2021/22 Knowledge Grants awarded

The projects that were supported this year demonstrated potential to make a significant contribution to Victorians and the legal sector.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Victoria Law Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Knowledge Grants. The projects that were supported this year demonstrated potential to make a significant contribution to Victorians and the legal sector.

Congratulations to our four successful applicants. We look forward to sharing their results.

Our successful applicants are:

Evaluating the impact of integrated, cross sector models of legal practice

First Step Legal

In partnership with University of Melbourne, First Step Legal will conduct an evaluation of its legal practice to determine impact of the Health Justice Partnership (HJP) model for clients and staff. The evaluation will include four separate HJPs across the mental health, family violence and alcohol and other drug treatment sectors. First Step Legal will also build internal data collection and evaluation capability. Findings will be used to improve services and outcomes for clients and health and legal practitioners, with broader benefits for other HJPs in Victoria and across Australia.

Strengthening Intake Quality in Legal Assistance

Eastern Community Legal Centre

This project aims to improve community access to legal services by using data to identify barriers and help-seeking behaviour. The main components of this work will be to develop tools to assess client capability to manage legal problems, and to also build organisational capability to both collect and analyse appropriate data to improve service delivery. The findings and insights from this work are likely to be significant for the community legal sector.

Policing health – exploring racial profiling in issuing of COVID-19 fines

Inner Melbourne Community Legal

This project will explore if COVID-19 fines were disproportionately issued to culturally and linguistically diverse communities during 2020. The research involves collecting and analysing data across a range of sources. Inner Melbourne Community Legal (IMCL) will engage a consultant with expertise in obtaining and using this data who will also support IMCL to improve their data capability. Findings are likely to represent a useful sample transferable to broader policing practices and used to support clients who have experienced racial discrimination.

Resistance and Agency: The Important of Language in applications for Family Violence Intervention Orders


This project seeks to understand the relationship between how women’s agency, the extent to which they can tell their own story, is portrayed in Family Violence Intervention Order applications and the outcomes of those applications.  The analysis will compare the language used in family violence intervention order applications initiated by women who are affected family members and applications initiated by police. The project is a collaboration between Westjustice, Fitzroy Legal Service and La Trobe University. Findings may also be useful to other community legal services, courts, Victoria Police and non-legal sector organisations supporting victims/survivors of family violence seeking to make an intervention order application.

Knowledge Grant applications are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted. Once again we received a high number of proposals for worthwhile projects. We will offer Knowledge Grants again in 2022/23 and encourage you to apply.

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