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The esteemed 2019 Kath Neilsen Award goes to Claire Williams

June 05, 2019

PCLC celebrated the work of our vital volunteers and supporters recently at our annual Volunteer & Supporters Appreciation Dinner. Claire Williams was the recipient of our esteemed Kath Neilsen Award for outstanding contribution to the Centre.

The Award was created in honour of Kath Neilsen, a founder and long-term supporter of the Centre. It acknowledges a volunteer who has demonstrated a superior understanding of the Centre’s values and the principals of social justice; along with a reliable and respectful approach to interactions with our clients.

Claire was previously an employee of the Centre for six years and has since remained a dedicated volunteer. Claire explains, ‘I found my feet as a lawyer while working at PCLC. The great staff, plus a sense of belonging to a team that are working to end family violence, made the job very rewarding’.

To support herself through university Claire worked with people with a disability as a part-time job and gained a life long understanding of the difficulties faced by those with special needs. After leaving PCLC, Claire had a stint in a policy role with government and then started her own practice in Frankston – Justice Crew Legal Services.

Claire’s practice focusses on facilitating a low-stress journey through the legal system for her clients. As Claire explains, she is passionate about helping guide people with mental, physical and intellectual disabilities through the legal process. This can involve many hours acting as a go-between; connecting clients with support services such as psychologists and family violence workers.

Claire, along with our other 120 volunteers, make a world of difference to our Centre’s reach by enabling the Centre to run seven additional free legal advice sessions each week; including day-time and after hours advice in five locations through the South-East region.

‘After 40 years service to the community, the work we do ensuring access to justice for vulnerable communities, is as important today as ever. We are increasingly facing an environment where people’s human rights are being eroded and there are more and more vulnerable members of our community slipping through the safety net.’ explains Jackie Galloway PCLC’s CEO.

PCLC specializes in family law and family violence, fines and tenancy issues. We have offices in Frankston, Bentleigh East, Cranbourne, Rosebud and Frankston North. We are one of the largest community based legal centres in Australia. Lawyers at the Centre also provide outreach services to Chelsea, Hastings, Pakenham, Clyde North, Dandenong, Clayton South, Glen Huntly and St Kilda.

For more information about free legal services, please call (03) 9783 3600 or visit

Date 30/05/2019

CONTACT:  Siobhan Kenny, Communications Officer


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