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Meeting 28 March 2023 @ 7.30pm

We pleased to have one of our own as guest speaker for the Society’s March meeting. Ben Piper’s talk will be titled “A History of the SouthPort Community Legal Service, 1987 – 2016

Ben has provided a teaser for his talk including this intriguing photo. [That’s Ben standing on the left]

For the last 35 years the residents of Port and South Melbourne have had access to free legal advice.  This talk will describe how that came about, what kept it going, and how it fits in with the wider community legal service movement.  The SouthPort Community Legal Service is unique, not only in Australia, but probably the world.  How?  Why? There’s only one way to find out!  Along the way you’ll also hear about sassy administrators (well, one, anyway), pink rabbits, rats (the fuzzy, not the in-the-ranks, type) and the Service’s now most famous volunteer (clue: one of her “names” ends in “X”).

If that doesn’t encourage you to come along we don’t know what will.

Ben Piper’s Bio:

I presented a fairly detailed autobiography in the talk I gave to the Society back in Covid times about 2 years ago.  That talk is still, embarrassingly, available for viewing on the Society’s website. [We love Ben’s previous talk!]

For present purposes it is perhaps enough to recount that I spent most of my working life as a public servant, primarily as a legislative drafter, and I had a bit of involvement as a volunteer in a couple of community legal services.  Later this year I will celebrate my 10th anniversary of stopping work, although during the last 10 years I have managed to forge a 2nd career as one of the world’s least successful website and e-book authors.  While my 1st book, “How to buy a house at auction in Victoria” has managed a few sales, the same cannot be said for the 2nd one, “Ideas for modern weddings”, which has so far managed to not pick up a single sale.  The readership stats for my websites providing advice on auctions, and on love, relationships and what to buy as a wedding present, are also somewhat underwhelming.

It’s bound to be a fun evening with pink rabbits, rats, sassy administrators and a mysterious “Volunteer X” but also with a very serious side as we hear about an important, probably world-unique, free community legal service.

The meeting will be held upstairs at the Port Melbourne Town Hall (access via stairs or lift) and online, via Zoom using the following link.

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PMHPS acknowledges the generous support of the City of Port Phillip.


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Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.