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ANNUAL REPORT 2010 | 11

pro bono access to justice human rights ANNUAL REPORT 2010|11

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Supporters fly the flag for access to justice at the PILCH Walk for Justice 2011. Image courtesy of the Law Institute Journal

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2010|11 ANNUAL REPORT


Our Year About us Pro bono referrals VICTORIAN BAR PRO BONO SCHEME LAW INSTITUTE OF VICTORIA LEGAL ASSISTANCE SCHEME PUBLIC INTEREST

Direct legal services Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic Seniors Rights Legal Clinic PilchConnect

Law reform

Access to the justice system Homelessness Human rightS SMARTER REGULATION FOR COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS

Organisation Our people Our finances


Mitzi and Fiona

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Our Year The 2010-11 financial year saw increased demand for our services, but we continued to find creative and effective ways to meet this challenge. As we do this, we strive to act in accordance with our guiding principles – to show leadership, operate sustainably and demonstrate our effectiveness.

Leadership We are committed to stimulating thinking about the role of law in bringing about social change, and to building and supporting a legal profession which is committed to justice and equality. To this end, we held our inaugural Law and Social Change Dialogue, posing the question – Can lawyers change the world? In partnership with Melbourne University, we convened the Public Interest Law Conference and with our close collaborators, the Human Rights Law Centre, hosted the annual Human Rights Dinner. We also hosted global pro bono experts Esther Lardent and Tammy Taylor from the US-based Pro Bono Institute for a series of seminars with member law firms. And record numbers of people joined us for the Walk for Justice in May.

Sustainability We want PILCH to be an efficient and effective organisation. To ensure this, we improved the management of the three referral services we run, to streamline processes and provide a simpler face to our clients. We obtained funding for our work and welcomed four new members – Macarthur Argyle Easmond, The Trust Company, Gilbert + Tobin and Nicholes Family Lawyers. We also developed a clear strategic framework to underpin our activity and are working on our new strategic plan, to be in place by mid 2012.

At PILCH, we aim to de-mystify the law and remove barriers which perpetuate injustice. We give lawyers who are passionate about access to justice and human rights opportunities to use their legal skills. We think critically about the laws, policies, systems and structures that cause people to need our help in the first place. And we try to bring about change, so that disadvantage is not perpetuated and dignity and equality are not denied.

Special thanks PILCH is an organisation that cannot exist without the support of its many partners. These include our members, including individual barristers and solicitors, law firms, corporate legal departments, community legal centres and university law schools, as well as the Law Institute of Victoria and the Victorian Bar. We continue to receive wonderful and energetic support from our student volunteers and law firm secondees, who bring a regular renewal of energy to our work. Most importantly, Mitzi and I pay tribute to our extraordinary staff. The passion and talent they bring to assisting our clients and working for justice is the defining feature of their professional careers. It is a privilege and a pleasure to work with them and we thank them for their inspiring work this year.

Effectiveness Our aim is to be evidence-based and impact-orientated. We re-focused on telling the stories of our clients and developed new programs in response to identified unmet legal need, such as our pilot Aboriginal Credit and Debt Clinic in regional Victoria. We reviewed and improved the operation of our successful Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic. We developed a monitoring and evaluation framework for all our programs, which will help us remain focused on our big picture goals, while also demonstrating the impact of our day to day activities.

Fiona McLeay, Executive Director Mitzi Gilligan, President.

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About Us We are an independent, not-for-profit organisation that is committed to furthering the public interest, improving access to justice for those who are disadvantaged or marginalised and protecting human rights. We do this by facilitating pro bono legal services to Victorian individuals and organisations in need, and by addressing injustice through law reform, policy work and legal education. We work in collaboration with law firms, barristers and individual lawyers, as well as institutions like the Law Institute of Victoria, the Victorian Bar, community legal centres, Victoria Legal Aid, government and philanthropy. We exist to help marginalised and disadvantaged Victorians and the community groups who support them - get free legal assistance by connecting them with pro bono lawyers who will assist them. As a result clients are able to easily access pro bono services through a centralised point. We also run three direct legal services targeted to specific client groups: the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic, the Seniors Rights Legal Clinic and PilchConnect, our service for not-for-profit community organisations. Through our work we find gaps and systemic failures in the legal system. Where possible, we undertake policy, law reform and advocacy alongside our referral and case work to address these gaps. This combined approach helps people to access justice and works to transform the underlying structures that cause injustice and inequality.

