Linda Gyorki - former Senior Lawyer and Manager, Health Justice Partnerships
Linda Gyorki was a lawyer at IMCL for 6 years. Now a Senior Project Officer at Family Safety Victoria, she dropped in to IMCL to be interviewed as part of our 40 Years 40 Stories series.
“Throughout my career I’ve worked with a lot of people from different walks of life, and they’re often at their lowest ebb. Working at Inner Melbourne Community Legal and being in position to be able to assist them to improve their lives with respect and dignity is a real privilege.
“I really value being able to use a law degree and life experiences to help other people in a very vulnerable point in their lives.
“I recognised that I was in a privileged position. I was given a lot of opportunities as a student and wanted to be able to use those opportunities to assist other people in my community. Inner Melbourne Community Legal has given me the opportunity to do just that, to assist those people at a rough patch in their lives and to use my law degree to help them through that patch, and be able to move on with their lives.
“I did volunteer at other community law centres as a student and that certainly fueled my passion to continue to work in this space. I did work in private practice for a few years but I came back to community law in time.
“I like the vibrancy and dynamism of working in a community legal centre and working with people. I found the areas of law that were practiced in a community legal centre really interesting and it is an opportunity to practise in those areas.
“My role in health justice partnerships was a really important way to improve access to justice for under-privileged people. A community lawyer is embedded in a public hospital and more people are able access a community lawyer. People who wouldn’t otherwise recognise they have legal issues are identified to have legal issues and it provides them with a pathway to a community lawyer.
“That’s something that I’ve always been passionate about. Improving access to justice and improving people’s opportunity to access a lawyer when they might not recognise that they have a legal issue. I’ve been really fortunate that IMCL has given me the opportunity to expand on that work. It’s been a really critical part of our work.
“Working at a community legal centre provides an opportunity to practice in a broad range of areas of law which is really important to getting a breadth of understanding of legal issues. But also, working with people from all different walks of life, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people who’ve had really different life experiences, gives you skills to communicate in ways you might not have otherwise with friends and family at home. And I think they are really critical skills for life generally.
“IMCL is a dynamic and vibrant place to work. It’s proactive in ensuring access to justice for everyone in our community. It’s critical to the life-blood of North Melbourne in particular. It’s been a constant in the North Melbourne landscape for so many years and a lot of people turn to at their time of greatest need.