Who We Are - Barwon Community Legal Service
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Who We Are

We are an independent Community Legal Service that is funded by the State and Federal Governments to provide free legal information, advice, and casework to members of our local community. A key part of our work is community education and awareness and contributing to law reform, as well as providing direct legal assistance.

Established in 1986 as the Geelong Community Legal Service, our service now supports the legal needs of the Greater Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula, Surf Coast and Colac Otway communities.

We are one of more than 200 Community Legal Centres across Australia. These centres all focus on social justice and working with marginalised and disadvantaged people.

Our Vision

A just society in which all people have equal access to, and status under, the law; and a legal system which is humane, fair, and equitable.

Our Mission

To challenge systemic disadvantage and enable our priority communities to access the support they need to understand their legal rights and overcome their legal problems.

Our Commitments

  • Making the interests and needs of clients and community our first priority
  • Social justice, in the belief that access to justice is a fundamental human right
  • Legal change to effect more than individual solutions to legal problems
  • A community development approach which aims to understand our environment and engage with stakeholders and the broader community
  • The empowerment of clients and the broader community where possible and appropriate
  • The provision of accessible services for clients and community
  • Enabling members of the community to make informed decisions
  • Treating members of the community with respect, dignity, and consideration
  • Acting ethically, and with integrity, diligence, and competence in all work activities
  • A supportive, stimulating, and safe work environment for staff and volunteers
  • Continuing improvement through on-going learning and development

Our Board

We are governed by a volunteer Board comprising members of the local community with diverse skills and backgrounds. Our Board Members are:

Tom joined the board in 2018.  Tom is an experienced commercial lawyer and has worked in private and public practice in the Geelong region for over ten years.  He has a strong connection to the region and also a commitment to social justice and to delivering quality legal services to all people in the greater Geelong area.

He is a graduate of the Committee for Geelong’s, Leaders for Geelong program and is currently undertaking the Australian Institute of Company Directors company directors course.

He lives on the Surf Coast with his young family and when not working can be found either on the beach with his children or swimming or surfing at one of our region’s amazing beaches.

Tom is also a member of our Finance and Risk Sub-committee

Bio coming soon

Natasha is also chair of our People and Culture Sub-committee

Charlie Agar has a Bachelor of Business from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and joined our board in 2018.

Charlie practises in business and taxation advisory. Charlie specialises in providing financial guidance for his clients to achieve their business goals while ensuring they meet their compliance requirements. Charlie also brings industry finance experience having previously worked in a publicly listed corporation.

Charlie is also chair of our Finance and Risk Sub-committee

Dominique is an experienced lawyer and a leader in her field. For more than twenty years she has worked predominantly in health law, mental health, disability, aged care and discrimination. Before becoming a lawyer she was a social worker, and as such she will consider legal questions from different perspectives.

Dominque also has a deep interest in sound corporate governance in the public and not-for-profit sectors. She is the Chair of the Ethics Review Committee, Audiology Australia and the Australian College of Audiology and is the Chair of Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service.

Dominque is also a member of our People and Culture Sub-committee

Bio coming soon

Myra is also a member of our People and Culture Sub-committee

Paul is a finance professional with over 10 years’ experience in funds management and corporate advisory roles at domestic and global businesses in Sydney and Melbourne.

He has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) from the University of Melbourne along with a Master of Applied Finance (Hons) from Monash University.   He joined the board in 2021 and is also a member of the Finance and Risk Sub-committee.

Paul grew up in Colac and, after extended periods in Melbourne and Sydney, returned to the Barwon area where he now lives with his wife and young children on the Surf Coast.

Our Leadership Team

Tamara Kotowicz
Practice Manager - Family Law and Family Violence

Last modified on September 14th, 2022 at 1:54 pm

The content on this site is information only and is not legal advice. If you need legal advice please contact us.

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