The Australian Pro Bono Centre is the centre of leadership for pro bono legal services that aims to grow participation and excellence in pro bono, our unique contribution to closing the justice gap and creating a more equitable and sustainable society.
The Centre works to achieve this in three ways:
Activate new and existing pro bono legal professionals by promoting awareness of pro bono legal services, providing incentives to participate and advocating for policy reform
Equip pro bono legal professionals by providing practical tools and resources and reducing barriers and constraints to pro bono participation
Connect members of the pro bono ecosystem through collaboration and best practice sharing
More information on the strategies that the Centre uses to achieve this can be found in its Strategic Plan.
The Centre does not provide legal advice or legal assistance, or refer individuals to pro bono lawyers. Individual case referrals are directed to appropriate legal services, including pro bono referral schemes & organisations which exist in all states and territories of Australia.
The Centre promotes and supports pro bono as an adviser, advocate, researcher, and resource provider. If you need information, advice or assistance in setting up a pro bono program or on any other issue related to pro bono legal assistance in Australia please contact us or refer to our publications and resources.
For more information on the Centre’s current strategies and recent activities, please refer to:
In June 2001 the National Pro Bono Task Force, established by the Attorney-General of Australia, the Hon Daryl Williams AM QC MP, provided its Report.
The Task Force, headed by Prof David Weisbrot, then President of the Australian Law Reform Commission, strongly recommended the establishment of:
… an ongoing body such as a secretariat or centre that would stimulate and encourage the development, expansion and co-ordination of pro bono services, as well as offering practical assistance for pro bono service providers (and potential providers). The Centre would play the key roles of facilitating pro bono practice and enabling the collection and exchange of information.
The Centre opened its doors at the University of New South Wales in August 2002, where it is still located today.
In June 2015 the Centre changed its name from the National Pro Bono Resource Centre to the Australian Pro Bono Centre to better reflect its role in an increasingly global pro bono context. More information on this change can be found here.
The Australian Pro Bono Centre is grateful for the funding support it receives from the governments of the Commonwealth and all states and territories, and the in-kind support it receives from Australian Government Solicitor, HWL Ebsworth, volunteers and the Faculty of Lawat UNSW Sydney, which includes the use of the Facility’s premises and faculties and support from student interns.