Illawarra Legal Centre
Phone: 02 4276 1939
Fax: 02 4276 1978
Telephone interpreter TIS
13 14 50

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service. For more information, visit:

Tenants Service
Phone:02 4274 3475
Freecall: 1800 807 225
Fax: 02 42743491

The Illawarra Legal Centre is a member of the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) and is based in Warrawong, a southern suburb of Wollongong, NSW.
News & Events


News and Events


Cultural Fishing Rights - July 2016

Community Legal Education Worker Linda Tucker helped bring together local Aboriginal Groups with Fisheries NSW to discuss unfair fishing laws.



"Searching Questions" a qualitative assessment of online legal materials - June 2016 

 Searching qs

Dr Linda Tucker, together with the ILC, has recently released Searching Questions - a study into the effectiveness of online legal services. 

The research was undertaken to examine whether there is potential to improve access to effective online self-help for individuals and communities living with disadvantage.

The research focuses on access to legal resources but should be just as applicable to the health sector. The overarching aim is to improve access to justice. This is not just about an individual’s access to legal remedies, it is also about living in a just and equitable society, promoting social inclusiveness by dealing with intersecting problems which particularly beset those who live with disadvantage, which influences the health and wellbeing of all individuals. 


A copy of the report can be downloaded here. 



Illawarra Legal Centre's 30th Birthday Celebration - March 2016

30th celeb vols 1

The Illawarra Legal Centre held it’s 30th Birthday Celebration at the Wollongong Art Gallery on 18th March 2016, at which we celebrated the dedication of our wonderful volunteers over the last 30 years.

Illawarra Legal Centre opened its doors in 1985 as a direct result of community action and support; allowing us to provide free legal advice to the local community, and in particular, to those who had little hope of accessing affordable legal help.

Over the years our volunteer’s personal commitment to our service has been incredibly generous and we were happy to be able to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions and efforts of our 540+ volunteers that have given us their time.

This year we also celebrated some significant volunteer service milestones.

  • 5 of our volunteers notched up more than 30 years of service with ILC,
  • 8 volunteers who have served over 20 years,
  • 19 volunteers having devoted more than 10 years to the Illawarra Legal Centre (some of these are close to 20!)

We were very lucky to have more than 100 of these volunteers join us at our Celebration.

There was much reminiscing and reconnecting (along with good food, entertainment and all at a beautiful location). Some of the volunteers that attended appeared on our inaugural advice roster in 1985!

In fact one of these special volunteers was also on the original working party in 1983, which fought hard to have a free legal service available in the Illawarra and still volunteers today.

As the demand for our services gets greater and greater each year, it is only with the assistance of our volunteers that we have been able to rise to meet the challenge.

Thank you, to all our volunteers past and present.

We couldn’t have done it without you!

30th celeb vols 2 


Illawarra Legal Centre is celebrating 30 years of providing free legal services across the Illawarra - November 2015

In 2015 Illawarra Legal Centre is celebrating 30 years of providing free legal services across the Illawarra, South Coast and Southern Highlands.  We are also celebrating 30 years of being based in Warrawong and together with the Warrawong Residents Group we are hosting 'Harmony on the Greene' on Saturday 7 November from 3.00-6.00pm.  All ILC friends are invited to come along to join in for free food, music and children's activities.  Hope to see you there.  


Anti-Poverty Week - October 2015

anti-poverty wk 1 

The ILC combined with the Warrawong Residents Forum and the Wollongong Homeless Hub hosted an event in Anti-Poverty Week 2015 on Monday 12 October at our Greene Street premises to raise awareness about the level of poverty in the Illawarra and the impact that living in poverty has on individuals, particularly those trying to live on Centrelink pensions.  

We provided a little bit of relief from poverty with free food, music and a market place with lots of great giveaways donated by the community for the local community.

A great roll up of locals and the media focused attention on the difficulty of living below the poverty line.

anti-poverty wk 2


Illawarra Legal Centre in the News

Illawarra Legal Centre ‘cautiously optimistic’ about federal budget boost, Illawarra Mercury - 24 April 2017


A state fix isn't enough to save community legal centres, The Sydney Morning Herald - 10 April 2017


Illawarra Legal Centre wins a reprieve from funding cut, Illawarra Mercury - 7 April 2017


Legal aid services join up to deal with high volume of Centrelink debt cases, The Guardian - 1 April 2017


Sydney tenants fear landlord retaliation if they complain about repairs, Domain - 10 March 2017


Illawarra Legal Centre advocate says government 'out of touch' with young, Illawarra Mercury - 2 March 2017


 Wollongong student says proposed changes to Centrelink benefits are harsh on young people, Illawarra Mercury - 13 February 2017


The great student swindle, The Sydney Morning Herald - December 2016


 Job losses in steel industry linked to rise in domestic violence, Illawarra Mercury, 30 September, 2016

and the Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September 2016

Tougher eligibility rules force thousands off the disability pension and into financial hardship, ABC RN Breakfast (audio), 14 July 2016






Past News and Events Highlights


Our outreach Legal Advice Clinics have now been extended   October 2015

From Wednesday 21 October to include Bellambi Neighbourhood Centre each fortnight on Wednesdays from 12.30 - 2.00pm.  Drop in for free legal advice and assistance 


Reassessment of Victims Compensation Claims   September 2015

Reassessment of Victims Compensation Claims lodged before 7 May 2013 but processed under new Victims Compensation scheme after 7 May 2013

The NSW Government has announced that from 1 September 2015 victims of crime who lodged a claim for Victims Compensation under the old Victims Compensation scheme before 7 May 2013, but had their claim processed under the new scheme can now have their claim reassessed.

