News

Statement_police complaints system

Meghan Fitzgerald, Lawyer with Fitzroy Legal Service, spoke at a media conference this morning, Wednesday 4 April 2018, which called for a review of Victoria's police complaints system.  Read the full statement below. 

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Media Release_Broken Police Complaints System

In response to breaking news stories from people who have experienced excessive force, racist policing or other police misconduct, and tried unsuccessfully to make complaints, lawyers will call on the Victorian Government to overhaul Victoria Police’s failed complaints system.

Who: Jessie Scarlett-Rhodes – Victoria Police assault victim

Jeremy King, Jessie’s Lawyer, Robinson Gill

Tamar Hopkins - Founding lawyer of the Police Accountability Project, Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre

Meghan Fitzgerald – Manager of Social Action, Policy and Law Reform, Fitzroy Legal Service

Hugh de Kretser – Executive Director, Human Rights Law Centre

Date: Wednesday 4 April 2018

Time: 10:30AM

Location: On the steps of the Victorian Supreme Court, 210 William St, Melbourne

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Quarterly News - March 2018

The beginning of 2018 has seen us celebrate 45 years of Fitzroy Legal Service and 40 years of The Law Handbook.  We launched the 2018 edition of this iconic plain language publication as well as supporting an open letter regarding the trial by Victoria Police of body worn cameras.  Read more about our work and impact in our March 2018 quarterly enews.

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Trial of Body Worn Cameras

The Fitzroy Legal Service, along with 25 other organisations, has signed an open letter to Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton regarding the trial of body worm cameras by Victoria Police.

The letter outlines a series of crucial accountability and oversight measures that must be implemented if the program is to achieve the objectives of enhancing safety for both officers and community members, and increasing police transparency and public confidence.

The letter calls for:

1) clear and publicly available guidelines concerning data retention periods;
2) limits on discretionary use by officers and penalties for failure to activate;
3) breadth of access for victims, their lawyers and the public; and
4) rigorous evaluation prior to further expansion.

The full letter can be viewed here.


Employment Opportunity - Marketing Communications role

We are seeking a motivated, confident and experienced practitioner to be responsible for marketing The Law Handbook and generating sales to compensate salary and reach an annual target.   The role will also deliver internal and external marketing communications relating to FLS, its services, activities, events, and relationships with funders, members, donors, supporters and the Victorian public. 

This is a part time, short term, opportunity.  The position may be based remotely or at the FLS office on Level 4 of the Fitzroy Town Hall. If based remotely, some meetings at the FLS office will be required.     It is anticipated the position will operate 1-2 days per week over a three to six month period initially.      Please forward expression of interest to cfatone@fitzroy-legal.org.au.

The Fitzroy Legal Service (FLS) opened its doors in December 1972.  FLS is a community-based organisation, independent of government, assisting members of the community whose access to legal resources is limited.    We provide a range of legal assistance services, as well as supporting access to legal information via community legal education activities and publication of The Law Handbook.    The Law Handbook is an iconic plain language legal information resource, which has been published for forty years. 


Quarterly News - December 2017

Welcome to our December e-news.  As we head into the holiday season, we would like to acknowledge all the individuals and organisations who have supported the Fitzroy Legal Service in some way.   From our talented and dedicated staff and volunteers to the many organisations we partner with to deliver services, it's been a busy and impactful year.   We also acknowledge our funders and donors, whose financial support is vital to our work.

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Submission re Batman Electorate Name Change

We have provided a submission to the Australian Electoral Commission's Redistribution Committee in support of the proposed name change of the Federal electorate of Batman to Simon Wonga.  The role Simon Wonga played as ngurungaeta, demonstrating leadership, vision and courage to improve conditions for the Wurundjeri people, is deserving of recognition.   Furthermore this change will provide greater recognition and respect for Traditional Owners and honour Simon Wonga’s unique place in Australian history.

Read our submission here.


Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Public Housing Renewal Program

We have contributed to a joint community legal sector submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Public Housing Renewal Program (PHRP).     The submission outlines concerns with how the PHRP is currently formulated, including 

  • inadequate community consultation to date;
  • a 10 per cent increase in public housing stock and limited housing choice is entirely inadequate to meet the growing housing crisis;
  • the proposed increase in one-bedroom dwellings risks displacing families;
  • inappropriate planning tools and process being used;
  • the proposed public private partnership is an unsustainable vehicle for delivering social housing;
  • the need for greater public/private housing mix is a false assumption;
  • any intended transition from public housing to community housing provider managed social housing after the PHRP risks the diminution of tenancy rights;
  • due to the different operational requirements of community housing providers, they are not well-positioned to support higher risk tenancies;
  • the process of relocation endangers security of tenure for returning public housing tenants; and
  • residents are not being adequately informed about available independent legal advice and advocacy services.

The organisations involved in the submission are:

  • Fitzroy Legal Service
  • Inner Melbourne Community Legal
  • Moonee Valley Legal Service
  • Northern Community Legal Centre
  • St Kilda Legal Service
  • Tenants Union of Victoria
  • West Heidelberg Legal Service

Employment opportunity - Community Lawyer NJC

The Fitzroy Legal Service seeks a passionate and talented individual to join our team.  The Community Lawyer position will provide legal services based from the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Collingwood.   Applications close 5pm Monday 4th December 2017.   Recruitment information can be found here.

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Quarterly News - October 2017

Welcome to our October e-news.   Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Fitzroy Legal Service.  Without the hundreds of individuals who give of their time and expertise each year, the Fitzroy Legal Service would be unable to provide the depth and breadth of services to our community that we are able to offer.    In our latest enews, we are proud to be able to profile two volunteers contributing in different ways, our continuing work assisting victims/survivors of family violence and an update on our litigation with Doctors for Refugees. 

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