RACS is a not-for-profit refugee legal service, which provides expert advice and casework assistance to financially disadvantaged individuals seeking asylum both in the community and in immigration detention. In addition to our free legal service we are actively involved in policy reform, public education, and advocacy.

Established in 1987, RACS is the longest-running Refugee Community Legal Centre in NSW. RACS has established a solid reputation as the leading provider of free, expert legal services to asylum seekers and refugees.

RACS strives to ensure that individuals and families at risk of persecution gain access to equal and fair representation before the law so they may be granted due protection in accordance with Australia’s international obligations.

RACS, as an incorporated association, relies partially on funding from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Legal Aid. Since the Federal Government’s devastating funding cuts introduced in April 2014 that erased 85% of our funding, RACS relies more heavily on donations from the community, grants from foundations and charitable corporations, and support from an extensive volunteer network and a Management Committee to continue its invaluable work. The future of RACS relies on the broad support of individuals and institutions concerned that the current treatment and politicisation of asylum seekers is inconsistent with the notion of a good society.


Asylum seekers and refugees who seek Australia’s protection are able to live their lives with dignity, security, family unity and freedom.


RACS is an independent community legal centre whose purpose is to provide a free, specialist legal service for asylum seekers and refugees.  Through individual advice sessions, community education and public advocacy, RACS strives to ensure that individuals and families, at risk of persecution or other forms of significant harm, gain access to equal and fair representation before the law, and are granted protection by Australia, and opportunities to seek family unity, in accordance with Australia’s international obligations.


RACS’s work is premised on a commitment to fundamental human rights, human dignity and international protection.  RACS demonstrates this commitment through its independent, impartial and professional advice; the integrity of its staff and volunteers; its belief in continuous learning, including through partnerships with other organisations; and the fair and flexible conditions it provides for staff and volunteers.