Sold-out dinner raises over $40k for pro bono legal service

Suncoast Community Legal Service President Noela L’Estrange, Travis Schultz & Partners CEO Kelly Phelps, SCLS CEO Marla Edwards and SCLS Principal Solicitor Julian Porter.

Members of the Sunshine Coast legal fraternity last night raised $40,759 for the Suncoast Community Legal Service (SCLS) at a wine dinner and auction held at Venue 114.

Now in its third year, the annual fundraising event hosted by Travis Schultz & Partners (TSP) welcomed a 200-strong guest list, doubling in size since its first-year launch.

TSP Managing Partner Travis Schultz said the $86,000 collectively raised over the three years supported the vital work of the SCLS – a cause he and the firm felt strongly about.

“Lawyers across the coast volunteer their time to provide pro bono advice to those who can’t afford their own lawyer,” Mr Schultz said. “But the service must pay its bills for rent, support staff and running costs, and events like this one, help to make it possible. It’s just another way that the generous legal fraternity on the coast give back to their community.”

In the past 12 months, SCLS has provided more than 3000 free advice sessions to the local community, completed more than 2000 information activities, and delivered 18 community legal education opportunities.

Attendees Andrew Power and Dakota Raeburn from JHK Legal.

Looking forward as the SCLS approaches its 40th birthday, Managing Solicitor Julian Porter said the work the legal fraternity did for the community was needed more than ever.

“With the financial support from the annual fundraiser, SCLS can administer one of the top community legal services in the country, meaning more people can get help with their legal problems before the issue becomes overwhelming,” he said. “This directly impacts our community’s resilience and wellness.”

SCLS President Noela L’Estrange said the independent community organisation had been providing free legal advice to financially disadvantaged people for more than three decades and relied heavily on the support of Sunshine Coast lawyers and volunteers to respond to the increase in demand for support.

Attendees Jason Lander and Tracy Connolly from Catton & Tondelstrand Lawyers.

Special guests this year included Sunshine Coast Mayor and Mayoress Mark and Lorrell Jamieson, Deputy Chief Magistrate Stephen Courtney, guest speaker Lawyers Weekly Editor Jerome Doraisamy and three-time Australian Winemaker of the Year Shane Harris, who delivered a lesson in wine pairing.

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