ATSILS News

What is the Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Act 2020?

A first of its kind, the Act recognises Torres Strait Islander lore in Western Law and establishes a process for the legal recognition of Torres Strait Islander traditional child rearing practice.

‘Meriba Omasker’ and ‘Kaziw Kazipa’ is made up of language terms from Eastern island language and Top Western island languages of the Torres Strait and collectively is translated as ‘for our children’s children’.

Find out more by visiting the Office of the Commissioner (Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa) website:

https://www.ocmokk.qld.gov.au/

 

View the legal information fact sheet developed by Legal Aid QLD, ATSILS QLD and QIFVLS:

Ailan Kastom child rearing practice in Torres Strait Islander families
How do I get Ailan Kastom recognised under the law? 

https://www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/files/assets/public/publications/relationships-and-children/ailan-kastom-child-rearing-practice-final.pdf 

MABO Day Celebration 2020 Are Going Virtual

MEDIA RELEASE: SEQ MABO DAY WORKING GROUP: Celuia Mabo, Nancy Bamaga, Charles Passi, Leon Filewood, Murray Saylor, Daniel Tapau

MABO DAY CELEBRATIONS 2020 ARE GOING VIRTUAL!

We give our Love & Respect to the Traditional Owners, Custodians, Elders across these Lands

Due to the COVID-19, South East Queensland Mabo Day Celebrations are going VIRTUAL!

The MABO DAY CELEBRATIONS 2020 Facebook page will be the main portal for all events planned as a part of National Reconciliation Week. https://www.facebook.com/MaboDayCelebrations2020/

MABO DAY, on Wednesday June 3rd 2020, falls at the end of Reconciliation Week. The South East Queensland Mabo Day Working Group have partnered with National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Queensland (RQI), Arts Front, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Teralba Park Stolen Generations Support Group Inc, Digi Youth Arts and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to bring MABO DAY CELEBRATIONS 2020 – 28th Anniversary online.

 

Virtual Events include:  

Arts Front in conversation with Flo Watson OAM – Chairperson & Elder of Teralba Park Stolen Generations Support Group,

The Mabo Day Webinar with speakers including Charles Passi, Dr Rose Elu, Kevin Smith and Hannah Duncan

#MDC2020 Virtual Gathering with performances byJessie Lloyd, Rochelle Pitt, Chris Tamwoy and a very special shout out from the three-time Olympian and NBA Champion, Patty Mills

Digi Youth Arts bringing the voices of Torres Strait Islander youth to the front with a very special Mabo Day Virtual Event.

 

Please find the Media Release attached for the MABO DAY CELEBRATIONS 2020.

#MDC2020 – MEDIA RELEASE 2020

#MaboDay #MDC2020 #NRW2020 #InThisTogether

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Nancy Bamaga: SEQ Working Group: 0412 885 501 | nancy@bamagaproductions.com.au

Busty Beatz:  Social Media Co-ordinator on behalf of SEQ Mabo Day Working Group | 0404 406 645 | busty@hotbrownhoney.com

Partnerships enhancing access to superannuation services in the remote NPA region

TheONEWhat’s the best way to engage remote community residents with their superannuation?

Break down some of the barriers to access and bring your services to them!

That’s what QSuper did when it spent a week with community peoples up in the Northern Peninsula Area (located at the top tip of Cape York, Queensland), on January 20th-24th, in partnership with ICAN financial counsellors, the Indigenous financial inclusion team at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand and lawyers from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS).

 

View Article:

https://ican.org.au/ican-teams-up-with-qsuper-for-npa-community-week/?utm_source=ICAN+E-News+February+2020&utm_campaign=E-News&utm_medium=email&fbclid=IwAR1niFiZ6Z0cE78jO0W4eZFYdBUvkYpf9qbQrQsSsXtRDoS8xOIA7ce7p-M

Licencing Muster in the Northern Peninsula Area – September 2019

ATSILS Licencing Muster 2019 1Following the success of the first ever NPA Licensing Muster in July 2019, ATSILS has again combined forces with the Queensland Police service, Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Department of Transport and Main Roads (Licensing Mob), NPA Family and Community Services and the NPA Community Justice Groups to deliver a ‘Licencing Muster’ event in the NPA region on 12 September 2019.
This community event is an opportunity for the five NPA Communities (Injinoo, Umagico, Bamaga, New Mapoon and Seisia) to have unprecedented access to licensing and identity document-related services from a range of service providers. Eleven staff from seven different government and non-government service providers worked together on the day to service well over 80 community members to assist with a range of licensing and identity related issues. This is over triple the number who attended the last Muster in July, demonstrating continued and growing need for such Musters in the NPA.
 
