We received a HESTA Excellence Award for Outstanding Organisation

30 Nov 2020

Justice Connect is thrilled to be named a winner in the 2020 HESTA Excellence Awards in the category of Community Services.  

The HESTA Excellence Awards recognise the work of teams and organisations who enhance the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. This is something that sits deep at the core of our mission.  We faced tough competition alongside two other finalists, Little Dreamers Australia and Purple House

This win doesn’t just belong to us

Recognising the importance of addressing and preventing the negative impact of the law and legal problems on individuals and community groups is affirming for Justice Connect as well as the wider legal services sector. 

This year, we’ve witnessed rising legal need due to the bushfires, COVID-19, and the devastating impacts of an economic recession. In response, we quickly pivoted to ensure we continued running all of our existing services, and provided targeted support for people and organisations that needed it the most. 

When the bushfires hit, we coordinated the pro bono legal response in both Victoria and NSW. We developed a tailored inbound referral pathway enabling frontline responders to send people and organisations to Justice Connect for legal help. We worked as part of Disaster Legal Help Victoria and supported the Disaster Response Legal Service in NSW to provide access to legal advice and help to individuals, small businesses, farmers and community groups. 

We’ve been running a targeted outreach campaign to ensure we are getting legal information and resources to people as soon as they experience problems around housing, employment and financial stress due to COVID-19. We redesigned our Dear Landlord tool to help Victorian renters affected by COVID-19 negotiate rent reductions. We also launched our online legal clinic Justice Connect Answers, which connects people with lawyers who can answer their simple legal questions online – confidentially, quickly and for free.  

We have continued to support community and not-for-profit organisations with information, training, legal advice and pro bono referrals. Our aim is to help resolve their legal issues and improve their efficiency, effectiveness and community impact. Our Not-for-profit Law program works to prevent legal problems holding community organisations back from making important decisions and running critical services. 

Legal problems are life problems

It’s deeply humbling to be acknowledged for our commitment to ensuring people and community organisations can access the right legal help at the right time.

By helping more people prevent and solve legal problems, and by supporting community organisations to achieve their mission, we’re improving the wellbeing of all of society. 

To be nominated and awarded, in a year of so many challenges, spurs us on to continue keeping people at the heart of everything that we do.   

Congratulations to all other finalists in the Community Services category, and to every individual and organisation recognised by the HESTA Award judges as leaders in their field.  

To find out how we design and deliver high impact interventions to increase access to legal support and progress social justice, take a read of our FY19-20 Annual Report.