Marrickville Legal Centre is a not-for-profit community legal centre based in Sydney’s inner west and working across NSW.
We provide holistic support to people experiencing disadvantage in our legal system through free legal and related services. We advocate for equal access to justice and the protection of human rights, and we work to improve our local communities.
For all people
Justice shouldn’t be the privilege of the few. We’re proud to stand alongside individuals who are disadvantaged by our justice system, helping them toward better & fairer outcomes.
Positive change takes action. We work with community partners to make sure the voices of disadvantaged people are heard in the processes that lead to policy reform.
For working together
We work with our clients to help them forward towards a better future. We are proud to bring people together to promote justice and protect human rights.
For lasting change
We aim to resolve any immediate legal issues and to link our clients to resources and services that will support them towards positive and lasting change in their lives, and in our community.
Marrickville Legal Centre offers free legal advice and assistance to the community of the inner-west, south-west, southern suburbs of Sydney, and beyond. There are 1.5 million people living in our key catchment: that’s 30 per cent of Sydney’s total population.
We acknowledge the Gadigal, Wangal, Guringal, Wallumedegai and Cammeraygal people of the Eora Nation as the first peoples of our region.
Justice is for all people, not just for a few. We recognise that some members of the community experience greater barriers to access to justice than others. We work to eliminate those barriers and promote a fair and equitable justice system that supports all people, especially those who experience social or economic disadvantage.
In 1979, a group of law students identified a gap in accessible legal services in the inner west of Sydney. Together they established a free legal advice service in a small office in Marrickville Town Hall. The service was staffed on a voluntary basis and specifically targeted the local migrant community. The community response was overwhelming and so marked the creation of NSW’s second community legal centre, two years after Redfern Legal Centre.
Funding for Marrickville Legal Centre’s first employees was received in 1980 from which a full-time solicitor and co-ordinator were appointed. The same year the NSW Legal Services Commission provided funding for a pilot Children’s Legal Service, paving the way for our present-day Youth Legal Service. By 1984 the Centre employed four full-time solicitors and opened three nights per week. Our team extended to 50 student volunteers, 35 solicitor volunteers and a handful of Greek and Vietnamese interpreters.
From houses on Marrickville Road and on Robert Street, the Centre finally moved, in 1994, to its current premises on Illawarra Road. The Inner West Tenants’ Advice & Advocacy Service was founded the following year. After 10 years of operating the successful Inner West Domestic Violence Court Assistance Scheme, MLC also established in 2009 what is now known as the Domestic Violence Support Service.
In 2021 the Centre opened an office at Addison Road Community Centre.
Today, Marrickville Legal Centre has grown its reach to extend legal and related services to over 7000 New South Wales residents each year. Our holistic approach continues to pair direct legal guidance with a broader range of social services, helping people to move forward into a secure future, and we strive to drive policy advocacy in our legal system that instigates meaningful social change.
Marrickville Legal Centre is extremely grateful for the assistance and partnership of the following firms, each of whom offers indispensable support in connection with our key legal services.
Graham Jenkins | Chair
James Connolly | Secretary
Danielle Etherington | Treasurer
Karla de Oliveira
Vasili Maroulis, Chief Executive Officer
Justin Abi-Daher, Principal Solicitor
Lucy Carroll, Assistant Principal Solicitor