September 19, 2018 at 8:30am - 5:30pm.
Melbourne Town Hall
90 Swanston St
Australia, Victoria 3000

Transforming Democracy: Claiming Our Power


Community legal centres are a movement for justice: we challenge the powerful and believe everyone has a right to be heard. But attacks on democracy, racist “law and order” politics, and the widening gap between rich and poor are threatening this. This year at our State Conference, we invite you to join community legal centre members and our communities and partners in a one day summit that will tackle these big challenges, and think about the role that our movement can play in creating a world where everyone is treated equally by the law.


Transforming Democracy: Claiming Our Power is a one day summit that brings together community legal centre members with our communities and our organisational partners, to address critical social and economic justice challenges in Victoria - and the role that community lawyers can play in addressing them. This event is hosted by the Federation of Community Legal Centres.

Buy your ticket HERE.

Currently in Victoria, we are facing an upcoming election which has been shaped by a toxic “law and order” narrative. We have seen the government take us backwards on criminal justice and equality, with privatisation of public housing that has forced hundreds of people out of their homes and the criminalisation of poverty and race. Councils fine people with rental stress who cannot pay for parking; officers charge people who are homeless for not having a tram ticket; real estate agents blacklist tenants for standing up for their rights; and the courts imprison rather than rehabilitate people convicted of crimes driven by poverty. As Community Legal Centres we'll learn how to resist this narrative and the troubling policy direction, and how to build up the strength, resilience and power we need to shift the politics on justice and equality.


Hear from inspiring international and domestic keynote speakers, engage in skill building workshops and learn from expert panels about how to build power and create change in your community. We will focus especially on how community organising approaches can support and enhance strategic litigation, how the field of poverty law can inform approaches to community lawyering in Victoria, and how community lawyers in other States and overseas are achieving transformative change through innovative uses of campaigning and community partnerships.


We will be joined by Raquel Willis from the Black Lives Matter movement and the U.S. Transgender Law Centre, to share her knowledge and expertise on organising marginalised communities for transformative social change. Raquel is a powerful black transgender activist and writer from the U.S. who was recognised this year as one of America's most influential African Americans on The Root 100, alongside Solange Knowles, Tamika D. Mallory and Patrisse Khan-Cullors.


We would like to give a special welcome to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people of colour, LGBTIQ+ people and people from all different walks of life and are committed to making this a safe and inclusive space for all. This venue is fully wheelchair accessible.

Grab your ticket here.

If you're a community member who has lived experience of racism and criminalisation and can't afford this ticket price we have a limited number of full and half price scholarships available. To apply for a scholarship head click here!


Interested in getting involved? Fill out a volunteer application form here.

Address: 90 Swanston St Australia, Victoria 3000 Australia