Please be advised that as of the close of business today (30 June 2021), the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) Ltd will no longer be providing legal assistance and community legal education services to communities throughout the Torres Strait Region and Northern Peninsula Area (NPA).
From 1 July 2021, The Torres Strait Regional Authority has appointed – Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS) to deliver community legal education services and QIFVLS has also been engaged to provide interim legal services for communities Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regions.
Date: 13th April 2021
ATSILS (QLD) legal and community legal education service delivery to cease in the Torres Strait & Northern Peninsula Area.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) Ltd – ATSILS wishes to advise that it will no longer be delivering legal assistance and community legal education services to communities throughout the Torres Strait Region and Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) from the end of the current funding agreement 30 June 2021.
For the past 10 years the ATSILS team has worked tirelessly to ensure some of the most remote communities in Australia have access to justice under a funding arrangement with the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA).
ATSILS CEO Shane Duffy said, “since 2011 we have built strong relationships with the community, courts and broader social services sector to address and advocate for not only the legal needs of our clients, but also the root causes as to why they need our services.”
“As the primary legal service provider in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area for the last 10 years, we are proud of the work we have done in improving access to justice for communities across this remote region. Our staff who have worked there can hold their heads up high with the legacy they leave.”
“I wish the communities of the Torres Strait and NPA regions all the best for the future and I would like to praise the diligent commitment of Regional Manager C’Zarke Maza and his team for making a positive difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the quality work they’ve done for many years. I would also like to thank the TSRA and other stakeholders in the region for their support and collaboration in assisting us to ensure better access to justice for people in these regions.”
“Our focus will remain on ensuring our clients in the region receive the same quality services until the end of our current contract (June 30, 2021) and we will work with the TSRA and the new service provider to ensure a smooth transition period prior to the end of June,” Mr Duffy said.
Where: TSIRC Office
When: Monday, 24 September 2018 at 10am
Where: TSIRC Office
When: Tuesday, 25 September 2018 at 10am
When: Wednesday, 26 September 2018 at 10am
Want to talk to a lawyer?
Community members are welcome to come and talk to us about a range of civil, criminal and family law issues including:
- Your rights & responsibilities when interacting with police
- Attending court
- Child protection
- Traditional Adoption
- Domestic violence
- Debts and unpaid fines
- Driver licences
- Consumer law
*Have another question? Just come and ask! We look forward to meeting you.
ATSILS Thursday Island has a team of lawyers able to assist you with a range of legal issues. Come meet with us and learn how to access ATSILS services and what we can do to help you. You can also contact the Thursday Island Team on: (07) 4069 1091
This week ATSILS staff enjoyed participating in a series of cultural competence training workshops in Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns. The training was facilitated by consultant Tom Kirk and he delivered a dynamic program covering topics such as cultural diversity, kinship systems, the impacts of colonisation, governance and communicating across cultures.
The highly interactive sessions provided a great learning experience for participants. It enabled new staff to quickly establish a foundation for developing their cultural competence further, whilst more experienced staff had the opportunity to test and refine their knowledge and existing cross cultural communication skills. All in all staff got a lot out of the days and appreciated Tom’s engaging teaching style.
ATSILS is committed to strengthening the cultural competence of its workforce to ensure we are able to foster more effective community relationships and deliver highly accessible legal services responsive to the needs of clients and communities across the state.
ATSILS is a statewide service with 26 locations across Queensland. To find an office near you please visit: www.atsils.org.au/contact
On behalf of my fellow Directors, the Chief Executive Officer and Staff, I am pleased to present ATSILS Strategic Plan 2018 – 2020. The Strategic Plan sets out a concise framework that highlights the four strategic objectives that focuses on our clients, our stakeholders, our people and our resources. The Plan provides a roadmap to ensure ATSILS can fulfil the organisation’s vision of continuing to lead in the delivery of innovative and professional legal services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Queensland.
I would like to acknowledge the important influence that our communities and our stakeholders have had on the development of this plan. Understanding the needs of our communities is essential to continuously improving our delivery of legal services. Through an active community and sector engagement approach we continue to foster collaborative community and service partnerships that enhance our knowledge of local issues and respond to the diverse needs of our clients in the context of their communities.
A well-established governance and leadership platform has been crucial to setting an informed strategic direction that can effectively respond to the broad justice needs of the communities we service. Our board is reflective of the diversity of our communities across the state, this representation gives our communities a stronger voice that speaks directly through our leadership. We embrace ethical, accountable and transparent management and decision-making systems, policies, practices and procedures in all that we do and our board structure is built on a critical mix of skills and experience drawn from grass roots communities, non-government, government and the private sector.
This strong leadership platform sets our mission; however, it is our dedicated staff that work tirelessly day in day out to achieve it. Continuing to develop a highly skilled workforce committed to successfully achieving our strategic objectives and meeting the needs of clients is a core element of our strategic plan. We are extremely proud of the diverse 200+ strong workforce we have delivering our quality brand of legal services, community legal education, and early intervention and prevention services that uphold and advance the legal and human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Our services are delivered in accordance with the Australian Government’s Indigenous Legal Assistance Program under which we are funded through the Australian Government Attorney General’s Department. With incarceration rates continuing to soar and our people still remaining chronically disadvantaged and over-represented across all the child protection, youth justice and the criminal justice systems, this funding is vital now more than ever. I take this opportunity on behalf of all at ATSILS to thank the Attorney General and his Department in this regard. Further, in relation to our Prisoner Throughcare Program initiatives – justice reinvestment in action – we thank the Office of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for its crucial funding support as well.
I also acknowledge the importance and significance of our collaborative arrangements with other key stakeholders in the justice system particularly the assistance provided to us by the Legal Aid Queensland in terms of off-setting some of the very high costs associated with delivering crucial services in our State’s most remote regions.
I encourage our communities and relevant government and non-government partners to embrace this Plan and work with us on its successful implementation.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) Ltd.
In one of the State’s most remote regions ATSILS is the primary legal assistance provider and we are committed to ensuring the diverse communities across the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area have access to professional legal assistance and representation.
It was great to see the local team in action and spend time with communities on the Islands of Warraber, Boigu, Mabuiag, Saibai and Badu and get insight into the justice issues they face so we can continue to tune our services to respond to local need.
Our team operate from our regional office on Thursday Island and they are an exemplar of ATSILS innovative brand of service delivery, they are highly engaged with community and display a tireless commitment to people they represent under challenging conditions. They have established a respectful and collegiate working relationship with the Magistrate, Justice Groups, Police Prosecution, Community Police and other officers of the court and work as an effective team to enhance access to justice for some of Queensland’s most remote populations.