Philosophy

Guiding principles

We are committed to:

Everything we do reflects our guiding principles:

»» providing a responsive, effective and professional service to our members and the community »» acting with integrity and fairness at all times »» treating people equally and with dignity and respect »» collaboration »» innovation and creativity »» supporting, rewarding and challenging our people »» acting in accordance with best practice governance principles »» striving for improvements in service delivery and efficiency »» evaluation and accountability

PilchConnect: helping the helpers Image courtesy of Traveller’s Aid

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1. Leadership 2. Sustainability 3. Effectiveness


Debbie Mortimer SC, winner of the 2011 Victorian Bar Trophy, with Justice Chris Maxwell, President of the Court of Appeal. Image courtesy of the Victorian Bar

Pro Bono Referrals PILCH is proud to manage the pro bono programs of the Law Institute of Victoria and the Victorian Bar as well as making public interest referrals to our members.

As well as responding to requests for legal assistance, the Referral Service undertakes law reform and policy work to address the legal problems we see, to improve access to the justice system and to foster pro bono capacity in the legal profession.

Most applicants to our Referral Service have complex legal problems and limited options for obtaining legal assistance.

Our members’ program is funded through fees and in-kind support from PILCH members and by grants from philanthropic organisations.

Criteria for acceptance include: »» legal merit »» lack of means to pay »» ineligible for any other free legal services »» assistance is required ‘in the interests of the administration of justice’ If another more appropriate service exists or applicants do not meet our guidelines, they are referred to other legal and community-based services including Victoria Legal Aid and community legal centres. The Referral Service will also provide limited legal information to those it cannot refer.

The Law Institute of Victoria Legal Assistance Scheme (LIVLAS) is funded by the LIV through a special purpose grant from the Legal Services Board and is steered by the LIV’s Access to Justice Committee. The Victorian Bar Pro Bono Scheme (VBPBS) is funded by the Victorian Bar through a special purpose grant from the Legal Services Board and is steered by the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Committee.

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Referrals I was made a ward of the state when I was 15 months old after Mum fell behind in Social Welfare Department payments for my board at the Babies’ Home. Although Mum wrote many letters to the Victorian Government asking about how I was, and that we be reunited, I was placed in institutions and with foster families for the next sixteen years. As a ward of the State, I was deprived of the opportunity to grow up in my own family and around the Aboriginal community. I knew nothing of my Aboriginal background growing up. PILCH referred my claim against the Victorian Government to Allens Arthur Robinson in 2002.

In 2011, I received an apology from the Victorian Government as well as an amount for damages. It’s the apology that means the most. I’d like to thank the team at Allens and counsel Lachlan Carter, Holly van den Heuvel and Jack Rush QC for representing me. It’s been a liberating experience. I’ve come to terms with a lot of the ghosts of the past. This is for my Mum – it’s very special. Neville Austin

“Home owners will be better protected from dodgy builders after a landmark tribunal decision has put insurers on notice.” (‘Tribunal tells insurer to pay for home repairs’. The Age, 13 January 2011). Pilch referred elderly pensioners Mr and Mrs Bachmann for pro bono legal assistance with their building dispute. We purchased our home in Pakenham from an owner-builder. Soon after the purchase we discovered structural defects in the building. We made a claim to the insurer but were advised to pursue the builder. We did so and obtained an order at VCAT requiring the builder to pay. Despite that, we were unable to get our money as the builder disappeared overseas. On his return he became bankrupt. We lodged a further claim with the builder’s insurer which was rejected because the bankruptcy had occurred five months after the expiry of the time limit for making a claim under the insurance policy. We called PILCH and they referred the matter to Jim Robinson and Matthew Francke of Best Hooper and Michael Thompson of Counsel. Jim and Michael helped us apply to VCAT to review the insurer’s decision. VCAT decided that the wording

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2173 97 90 308 959

inquiries referrals to member law firms referrals to LIV practitioners referrals to barristers referred elsewhere

PRO BONO PROVIDERS

70 845 44

registered LIVLAS lawyers

registered barristers

law firm members

of the insurance policy meant that the insurer had to cover us for the defects in the home. The insurer appealed this decision to the Supreme Court and Best Hooper continued to represent us together with Samuel Horgan SC and Ben Murphy of Counsel. The Appeal was heard and the insurer withdrew proceedings prior to the Judge delivering his decision. We are so happy that the carpenters are now working on the house, and it has been a relief financially.

