Our history

Championing women's rights to live free from violence


For over 4 decades, Women’s Legal Service Victoria has championed women’s rights to live free from violence.  



Throughout our history, countless women have volunteered their time and skills to address the discrimination women face in the legal system, working to improve laws and access to justice. 

A timeline so far: so much achieved, more to come


For community

A public meeting in Melbourne to discuss how to make the law and legal system recognise women and their needs was held. 6 months later, Women’s Legal Resource Group was formed. Based out of Melbourne's Women’s Liberation Centre, this group of volunteers launched a free telephone legal help line.

Mid 1980s

Women's rights

We expanded services from free telephone support with funding from the Legal Aid Commission, creating educational resources like the Young Women’s Booklet and Girls Own magazines.


Demand for support

Recognition at a political level that justice for women in Australia was lacking led to increased funding for women’s legal services and a new phase of service delivery. This included face-to-face legal services, community outreach, and support for Indigenous women through the Indigenous Women’s Legal Resource Group.


Honing our focus

In the year 2000, we became Women’s Legal Service Victoria focusing on family law and supporting women experiencing or at risk of family violence.


More than legal help

We’re a team of lawyers, advocates, and educators continuing vital work to support women facing family violence and advocating for policy changes. Our commitment to gender equality and the rights of women and children to live free from violence remains unwavering.

Celebrating 40+ years of service

We’re still buzzing from our 40+ celebrations 200 former and current volunteers, staff and supporters came together. 


It was inspirational to hear about the origins of our organisation from the trailblazing women who came together in a suburban backyard to create what would go on to be the purposeful service we are today.


Read more about the night. 

Our office is closed

We will reopen at 9am Monday 8 January 2024.


You can contact Victoria Legal Aid for legal support or Safe Steps for family violence support. 


Our duty lawyer services will continue during this period. Please contact your local court if you need legal help at court.


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