Past Conference Resources

The National CLCs Conference has been a fixture of the community legal sector for many years, and provides valuable opportunities for professionals in the sector to meet, learn and exchange ideas.

Below you'll find programs and other resources from past conferences.  

Power purpose possibilities design

Power, Purpose and Possibilities

The 2019 National CLCs Conference in Brisbane, QLD, brought us Power, Purpose and Possibilities in relation to climate and environmental policy, strategic litigation and updates on the future of the CLASS system. 

Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Date: 26 - 29 August 2019


Conference Program 2019

Day 1 – Climate Change Science for CLC Lawyers 

Day 1 – Climate Crisis: Act Now! (Sean Ryan)

Day 1 – Climate Crisis: Act Now! (Nicola Rivers)

Day 1 – Climate Crisis: Act Now! (Tom)

Day 1 – Voices For Change: Possibilities 

Day 1 – Integrated Circuits: Joined-up Service Delivery Research (Rebecca McMhon) 

Day 1 – Integrated Circuits: Joined-up Service Delivery Research (Mi-Lin Chen Yi Mei & Adam Wilson) 

Day 1 – A Place To Call Home: Advancing the Rights of Refugee and Asylum Seeker People

Day 1 – Purposeful Inclusions

Day 1 – Dynamic Numbers 101 

Day 1 – Power Up: Interpreting CLASS Data for Advocacy 

Day 1 – Why Human Rights Matter: The Possibility and Role of Human Rights Frameworks in Australia 

Day 1 – Making Right Real: LGBTIQ People and Communities (Lee Carnie)

Day 1 – Making Right Real: LGBTIQ People and Communities (Alastir Lawrie)

Day 1 – Us Too: Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence 

Day 1 – Flying High: Developing Team Performance 

Day 2 – Connection with Community: Grassroots Activism, Movement Building for Change 

Day 2 – Maximum Impact: Approaching Evaluation 

Day 2 – Powering Forward: The Future of CLASS

Day 2 – Purposeful Cultural Safety in the Workplace - by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers 

Day 2 – Empowering Boards: Community Governance - Realistic Expectations and Risks 

Day 2 – NDIS Possibilities: Pathways To Better Client Outcomes 

Day 2 – Prisons and Policing: Dismantling Unjust Systems and Practices 

Day 2 – Democracy Now! Developing CLE Material on Active Participation in Australian Democracy 

Day 2 – A Force for Change: Strategic Litigation 

Day 2 – Sustainable Energy: Building Wellbeing and Resilience in Your Community Legal Centre 

Day 2 – Get Wired with LexisNexis: Checking Facts and Legality Issues 

Day 2 – Power Up: Advanced CLASS Features 

Day 2 – Empowering Changes: Decolonial Approach and Tackling Trans-Tasman Injustice 

Day 2 –  People Power: Engaging and Retaining Volunteers 

Day 2 –  Dynamic Engagement: Community And The Roles Of Community Legal Centres (Preethi Vergis) 

Day 2 –  Dynamic Engagement: Community And The Roles Of Community Legal Centres (Geoff Mulherin) 

Day 2 –  Powerlines: The Needs for Women and Young People (CAWLS)

Day 2 – Powerlines: The Needs for Women and Young People (Top End Women's Legal Service) 

Day 2 –  National Partnership Agreement 2.0 Consultation (CLCs only

Day 2 –  All Systems Go: Legal Practice Management and Continuous Quality Improvement (CLCs only

Just futures 2018

Just futures: Shaping our vision beyond 2020 

At our 2018 National CLCs Conference held in Sydney, NSW, we put our minds to the future of the sector. We explored what the community legal sector could look like past the year 2020, and how we can support this work. With seminars on policing race, technology and innovation, 2018’s conference left us ready and excited for what’s ahead.  

Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Date: 28 - 30 August 2018


Conference program 2018

Day 3 Session 26 - Tania Wolff

Day 3 Session 25 - National CLC Data Strategy

Day 3 Session 24 - Jane Stewart & John Joblonka

Day 1 Session 2 - Lynda Memery

Day 3 TechTalks - Kate Fazio

Day 3 TechTalks - Mark Riboldi

Day 2 Session 22 - Bobbi Murray

Day 3 TechTalks - Nadia Morales & Ryley Lawson

Day 3 TechTalks - Angela Lynch

Day 3 TechTalks - Brendon Lacota & Marie Baird

Day 2 Session 22 - Latoya Smith

Mind the Gap

Mind the gap: Responding with resilience, resourcefulness and reconciliation 

The 2017 National CLCs Conference demonstrated CLCs commitment to addressing broader challenges like closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage and addressing systemic inequality.  

