We need your support to hold the powerful to account
Too often governments ignore the rights of the communities they are supposed to represent. Whether by negligence or indifference, people’s civil liberties get trampled. Often, they lack the means to fight back.
Fitzroy Legal Service is dedicated to helping these affected communities stand up for their rights. We rally support and resources to bring cases before the courts, advocate for policy reform and push back against unjust laws.
But we’re constantly under pressure, working at stretched capacity with constrained resources. We’re already barred from using our Commonwealth funding for public advocacy or campaigning – and currently proposed legislation aims to further restrict our ability to undertake public interest law work.
That’s why we’re asking for your support. All donations over $2 are tax deductible and money raised will help us maintain our independence.
Our impact has included:
We worked with Doctors for Refugees and a coalition of legal, health and refugee advocates to successfully challenge the secrecy provisions in the Australian Border Force Act 2015 (Cth) in the High Court. This secured the rights of workers in immigration detention centres to communicate of matters of political and social concern.
We took the Victorian Government to court over the business case for the East West Link project, which was argued to be misleading and deceptive. This forced the release of the long form report that, combined with the work of many activist groups and advocates, contributed to the scrapping of the project in 2015.
We partnered with the Human Rights Law Centre to get children out of Barwon maximum security adult prison. These children we acted for had been placed in lock down for upwards of 20 hours per day, had been unable to access lawyers, had not had contact with family, and were no longer receiving schooling or programs. The court proceedings ultimately led to the removal of the children from Barwon.
And we successfully campaigned with peers and community agencies against the ‘anti-camping’ and ‘move on’ laws that targeted the homeless community and would have permitted confiscation, fines and disposal of any items being used to sleep in public spaces.
You can read more about these cases and our advocacy work on our website.
This kind of public interest law work is critical to defending not only the rights of the affected communities, but those of our entire society
Bringing social causes before the courts builds awareness, social engagement, and can set precedents that benefit the community more broadly. Law reform work driven by affected communities creates opportunities for social engagement, empowerment and change.
Equality before the law is a pre-requisite for justice. Your support of our public interest law work will assist in rebalancing the scales, giving support to the fight for government transparency and the protection of human rights.
All donations over $2 are tax deductible and every dollar helps.
About Fitzroy Legal Service
Fitzroy Legal Service was established in December 1972 on a single principle: provide free legal advice to all comers. We are one of the longest running Community Legal Centres in Australia and deliver much need legal assistance services to vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians. Our Vision is 'to be an independent and influential voice that empowers and strengthens the community through access to legal services, education, information and law reform activities'.
Find out more at fitzroy-legal.org.au.
All the funds raised in this appeal will go toward supporting our public interest law work. The money raised will ensure we can continue to help communities fight for their rights against unjust abuses of power. All donations are tax deductable and every dollar counts.
The biggest challenge is the availability of resources. We’re already barred from using our Commonwealth funding for public advocacy – and currently proposed legislation aims to further restrict our ability to undertake public interest law work. Your donation directly contributes to our independence and strengthens our resources against these kinds of government limitations.