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Clayton Utz awards $50k to community legal centre

Clayton Utz has named the recipient of its inaugural Foundation Health Justice Partnership (HJP) Award, worth $50,000.

user iconEmma Musgrave 02 December 2022 Big Law
Clayton Utz awards $50k to community legal centre
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WEstjustice is the recipient of Clayton Utz’s inaugural Foundation Health Justice Partnership (HJP) Award.

The Victoria-headquartered community legal centre, first established in 2016, aims to provide a critical entry point for early intervention family violence advice to maternity patients, as well as provide education and targeted advice on legal issues, including family law matters, fines, debt and tenancy advice. The centre provides free legal help to people in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

According to a statement from Clayton Utz, WEstjustice will use the $50,000 award to “build capacity in the existing service and upskill their lawyers in child protection, to better equip the service to link women with targeted support services earlier”.


Further, the grant will support the continued education of Werribee Mercy Hospital employees to help them identify family violence and related legal issues and how they can refer people to services, the firm added.

WEstjustice legal director Cleona Feuerring said the centre provides a pivotal place of support for those who need it most.

“Pregnancy and the birth of a child can heighten the risk of family violence for some women. For many women referred to WEstjustice via our partnership, it is the best way they can access legal and social support without impacting on their safety,” she said.

“We understand the important intersection between family violence, family law, child protection and criminal law, especially in reaching victim survivors at the earliest opportunity to assist in building positive life outcomes, not just legal outcomes.”

Chair of the Clayton Utz Foundation, Marcus Davenport, said Clayton Utz was proud to be contributing to building capacity in the HJP sector.

“WEstjustice is an example of a health justice partnership that is having a tangible, positive impact through its services,” he said.

“We congratulate them on being the inaugural recipient of our award.”

Earlier this year, Mr Davenport flagged the importance of supporting health justice partnerships (HJPs) through grants like this.

There are in excess of 100 HJPs in Australia, whose purpose is to help people in the healthcare system with their legal matters, with health workers connecting patients who need legal assistance.

“HJPs make absolute sense, and we’re proud to have helped lay the foundations for HJPs to be embraced as a new way of delivering health and legal services,” Mr Davenport said.