As the gap between the rich and poor widens each year, it is more important than ever that the most vulnerable members in our community have access to the legal services they need.  

Location: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Date: 9 - 11 August 2017


Session 23a Shorna Moore

Matter of Trust financial elder abuse

Working with LGBTIQ Young People

SAGE integrated family violence model

2017 National CLCs Conference Review - Full Report

2017 Conference Program FINAL


Innovation and collaboration for better justice outcomes

Our 2016 Conference showcased how Community Legal Centres across Australia are driving innovation and collaboration in service delivery to help the clients and communities they work with achieve the best possible outcomes to the legal challenges they face. This innovation takes many forms and includes a strong focus on collaboration between CLCs, with other service providers and volunteers, and with communities more broadly.  

The ongoing commitment of CLCs to innovation and collaboration is one of the sector’s strongest assets. It is central to ensuring effective responses to legal needs in the context of the broad range of challenges faced by disadvantaged people and communities. It is also one of the reasons the sector is so efficient, driving quality services and outcomes within available resources.  

Location: Freemantle, Western Australia

Date: 10 - 12 August 2016


2016 Conference Program Final


“Unless...” Storytelling in CLCs work: Reasons, roles and risks 

Our 2015 Conference highlighted how storytelling for Community Legal Centre clients and for Centres is a way of claiming ownership and control, a method of effective advocacy, a form of community development and empowerment, and bearing witness, while also being a complement to data. 

Stories matter because stories are about people.  Storytelling can empower individuals and communities, create awareness, change minds, bring people together and can inspire and lead to action. Unless someone cares, nothing will change.  

Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Date: 10 - 12 August 2015


2015 Conference Agenda

2015 Conference Program 

2015 Conference Theme


Rising to the challenge

The theme of our 2014 National CLCs Conference, Rising to the Challenge, was reflective of the values and commitment of the people working in CLCs. The phrase acknowledges the difficulty of CLCs’ work, but celebrates CLC workers’ determination to strive against unfairness and injustice through belief, optimism, pragmatism and hope.  

The Conference focused on exploring innovative and strategic ways of meeting some of the challenges facing the CLC sector.

Location: Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Date: 13 - 15 August 2014


2014 Conference Program

2014 Conference Theme with Logo

Session 1 - Amanda Alford - Law Reform Notes

Session 1 - Amanda Alford - Law Reform

Session 3a - Linda Gyorki

Session 3b - Natalie Neuman

Session 4a - Anne Elizabeth Morrisroe

Session 4b - Chris Atmore

Session 5b - Annette Au Yeung

Session 8a - Amanda Morrison

Session 8b - Simon Cohen

Session 10b - Heidi Guldbaek

Session 11a - Will Crawford

Session 12a - John Corker

Session 15b - Kairsty Wilson

Session 16b - Lee Carnie

Session 17a - Diana Bernard

Session 17b - Tom Cowen

Session 17c - Carol Stuart - Handout Notes

Session 17c - Carol Stuart

Session 18a - Ben Zika

Session 18b - Chris Gabelish

Session 19a - Sophie Farrell

Session 19b - Joh Kirby

Session 20b - Wynetta Dewis

Session 22b - Emily Howie

Session 23a - Shorna Moore

Session 23b - Jo Hibbert

Session 24b - Will Crawford for Priscilla Collins

Session 25a - Richard Tagiston

Session 26b - Bronwyn Ambrogetti

Session 27 - Daniel Stubbs

Session 29a - Anthony Kelly

Session 30 - Kerry Nettle

Session 31a - Lauren Macaulay

Session 32a - Lisa Craig

Session 32b - Karen Merrin

Session 33a - Alexandra Davis

Session 33b - Toni Wills

Session 34 - Sue Brownlee

Session 36 - Dr Visakesa Chandrasekaram

Session 37b - Emily Christie

Session 38a - Janet Taylor

Session 39a - Alexandra Davis

Session 39b - Trish Ryans-Taylor

Session 40a - Kelsie Hunter

Session 40b - Tracey Willow

Session 41b - Dr Liz Curran


Walk together, talk together: Joining journeys to healing and justice

The 2013 Conference showcased some of the great work that CLCs do, individually, and in collaboration and partnership with colleagues from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, Legal Aid, the private profession, government and other NGO agencies.   

The processes of recognition, healing and reconciliation are felt to be essential by many of Australia’s First Peoples; but these concepts hold lessons for all of us in our work with people who have suffered trauma, with people who have not had their voices heard or had their wrongs redressed.  