Mr Robinson was so fantastic – he always kept us updated and was truly dedicated to our case. We would have been lost without the lawyers. Mr and Mrs Bachmann Case citation: Bachmann v Calliden Insurance Limited (Domestic Building)[201]VCAT 11 (10 January 2011)


Direct legal services We operate three programs targeted to specific marginalised and vulnerable people and the organisations that support them: »» the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic (HPLC) »» the Seniors Rights Legal Clinic (SRLC)

We launched a new website for lawyers and advocates who work with people experiencing homelessness www.homelesslaw.org.au

»» PilchConnect (PC), our service for not-for-profit community organisations

Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic We assist people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to assert their legal rights. We aim to improve access to justice through the provision and coordination of pro bono legal services for Victoria’s homeless. Our legal clinics, staffed by member firms, operate on a weekly basis at 12 outreach locations across metropolitan Melbourne and Geelong. The clinics provide culturally and socially appropriate advice and advocacy for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Legal services are provided by pro bono lawyers from PILCH’s member law firms and supervised by specialist lawyers employed by PILCH.

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advice and representation for clients experiencing or at risk of homelessness

»» The Big Issue and Urban Seed (Clayton Utz) »» Salvation Army Life Centre (Baker & McKenzie) »» St Kilda Crisis Contact Centre (Freehills) »» Ozanam House and Flagstaff Crisis Accommodation (Minter Ellison) »» Homeground Services (Allens Arthur Robinson) »» Melbourne City Mission (Mallesons Stephen Jaques) »» Hanover Southbank and Koonung (DLA Phillips Fox) »» VACRO (Corrs Chambers Westgarth)

HPLC staffed by member firms and HPLC volunteer lawyers

300

IN 2010-11, clinics were based at:

568

»» Northside Geelong (Harwood Andrews) We also supported Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre’s Homeless Person’s Project, which included regular outreach through Greater Bendigo.

We receive core funding from the Commonwealth Community Legal Services Program and Department of Justice (administered by Victoria Legal Aid) and Department of Justice (Homeless Persons’ Liaison Officer project). In 2010-11 additional funding was received from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, RE Ross Trust, Victoria Law Foundation, donations and court costs.

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Maree was living with her partner, John, in his public housing property at the time of his sudden death. It hadn’t always been an easy relationship, but they had lived together on and off for 20 years. Two years before John passed away Maree lost her son from another relationship, her best friend and John’s daughter (her stepdaughter). Maree fell into depression and developed a substance addiction. Days after witnessing John’s sudden death, Maree attended the Office of Housing to inform them of his death and to ask for the tenancy to be transferred into her name, so that she and her daughter could remain in their home. The Office of Housing rejected Maree’s transfer application because she didn’t have any documents to show that she’d lived in the property for the previous 12 months.

Maree asked the HPLC to help her appeal this decision; they clarified that Maree had been living in the property for approximately 19 months at the time of John’s death. The lawyers questioned whether Office of Housing staff had properly considered Maree’s human rights (under Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities) when making the decision to reject her application for transfer. The Housing Appeals Office overturned the original decision, and the tenancy was transferred to Maree. This prevented Maree and her daughter becoming homeless at a time when they were dealing with the loss of their partner and father. Maree* * name has been changed

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Marguerite left her partner in 2007 after a long and damaging relationship. Her partner was abusive, violent and controlling, and it took her a long time to develop the confidence to leave. She found herself homeless, and was supported by domestic violence and homelessness services. Marguerite soon became aware that there were a large number of outstanding fines in her name. While the car had been registered in her name, her ex-partner drove it on toll roads and didn’t pay the tolls, and there were fines of more than $10,000. HPLC lawyers provided Marguerite with assistance to deal with her fines. She was too frightened to nominate her ex-partner, because he’d previously made threats to kill her. HPLC lawyers represented her in Court to have the fines cancelled, and then used her story to work with the Department of Justice, Courts, the Sheriff and other agencies to develop a response for people in similar situations. Marguerite* * name has been changed

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Seniors Rights Legal Clinic We are a partner in Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV), a community legal centre run jointly by the Council on the Ageing (COTA), PILCH and the Loddon Campaspe and Eastern Community Legal Centres. PILCH operates the Seniors Rights Legal Clinic (SRLC) as part of SRV.

