COVID-19 update – the Centre is here to help

The ACT Government has announced extensive shut down measures that apply from 23 March 2020.

The Centre has moved to close down its physical offices in line with this direction. However, we are not ceasing services over this time.

We know women will be affected by COVID-19 and the measures taken to respond it, particularly lock down measures.

The Centre will be focused on supporting ongoing clients and providing urgent legal advice and assistance to women in relation to family and employment law matters. We will be prioritising women who are most at risk, in coordination with our partners in the legal assistance and women’s sectors.

If you need help the Centre’s phone line is open and we are still taking referrals.

Please be aware we are still making changes to our phone lines. If you leave a message or send us an email we will get back to you.

We will keep working with our partners and supported to ensure we can keep delivering an essential service to women in Canberra over the coming weeks.

COVID-19 Update – 17 March 2020

The Centre is still delivering services, however we’re changing the way we do this to reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID19 virus.

All appointments will be delivered by phone or video from Wednesday 17 March 2020 until further notice.

We are still accepting referrals and requests for assistance as normal. If you need help, please call 02 6457 4377. If you want to refer a client, please email details to

We take the safety of our clients, staff and volunteers seriously. This is a rapidly changing situation and we are closely monitoring government advice about our responses. We will keep you up to date on our response and any changes to the way we are delivering services.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to be in touch – 02 6257 4377 or

Extended holiday close down

The Centre’s holiday close down is extended to due to air quality concerns in our offices.

If you need urgent legal advice please email and we will endeavour to meet your needs as soon as possible.

If you require immediate assistance, please contact the following the services:
Emergency – 000
ACT Police – 131 444 (non-emergency)
Domestic Violence Crisis Service – 02 6289 0900 (24 Hour Crisis Line)

If you need an urgent recovery order, please contact the Federal Circuit Court on 1300 352 000. For more information about how to apply for a recovery order, please go to:

EOI for Board Director and Finance Committee Members

About us

The Women’s Legal Centre a leading legal assistance service in the ACT. We are a specialist community legal centre providing free legal advice and representation and wrap-around support to women who would otherwise have to engage in their legal matters alone.

Our work is informed by feminist principles. This means we remain centered on the needs of our clients and provide individualised support while also advocating for systemic changes to better address the needs of women as a group.

Our primary practice areas are domestic and family violence, family law (including divorce and separation, children’s matters and property settlements), employment law, discrimination law, Care and Protection matters and Victims of Crime compensation.

We are also committed to delivering innovative and responsive services, and the Centre includes the Mulleun Mura Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Access to Justice Program and new Health Justice Partnerships with Calvary Public Hospital Bruce and the Gungahlin Child and Family Centre.

What we’re looking for – Board Directors

We are looking for Expressions of Interest from women who would like to join the Centre’s Board. We currently have one vacancy in a seven-woman Board. We expect to have additional vacancies later in the year and are looking to create a merit list of suitably qualified women.

Board Directorships are volunteer positions. We are always looking for women with previous experience on other community or NFP boards or other governance or senior management expertise and a commitment to supporting our strategic direction and raising our profile.

We are particularly looking for women with strong communication, marketing and fundraising skills and women who have supported expanding, evolving and innovative community organisations through change and growth.

What we’re looking for – Finance Committee Members

We are also looking for women who would like to join the Centre’s Finance Committee, with a view to joining the Board in the longer-term. We are looking for women with qualifications in accounting, with a passion for supporting strong financial management and ensuring our finances support our strategic direction  

Women under 45; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women from CALD backgrounds and women with disability particularly encouraged to put in an expression.  

Please send your CV and an EOI outlining your relevant experience and why you are interested in the position to Elena Rosenman, Executive Director at by Friday 17 May 2019 . For more information about these opportunities please call Elena on 6257 4377.

16/17 Annual General Meeting

The Women’s Legal Centre Board warmly invites you to join the Centre for our 16/17 Annual General Meeting.

Date: Wednesday 1 November 2017
Time: 1 – 2pm, light refreshments from 12:30 pm
Venue: Women’s Legal Centre Conference Room

The AGM will include the following agenda items; Tabling of minutes of previous Annual General Meeting held on 25 November 2016 (attached);  Tabling of the Chair’s Report on the activities of the Association, the Audited Statement of Accounts and Auditor’s Report.

Please RSVP to by Monday 30 October.

The meeting will also elect the Centre’s Board. If you would like to consider nominating for the Board, please contact the Centre’s Executive Director role on 02 6257 4377 or in the first instance to discuss the role.


If you have not yet renewed your membership for 2017/18, you will find a membership renewal form on the membership page of our website. Please complete this form and return it to us at This form and membership payment must be received by COB Monday 30 October 2017.

Women’s Legal Centre welcomes new Principal Solicitor

The Women’s Legal Centre has appointed Claudia Maclean as the new Principal Solicitor.

Claudia joins the Centre with almost 10 years experience in private practice, predominately in family law. She has a Masters in Applied (Family) Law from the Australian National University.

Claudia has been active in the legal community throughout her career, working with the Women Lawyer’s Association ACT, the ACT Law Society Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee and the ACT Young Lawyers Association. She has previously donated her time to supporting free legal advice for Canberrans through the ACT Law Society’s Legal Advice Bureau and as a previous volunteer with the Women’s Legal Centre.

Claudia’s experience in the private and community sectors has given her a strong interest in the gap in legal services available for women who do not qualify for legal aid, yet cannot afford private representation.

In her role as Principal Solicitor with the Centre, Claudia’s priorities will include supporting the establishment of the new DV Unit, which will provide legal advice and representation to women experiencing family violence; increasing the Centre’s outreach practice; and working with the Centre’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Program to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are able to access legal assistance and support.

Claudia will make an excellent addition to the leadership team at the Centre at a crucial time of growth and change.


For more information, please contact Elena Rosenman, Executive Director on 02 6257 4377 or

New Online Legal Toolkit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

ACTHRC logo     logo

15 March 2016

New Online Legal Toolkit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

The ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner and Women’s Legal Centre today launched a new Online Legal Toolkit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The toolkit has been developed by the ACT Human Rights Commission and the Women’s Legal Centre, in conjunction with the Aboriginal Legal Service and Care Inc.

‘The toolkit can be immediately accessed on people’s smart phones and devices when they find themselves in circumstances of high stress to negotiate issues,’ said Dr Helen Watchirs, Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner.

‘It gives useful and practical information on their rights in specific situations, and where to get help.’

‘At the Women’s Legal Centre we see many Aboriginal women who are facing workplace issues, family breakdown or are engaged with Child and Youth Protection Services,’ said Elena Rosenman, Executive Director of the Women’s Legal Centre.

‘Many of these women are involved with legal processes without any legal advice, which means they are at risk of making agreements or undertakings that do not respect their rights,’ continued Ms Rosenman. ‘This site will give all Aboriginal people in Canberra a starting point, some accessible information and point them in the direction of more assistance.’

The toolkit was developed based on feedback from the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. It includes information on:

  • Care and Protection
  • Discrimination at work
  • Police and security guard contact in public spaces
  • Debt and payday lenders

The toolkit can be accessed via internet web browsers on computers and tablets, as well as being added to the home screen of smart phones.

It is available for free at   

Media contact: Sean Costello, ACT Human Rights Commission  0424 369 231