31 January 2024

It is a great honour to be writing my first message to you as Fitzroy Legal Service’s Interim CEO. I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all staff, volunteers, members, supporters and board members who have offered great encouragement as I have stepped into this important role.

Profound thanks are also due to our outgoing CEO, Kristine Olaris, who has left the organisation in a robust position to tackle the pressing challenges our clients and communities face.

None is more apparent than the cost-of-living crisis, the impacts of which we are increasingly seeing. Our Night Service has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of clients struggling with rent and other essential costs. 

We are seeing many clients who have been notified of rent increases that are either out of step with what is reasonable or mean they would be unable to afford essential items such as food and transport. 

Similarly, we are seeing more clients being fined because they were unable to afford public transport fares or who have been unable to keep up with payment plans. In these times, the services delivered by our amazing team of staff and volunteers are more critical than ever. 

As well as our longstanding Night Service, these services include our health justice partnership assisting people experiencing homelessness and mental health issues, our family violence outreaches, drug outreach lawyer program, and WILO, an integrated social work and legal service for women and non-binary people.

Alongside responding to rising community need, the next six months will see us stage some incredible peer-led events, including a Job Fair to break down barriers to employment and a celebration of self-advocacy group, Voices for Change.

We will also be hosting events to celebrate our volunteers and launch the 46th edition of our iconic Law Handbook. I warmly invite you to join us in this work and to consider making a donation that’s meaningful to you.

Together we can create a fairer and more equal Victoria in 2024. On behalf of all of us at FLS, we look forward to working with each of you to do so.

Hamish McLachlan
Interim Chief Executive Officer

Find out more about what’s on at FLS and subscribe to our eNews today.

Other news

Hamish McLachlan
January 9, 2024
Introducing FLS Interim CEO, Hamish McLachlan  
Read post ›
November 28, 2023
In the future, people like Thuy will no longer face unfair barriers
Read post ›
November 8, 2023
FLS announces CEO departure following a legacy of purposeful growth
Read post ›
Solicitor and former Australian Government Solicitor, Michael Kingston
October 24, 2023
Five minutes with former FLS volunteer, Michael Kingston
Read post ›
June 30, 2023
Reflections on a harm reduction intervention in the Inquest into Veronica Nelson’s passing
Read article ›
Human Rights News
June 19, 2023
Victoria Police breaches human rights and its own policies at cannabis legalisation rally
Read article ›
May 26, 2023
FLS submission on a medically supervised injecting service in the City of Melbourne
Read post ›
March 31, 2023
Q+Law: A new legal service with and for LGBTIQA+ communities
Read article ›
March 10, 2023
FLS joins calls for a Supervised Injecting Service in the CBD
Read article ›
January 24, 2023
Fitzroy Legal Service joins in calls from Aboriginal, legal, and human rights organisations for the urgent reform of Victoria’s bail laws.
Read article ›
October 13, 2022
Vale Uncle Jack
Read article ›
October 22, 2021
Human Rights don’t stop at prison gates. It is time to end routine strip searching of people in prison!
Read post ›
January 18, 2024
Fitzroy Legal Service doors remain open this Invasion Day
Read post ›
View all news ›