SRLC staffed by 5 member firms and 100+ SRLC volunteer lawyers

We provide free legal services to older people who are unable to afford legal help. Legal services are provided at four outreach clinics by pro bono lawyers from PILCH member law firms. The clinics are located at hospitals and health centres throughout metropolitan Melbourne to ensure easy access for clients. In addition to legal services, we undertake law reform and advocacy to improve laws and policies that adversely impact the interests of older people and their access to justice. Our staff and volunteer lawyers also undertake a range of community and legal education activities to raise awareness of elder abuse and issues associated with ageing and to increase the capacity of community and pro bono lawyers to provide legal assistance to older people.

Clinics are held at: »» Caulfield Hospital (Holding Redlich) »» Bundoora Extended Care Centre (Herbert Geer) »» Doutta Galla Community Health (Norton Rose) »» Western Region Health Centre (Hall & Wilcox and Lander & Rogers) SRV was established in 2008 with funding from Victoria Legal Aid and Senior Victorians Aged Care Branch, Department of Health (formerly the Office of Senior Victorians, Department of Planning & Community Development).

advice and representation for clients at risk of elder abuse

187

I suffer from a mental illness and my health deteriorated during my move to Melbourne to live closer to my children. Whilst I was very unwell, I inspected a property that I could not afford, signed a contract and paid a deposit of almost $80,000 to purchase the property. This occurred on a Friday and I was committed to a psychiatric hospital the following Monday. My family and the head of psychiatry at the hospital tried to exercise my rights under the cooling off period on my behalf but the agent refused to return the deposit that I had paid and continued to refuse even after the property had been sold to another purchaser.

Thanks to the help from pro bono lawyers Moana Matanda and Andrew Morrison from Clayton Utz, the agent reluctantly agreed to return the deposit. SRLC pro bono lawyers Jarod Sacks, Joel Zynger, Nicola McGrady and Leigh Krafcheck from Holding Redlich subsequently prepared powers of attorney and are applying to VCAT for administration orders to ensure that my interests will be protected if I become unwell again in the future. Carole* *Name has been changed

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PilchConnect PilchConnect aims to ‘help the helpers’ by providing a range of legal services to support the valuable work that not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) do. Our service includes;

Inquiries are up 44% on last year

»» A legal information webportal »» Low-cost legal training »» A free telephone advice service »» A pro bono referral program »» Law reform & advocacy PilchConnect has developed and delivered three main training modules: ‘Navigating the Maze’ (basics for new groups), ‘Legal Issues in Managing Volunteers’ and ‘Legal Duties of Board and Committee members of NFP Organisations’. Our monthly Melbourne seminar series is delivered with the pro bono support of PILCH member firms. This year our regional training program serviced NFPs in 18 areas across Victoria and was fully funded (by VCOSS as part of their Clearinghouse and local councils on a fee-for-service basis).

80 323

pro bono referrals

cases of telephone advice provided

877

inquiries from NFPs

Training was delivered by PilchConnect lawyers to community organisations all across Victoria: Ballarat, Beaufort, Benalla, Castlemaine, Geelong, Hastings, Lorne, Melbourne, Mildura, Morwell, Narre Warren, Sale, Swan Hill, Traralgon, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, Werribee and Whittlesea.

I am a polio survivor who contracted polio as a baby. My early years involved much treatment and rehabilitation. By the time I was a young adult I was able to get on with having an active life, travelling, studying, developing a career and having children. Now in my fifties I have developed new muscle weakness, fatigue and breathing problems. This is now recognised as post-polio syndrome. I am part of a group of people wanting to help others in the same situation through raising community awareness, education and advocating for specialist services. But there have been many legal and regulatory steps. Our small volunteer committee is working hard to create a well-governed, sustainable, incorporated body that can attract tax-deductible donations from the public so we can support the 70,000+ people who suffer from polio in Australia.

