The Consumer Action Law Centre is a campaign-focused consumer advocacy organisation. Based in Melbourne, Australia, it was formed in 2006 by the merger of the Consumer Law Centre Victoria and the Consumer Credit Legal Service. Consumer Action is primarily funded by the Victorian Government, through Victoria Legal Aid and Consumer Affairs Victoria, and the Commonwealth of Australia, through the Department of Social Services and the Attorney-General’s Department.
As a community legal centre, Consumer Action provides free legal advice and pursues litigation on behalf of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers across Victoria, and is the largest specialist consumer legal practice in Australia. As well as working with consumers directly, Consumer Action provides legal assistance and professional training to community workers who advocate on behalf of consumers.
As a financial counselling centre, Consumer Action operates The National Debt Helpline for Victoria, a not for profit email and telephone financial counselling service providing free, confidential and independent financial advice to Victorians experiencing financial difficulty. The National Debt Helpline is nationally-recognised as the first point of telephone contact in Victoria for anyone with financial counselling issues.
As a nationally-recognised and influential policy and research body, Consumer Action pursues a law reform agenda across a range of important consumer issues at a governmental level, in the media, and throughout the community directly.
Consumer Action is dedicated to advancing the interests of low-income and vulnerable consumers, and of consumers as a whole. Consumer Action’s Policy and Campaigns Plan 2019-20 sets out our campaign priorities for the year, while our Strategic Plan outlines our vision and goals.
The Consumer Action Law Centre is governed by its Constitution which outlines the purpose and objectives of the Centre.
We have created a Reconciliation Working Group to lead, support and enable Consumer Action’s commitments to Aboriginal communities. These include commitments to recognise rights of self-determination, work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, deliver culturally appropriate services, and support Aboriginal peoples to advocate on consumer issues.
The Reconciliation Working Group has identified five objectives for internal change, which will build the organisation’s capacity to engage with Aboriginal people and ensure Aboriginal people can and do access our services. The Group will also track and report on Consumer Action’s progress against these objectives.
This is a living document that will change as the organisation becomes more informed and sophisticated about reconciliation. We welcome comments and feedback.