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When the Fitzroy Legal Service opened its doors on 18 December 1972, it became Australia’s first non-Aboriginal community legal centre

Initially located in the basement of the Fitzroy Town Hall, in what was then one of the poorest suburbs of Melbourne, this new legal service set out to do the unthinkable: provide free legal advice to all comers. In the beginning it was run entirely by volunteers, only later acquiring paid staff. To this day, we rely on an extensive body of volunteers to run our free legal advice service and assist in the running of many of our other programs. Although a relatively small organisation, we have played an important role as the forerunner of community legal centres throughout the country. We have a long history of running public interest cases. And the empowerment of clients to participate in the resolution of their own problems has always been a central part of our work.