Legislative Council: Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Salisbury City Centre Business Awards

The Hon. R.B. MARTIN (15:08): My question is to the Attorney-General. Will the minister please inform the council about the winner of the recent Salisbury Business Award for Community Services?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:09): I would be most happy to inform the honourable member of the recent winner of the Salisbury Business Award for Community Services, and I thank him for his interest in community affairs generally.

I am very pleased to share with the council that at the recent Salisbury Business Awards, the very competitive category of Community Services was won by the Northern Community Legal Service. I have spoken in this chamber before about the Northern Community Legal Service and the outstanding free services in legal advice and representation it provides to communities in the northern suburbs, as well as the community legal education that is provided.

The Salisbury-based service first started as the Para Districts Community Legal Service in 1989 and had a steering committee of several local service providers who were each passionate about the need for a community legal service in the northern suburbs location. That service at the time was sponsored by the then Norwood Community Legal Service. The service as it is today was first established in 1990 with both state and then federal funding, and operated out of Little Para House in Elizabeth Vale, provided by the Salisbury council.

As a result of the community legal services review undertaken in South Australia in 1997, several things changed for the service once the review's findings were implemented in 2000. Funding for metropolitan centres was reassigned, which resulted in a significant increase in funding, particularly for the northern suburbs services. As recommended by the review, the then Para Districts Community Legal Service changed its name to the Northern Community Legal Service as we know it today.

Supported by both state and commonwealth Attorney-General's departments, the Northern Community Legal Service continues to thrive and provide a vital service to the northern suburbs community, as is evidenced by this award. The service has won the Salisbury Business Award (Community Services) five times prior, including last year, so it is clearly very consistent in its reputation amongst the local community and the northern suburbs that it serves more generally.

I would like to congratulate and thank the service's director, Ms Patsy Kellett, and all the staff who work tirelessly to provide such professional and personal legal services to the community when they need it most—a most deserved award.