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.

To read more about the history of the Fitzroy Legal Service, read Poverty Law and Social Change by John Chesterman, available in our online store.

The Fitzroy Legal Service Inc. is a merger of the Darebin Community Legal Centre and Fitzroy Legal Service. The merger took effect on 1 February 2019.

Darebin Community Legal Centre

Established in 1988, Darebin Community Legal Centre provided free legal advice and referral to people who live, work or study in the City of Darebin. The Centre aimed to empower and support the Darebin community through legal advice, advocacy, education and information. 

Our values

Integrity | Courage & Passion | Empowerment & Advocacy | Connected to community
Life Members
  • Sue Bothman
  • Brian Collingburn
  • Vu Dang
  • John Finlayson
  • Julian Gardner
  • Tessa Hay
  • Robin Inglis
  • Michael Kingston
  • Henrik Lassen
  • Bruce McBain
  • Trevor Williamson
  • Brian Wright
Our Strategy

We work towards a fairer Victorian community where our legal and broader social systems support equality and justice for all. Read our Strategic Plan 2022-2025 for our plan to champion community driven justice.

Our Rules

The Fitzroy Legal Service Inc. is an incorporated association incorporated pursuant to the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012. The Rules of Fitzroy Legal Service Incorporated (formerly known as a ‘constitution’) provide the structure and procedure of the Association.

Annual Reports

2021/2022 Annual Report and Financial Statements

2020/2021 Annual Report and Financial Statements

2019/2020 Annual Report and Financial Statements

2018/2019 Annual Report and Financial Statements

2017/2018 Annual Report and Financial Statements

2016/2017 Annual Report and Financial Statements