Emergence: Our stories in the next decade

Emergence: Our stories in the next decade is the theme for a series of events and collaborations in 2020 and 2021 culminating in the next National CLCs Conference planned for August 2022. Read more about our theme below.

This year we continue to facilitate and co-design online opportunities for professional development, networking, upskilling and strategic discussions. At the same time, we create a shared space for reflection and support so that we can process the experiences and lessons we are learning as a sector.  We are also planning to start integrating some small in person events later this year, COVID-19 restrictions permitting.

Register for our events

We invite you to join our webinar series, co-created in collaboration with our colleagues and partners across the legal assistance sector as well as other allies. Click here for more information and to register.

Send us a EOI

Got an idea for a webinar, professional development opportunity or discussion forum? We’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch with your ideas to conference@clcs.org.au.

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Why Emergence? 

The communities we are part of – local, national, global –face an uncertain future of complex challenges and threats. These include criminalisation of poverty and dispossession, environmental breakdown, State capture, social unrest, humanitarian and economic crises and increased risks for human rights defenders. First Nations peoples continue to call for a holistic approach to justice to counter the continuing effects of colonisation, social exclusion and persisting inequalities that limit the realisation of human rights for all in Australia.  

In this particular moment, our vision for justice reminds us that human rights cannot be taken for granted and we need to push for laws, public policies and new approaches that promote social justice in ways that can mitigate future crises. During the bushfires of Summer 2019-2020, we saw death, destruction and devastation at horrifying levels. We saw the relocation of climate refugees, the exacerbation of poverty and the failure of political leadership. At the same time, we saw the emergence of genuine and effective community-based responses and a wider acknowledgment of the effectiveness of traditional stewardship of the land. Our new ways of working have been tested and challenged further as we have adapted to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We are still here and we need to thrive to help others emerge and restore their rights. 

The reliance on videoconferencing also reminded us that the community legal sector needs to tell stories, speak up against injustice and make new problems and challenges tangible. This year we will explore new ways to raising our voice and connecting with each other and other allies.

We know that after fire burns through the bush, life can renew itself. We also know that the right to health touches on all other areas of our life and well-being. How do we rethink our strategies and approaches so that we are able strengthen our work and respond to emerging challenges effectively?  

With what this decade has already brought us, how will we face the year ahead? How will we fight for human rights and healthy communities? How can we hold government to account? How can we ensure services are available to those in need? How can we make sure that we are prepared for future events and continue to adapt with resilience? How do we ensure our voice, and that of our clients, is heard? 

With some time, some hope and some big-picture thinking we hope to be able to answer these questions.

Emergence – what will our stories be this decade?