Redfern Legal Centre
Redfern Legal Centre (RLC) is an independent, non-profit community legal centre established in 1977 and located in the Sydney inner-city of Redfern, New South Wales. It is part of a network of four inner-Sydney region community legal centres, including the Inner City, Kingsford, and Marrickville Legal Centres.
The RLC is dedicated to promoting social justice and human rights and provides free legal advice, referral, and casework to disadvantaged people and groups who live with its catchment area, which extends to the Botany, Leichhardt, and City of Sydney municipal areas. Many of those seeking assistance are ineligible for legal aid but still cannot afford private legal services. A high proportion of the centre's clients are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other culturally and linguistically diverse communities. The RLC is dedicated to community legal education and advocates for the reform of inequalities in laws, the legal system, administrative practices and society as a whole.
Volunteers and pro-bono
The RLC relies heavily on volunteer labour and pro-bono assistance from legal professionals to service a heavy caseload. Daytime volunteers tend to be law students or members of the community. Night-time volunteers are solicitors and legal assistants who attend appointments and give legal advice. RLC estimates it attracts approximately 30,000 volunteer hours per year or the equivalent of $900,000 worth of services to the community each year.
RLC received the 2007 Human Rights Law Award from the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. In particular the award recognised the establishment of the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Scheme which aims to provide women seeking restraining orders as a result of domestic violence with legal advice as well as any other support required (including housing, income support and counselling).