As ATSILS CEO Shane Duffy has explained:
“These programs are important intervention and prevention approaches that are critical to blocking the fast lane to prison for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities. In consultation with the current Magistrate in the NPA region we put a spotlight on the disproportionate number of licensing issues ending up before the courts and the unacceptable social and economic costs to these communities.
In response we tasked our Prevention, Intervention and Community Legal Education Officer in the region to take the lead in coordinating key stakeholders to work together to develop solutions to address the underlying challenges that fuel this issue. These challenges include simple things we take for granted in urban areas, such as adequate access to basic licencing and registration services. ATSILS has long been a strong advocate for a smarter approach to this justice issue, and these Licencing Musters are examples of the important elements needed in the fabric of broader justice reinvestment strategies that can create stronger, safer communities in the region. The success of these programs to date is a credit to the vision and hard work of all involved.”
Building on lessons learnt from the last Muster, several targeted events were also offered in the lead-up to the big day on 12 September. Two Learner Licence workshops run by the Indigenous driver Licence Unit (Licensing Mob) were held prior which were targeted at Community Development Program (CDP) Participants and kids in years 10-12 at NPA State College who were eligible to receive their learners prior the Muster. Everyone who attended the Workshops passed their learner theory test and many went on to secure their learner licence at the Muster. However, inconsistent ID and lack of funds unfortunately remained a barrier for some who passed the test, and we intend to continue to work with those community members, so they are ready to get their licence when the next Muster comes to town.
Proactive assistance was also provided to the NPA communities with identity related issues in the lead up to the Muster, so they could have the necessary Evidence of Identity (EOI) required by the Licensing Mob sorted. This was in direct response to our understanding that inconsistent or insufficient identity documents is a major hurdle for community members in getting their licence. We therefore worked closely with the NPA State College, NPA Family and Community Services and the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to run an “Identity Drive” in the weeks prior. This resulted in over 20 birth certificate applications being lodged, as well as a number of birth registration and change of name applications. Many who were able to get their birth certificate at the Identity Drive were then able to attend the Muster and sort out their licence because they had enough EOI.
The Licensing Muster events continue to demonstrate the need for more proactive and intensive support for licensing and registration services in the NPA. Although we were able to help a significant number of people on the day, it was obvious to all service providers that consistent Muster events will be necessary to meet the enormous demand for services in the region that is currently going unmet.
We are hopeful that regular Licensing Musters (perhaps every 2-3 months) and continued interagency support would make a dent in the astronomical rates of unlicensed and unregistered driving in the NPA, and ultimately lower the numbers appearing before the Courts on related charges each month.
We are also aware that these licensing and identity issues, and lack of access to services, is also a significant problem for the Torres Strait region, especially the Outer Islands where no licensing services are available except through infrequent visits from the Indigenous Driver Licence Unit (Licensing Mob). We are committed to exploring further opportunities for replicating the Licensing Muster model in these communities as well, depending upon the continued commitment of all agencies to collaborate and resource such activities going forward.
We plan to hold the next NPA Licensing Muster in November 2019 (date TBC) and plan to build on both the successes and lessons learnt at this Muster to provide an event better Muster next time.
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2018 – QUT Indigenous Pre Law and Justice Program Students visit ATSILS

QUT 2018 Indigenous Pre Law and Justice Program visit to ATSILS2018 Indigenous Pre Law and Justice Program visit to ATSILS

Last week students from QUT’s 2018 Indigenous Pre Law and Justice Program attended ATSILS Brisbane office to get first hand insight into the work we do advancing and protecting the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The students received a range of presentations covering on our innovative brand of legal service delivery, the critical role of our Court Support Officers in supporting the client/lawyer relationship and removing barriers affecting access to justice and also an overview of the work we do educating communities on their legal rights. The students were hosted by our Director of Communications and Sector Engagement – Graham, Early Intervention, Prevention and Community Legal Education Officer – Kate and Court Support Officer – Lesley. The students also had the opportunity to meet some of our legal practitioners and get insight into what it’s like working for a human rights based organisation like ATSILS.

Bianca Hill-Jarro – Indigenous Project Officer at QUT said “The visit to ATSILS has been welcomed addition to the program and offers something unique for the students. The students always really enjoy the visit and many are often interested in the career pathways offered by ATSILS.”

ATSILS is committed to inspiring the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lawyers and justice professionals and it was great to host these deadly young students looking to pursue careers in the justice sector.

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ATSILS Board meet with community in Mackay

ATSILS is dedicated to strengthening key partnerships in regional Queensland and last Friday our Board of Directors hosted a community meeting with key service providers in Mackay.

It was a great turn out and the Board were delighted to meet with the good people representing these organisations and agencies delivering vital services across the justice and community sectors.

The meeting was not only a good opportunity to get a better understanding of the current challenges and justices issues facing the local community. It also provided a great environment to come together and reaffirm our commitment to working more effectively together across sectors to address the complex challenges faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community caught up in the child protection, youth justice and criminal justice systems.

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On the Road to Cherbourg with our Murgon Office

This week our Director of Sector Engagement and Communications and our Prevention, Intervention and Community Legal Education Officer paid a visit to our Murgon office to spend time with the fantastic ATSILS team delivering quality services in the South Burnett region.

The team shared cake and important discussions with Cherbourg elders and the local Justice Group and it was a good opportunity to hear about some of the current justice issues facing this historic community. ATSILS shared a range of legal education resources and information about the Prisoner Throughcare Program with the group..

Working in whopping 45 degrees in the shade, it was great to see the dedicated Murgon team in action. They are a true representation of the strong commitment to community displayed by all our regional offices.

Partners in Crime Prevention & Access to Justice – Townsville

It was fantastic to meet with key stakeholders in Townsville last week as we work to strengthen productive partnerships to enhance the delivery of our quality legal assistance, specialist court representation and some of our early intervention and prevention initiatives.

Our Stakeholder Engagement team had the privilege of spending time with:

  • Jean from the Townsville Justice Group to discuss the re-establishment of Murri Court and how we can work better together to assist clients and support this important court service;
  • Melissa, Tanya and all the fantastic team at Mission Australia to discuss the critical support they provide to vulnerable kids and the success they’re having in diverting many away from further contact with juvenile justice system. A true highlight was seeing the innovative work ATSILS and Mission Australia are doing together under the current MoU in delivering cultural camps to youth at high risk of re-offending. These camps are delivered by proud Juru man and our youth Prisoner Throughcare Officer – Trevor and are designed to connect youth with culture, give them a sense of belonging and strengthen their identity as key triggers for them to start making positive changes in their lives; and
  • The Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal & Advocacy Service working to combat racism, violence, poverty, sexism and discrimination of all kinds that affect the interests and aspiration of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander women.