Early on we benefited from practical tips in the ‘getting started’ training by PilchConnect. Their lawyers really seemed to understand small community groups. Once we got a bit further down the path, they helped us with telephone advice. This meant we could understand what tax category we fitted in and what forms we needed to complete. The fact sheets and email updates we receive from PilchConnect are a great help. They have also linked us to a lawyer at Maddocks who is helping us tailor our rules to our particular needs. Without PilchConnect’s support it would have been so much harder for us to navigate the maze of legal requirements and to get started on our real work! Liz Telford, Post-Polio Victoria Inc

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Game on: Clayton Utz lawyers scope the competition at the 2010 HPLC Street Soccer tournament

PILCH Walk for Justice 2011 Image courtesy of the Law Institute Journal

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Simon McKeon, Australian of the Year 2011, at the PILCH and Human Rights Law Centre’s annual Human Rights Dinner

In October 2010 we held our first annual Law and Social Change Dialogue: Can Lawyers Change the World? L-R: Nic Frances (cool nrg), Simon Sheikh (GetUp!), Julian Morrow (The Chaser) and Fiona McLeay.

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Law reform We recognise that while it is crucial to facilitate pro bono legal services for Victorian individuals and organisations in need, this is not enough to address the causes of injustice. Where there are systemic deficiencies in the legal system, it is important that advocacy and law reform work is undertaken alongside referral and case work. We are committed to using the information we gain through our referral and casework to bring about broader social change. This combined approach ensures that we both help individuals to access justice and also transform underlying societal structures that cause oppression, injustice and inequality.

Four areas of focus for law reform »» improving access to the justice system »» human rights for homeless people »» supporting human rights frameworks »» smarter regulation for community organisations

Access to the justice system

Homelessness

Objective

Objective

To improve access to the justice system for marginalised and disadvantaged Victorians and for parties participating in social change

To assist people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to assert their legal rights

Focus areas »» increasing access to legal representation »» facilitating public interest litigation

HIGHLIGHTS »» To improve access to justice for marginalised and disadvantaged Victorians, we assisted 60 Aboriginal clients at free credit and debt legal clinics in regional Victoria (in collaboration with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and with the pro bono assistance of PILCH’s member firms) »» To increase the number of lawyers who can do pro bono work, we successfully advocated to ensure that the National Legal Profession Reform laws will allow government and corporate lawyers to undertake pro bono work »» To help address cost barriers that limit opportunities for public interest litigation, we produced a comprehensive review of case law on the awarding of costs in public interest litigation in Australia, the UK, Canada and South Africa

Focus areas »» infringements »» public/social housing tenancy management

HIGHLIGHTS »» In partnership with KPMG and Monash University, the HPLC examined the costs and impacts of the infringements system on vulnerable groups, including people experiencing homelessness, with the aim of reducing the rate of infringements to these groups »» HPLC’s Chris Povey was awarded a Churchill fellowship to study global best practice approaches to helping vulnerable people at risk of eviction remain in social housing »» HPLC advocated for improvements to social housing management, including assisting public housing tenants to provide feedback on a pilot ‘anti-social behaviour’ initiative, and asking the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing to review Australia’s progress following their mission to Australia in 2006-07 »» In coalition, the HPLC focused on critical elements of the revised methodology for ‘counting the homeless’ census evaluation. Following sustained cross-sector advocacy, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and FAHCSIA have made a number of changes to improve the process.

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Human rights Objective To strengthen frameworks for the protection of human rights in Australia

Focus areas »» improving the domestic protection of human rights, including through the application and strengthening of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) »» strengthening federal and state equality laws, particularly in relation to discrimination on the grounds of homelessness, irrelevant criminal record, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity

Smarter regulation for community organisations Objective To reduce red tape and improve the legal framework for community organisations

Focus areas »» establish a ‘one-stop shop’ independent, national regulator »» improve the regime for Victoria’s not-for-profit incorporated associations »» modernise the definition of charity and simplify related taxation concession categories

HIGHLIGHTS

HIGHLIGHTS

»» We played an active role in the review of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities by providing compelling evidence to the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee of the effectiveness of the Charter, including the cases of 42 people (including 21 children) who were prevented from becoming homeless by using the Charter

