About Us

This website is dedicated to promoting partnerships between health and advocacy services in Australia to improve health outcomes.

While Advocacy-Health Alliances or Medical Legal Partnerships are still in their infancy in Australia (with some notable exceptions), they are best exemplified in the relatively long-standing medical legal partnership (MLP) movement in the United States. These partnerships have not only broken down the barriers to accessible legal services to people experiencing health issues, they have demonstrated the socio-legal impacts on health and the associated health benefits of effective legal advocacy on behalf of patients.

Advocacy-Health Alliances is a working title given by some legal practitioners in Australia to MLPs. Advocacy-Health Alliances is preferred by some because it better communicates that health and advocacy services both include but extend beyond the more narrowly defined medical and legal frameworks and professions.

Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre is a Bendigo (Victoria, Australia) based generalist Community Legal Centre targeting low income and vulnerable Central Victorians with their legal problems. It is committed to human rights, access to justice, community development and the rule of law.

LCCLC is a program of the Advocacy & Rights Centre Ltd, which also provides public and private tenancy support in the Loddon Mallee region of Victoria.

LCCLC provides free legal assistance and delivers community legal education. It also undertakes policy and law reform work to address social and systemic injustices.

Contact us

a     54 Mitchell Street, Bendigo, Victoria (on the corner of  Queen and Mitchell Streets)

p     03 5444 4364

f      03 5441 1033

e     petern@advocacyandrights.org.au

free call 1800 639 121 (outside Bendigo)

Clayton Utz and LCCLC                                                       

Top tier Australian commercial law firm Clayton Utz has partnered with LCCLC to support the provision of legal services in the region since LCCLCs establishment. This partnership is reflective of Clayton Utz’s proud commitment to pro bono services, commitment to developing the capacity of regionally based community legal services, and its active community involvement through its Community Connect program. While the support provided by Clayton Utz has been diverse, it has notably included funding for three fellowship positions based at LCCLC:

  1. To research unmet legal need and improve legal services or homeless people or those at risk of homelessness;
  2. To establish pilot community legal services in the Goulburn Valley; and
  3. To research medical-legal partnerships in the US with a view to making recommendations for their establishment or expansion in Australia, especially in the region.

About the Older Person’s Outreach at Bendigo Health

LCCLCs Older Person’s Outreach at Bendigo Health is a good example of how legal issues can present in the health context and how advocacy-health alliances can lead to improved outcomes for patients.

In 2006 LCCLC initiated a targeted pro bono outreach at Bendigo Health to provide legal assistance to disadvantaged and vulnerable older patients. The Bendigo Health Outreach was developed in partnership with the Bendigo Health social work team and a panel of thirteen private lawyers assisting on a pro bono basis.[1]

The Outreach was modelled in part on the Cancer Patients’ Legal Service at Melbourne’s Peter McCallum Institute where practitioners from Baker Mackenzie Lawyers provide pro bono services to cancer patients. The outreach model has now been promoted to health staff and private lawyers in Mildura, Morwell, Ballarat, Albury/Wodonga and Shepparton. It exemplifies the benefits of multi-disciplinary collaboration in the medical-legal environment and structured pro bono to address unmet legal need in a regional context.

[1] For a full overview of the Older Person’s Outreach at Bendigo Health see Noble, P (2010)  On Capacity Promoting structured pro bono by regional lawyers to provide legal education and casework within the health context, paper to the inaugural National Rural/Regional Law and Justice Conference 2010, Deakin University.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: