A Trailblazing advocate’s farewell

With a remarkable career spanning over four decades, Carolyn Bond bids adieu to Women’s Legal Service Victoria, leaving behind a legacy of positive change.  

Carolyn’s tireless efforts and visionary leadership have played a pivotal role in shaping the Economic Abuse Reference Group Project (EARG) and championing women’s rights.  

Carolyn’s journey as a champion for consumer rights began in 1978, when she took a stand against her landlord’s refusal to refund her security payment for a Melbourne flat. Her determination to fight for what was fair sparked a passion for helping others in their fight for their rights. Carolyn’s involvement with the Tenants’ Union and later the Consumer Credit Legal Service laid the foundation for her future endeavors in creating a more just and equitable society. 

In partnership with lawyer Denis Nelthorpe, Carolyn co-founded the Consumer Credit Legal Service, and she later took the helm as joint CEO of the newly formed Consumer Action Law Centre. Throughout her career, Carolyn’s expertise and dedication brought positive change to countless individuals facing financial challenges. 

For the past seven years, Carolyn’s leadership as Project Manager of the Economic Abuse Reference Group has been nothing short of transformative. The EARG, established in 2016 by various community organisations, aimed to address the financial security recommendations of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. Under Carolyn’s guidance, the EARG has been instrumental in advising businesses and governments on how to support women experiencing financial abusive situations. 

The EARG’s influence has extended to the banking, insurance and telecommunications sectors as well as toll roads operators and fine collectors, where the group played a crucial role in developing guidelines, training staff, and creating safer processes for affected customers. 

Reflecting on her time at EARG, Carolyn says there is still more work to be done to embed safe and clear responses to family violence in businesses with ongoing training to ensure continuous improvement and support for those in need.  

Women’s Legal Service Victoria will continue this important work as Redfern Legal Centre takes the reins. Carolyn’s dedication and partnership with Redfern Legal Centre helped build a seamless transition for the EARG’s national coordination role, ensuring that community agencies will continue to have a platform to voice concerns and advocate for positive change. 

Carolyn leaves a lasting legacy of empowerment, compassion, and relentless dedication to those facing financial abuse. Her remarkable contributions have paved the way for a brighter future, where the fight for consumer rights and the end of financial abuse remains steadfast.  

The ripple effect of her work will continue to inspire others to make a positive impact and uplift vulnerable voices in their pursuit of justice. 

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