»» PilchConnect manager Sue Woodward was seconded to the Office of Not-for-Profit Sector in the federal Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet and helped in shaping the design of the new independent regulator – Australian Charities and Notfor-profits Commission (ACNC)

»» We participated in consultations with the Federal Government to ensure that the new federal Human Rights Framework addressed issues affecting people experiencing homeless and vulnerable elderly people »» We released a report Equal Access to the Justice System: Report on Legal Services and Information for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer Victorians, exploring the unmet legal need in these communities

»» We helped improve the legal regime for Victorian NFPs by active participation in the Victorian Government’s NFP Regulatory Reform Reference Group including input into the drafting of the new Incorporated Associations Act »» We supported the modernisation of the definition of “charity” and simplification of charitable tax concessions through our submissions to government in support of these changes

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Public Interest referrals 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

90%

100%

2010/11

2009/10 Discrimination

Trade Practices

Administrative

Planning/Local Government

Indigenous

Torts

Human Rights

Environment

Defamation

Insurance

Criminal

Other

Law Institute of Victoria Legal Assistance Scheme referrals 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

2010/11

2009/10

2008/09

2007/08

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Consumer/Credit/Debt

Wills/Probate

Criminal

Employment

Immigration

Commercial

Property/Planning/Housing

Torts

Family

Other

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60%

70%

80%


Victorian Bar Pro Bono Scheme referrals 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

2010/11

2009/10

2008/09

2007/08 Criminal Law

Discrimination

Immigration

Employment

Property Law

Commercial

Administration

Traffic Law

Family Law

Other

Debt Recovery

Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic advice and representation 0% 10%referrals 20% 30% telephone 40% 50%advices 60% PilchConnect and

70%

80%

90%

100%

0% 2010/11

70%

80%

90%

100%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

2010/11 2009/10 2009/10 2008/09

2007/08

Regulatory Compliance

Other

Tax Concessions

Employment

Establishing An Organisation

Intellectual Property

Internal Governance Fines/Infringements

Contracts Debt

Property/Leasing Social Security/Superannuation Disputes/Litigation Probate/Wills Privacy Guardianship/Administration

Criminal/Police

VOCAT/Compensation

Family

Other

Insurance/Risk Management Housing/Tenancy

Seniors Rights Legal Clinic advice and representation

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Victorian Family Bar Pro Bono Scheme referrals Other 0%

Seniors 2010/11 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Rights Legal Clinic advice and representation 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

2009/10 2010/11 2008/09 2009/10

2007/08

Wills

Family

Power of Attorney

Housing

Property/Neighbourhood Disputes Criminal Law

Credit/Debt Discrimination

Financial Abuse Immigration

Personal Injury Employment

Guardianship/Administration Property Law

Other Commercial

Health (inc Mental Health) Administration

Traffic Law

Family Law

Other

Debt Recovery

PilchConnect referrals and telephone advices Public Interest referrals

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

2010/110%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

2010/11 2009/10

2009/10

Regulatory Compliance

Other

Tax Concessions

Employment

Establishing An Organisation Discrimination

Intellectual Property Trade Practices

Internal Governance Administrative

Property/Leasing Planning/Local Government

Insurance/Risk Management Indigenous

Disputes/Litigation Torts

Contracts Human Rights

Privacy Environment

Defamation

Insurance

Criminal

Other

Staff 20 |0

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6

8

10

Law Institute of Victoria Legal Assistance Scheme referrals

12


Organisation Our people We seek to create an engaged, dynamic and respectful workplace culture. During the year we conducted our first staff satisfaction survey. The participation rate was high and the overall staff satisfaction rate was 89%. Our staff highly value the opportunity to make a difference to peoples’ lives, now and in the future. They also value the exposure to diverse and challenging work practices, their warm, intelligent and hard working colleagues, and the support for flexible working arrangements and a balanced life. This is in part due to increased stability in funding and therefore greater certainty about ongoing employment, as well as more leadership and career development opportunities. In addition, we now have a clearer vision and approach to demonstrating the impact of our work – this has been helped by our new Strategic Framework and Theory of Change work.

89% staff satisfaction 20% staff turnover

14 33 73 120+ $2.8M $2.7M

board members

employees

members

student volunteers

income

expenditure

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Staff

Board

A list of our current staff, secondees and volunteers can be found at www.pilch.org.au/staff.

