About Barwon Community Legal Service

BCLS is an independent Community Legal Service that is funded by the State and Federal Governments to provide free legal information, advice and casework to members of our local community.


A just society in which all people have equal access to, and status under, the law; and a legal system which is humane, fair and equitable.


To promote, protect and enhance the rights and interests of individuals, groups and organisations within the BCLS catchment region who are disadvantaged in their access to justice; and contribute to reform of laws and structural inequities to achieve humane, fair and equitable outcomes.


BCLS is committed to:

  • Making the interests and needs of clients and community our first priority
  • Social justice, in the belief that access to justice is a fundamental human right
  • Legal change to effect more than individual solutions to legal problems
  • A community development approach which aims to understand our environment and engage with stakeholders and the broader community
  • The empowerment of clients and the broader community where possible and appropriate
  • The provision of accessible services for clients and community
  • Enabling members of the community to make informed decisions
  • Treating members of the community with respect, dignity and consideration
  • Acting ethically, and with integrity, diligence and competence in all work activities
  • A supportive, stimulating and safe work environment for staff and volunteers
  • Continuing improvement through on-going learning and development

BCLS is governed by a volunteer Board. Comprising members of the local community with diverse skills and background, our Board ensures the service meets its various compliance requirements and provides strategic direction for the organisation.

Please download brochures about BCLS:

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BCLS is one of around 200 Community Legal Centres in Australia. These centres all focus on social justice and working with marginalised and disadvantaged people across the country.


Federation of Community Legal Centres (FCLC) Victoria

Victoria’s 50 Community Legal Centre are represented by the Federation of Community Legal Centres  (FCLC) Victoria.


  • Provides information and referrals to people seeking legal assistance
  • Initiates and resources law reform and policy work to develop a fairer legal system that better responds to the needs of the disadvantaged
  • Works to build a stronger and more effective community legal sector
  • Provides services and support to community legal centres
  • Represents community legal centres with stakeholders

The National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC)

The National Association of Community Legal Centres is the peak body for around 200 Community Legal Centres.

NACLC is committed to:


  • Assisting disadvantaged and marginalised people to gain access to legal services
  • Supporting and assisting community legal centres to provide these services
  • Providing a national forum for community legal centres
  • Developing and coordinating national community legal centres policies
  • Advancing the interests of community legal centres within Australia