On the 22nd October Victorian Legal Services Board CEO and Commissioner Fiona McLeay announced seven grant recipients who would receive shares of a $1 million fund, aimed at helping ordinary and vulnerable Victorians to access simple and affordable legal support services. Projects include a scheme to provide women in regional Victoria with a pathway out of the justice system and supporting people to apply for the Disability Support Pension
Victoria Legal Aid’s ‘Joined-Up Justice for Gippsland’ project will improve access to timely, appropriate and culturally safe legal assistance for priority clients and communities in the Gippsland region. The project aims to establish and improve referral pathways, create a network of non-legal service providers and help member organisations coordinate services. Whilst the Mental Health Legal Centre has received funding to assist people managing complex health and mental health issues apply for the Disability Support Pension, by providing improved access to Centrelink resources. This project builds on the work of Social Security Rights Victoria, who earlier this year launched an online support service, including a medical chat bot, to support people to apply for the Disability Support Pension.
Victorian Legal Services Board CEO and Commissioner Fiona McLeay has said : “This program provides vulnerable Victorians with innovative new ways to get access to legal services when they need it the most. I’m pleased to be announcing this year’s successful grant applicants, and I congratulate each of the organisations for their innovative projects and commitment to increasing access to justice for Victorians. During times of crisis, such as now, these organisations are more important than ever as increasing numbers of Victorians find themselves in need of help.”