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2024 Strong Foundations grant recipients

Launched in late-2023, our Strong Foundations grants funding stream will help organisations working to improve access to justice for everyday Victorians make an even greater impact. By providing stable and flexible funding over three to five years, we enable organisations to strengthen their work from all angles to achieve their strategic objectives. 

We are pleased to announce our inaugural Strong Foundations grantees below. They are eight ambitious organisations who serve diverse communities across Victoria. We look forward to seeing their impact grow with the help of Strong Foundations. 

Successful applicants 

Law and Advocacy Centre for Women (LACW) 
$1 million 

LACW promotes justice for women involved in the legal system. LACW goes beyond legal advice by offering comprehensive social work and case management support to address underlying issues and prevent reoffending, particularly for women in vulnerable situations. With Strong Foundations funding, LACW will strengthen its impact by employing a Policy and Advocacy Manager, expand access to social work services, and embed robust monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure lasting effectiveness. 

Northern Community Legal Centre (NCLC) 
$1 million 

NCLC provides legal advice, assistance, education and advocacy among one of the fastest growing and most disadvantaged areas in Melbourne, focusing particularly on issues such as family violence, immigration and youth justice. With Strong Foundations funding, NCLC services will expand to a new office at the community services hub in Wallan to meet the significant legal need in the Lower Mitchell region and enhance collaboration among agencies, streamline referrals, and provide residents with more timely access to legal assistance. Funding will also help NCLC explore flexible staffing models, partner with other specialists, and engage the community through workshops and legal education. 

$1 million 

WEstjustice knows that the key to sustaining an impactful organisation is a happy and supported workforce.  WEstjustice will use Strong Foundations funding to develop their WISED UP framework, which aims to ensure that workers feel included, safe, and well. This will, in turn, increase job satisfaction, retention, performance and enable Westjustice to increase their impact and support to their communities in the western suburbs of Melbourne. 

First Step  

First Step Legal aims to increase access to justice for people with intersecting needs by bringing compassionate legal help to them, wherever they present for support. At present they are working across five different health and human settings to demonstrate the value of integrated legal help. However, their vision is more expansive. They see a future where human service systems for people with complex needs are routinely designed and funded to include a legal services component. To realise this vison, First Step Legal will use Strong Foundations funding to strengthen their unique practice model, develop a workforce pipeline, build an evidence base and advocate for the inclusion of legal help in a wider range of settings. 

The Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC)  
$1 million 

CALC tackles issues ranging from debt and scams to disasters by improving access to justice through frontline services, online tools, and advocacy. Strong Foundations funding will be used to enhance legal advice and website accessibility for vulnerable groups, redesign advice services to empower community workers, and improve data collection to address systemic consumer issues and drive impactful campaigns. This multi-faceted approach aims to advance consumer rights across the board. 

Eastern Community Legal Centre’s (ECLC)  
$1 million 

ECLC’s 100-strong team offers free legal assistance, outreach programs and strong community partnerships to more than a million residents in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Committed to empowering marginalised groups through multidisciplinary legal services, their focus is on expanding their integrated programs, prioritising community needs, and investing in prevention. Strong Foundations funding will help ECLC enhance intake processes, data utilisation, staff training, and knowledge sharing across the legal sector, fostering growth and innovation. 

Southside Justice  

Southside Justice works with community lawyering principles and local organisation partners to address critical issues such as gender-based violence, homelessness, and financial insecurity in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs. Their revamped strategy emphasises early intervention, strong collaboration, and organisational capacity building. Strong Foundations funding will allow Southside to drive their overarching strategic objectives as well as deepen their work in the key impact area of housing justice.  

ARC Justice 
$1 million 

ARC Justice’s new strategy articulates their commitment to supporting the diverse needs of the communities they serve in northern and central Victoria by ensuring people understand their rights and can exercise them.  Strong Foundations funding will provide ARC Justice with the opportunity to establish and embed their climate justice program into their service model, helping residents adapt to liveability and affordability changes in the face of changing climates. This will enable them to build community resilience and enhance the responsive support they provide when emergencies occur. 

Congratulations to all successful grantees.  

To learn more about our impact and future opportunities, visit our website or subscribe to our grants newsletter. 

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