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Annual Report 2021 - 2022

An efficient and capable Legal Aid NSW

Response to the COVID-19 pandemic

We worked tirelessly to respond to the many practical challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021–2022. This included a rapid response to securing personal protective equipment and additional first aid items to safely equip our frontline staff for work.

We also rolled out hand sanitising stations and sneeze screens in our client-facing rooms, and sneeze screens across all court duty rooms used by Legal Aid NSW staff around NSW.

Approximately 300 HEPA filters were distributed to Legal Aid NSW offices in early 2022, ensuring indoor communal spaces are well-ventilated and safe for our staff and clients.

Integrated design guidelines

We used integrated design guidelines in the fit outs of several offices. The fit outs provided improved spaces for staff and allowed solicitors greater acoustic separation and privacy when dealing with clients via video and telephone calls.

New fit outs include specialist spaces for breaks and hybrid meetings with participants in person and on Microsoft Teams.

Security upgrade

Following a tender process, Legal Aid NSW engaged BSMS Security to upgrade the duress alarms across our tenancies and the CCTV at our head office. This was the second stage of a two-year project to implement security solutions in response to our 2019–2020 security review.

We also introduced a new integrated access system which operates across all offices and can be programmed remotely. This allows staff to access multiple offices and enables Legal Aid NSW to control access passes more easily and better protect our staff, clients and client information.

Reducing our tenancy in Sydney

We completed a program of work in our Central Sydney office to relinquish space and create greater cohesion. The last space to be relinquished was 215m2 on level 15 that had previously accommodated Client Services staff including the Mail team.

Mail team joins Facilities

Mail and distribution staff joined the Facilities team as part of the relocations. Staff now work in a refurbished space on the ground floor of the Central Sydney office. A separate entrance was created to receive mail, deliveries and police briefs away from waiting clients and visitors in the main reception space.

The new office is better situated in the building to allow the team to support staff on the 11 floors occupied by Legal Aid NSW.

Year ahead iconThe year ahead

  • We will finalise the second stage of our security solutions project, integrating existing measures with our security access platform and implementing better security responses to alarms in regional and metropolitan offices.
  • We will aim to undertake fit outs at identified office sites on level 3 of our Central Sydney Office, in our Campbelltown Office and in our Dubbo Office in response to increased staff and service demand. We will continue to implement people-centred design principles in the new office fit outs.
  • We will consolidate service delivery, population and planning data to develop a strategy for mid to long-term resourcing and office accommodation in Western Sydney.