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Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS)

The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) is a state-wide specialist CLC that provides legal advice and assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

On this page

Type of assistance provided:

For clients

  • Legal advice and case work on criminal law, family law, child protection, intervention orders and civil law matters including personal safety intervention orders and infringements clinic.
  • Client Service Officers (CSOs) across state that provide localised support and referrals to community and mainstream services, as well as assistance with phone calls or letters, and assistance to attend court. Specialist family violence CSOs also available.
  • Wirraway: specialist legal and litigation practice for police complaints and litigation.
  • Balit Ngulu – specialised youth program for youth and children in areas around youth justice. Service provided across Melbourne and Greater Shepparton.

For other legal staff

  • Community legal education for community members.

Key eligibility criteria

  • VALS will assist Aboriginal Victorians in a duty capacity in first instance. If ongoing casework is required, VALS will require a sealed confirmation of Aboriginality from a recognised Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander organisation
  • Means testing applies for casework assistance.

Contact details for referral:

Essential information

What should I know before making this referral? Does the client self-identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander?

Can the client provide matter documents to VALS?

What should I do before making this referral? Check eligibility criteria.

Obtain client’s informed consent

Confirm that the client:

  • identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or
  • is a carer of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child.
Making an effective referral Referrals made without notice are less likely to be assisted on the day.
What do I tell my client about this referral? If their matter is court urgent, they will be contacted by VALS either the same day or the next business day.

If not urgent, allow 3 business days for contact.

What happens after I make the referral? Contact to be made within same day/next business day if urgent.

Otherwise allow 3 business days for contact.