Our new strategic plan, Strategy 26, will help us make the best decisions about how to prioritize our efforts to improve the experience and outcomes for customers and communities, and to support fairer laws and systems over the next four years.
Launched in our Sunshine office on Thursday, June 16, Strategy 26 outlines how we will work for a fair, just and inclusive society where people can get help with their legal issues and have a stronger voice in laws and processes. legal matters affecting them.
We were honored to be joined by the Attorney General of Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, for the launch, and other guests including Acting Regional Coordinating Magistrate Andrew Capell, CEO of the Federation of Community Legal Centers Louisa Gibbs and local Aboriginal justice worker Keenan Madden of Kirrip Aboriginal Corporation.
Ms Symes said VLA had an important legacy to uphold, having supported the community for over 40 years.
“This represents four decades of effort to help vulnerable people in the community not only navigate the justice system and solve problems, but also identify and help people connect with other organizations to truly change. their lives,” she said.
“VLA has also educated the community and provided expert advice and ongoing advocacy, whether it be funding or policy ideas in relation to legal reform and that is a relationship that I certainly value in as State Attorney General.
“It is with this legacy in mind that I am truly delighted to celebrate the new strategic direction of VLA.
Our Interim Chairman of the Board, Robbie Campo, said achieving our vision is not possible without listening more deeply to customer voices.
“I speak for the Board when I say – we know and agree that to make a meaningful difference to clients and the community, we must put people with legal needs at the center of our work and thinking” , Robbie said.
“To ensure customers have a strong voice in the services and systems that affect them, we will embed customer-centric approaches by involving customers and consumers in the design, delivery and review of our services.”
Attention, courage, fairness – and inclusion
As part of the development of Strategy 26, our vision and values have been refined and reinforced.
We’ve also added a new value – inclusion, emphasizing the importance of valuing inclusion and diversity in all the work we do, and representing the community and customers we serve every day.
Our CEO, Louise Glanville, said we strongly support our new value of “inclusion” and our desire to create a culturally safe and inclusive workplace.
“Fairness, care and courage are important values and are reinforced by the addition of inclusion,” she said.
“Inclusion matters, both in terms of how we treat, work with and support our staff, as well as how we work in our external environment.
“Our external advocacy takes many forms, including service delivery, strategic litigation and law reform.
“In these areas, we want Victorian communities and Australia as a whole to be inclusive of everyone, and for each of us to have a space where we can feel safe.”
Prioritize partner relationships
We want and value a collaborative legal aid industry.
Strategy 26 commits us to working with specialist and generalist community legal centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services and private legal practitioners to meet legal needs.
Federation of Community Legal Centers CEO Louisa Gibbs said it was a strategic direction that builds on existing strengths.
“We are fortunate in Victoria to have established strong ways of working collaboratively, thanks to the careful foresight and planning of those who came before us,” Louisa said.
“It was the foresight of these pioneers that led to the strong and vibrant legal aid industry of today…there are many parties…and these various complementary organizations work together to provide a network of legal services, d information and education to those who need it most.
Keenan Madden is the West Metro Aboriginal Justice Worker at the Kirrip Aboriginal Corporation, one of the many community organizations we work with.
In his remarks, he talked about the strength of the partnership between Kirrip and the local office of Sunshine.
“We have limited support services out west, but one connection provided unlimited services and support…VLA Sunshine,” Keenan said.
The Attorney General said it was a great example of VLA’s collaborative approach.
‘It is truly wonderful to hear about the positive and deadly support you are receiving from Victoria Legal Aid,’ she said.
“One of the reasons I really wanted to be part of the launch today is to recognize not only the quality of Victoria Legal Aid, but also the links and networks they are building with other organizations to achieve better results for Victorians.
“It’s one of the best organizations and one of the best in this business.”
Look beyond four years
Strategy 26 aligns with our.
The five outcomes form our strategic directions – increased access to justice for our clients, better legal understanding in the community, a collaborative legal aid sector, fairer laws and systems, and effective and sustainable Victoria legal aid.
“Importantly, these five outcomes are also in line with long-term sector strategies with our partners in the legal aid industry, the state government and the national legal aid partnership, so that we are all working together to improve access to justice,” Robbie said.
Strategy 26 also emphasizes our efforts for early intervention and prevention services to resolve legal issues before they escalate.
“For me, early intervention is really at the heart of what we need to do,” Louise said.
“Our evidence shows that the link between legal and non-legal advocacy is vital to the health of Victoria Legal Aid.
“We know that people’s lives don’t just exist around their legal issues and given that we’re in Sunshine today, we know that’s very much the case in Melbourne’s west.
“We see, and people tell us, the intersection between their legal issues, their health issues, their employment issues, their housing issues, and their civil debt issues.
“It is so important that we continue to keep this knowledge and their experience at the center of what we do.”
Strategy 26 was developed in consultation with our staff, stakeholders and client groups in late 2021.
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