We are governed by an independent volunteer Board, whose commitment of time and commitment to the organisation is crucial to its success.

Secondees

The members of the Board for 2010-11 were

In 2010-11 we received invaluable secondee support from Allens Arthur Robinson, the Australian Government Solicitors Office, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Freehills, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Minter Ellison, Russell Kennedy, and Telstra. The secondment program greatly assists PILCH and provides a valuable experience to participating firms and practitioners.

»» Mitzi Gilligan (President) »» Geoff Rush (Deputy President) »» Stephen Sawer (Treasurer) »» Robert Jamieson (Secretary) »» Amanda Jones

Volunteers The contribution made by volunteers is crucial to the operation of PILCH. In 2010-11, we have been assisted by over 100 student volunteers and interns, students on placements from La Trobe University Law School, the Leo Cussen Institute and fellows sponsored by PILCH member firms. We extend our thanks to all of the talented and committed students who have volunteered with us this year.

»» David Hillard (Alternative for Amanda Jones) »» Gary Cazalet »» Jo Renkin »» Malcolm Cooke »» Nicole Rich »» Stuart Webb »» Ted Hill (Appointed 28 October 2010) »» Val Gostencnik »» Will Alstergren (Appointed 9 September 2010) »» Will Irving »» Joshua Wilson S.C. (Retired 9 September 2010) »» Sarah Matheson (Retired 28 October 2010)

2011 PILCH Secondees L-R: Amy Barber (Baker & McKenzie), Rosannah Healy (Allens Arthur Robinson), Sarah Shnider (Freehills) and Catherine Dow (Corrs Chambers Westgarth)

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PilchConnect referrals and telephone advices 0%

10%

Staff

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

2010/11

No. of staff employed No of staff on leave of absence

Equivalent full-time (EFT) 2009/10 No. of staff appointments

80%

90%

100%

June 2011

June 2010

33

34

2

3

25.5

21

8

14

20%

35%

6

6

Regulatory Compliance Rate of turnover

Other

Tax Concessions No. of promotions

Employment

Establishing An Organisation Av. length of service (yrs)

Intellectual Property

2.29

n/a

Internalservice Governance Period of longest (yrs)

Property/Leasing

6.45

5.45

Insurance/Risk Management Overall staff satisfaction

Disputes/Litigation

89%

n/a

Contracts

Privacy

Staff 0

2

4

6

8

10

12

Operations

Clinics

Connect

Referral

No. Staff

Equivalent Full-Time

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OUR FINANCES

STRUCTURE AND GOVERNANCE

We finished the 2010-11 year in a healthy financial position. Thanks to a persistent and creative approach to fundraising we were able to strengthen our capacity to deliver on program goals by increasing our income from a diversity of sources including grants, donations, memberships and fee for service activities.

We are a Victorian not-for-profit incorporated association. We are a public benevolent institution, endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient organisation. Our accounts are independently audited. A copy of our rules is available at www.pilch.org.au/about.

The increase in our expenditure was contained within the limits of our income and we finished the year with a surplus of $49,031. We continued to receive funding from state and federal government grants, corporate donors, philanthropic organisations, memberships, and fundraising events. We also received a range of very generous in-kind support from our members including secondment of skilled staff, volunteer engagement and donation of resources and facilities.

We are a membership organisation and our members are primarily from the private legal profession in Victoria. This includes 31 law firms, the Law Institute of Victoria, the Victorian Bar, corporate legal departments, university law schools, and Victorian community legal centres. We are governed by an independent board of up to 14 members. The Board’s function is to set the vision and strategic direction of PILCH, and maintain oversight of PILCH’s activities. The Board has established a number of ad hoc sub-committees including Finance, Fundraising, and Staffing. A copy of our audited, annual financial report can be found at www.pilch.org.au/financials.