Location: Cairns, Queensland

Date: 24 - 26 July 2013


2013 Conference Program

2013 Conference Theme 


Weather makers: CLCs creating a climate of change

Our 2012 conference theme recognised the profound effect of CLCs on the justice system over the 40 years that we have operated in Australia and celebrated our work and diversity.  

If you compare the Australian Government’s 2009 access to justice principles and its access to justice methodology with the philosophy, discourse and service delivery model of CLCs, you cannot doubt CLCs’ profound influence on the Australian justice system. 

Our sector must take responsibility for our action and inaction. Even in a changing climate, CLCs have a role as weather makers.  

Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Date: 28 - 31 August 2012


Plenary - Julie Bishop 

Plenary - Julie Bishop - Presentation Slides 

2012 Conference Agenda

2012 Conference Program

Plenary - Paula Bold-Wilson

Session 1 - CLC Lawyers

Session 2 - Bill Mitchell

Session 3 - Georgina Warrington

Session 4 - Lisa Craig

Session 6 - Amy McGowan

Session 7 - Lis Maier

Session 10 - Ahram Choi

Session 11 - Alice Hall & John Jablonka

Session 12 - Angela Pollard

Session 14 - Michael McKiterick & Helen McGowan

Session 18 - Emma Breheny

Session 23 - Antoinette Braybrook

Session 23 - Richard Hickson

Session 28 - Gerard Brody

Session 29 - Kairsty Wilson

Session 38 - Fiona Allison

Session 39 - Kim Richardson

Session 40 - Karen Bowley

Session 42 - Betty Green

Session 42 - Chris Atmore

Session 42 - Elspeth McInnes 

Session 42 - Rebecca Frost 

Session 44 - Will Crawford

Session 45 - Liz Samra & Louise Kyle

Session 47 - Kim Richardson


Rights, representation and reform

Our 2011 conference brought together key players from around Australia in the policy reform sector. Along with a broad range of issues facing policy-making in Australia, we engaged in focused discussion surrounding reform and the need for significant representation of minority groups in decision making circles. 

Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Date: 17 - 20 October 2011


2011 Conference Keynote Speakers

2011 Conference Program

2011 Draft Conference Program

2011 Conference Resolution Form

Alison Muller and Mark Cairn - Mentally Impaired Accused Act, Time for Law Reform

Anna Howard - The Law that was Missing 

ATSI Legal Service QLD - Andrew Hackett

Barry Penfold - Remote Law, The Agony and the Ecstasy

Cassandra Goldie - Rights, Representation and Reform, Perspectives from Local to National

Donna Hensen - Cyber bullying, Untangling the Web

Donna Hensen - Cyber Bullying

Donna Hensen - Skill Up Speak Up

Elizabeth McKinnon - Environmental Justice

Erin Dolan and Jane Kenny - Grant Writing, Tips, Tools and Tricks

Gabrielle Marchetti and Michael Geelhoed - Choice of Forum for Termination of Employment

Helen McGowan, Sharon Tomas and Barbara Rowe - Priming the Pump, Sustainability Within the Regional Legal Profession

Hugh de Kretser - Where We Come From, CLC History, Philosophy and Practice

Judith Stubbs - Social and Economic Costs and Benefits of CLCs

Johann Kirby and Melinda Crimp - Creating Better Information

Katrina Wong - Using Skype to Bridge the Great Divide for Young People in RRR Areas

Leon Jones - Transition to the New Award

Merran Lawler, Jeff Giddings and Mike Robertson - Reforming our Approach to Empowerment, Looking Inward Not Outward

Nick Pearce - Pitfalls of Telecommunications Debt

Nicola Rivers, Rachel Ball, Anna Howard and Michelle McDonnell - Taking Your Law Reform to the Next Level, Strategic Law Reform

Prue Gregory and Anton Hermann - Rights and Representation, Overcoming the Tyranny of Distance

Radhika Kumar - Remote Lawyering, Discussing Challenges and Identifying ways to Improve Representation for Clients in Remote Locations and Clients in Detention

Rosslyn Mayne - Gender, Transgender and the Law, Current Legal Issues

Shelley Alvarez and Jessica Abi Khattar - Sustaining Tenancies for Ex-prisoners

Susan Fahey and Angela Lynch - Coordinated Family Dispute Resolution, a Pilot Project which Aims to Assist in Resolving Parenting Disputes in Families Affected by Family Violence

Tanja Kovac - Human Rights are Aussie Rules, An Interactive Experience

Tina Turner - Maximising Impact, How a Theory of Change Can Map the Road to Successful Outcomes

Toby Archer - Casework and Campaigning for Law Reform, A Success Story


Breaking new ground: CLCs advancing justice

The 2010 National CLCs Conference focused on innovation, partnerships and exploring the ways CLCs can best respond to community needs. The Conference enabled us to share our skills and experiences and to plan for our communities. 

Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Date: 24 - 27 October 2010


2010 Conference Brochure 

2010 Conference Final Program


Inclusive justice – CLCs in action  

The 2009 National CLCs conference had a social inclusion and human rights focus, and explored how CLCs provide access to justice for those individuals and communities that are most at-risk and disadvantaged. Socially excluded Australians too often have little reason to respect the rule of law. They experience the legal system as punitive, seemingly unfair, and frequently indecipherable. They are unable to afford private legal assistance and their outcomes are often unjust.  

Location: Perth, Western Australia

Date: 14 - 17 September 2009


2009 Conference Brochure 

2009 Conference Perth CBD Map 

2009 Conference Report

2009 Conference Subsidy Form


Just is as just does

The 2008 Conference had a strong Indigenous and Human Rights focus. All our areas of work are about basic human rights: from housing to income security, to safety from violence to freedom of association, to our right to a peaceful and sustainable future.  

In the forefront was the centrality of access to justice in effective Social Inclusion programs. No Social Inclusion agenda will be successful unless it includes access to justice. For socially excluded people the legal system is punitive not just. It is often unclear, frequently indecipherable and routinely unfair.  

Location: Darwin, Northern Territory

Date: 17 - 20 August 2008


2008 Conference Brochure

2008 Conference Program Final

2008 NACLC Conference


CLCs looking to the future  

The 2007 conference explored the impact of changing climates on the communities that CLCs serve and the ways these changes relate to and affect each other. In particular, the conference addressed the changing justice climate – attempts to stifle our law reform advocacy, the Indigenous Justice climate, the impact of welfare reforms on the social justice climate, Family Law and the climate in which women and children struggle for the right to lead lives free from fear and violence, the “values climate”, and the myriad ways our clients and communities are affected. 

Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Date: 9 - 12 September 2007


2007 Conference Brochure

Benefits of the Use Of Restorative Justice For The Community Of Rotorua New Zealand

Bringing International Law Home

Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Unit 

Family Dispute Resolution and Victims of Violence: Preparing Clients to Participate Effectively

Identifying Legal Need Form

Health as a Human Right

Public Participation in Environmental Decision-making 

Justice in a Climate of Change

Legal Needs Workshop Agenda

National Financial Management Guide

Prison Law and the Rule of Law

TIS National Presentation

Titles and Synopsis


Opening closed doors: CLCs advancing community justice 

The 2006 NACLC Conference focused on community justice and included an address from National Executive Committee Member of the Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe, Sekai Holland. 

Among the issues we explored, much thought was given to the issues face by clients in accessing justice, alternative dispute resolution and working with minority groups. 

Location: Wollongong, New South Wales

Date: 3 - 6 September 2006


2006 Conference Program

2006 National Conference Session 32

Accessing Justice in Migration Matters

Advising on WorkChoices

Case Study – Many Beaches Community Legal Centre

CLE Resource Presentation Notes 

Effective Political Lobbying

Family Dispute Resolution and Victims of Violence

The Family Law and CALD Communities Project

Family Law - the New Changes

Legal Theatre – A Regional Community Legal Education Project

Multi Department Raids

NACLC Insurance Summary Conference

National Association of Community Legal Centres – National CLC Conference

PhotoVoice – A Regional Community Development Project 

Strategic Communications

WorkChoices Checklists


Scaling new heights: Community law in the 21st century

Scaling new heights: Community law in the 21st century is a statement of optimism and confidence in our communities. Although it is sometimes hard to keep perspective, it is true that our practice does improve the lives of ordinary people. We see vulnerable people acting together and we see the improvements in our lives and communities that come from co-operation and commitment. Our best moment come when we join with others in protecting and advancing the conditions of humanity. While we support the agenda of individual human rights that is making some headway in various jurisdictions, our focus is on collective rights.

Location: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Date: 9 - 12 October 2005


2005 Conference program


Justice hijacked

The 2004 National CLCs Conference approached justice as fairness, with a focus on Indigenous issues and access to justice.  Discussion panels included topics such as how to challenge laws that may disadvantage minority groups, and how to prevent activist burnout. The Conference produced the 2004 NACLC Resolutions, which covered various areas of law and how to address the challenges within them. 

Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Date: 29 August - 1 September 2004


NACLC Conference resolutions

2004 Conference program