Who we are

Our Values

Integrity, Courage & Passion, Empowerment & Advocacy, Connected to community.

History

The Fitzroy Legal Service Inc. is a merger of the Darebin Community Legal Centre and Fitzroy Legal Service.  The merger took effect on 1 February 2019.

Darebin Community Legal Centre

Established in 1988, Darebin Community Legal Centre provides free legal advice and referral to people who live, work or study in the Darebin area. The Centre aims to empower and support the Darebin community through legal advice, advocacy, education and information. 

Fitzroy Legal Service

When the Fitzroy Legal Service opened its doors on 18 December 1972, it became Australia’s first non-Aboriginal community legal centre. Located in the basement of the Fitzroy Town Hall, in what was then one of the poorest suburbs of Melbourne, this new legal service set out to do the unthinkable: provide free legal advice to all comers.

In the beginning it was run entirely by volunteers, only later acquiring paid staff. To this day, we rely on an extensive body of volunteers to run our free legal advice service and assist in the running of many of our other programs. Although a relatively small organisation, we have played an important role as the forerunner of community legal centres throughout the country. We have a long history of running public interest cases. And the empowerment of clients to participate in the resolution of their own problems has always been a central part of our work.

Our life members are: Sue Bothman, Brian Collingburn, John Finlayson, Julian Gardner, Tessa Hay, Robin Inglis, Michael Kingston, Henrik Lassen, Trevor Williamson and Brian Wright.

To read more about the history of the Fitzroy Legal Service, read Poverty Law and Social Change by John Chesterman, available in our online store.