Interim Legal Service Provider for Torres Strait Islands and NPA Regions

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.

If you, or your family, live in the Torres Strait or NPA region and need legal help call QIFVLS 1800 887 700.
ATSILS wish all involved in the interim arrangements (and beyond) all the very best.
ATSILS News

ATSILS Temporary Office Closures – during 3 day lock down period.

South East Queensland, Townsville, Palm Island and Magnetic Island are in the midst of a 3-day lockdown which started 6pm Tuesday 29 June 2021, to stop the spread of COVID-19. During this time ATSILS offices located within these regions will be closed.
Please be assured ATSILS (QLD) is still providing legal assistance for our clients via phone and ICT-based services where possible to protect our staff, clients and our communities from the spread of COVID-19.
If you need legal assistance during this time please stay in touch with your local ATSILS office or lawyer via phone! Please do not attend our offices within the listed lockdown regions during this time.
For a full list of office contacts please visit: www.atsils.org.au/contact

ATSILS (QLD) a joint winner at the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) Ltd was a joint winner last night in the “Partnership” category of the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards for our work with key partners in delivering the Northern Peninsula Area Licensing Muster Initiative.

 
We would like to extend our congratulations also to key partners involved in the initiative – Northern Peninsula Area Justice Services Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation (NPA Community Justice Group) and Queensland Police Service (Bamaga Station).
 
The award is a great credit to our team up in the Torres Strait and NPA regions and in particular Annabelle Craft (our Prevention, Intervention and CLE Officer)– whose professionalism and hard work was a key driver of the partnership initiative.
 
We’d also like to acknowledge C’Zarke Maza our Regional Manager in the NPA and Torres Strait regions, who first raised the challenge surrounding unlicensed driving charges in the regions with the executive – which was then taken up at the departmental level by Shane Duffy our CEO. Whilst with departmental support the wheels were put in motion, it would have been easy for the initiative to grind to a halt – but with Annabelle at the steering wheel, such was never going to happen.
 
The Northern Peninsula Area Licensing Muster Initiative is a justice reinvestment strategy that has been providing cross-agency, holistic, evidence-based, proactive, and culturally safe support to the five communities of the NPA around licensing, registration, and identity documents since 2019.
 
The initiative aims to reduce unnecessary contact that Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience with the criminal justice system related to driving and vehicle related offending. Such contact often leads to offenders being sent to correctional facilities located thousands of kilometres away from their community.
 
The initiative arose through prolonged observation of the high numbers of community members facing court action and punishment for non-violent driving-related offences, as well as social and economic exclusion. It appeared that many community members lacked sufficient or consistent primary identity documentation, immediately precluding them from accessing the services and opportunities many Australians take for granted.
 
Congratulations to Annabelle, the team and all partners involved. This initiative is a great example of the targeted impact justice reinvestment strategies can have on addressing the over-representation and unnecessary contact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience in the justice system.
 
To read more on the success of this program visit:
ATSILS News

Team Maroochydore take part in the annual Law Week Walk

ATSILS MaroochydoreThe annual Law Week Walk was held on the 18th of May and the ATSILS Maroochydore team were out in force early at Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast to take part.
The team enjoyed hitting the pavement to support a good cause alongside colleagues from the legal fraternity including His Honour Judge Long of the District Court and Nambour Magistrates Court Registrar (and sometimes Acting Magistrate) Andrew Walker.
Below is a picture of the team Steph, Luke, Rod, Tim, Donna, Phoebe and Jordy, and Jordy’s daughter Elsie who was clearly the youngest participant by at least a couple of decades!
A great effort by Team Maroochydore.

Our Ipswich office making sure their local community has a voice!

Out in our Ipswich office, Regional Manager Kevin Rose invites local elders & respected persons to speak to our Ipswich team at the end of every staff meeting.

Making sure the local community has a voice and staying in touch with grassroots people is vital to informing our cultural proficiency and ensuring our legal service delivery is responsive to local community needs.

Well done Kevin and all the team in Ipswich.

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE: ATSILS (QLD) legal and community legal education service delivery to cease in the Torres Strait & Northern Peninsula Area.

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.

Download Media Release [PDF]

ATSILS Temporary Office Closures – Greater Brisbane COVID-19 response arrangements. March 2021

Please note ATSILS Brisbane, Ipswich, Beenleigh, Cleveland, and Strathpine offices will be closed from 5pm Monday 29/03/2021 until 5pm Thursday 01/04/2021 AEST.

Our legal practitioners and staff will still be available by phone during this time.

If you have an appointment with ATSILS staff or were scheduled to attend court during this time please contact your relevant office for advice: www.atsils.org.au/contact

 

Changes to Court Arrangements
Magistrates Courts – Greater Brisbane COVID-19 response arrangements. View Magistrate Courts Response Arrangements

Due to the Greater Brisbane #COVID lockdown, refer to the following Supreme and District Court arrangements for #Brisbane, #Beenleigh and #Ipswich:View District and Supreme Courts Response Arrangements

 

Contact ATSILS:
www.atsils.org.au/contact

Sorry Business and Funeral – COVID-19 Updated for Information

Sorry Business and other cultural activities are very important. But it is more important to keep Elders — and others who are already ill — safe by following the restrictions around gatherings.

For the latest information and guidelines please visit: https://www.datsip.qld.gov.au/coronavirus/sorry-business-funerals

 

Facebook Page Restrictions

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) LTD – ATSILS (QLD) regrets informing our clients, communities, and partners that today our Facebook page has been restricted by Facebook as part of their decision to block publishers and users in Australia from viewing or sharing news articles. We are working to have the page reinstated and believe this is only a temporary measure. 

The snap decision by Facebook today aims to put pressure on the Federal Government over proposed new laws that would force tech companies to pay news companies for content. Unfortunately, their broad action has seen many organizations beyond news publishers inadvertently ‘caught in the net’ of restricted sites. This includes our National peak body (NATSILS), legal services in other states, a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media, health and community services, key domestic and family prevention campaigns, and more.

It is deeply concerning that during a global pandemic and at a time where our communities are facing unprecedented health, legal, and human rights issues, that we have been censored along with the many other affected organisations that share critical emergency, health and legal resources on Facebook’s platform.

Facebook is an important part of our communication and engagement strategy with communities and partner organisations and we hope to rectify the situation as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience and encourage everyone to visit our website, Twitter and LinkedIn pages for ATSILS updates in the interim.

Web: www.atsils.org.au
Twitter: www.twitter.com/atsils 
LinkedIn: www.linkedIn.com/company/atsils

 

For more information on this issue:

Indigenous media organisations reeling after Facebook bans sharing Australian news sites | NITV (sbs.com.au)

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-18/facebook-news-ban-what-just-happened-post-zuckerberg/13166710