Letters will be sent to eligible people by Victims Services who have until 31 August 2016 to make an application.  If you do not get a letter by mid-September and you think you may be eligible contact Victims Services on 8688 6600 or 1800 993 031 to discuss your claim and if necessary update your contact details so a letter can be sent to you.

See for more information or phone Illawarra Legal Centre during general law phone advice times. 


Cultural Fishing Rights Gathering   June 2015

Aboriginal people in the Illawarra have been fined or imprisoned for contravening NSW Fisheries regulations – even with recognition of cultural fishing rights in the legislation, there are important ongoing issues in relation to how the current law applies. At the same time, Aboriginal communities throughout NSW are lobbying for a much clearer and stronger recognition of how customary law and management should inform the regulation of fishing by Aboriginal people. ILC is working with local Indigenous organisations, including the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council, on this issue, which was one of many matters concerning Traditional Ownership discussed at a three-day gathering of Aboriginal communities from 26-28 June at Killalea State Park. Hundreds of Aboriginal people from Illawarra down to the Victorian border gathered to share and celebrate culture and heritage. Please contact Linda Tucker at ILC on 42761939 if you would like more information. Watch this space for updates!


Law Week stall in the mall   May 2015

We held an information stall in the Wollongong mall on Friday 15 May as part of Law Week 2015 to raise awareness about who we are and what we do.  Look out for next year's stall!


Good News! Funding Restored   March 2015

The Federal Government announced on Thursday 26 March, that funding would be restored to community legal services. See Illawarra Mercury


ILC Funding Threat - will our state MP's stand up for free legal services?   March 2015

The Federal Government is cutting funding to CLC's from 1 July this year. While we congratulate NSW Attorney General Brad Hazard, along with other AG's for calling on the Federal Government to increase funding to the sector, we need the NSW Government to also step up to save our services. See media release and AG Letter


Fishing Rights Workshop   March 2015

We teamed up again with Indigenous Community Links for a very successful second workshop. An active round table discussion was held on issues facing local families who are continuing their fishing traditions. Both the chairperson and CEO of the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council and a number of elders attended the workshop.  It was agreed that the next step should be to set up a cultural awareness gathering which will involve both the local communities and Fisheries personnel.

The workshop also formed part of a recent report on cultural fishing rights on Radio National's PM program.  See link at:


Aboriginal Wills Workshop   February 2015

An Aboriginal Wills Workshop was held at Aunty Mary Davis Outreach Centre at Warilla on 10 February. The response from all who attended was very positive and the presenters from Ashurst Solicitors plan to return in a few months to draft wills.


Scam ALERT!   December 2014

The Federal Government's Stay Smart Online website is warning of a new scam based on fake speeding ticket emails designed to distribute ransomware onto computers. See here for information from the website's 'Alert Service' on the fake speeding ticket scam. 


ILC is teaming up with Indigenous Community Links   November 2014 

To present a series of workshops on cultural fishing rights in the Illawarra. Our first workshop was held on Friday 14 November and has generated huge interest in the community. We will schedule more workshops soon. 


Flagged budget changes to affect the most vulnerable in Illawarra   May 2014

What will the Federal Budget's 'austerity measures' mean for much needed financial counselling services in our community? See the ILC media release


Illawarra and South Coast Tenants Service tells NSW Parliament: public housing system 'broken'   March 2014

See the ILC media release.

Housing NSW repairs campaign - Get it Fixed! now online

The Get it Fixed! campaign has resulted in the launch of a website which contains information about the issue and ways to address the problem.  

 At the Get it Fixed! website you can:

  1. Sign up for updates
  2. Tell us your story – have you experienced issues getting repairs done?
  3. Become a supporter
  4. Find resources to assert your right to repairs
  5. Find resources to spread information about the issue, including how you can write to your local Member of NSW Parliament.

 The Get it Fixed! webpage is accessible at:  


Laneway Street Art - Giant leap in revitalisation of Warrawong   June 2013

side image

 Wollongong City Council has earmarked a $50,000 grant announced by the NSW Attorney General in May 2013 to revitalise areas of Warrawong, including the Greene Street laneway and areas around the Warrawong Community Centre and Illawarra Legal Centre.  


A combined artistic effort by three local artists, community members and the two Centres is a giant leap forward for esteem building and community pride.


