Celebrating 50 Years: Reconnecting and Reimagining

Our theme invites participants to reflect on:

– Our identity – as a strong, progressive social movement of student activists, community workers, social change agents, and lawyers, which is deeply rooted in and connected to the many and diverse communities we’re embedded in 

– Our strengths – as agile and innovate community-controlled organisations, skilled in using local knowledge and relationships to quickly identify and respond to deep and emerging social and legal problems 

– The people and communities we work alongside every day, and who we support in their struggles for justice – through legal service provision, community education, advocacy and solidarity with grassroots activism and campaigns 

– Our partners and allies – in the not-for-profit community services sector, legal and non-legal human rights and environmental advocates and organisations, and our pro-bono supporters across the wider legal profession 

– The challenges we’ve faced and overcome – and consider those that lie ahead – from unfair laws that criminalise poverty and disadvantage and government policies that have hampered our ability to advocate against them freely, to the COVID-pandemic and restrictions, and the looming climate crisis. 

Drawing on our identity and our strengths, together we’ll begin the process of reimagining: 

– Our responses to the critical challenges we face as people, as a movement, and as a community, including our role in contributing to effective climate action, and delivering racial and gender justice, particularly for First Nations people and people experience domestic, family and sexual violence and abuse 

– How we work ethically, respectfully, and effectively with grassroots community movements and people with lived experience of disadvantage, discrimination, and violence in their struggles for justice 

– How we can adapt our organisations to continue building a strong, sustainable sector and safe, secure workplaces – so that we can provide the best services possible – and deliver genuine access to justice and progressive social change – for and with the people and communities we support.  

Perhaps most importantly, we’ll reconnect: 

 With each other as people, colleagues, and friends 

 With our shared vision for justice 

 With our individual and shared sense of purpose and energy. 

And, through connection, we’ll recharge, and rediscover what inspires us to continue the struggle to improve access to justice for our communities and build safe and resilient organisations, ready to tackle all the challenges the future throws our way.