Emma House

Legal Program

Emma House operates an in-house Community Legal Service, funded by Victoria Legal Aid.

Our legal program was established in 2012 and has grown to provide a complete legal service for family violence victims across South West Victoria.

Services we provide:

Duty Lawyer Service for Family Violence Intervention Order Matters

We provide a Duty Lawyer service at the Warrnambool, Portland and Hamilton Magistrates’ Court on a weekly basis, to assist with Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO).

Our lawyers can provide free advice, representation and referrals through our Duty Lawyer Service, if you have a Family Violence Intervention Order matter being heard at Warrnambool, Portland or Hamilton Magistrates’ Court.  To access this service, please contact the relevant court and request the Emma House Duty Lawyer for your matter.

Information and Referrals

Our legal program can assist you with identifying your legal issue, connecting you to relevant services and referring you on to other services where we are unable to help.

Legal Advice

We can provide a one-on-one appointment with one of our lawyers to discuss your matter, make you aware of your legal rights and provide options to resolve the issue.


Our legal program can provide on-going assistance from one of our lawyers to resolve your legal issue for eligible clients.  This may include representation at Court.

Our legal program can provide information, referrals, legal advice or offer casework for the following matters:

  • parenting agreements
  • child protection
  • division of property after separation
  • disputes in relation to child support and spousal maintenance
  • partner Visa exemptions (family violence provisions)
  • airport watch list applications
  • Victims of Crime Assistance applications

Who can access our services

Our legal program assists women and children who are experiencing, or have experienced family violence.

We offer a safe, non-judgmental legal service for:

  • Women and children affected by family violence from partner, parent, or other family member
  • Woman and children of all ages, backgrounds and spiritual or religious beliefs
  • Women with a disability
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse women and children
  • Women who chose to remain with their partner who is using violence and women who have left or wish to leave
  • Women of all sexual orientations as well as transgender women and intersex women

This is a confidential legal service for women who reside in South West Victoria.

Our program gives priority to women experiencing financial disadvantage, who would not otherwise be able to obtain legal assistance. We believe every woman should have access to legal support, to promote their right to live free from violence.

Privacy Policy

The Emma House Legal Program is committed to complying with the Australian Privacy Principles and Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules that informs the handling of personal information and standards for the collection, access, storage and use of personal information.  View our Legal Program Privacy Policy here.

When contacting us

When contacting our administration team, it is important to remember that our administration staff cannot provide legal advice or give an opinion on what you should do to resolve your legal matter. They can, however, book you an appointment with a lawyer or provide you with information.

Legal Program