Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre is still operational and ready to take your call. Please call our number 1800 229 529 and speak to our admin team. They will complete a client intake and a Solicitor will call you back.
Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre is a not-for-profit, community managed free legal service established in 1999. It is funded by Commonwealth and State Government via the Community Legal Services Program which is administered by Legal Aid NSW.
The goal of Shoalcoast is to promote social justice, providing free and accessible legal services to our communities who experience social and economic disadvantage.
Our mission is to provide an accessible professional legal service to the vulnerable and disadvantaged within our communities.
Shoalcoast believes that people have a right to legal information which is accessible and relevant to their lives.
It aims to utilise both legal and political processes to promote an agenda of social justice, and to work towards fairer legal and social outcomes for those vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities.
It is committed to providing the community with a broad range of legal services that are delivered in diverse ways and in co-operation with the communities we work in.
The 8 strategic objectives for 2021/22 are:
Provision of an efficient generalist legal service offering discrete and ongoing legal assistance to disadvantaged members of the local community.
Promotion of Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre’s services, in line with the Centre’s mission and goals.
Identify and contribute to law reform issues that promote systemic change to the advantage of Shoalcoast Community Legal centre’s clients
Identify and implement strategies to manage the long term sustainability of the service.
Ensure that Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre is a culturally safe place for our staff and all communities we work with.
Identify and respond to needs in our service delivery area in relation to Family Law/Family Violence/Domestic violence
To continue to build and maintain our relationships with the Indigenous community through our centre services.
To auspice and run the CLSD (Cooperative Legal Services Delivery Program) for the South Coast.
Shoalcoast started in 1999 out of necessity for a free legal advice service in the Shoalhaven, but has grown to be so much more than that.
The Illawarra Legal Centre was the last free legal service from Warrawong to the Victorian border. Illawarra Legal Centre held an outreach service in Nowra, but it still was not enough. There was a great need for a Community Legal Centre in the South Coast
For a few years Illawarra Legal Centre researched, identified and lobbied with the outcome being “Who’s Haven, Legal Needs of the Shoalhaven Community”. Researched and written by Megan Pikett, with assistance from many at the Illawarra Legal Centre, became the bible that would see our birth in 1999.
In 1998, a tender was prepared and submitted by Jane Cipants, and given to the Attorney Generals office. With much delight and surprise, the tender was accepted and funding was allocated to create what would become Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre.
The first task was to find staff and a home. Then it was to get out into the community, and we did just that. Everything from there was and is a blessing. We celebrated our first, fifth, tenth, fifteenth and most recently our twentieth birthday.
At our 20th birthday, we partied like it 1999, and reflected on what has happened over the past 20 years. The connections made in the community, the friends and colleagues who have helped us grow, the highs and lows, but most importantly, our clients. We could not function as a community legal centre without our clients, and we are proud to serve each and everyone of our clients.
In the 2019-20 financial year, Shoalcoast did the following:
- We held a Wills day at Wreck Bay with our pro-bono partner, Hall and Wilcox
- Shoalcoast worked on the Collaborative Legal Services Planning Pilot with Legal Aid and ALS, to plan our outreaches and CLEs.
- We held our Annual Koori Touch Football day – in it’s 8th year and we had 12 teams, 8 stalls and over 400 people attend
- We experienced the sad devastation to our communities from the bushfires in the South Coast
- We all adapted to working remotely due to the COVID-19 restrictions and proudly continued to provide services to our clients by telephone during this time.