“To be part of the project is a privilege. I like art and to see something permanent that I was a part of,” a community member said.


Maxyne Graham from the Warrawong Community Centre and Truda Gray from the Illawarra Legal Centre are pleased that improvements to Warrawong are on Council's agenda. 


“The murals will be interesting, relevant and vibrant generating a sense of pride and ownership.”

Expected completion of the Greene Street laneway street art is for July 2013.



Illawarra Region Financial Counselling Service opens 3 new Outreach Centres   May 2013

The Illawarra Region Financial Counselling Service, which offers a free, confidential service to people in financial difficulty, has opened three new outreach services in Warilla, Corrimal and Wollongong.

Maroun Germanos, a long time financial counsellor from Illawarra Legal Centre Inc said “the need for this service is growing all the time and the new offices are a great step forward in meeting this demand throughout the Illawarra”.

Bookings for the Illawarra Region Financial Counselling Service can be made by telephoning Illawarra Legal Centre on 4276 1939.


Animal Law comes to the Illawarra Legal Centre   October 2012

Animal rights image

The Illawarra Legal Centre recently hosted an animal law event to raise the profile of animal law. The event, which was a great success, featured a photo exhibition comparing historical treatment of people with the current treatment of animals, begging the question ‘how will history judge us?’. Convenor of the National Animal Law network, Angela Pollard, addressed an audience of staff and ILC board members and spoke about the importance of animal law to the CLC sector.

“Community Legal Centres have always been at the cutting edge of law and the struggle for justice, and animal law is the next frontier” commented Angela.

Angela emphasized that the issues of animal law were about the humane treatment and use of animals rather than banning the use of animals altogether. She demonstrated this with a graphic discussion of the way poultry chickens are produced, which prompted a handful of staff members to change their eating habits forever!


Young People, Fines Debt and Work & Development Orders   July 2011

The Illawarra Legal Centre has been a lead agency for the Work and Development Order (WDO) pilot project. Work and Development Orders give people an opportunity to contribute and participate in valuable programs while reducing or eliminating their fines debts.

The NSW Attorney General recently announced the Work and Development Order scheme would be permanent from 1 July 2011.

Mr Ryan Park MP, Member for Keira, speaking in NSW Parliament for the Fines Amendment (Work and Development Orders) Bill 2011 stated that:

"The Illawarra Legal Centre deals with some of the most disadvantaged people in the community ... Sharon Callaghan from the ILC told me countless stories of how work and development orders help in trying to get young people in particular back on the straight and narrow... In doing so, this prevents them from reaching the point where they fall into a disadvantage cycle."

Over the last two years a number of printed resources have been produced and distributed throughout the youth and community sectors via mainstream media, education sessions, mail and phone outspublic forums and community newsletters.


"Photo Voice Exhibition" for 2009 Youth Week   April 2009

photovoice exhibition photo

"A photo can open a conversation, inspire ideas and take us into interesting aspects of community life and provide an oppurtunity for young people to learn from each other" - previous ILC worker (1990-2013) Sharon.


"Reconciliation Week" and "Sorry Day"   May 2008

2008 was the year when then PM Kevin Rudd announced a simple yet powerful word to the original inhabitants of this land.

The word: Sorry.

Read about the Illawarra Legal Centres activities following this momentous occassion here.





Illawarra Legal Centre in the News Archives

Labor vows funding lifeline for Illawarra Legal Centre in the Illawarra Mercury on 18 June 2016

Labor vows to fund additional Federal Circuit Court judge for Wollongong families in the Illawarra Mercury on 18 June 2016

Justice in 35,574 tiny steps, Illawarra Mercury, 27 May 2016

Youth advocate says budget doesn't deliver for young people. The Advertiser, 9 May 2016

Safe Schools: parents’ permission ‘unacceptable’ in Illawarra Mercury 25 March 2016

'The language used by MPs to criticise the Safe Schools program is hurting people' in Illawarra Mercury 4 March 2016

Illawarra Anti-Poverty Week event heard many are living below the poverty line on Monday 12 October 2015

Housing Bill Brings Fear of More Homelessness in the Illawarra Mercury on 21 August 2015


Housing Bill Strips Tenants Rights in the Advertiser on 10 August 2015

'Solutions sought to resolve conflict over Indigenous fishing rights' on ABC News 3 July 2015

'Meeting makes history', in the Advertiser on 1 July 2015


'Killalea hosts key Indigenous discussion', in the Kiama Independent / Lake Times 29 June 2015


Cultural Fishing Rights on Local ABC Radio 17 June 2015


'Help for those living in boarding houses', in the Advertiser on 8 June 2015


 'Child support laws 'unfairly burden parents', in the Illawarra Mercury 9 November 2014


'Illawarra public housing tenants hurting over tax' published by the Illawarra Mercury on 31 October 2014


'Many living on the edge' published by the Illawarra Mercury on 20 August 2014









Phone Advice

All initial requests for advice from the Illawarra Legal Centre should be made through the telephone advice service:


Phone Advice Times