Strategic Plan - Barwon Community Legal Service

Strategic Plan


  1. Identify and prioritise those people in our region who face systemic discrimination or disadvantage, and are more likely to experience barriers to accessing legal help.
  2. Our service model will be informed by the lived experience of our community, ensuring services are accessible, inclusive, responsive and targeted to priority communities.
  3. Focus towards prevention, minimising the occurrence and impact of legal problems, and fostering a proactive approach to addressing potential challenges our community may face.
  4. Identify and address barriers to access justice and provide people-focused services that effectively meet the diverse needs and preferences of our community.
  5. Provide an integrated and collaborative approach to providing legal services, community legal education and non-legal support.
  6. Raise our profile to increase awareness of services and how life problems can have legal solutions.

Strategic Pillar 1

Provide services for better life outcomes

Our work will actively seek to promote fairness, justice and equal opportunities for individuals and communities facing disadvantage. At an individual level, we will work towards removing barriers and providing equal access to resources, opportunities and services. At a community level, we will work towards addressing systemic inequalities and biases. In this way, we will contribute to greater equity at both an individual and community level.


  1. Use strategic, targeted casework to challenge unlawful or unfair decisions while also working towards the development of more equitable laws, policies and processes.
  2. Identify systemic issues affecting our clients and advocate on their behalf. We will leverage our understanding of our clients’ experiences to raise public awareness about injustices and push for necessary changes.
  3. Enhance and expand the capacity of our advocacy networks to drive meaningful, systemic change through actively contributing to wider law reform initiatives. To accomplish this, we will provide valuable data, case studies, and evidence to our advocacy partners, supporting them in their advocacy campaigns.
  4. Invest in our capacity to influence decision makers to address systemic issues and improve access to justice; fostering a greater awareness and comprehension among decision makers about the impacts of systemic issues on our community.
  5. Actively contribute to public awareness and advocacy campaigns by playing a proactive role in developing and supporting campaigns that aim to inform and inspire the public to address inequality, injustices and other systemic issues.

Strategic Pillar 2

Work to achieve systemic change

We will actively advocate and work towards reshaping the underlying structures, policies, and practices that perpetuate inequality, injustice, and other systemic issues. We will strive to be a catalyst for transformative change that seeks to address the root causes of the problems impacting our clients.


  1. Enhance peoples’ understanding of their legal rights, responsibilities, the law and the legal system.
  2. Increase peoples’ capacity to recognise and address legal problems they may encounter in their lives.
  3. Through clear communication and education, demystify complex legal concepts and processes, empowering people to navigate their legal issues with confidence, and make informed choices about their legal matters.
  4. Assist people to help themselves by providing people accessing our service with the necessary tools, resources, and support to navigate their legal challenges independently whenever possible.

Strategic Pillar 3

Build community capacity to understand and exercise their legal rights

We will enable community members and groups within our region to become knowledgeable, confident, and active participants in the legal system. This means not just raising awareness of rights, but encompasses the development of skills, resources, and support networks so community members have increased capability to recognise and address their legal problems.


  1. Establish and nurture strategic partnerships that expand our reach, enhance our influence and sustainability, and ultimately our impact.
  2. Enhance the capacity of community service providers to better understand and support their clients with legal problems while making informed and appropriate referrals to our service.
  3. Provide a holistic response to people’s legal and non-legal needs through collaborative partnerships with other service providers.
  4. Establish a systematic approach to assess the effectiveness and impact of our partnerships. Through monitoring, evaluation, and continuous improvement, we will enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of our partnerships, ensuring that they generate positive outcomes in line with our organisational goals.

Strategic Pillar 4

Be strategic and enhance our partnerships for better outcomes

We will enhance and expand genuine partnerships with community organisations, legal professionals, and other stakeholders, aiming to create a network with like-minded individuals and organisations who share our values and objectives. We will leverage resources, expertise, collective strengths and opportunities to achieve client outcomes that surpass what could be accomplished individually. Together we aim to address complex challenges and create sustainable solutions.


  1. Achieve longer term financial sustainability;
    1. Explore diverse revenue streams and reduce reliance on single funding sources;
    2. Proactively identify and respond to funding opportunities for programs and services that address unmet community need.
  2. Monitor and evaluate our services and programs to ensure ongoing quality and effectiveness, leading to enhanced accountability, transparency, and ultimately achieving greater outcomes for the individuals and communities we serve.
  3. Cultivate a workplace culture characterised by:
    1. Safety and empowerment: where employees feel safe, respected and empowered to contribute and have a say in the matters that affect them;
    2. Well-being and growth: prioritising well-being and supporting career progression;
    3. Flexibility and Accountability: Promoting flexibility, resilience and a high-performance culture with clear accountability.
  4. Equip employees with the necessary resources to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively, ensuring workflows are streamlined and the overall efficiency of our operations is enhanced.

Strategic Pillar 5

Build organisational strength and sustainability

We will establish a solid foundation to effectively support the functioning of the organisation, ensuring long-term success and resilience. Our objective is to foster a positive workplace culture where our staff feel valued and listened to. We aim to develop robust capabilities and strategies that enable the organisation to thrive, adapt, and fulfill its mission over time.

2024 Strategic Plan

Download the 2024 Barwon Community Legal Services strategic plan

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