Income Government Funding

16%

Victorian Bar

14%

Law Institute of Victoria

13%

Memberships

13%

Government - Community Legal Services Program

13%

Management Fees

9%

Philanthropic

7%

Corporate

5%

Donations and Events

3%

Training/Teaching Fees

2%

Other

5%

Total income:

$2,784, 949

Expenditure Salaries

75%

Premises and Office Costs

13%

Project/Evaluation Costs

3%

Finance and Audit

3%

Stakeholder Engagement

2%

Other

4%

Total expenditure:

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2010|11 ANNUAL REPORT

$2,735,918


Acknowledgements We occupy a unique place between the private, community and government sectors and place great importance on these relationships. Much of our capacity to pursue and achieve public interest goals derives from the culture and community of goodwill that we have fostered over many years with lawyers, governments, professional legal associations and community groups. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the support and contribution of: Australian Centre for Philanthropy and NonProfit Studies (Queensland University of Technology) Australian Government Solicitor Barristers of the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Scheme Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department Commonwealth Community Legal Services Program Council on the Ageing Victoria Danny Pearson Department of Justice Victoria Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria Helen McPherson Smith Trust Human Rights Law Centre ikd – Innovative Knowledge Development JusticeNet SA Law Institute of Victoria Law Institute of Victoria Access to Justice Committee Legal Services Board of Victoria LIV Legal Assistance Scheme member firms Office for the Community Sector, Department of Planning and Community Development, Victoria National Association of Community Legal Centres National Pro Bono Resource Centre PILCH NSW Portland House Foundation QPILCH Senior Victorians, Aged Care Branch, Department of Health R E Ross Trust Seniors Rights Victoria Telstra The Myer Foundation The Trust Company Limited Transport Accident Commission Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Victoria Law Foundation Victoria Legal Aid Victorian Attorney General’s Department Victorian Bar Victorian Bar Pro Bono Committee Victorian community legal centres Victorian Council of Social Service Volunteering Victoria William Buckland Foundation Worklogic

ANNUAL REPORT 2010|11

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Members Law Firms Allens Arthur Robinson

Francis Abourizk Lightowlers

Lander & Rogers

Norton Rose

Andrew George Solicitors

Freehills

MAE Lawyers

Rigby Cooke

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Gilbert + Tobin

Maddocks

Robinson Gill

Arnold Dallas McPherson

Hall & Wilcox

Mallesons Stephen Jaques

Russell Kennedy

Baker & McKenzie

Harwood Andrews

Macarthur Argyle Easmond

Sparke Helmore

Blake Dawson

Herbert Geer

Meridian Lawyers

TressCox

Clayton Utz

Holding Redlich

Middletons

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Holley Nethercote

Minter Ellison

DLA Piper Australia

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Nicholes Family Lawyers

Corporate Legal Departments

COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTRES

National Australia Bank Ltd, Legal Department

Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service

Transport Accident Commission

Barwon Community Legal Service

PACT Group

Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre

The Trust Company

Casey Cardinia Community Legal Service Central Highlands Community Legal Centre

Universities Deakin University La Trobe University, School of Law Monash University, Law School University of Melbourne, Law School Victoria University, Faculty of Business & Law

Consumer Law Centre Victoria Darebin Community Legal Centre Environment Defenders’ Office (Vic) Eastern Community Legal Centre Essendon Community Legal Centre Federation of Community Legal Centres (Vic)

Professional Organisations

Fitzroy Legal Service

Law Institute of Victoria

Flemington-Kensington Legal Centre

Victorian Bar

Gippsland Community Legal Service

Associate Members

JobWatch Inc

The Office of David Grace QC

Loddon Campapse Community Legal Centre

Paul Ronfeldt

Melbourne University Student Union Legal Service Mental Health Legal Centre Monash Oakleigh Community Legal Centre Moreland Community Legal Centre Peninsula Community Legal Centre Southport Community Legal Centre Springvale Monash Legal Service SRC Legal Service, La Trobe University Tenants Union of Victoria Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service West Heidelberg Community Legal Centre Western Suburbs Legal Service Women’s Legal Service

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2010|11 ANNUAL REPORT


Public Interest Law Clearing House (VIC) Inc ABN 54 206 789 276 Reg No. A0029409J

17/461 Bourke St Melbourne VIC 3000 PO Box 16013 Collins Street West VIC 8007 DX 128 Melbourne Tel: 03 8636 4400 Fax: 03 8636 4455 admin@pilch.org.au

www.pilch.org.au

Printed on 100% recycled paper by Arena Printing and Publishing Environmental Printers (incl. 100% Green Energy) FSC Certified SGS-COC-005694

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2010|11 ANNUAL REPORT

PILCH Annual Report 2011  

PILCH Annual Report 2010-11