with the Prisoners Legal Service to develop podcasts and other resources for prisoners that they can access on new specialised tablets to enable them to self-help or know when to seek legal help for common civil law problems.
  • We will work with LawAccess NSW and our Client Services Division to ensure the public and community workers know how to access and refer people for free legal help.
  • With funding from National Legal Aid, we will launch a national online learning module to assist people to complete their divorce online – providing a universal self-help service to assist capable users.


Presenters at the 2021 virtual Legal Aid NSW Family Law and Care and Protection Conference.

CLC conference

Legal Aid NSW Solicitor Michelle Macdonald, speaker Aunty Glendra Stubbs OAM and Deputy Director Criminal Law Melissa Burgess attend the 2022 Criminal Law Conference.

Elder Abuse Service

The Elder Abuse Service team attends the Seniors Festival on the Central Coast.

Service providers Law Week

Service providers and members of the Legal Aid NSW civil law team attend Law Week.