Caxton Community Legal Centre CEO Cybele Koning.

Caxton Community Legal Centre, an integral part of Queensland’s community law and human rights landscape, has made the bold move to the CBD and is now at 179 Turbot Place – closer to courts, public transport and our volunteers.

Caxton has also, with a kind donation, updated its “look” so our communications are clearer and more accessible to everyone who engages with Caxton.

Our vision, however, remains the same — to promote and protect the human rights of Queenslanders through access to justice. And our activities also remain the same — free legal and social support services, community education, law reform and advocacy.

From Caxton’s humble beginnings in 1976 in Caxton Street, Petrie Terrace, we moved to Heal Street, New Farm in 1987 and then to Manning Street, South Brisbane in 2010. Wherever we worked, we established strong links with local communities and community-based services operating in the area. Over the years, we extended our reach within the Greater Brisbane region and across Queensland through partnerships with other community legal centres, health and hospital services and other organisations. 

Why the move?

The decision to relocate was driven by many factors, all aimed at enhancing our workplace and the services we provide. Our new place offers increased accessibility for clients, volunteers and staff as well as a more cohesive, modern and technologically advanced workspace.  We are also closer to the courts and tribunals to facilitate the delivery of duty lawyer services five days per week.


We have been gradually welcoming our rostered volunteers to our new home – which has seamless IT solutions, more meeting rooms, a larger boardroom, and a shared kitchen and breakout space. A bonus large outdoor deck offers endless opportunities for networking, hosting larger events and collaborating with stakeholders, which will help us to foster a sense of community within and beyond the organisation. With all operations consolidated on one floor, we are enjoying increased visibility and access to one another which helps us to deliver holistic support to clients across multiple programs. Furthermore, the views of the Taylor Ranges make for a pretty good day at the office.

New horizons

Looking ahead, we have set ambitious goals for the next 12 months, two years and five years. In the short term, the focus is on ensuring that staff, volunteers and clients feel welcome and accommodated in the new premises. In addition we are improving our external communication channels to promote access to legal information and self-help resources. In two years, we will celebrate our 50th anniversary, marking a significant milestone in our journey of serving the community and protecting human rights in Queensland.  In five years’ time, we aspire to include diverse disciplines under one roof, providing comprehensive support and services to our clients (noting that an additional intention for the move was also to establish a Caxton Headquarters in the CBD as a shared gathering space for community legal centres, pro bono partners and stakeholders key to increasing access to justice).

Building and connecting community, volunteer engagement

Central to Caxton’s success is our deep-rooted connection with the community and our extensive networks across legal and social services, and community and health sectors. The Caxton community is not just made up of the tens of thousands of clients we have helped over the last 48 years — it is built on the goodwill of hundreds of volunteer lawyers, social workers and students who have worked for and with Caxton since 1976. Caxton’s continuing success largely depends on the ongoing support and generosity of our 200+ volunteers. So far, in this current financial year, our amazing volunteers have assisted approximately 1000 clients. Our volunteers primarily work in the city and our move to the CBD will further strengthen our connections by being closer to other legal offices and the Queensland Law Society House.

Volunteering at Caxton is not only personally satisfying but also an opportunity to work alongside some of Brisbane’s best legal minds.


One such volunteer, William Schoenmaker, who has been with Caxton since 2003, shares his experience: “I [previously] volunteered because it was an obligation from work. However, the experience of understanding clients’ issues, dealing with their problems, and helping them become more confident of their future gives me a real buzz. The essential path is just helping others, and it keeps me coming back.”

Shannon Chen was inspired to volunteer by her mentor. “He told me about Caxton and how fulfilling it was to dedicate a little bit of time to help vulnerable people. He was not wrong about it and there’s more to it. There have been a number of occasions when clients come in confused with the system and the procedures, and most of the time simply unsure what options they have got. Our little effort in listening carefully and providing advice accordingly can be quite meaningful to our clients. I said this to other people before, it gives me a great sense of achievement when a client walks away from Caxton that night with some clarity and feeling lighter.”

Future of growth and collaboration

As we embark on this new chapter in our long story, we remain committed to our core values of justice, equality and empowerment only with wider horizons and a new look. Our move signifies a commitment to growth, innovation and community engagement. We have renewed our focus on enhancing programs, fostering collaboration and strengthening community ties, and we will continue to make a lasting difference in the lives of those we serve.

Caxton is nationally recognised for our excellent work as a provider of free legal and social work services, and with over 80 staff we are one of Australia’s largest community legal centres. As we look to the future, we invite all who share our vision to join us on this journey. Together, we can build a future where access to justice is not just a privilege but a fundamental right for all.

On that note, we are always looking for volunteers to join our mission. If you would like to support our daytime or evening advice clinics and make a critical difference, reach out to Shamira Mangkusubroto, Human Resources and Volunteer Coordinator, on (07) 3214 6333 or via We can also arrange secondments and other ways of supporting our work.

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