Sussex Street Centre
Sussex Street Centre commenced operation on 1 March 1978 as a family resource centre under the auspice of the Curtin University of Technology School of Social Work. The concept of a centre to provide opportunities for social work students had been discussed since 1976 prior to the commencement of the service.
The original objectives of the centre were to
Provide students on assessed fieldwork placement with a valuable educational experience and competent supervision
Demonstrate in some practical way WAIT's general philosophy of community service
However, there are currently no volunteer positions available. Please keep checking our website for updates.
Initially, only social welfare services were delivered. Services included counselling, information and referral services, youth information network, research into their needs, welfare services contact network, child care facilities and financial counselling. In 1980, the Centre received the Prince of Wales Trophy for Outstanding Community Service. This was presented at a ceremony at Government House by the Governor Sir Richard Towbridge.
Sussex Street Community Law Service
Over time, the legal services were integrated to the social welfare service. The Sussex Street Community Law Service opened its doors on 1 July 1982 and was officially opened on 13 July 1982 by the Hon Kim Beazley, Member for Swan to provide free advice on Thursday evenings. In 1986, Curtin University withdrew from the agency and the centre became wholly community-managed.
Sussex Street Community Law Service is pleased to say that the relationship has continued to exist with the Social Work School of Curtin University and still actively participates in accepting social work students on fieldwork placement.
In addition to the close links developed with Curtin University, Sussex Street has had a long and successful partnership with Freehills since 1991. The partnership contributes to the shared vision of a just and equitable society. This has been in the provision of highly trained solicitors seconded to Sussex Street throughout the year. This improves our ability to provide legal services to an increasing number of clients. Freehills' annual financial support and ongoing pro bono legal advice to Sussex Street itself has built capacity and sustainability in the community organisation and expanded the services it can offer clients. The success of this partnership was recognised in 2004 when we won the Prime Ministers' award for excellence in Community Business Partnerships.
The house at 29 Sussex Street was originally obtained from The Perth City Council at a reduced rental in January 1978 and the doors were opened in March 1978. In 1982 with the introduction of legal advice services, the house became too crowded and the service expanded into the house at 27 Sussex Street also made available by the City of Perth.
In 1994 following five years of planning and negotiation, Sussex Street Community Law Service finally moved into dedicated premises at 29 Sussex Street. This was made possible with the continued assistance of the City of Perth and a grant of $150,000 from the Lotteries Commission of WA. The building was officially opened by the Chief Justice David Malcolm in February 1995.
During the rebuilding process, services were delivered from an old house at 6 Kent Street East Victoria Park between 28 July 1993 and 15 August 1994.