Legal support

For legal help, including assistance with lodging a complaint:

Victoria:

Finding a discrimination lawyer
The Law Institute of Victoria is able to refer individuals to private law firms with expertise in discrimination law. The LIV provides a Legal Referral telephone service that operates from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The online Legal Referral Service is available 24 hours a day via the LIV website. When using the online service you must have access to a printer in order to print the referral letter.

Visit: www.liv.asn.au

Victorian Legal Aid

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) provides legal advice and representation to individuals who wish to make a complaint of discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification or victimization, including individuals who have experienced homophobic, transphobic or biphobic harassment. VLA regularly provides advice and representation to clients who have experienced discrimination in relation to their education, employment, the provision of goods and services, clubs, sporting activities and other areas. However, to be eligible for free legal services individuals must meet certain criteria, which includes an assets and income test.

Call: (03) 9269 0120 or (Rural VIC) 1800 677 402
Visit: www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

Federation of Community Law Centres
Community Legal Centres (CLC) are independent community organisations that provide free legal services to the public. CLCs focus on helping clients who face economic and social disadvantage and who have nowhere else to go for help. Most CLCs offer drop in or telephone advice services but will not be able to take on your case and represent you in Court. To find your local community legal centre please visit the Federation of Community Legal Centres.

Call: (03) 9652 1500
Visit: www.communitylaw.org.au

LGBTIQ Legal Advice Service

In response to high demand for specialist LGBTIQ legal services, the Fitzroy Legal Service has launched a free fortnightly legal advice service. Specialist lawyers and paralegals provide advice and referrals. The service focuses particularly on family and parenting issues, as well as other critical legal issues including discrimination.

Appointments are available every second Thursday from 6.30-8pm.

Call: (03) 9419 3744
Visit: http://www.fitzroy-legal.org.au/cb_pages/lgbtiq_legal_advice.php

Disability Discrimination Legal Service
Disability Discrimination Legal Service is a specialist discrimination CLC that offers free legal services to clients experiencing discrimination, including discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity (despite the name of the service).

Call: (03) 9654 8644, TTY (03) 9654 6817
Visit: www.communitylaw.org.au/ddls

Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH)
The Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) is a non-profit public interest legal centre that specialises in co-ordinating pro bono (free) legal services in the public interest. PILCH matches eligible clients with members who then act in the legal matter on pro bono basis or for a reduced fee. Eligible clients are individuals who:

  • cannot pay for the services of a private solicitor or barrister
  • are unable to obtain Legal Aid
  • are unable to get help from a community legal centre

Call: (General) (03) 8636 4400 or (Legal Inquiries) (03) 8636 4444
Visit: www.pilch.org.au

Outside of Victoria

Equal Opportunity Regulators (Updated August 2013)
Help people resolve complaints of discrimination and victimisation through a free, fair and timely dispute resolution service with the aim of achieving a mutual agreement.

Australian Human Rights Commission
Complaint Info line: 1300 656 419
TTY: 1800 620 241
Australian Human Rights Commission (NB with LGBTI protection from August 2013)
NSW Anti-Discrimination Board (NSW)
(02) 9268 5555 or 1800 670 812
www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/adb
Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland (QLD)
1300 130 670
www.adcq.qld.gov.au
SA Equal Opportunity Commission (SA)
(08) 8207 1977 or 1800 188 163
www.eoc.sa.gov.au
WA Equal Opportunity Commission (WA)
(08) 9216 3900
www.eoc.wa.gov.au
ACT Human Rights Commission (ACT)
(02) 6205 2222
www.hrc.act.gov.au
Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission (NT)
(08) 8999 1444 or 1800 813 846
www.nt.gov.au/justice/adc
Office of the Anti-Discrimination commissioner (TAS)
(03) 6233 4841 or 1300 305 062
www.antidiscrimination.tas.gov.au

National Association of Community Legal Centres
Australia’s peak body for connecting disadvantaged people to not-for-profit community organisations that provide legal and related services to the public.

Call: (02) 9264 9595
Visit: www.naclc.org.au

Occupational Health and Safety Regulators
Applies the laws relating to discrimination to the workplace, and provides employees and employers with information about their rights and how to take action against discrimination.

Workcover NSW
13 10 50
www.workcover.nsw.gov.au
Workplace Health & Safety QLD
1300 369 915
www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace
Safework (SA)
1300 365 255
www.safework.sa.gov.au
Worksafe WA
1300 307 877
www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe
Worksafe ACT
(02) 6207 3000
www.worksafety.act.gov.au
NT Worksafe
1800 019 115
www.worksafe.nt.gov.au
Worksafe (TAS)
1300 366 322
www.worksafe.tas.gov.au

NEW August 2013: Federal anti-discrimination law extends to LGBTI
At the end of June 2013 the Australian Parliament amended the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to make discrimination unlawful on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

This new protection took effect on 1 August 2013. For more information visit the Australian Human Rights Commission (in a new tab).