WHO WE ARE
ATSIWLAS is a community legal centre that provides free legal advice, information, assistance, and referrals to support Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander women in Queensland.
As a Public Benevolent Institution we work to combat racism, violence, poverty, sexism and discrimination of all kinds that affect the interests and aspiration of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women.
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 4:30pm
PO Box 5631
West End QLD 4101
ph: 07 3720 9089
fax: 07 3720 8892
ATSIWLAS will work to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women so they have confidence and are competent in asserting their human rights.
We aim to provide a safe and secure environment for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander women experiencing domestic violence and family law issues.
We provide a free, accessible, equitable, and culturally appropriate justice system and a quality, professional, ethical and confidential advisory and referral service.
ATSIWLAS provides legal advice, general information and assistance in relevant referrals especially in relation to many issues that affect our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. These may include:- Family Law, Family Violence, Victims of Crime, Advocacy, Child Welfare issues, and avenues for conflict resolution.
Mur’ruba Ninda -
May life be good to you!
More information about ATSIWLAS:
Our foundation history
ATSIWLAS assisted an Aboriginal woman who was acting on behalf of her disabled son to finalise a complaint that she had made to the Australian Human Rights Commission. The complaint was in relation to the suitability of the housing that had been provided to her family. The house was unsuitable because our client’s son was continually injuring himself and there was inadequate space in the yard for him to play. The Department of Housing had refused to move the family to another house. We argued that the imposition of unsuitable housing amounted to indirect discrimination because our client’s son was not able to enjoy the housing (or comply with the condition to live in the house) in the same way that a person without his disability would have been able to. The Department of Housing has now agreed to transfer our client and her family to a house that is customised to accommodate our client’s son’s disability.
Unfair vehicle lease agreement
The solicitors of ATSIWLAS recently assisted a client to be released from a Vehicle Lease Agreement. Our elderly client was induced by a car salesmen to sign a contract for the purchase of a vehicle. We engaged in negotiations with the car sales yard and they agreed to release her from the contract.
Queensland Police Service complaint
ATSIWLAS recently assisted a client lodge a complaint with the Queensland Police Service in relation to two assaults where no charges were laid. The police have now charged a person for one of the assaults and the Queensland Police Service is continuing to investigate the second assault.
ATSIWLAS also assisted a client with an Application for a Protection Order. The client previously filed an Application herself and the Application was dismissed as the Respondent could not be located for service. We assisted the client with a further Application for a Protection Order . ATSIWLAS liaised with the Queensland Police Service to ensure that the Application, Temporary Protection Order and summons were served. Once those documents were served, we successfully obtained a final protection order for our client.
ATSIWLAS recently represented a young mother in the Childrens Court. The Department of Communities (Child Safety Services) are seeking custody order in relation to her new born baby. At two successive mentions ATSIWLAS successfully contested the Department’s applications for an interim custody order. This means that our client’s baby remains in her care while the proceedings continue.
ATSIWLAS Principal Solicitor addresses the Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre
The Principal Solicitor of ATSIWLAS was a guest at the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre (BWCC) on International Women’s Day. Denise Morcombe was the keynote speaker for the event. Denise was invited to speak to the prisoners after they raised $1,973 for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. Denise’s address was inspiring and prompted a standing ovation from the prisoners. To read our Principal Solicitor’s International Women’s Day speech click here.
Submissions to the National Human Rights Action Plan 2012
ATSIWLAS has made submissions to the Attorney General's Department on the National Human Rights Action Plan 2012. Click here to read our submission.
ATSIWLAS and Murrigunyah host barbeque to celebrate National Sorry Day and National Apology Anniversary
On 13 February 2012 ATSIWLAS, in partnership with Murrigunyah, hosted a barbeque in Woodridge to celebrate National Sorry Day and the National Apology Anniversary. We obtained a grant from the National Healing Foundation to fund this event. Click here to see the photos from the day.
Submissions to the Australian Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper: Family Violence - Commonwealth Laws
ATSIWLAS has provided feedback to the Australian Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper on family violence and commonwealth laws. The final report issued by the Australian Law Reform Commission was released on 9 February 2012. Submissions made by ATSIWLAS were directly quoted in the report on pages 256 and 257.
Click here to read the report. Click here to read our full submission.
ATSIWLAS recently made submissions to the Consolidation of Commonwealth Anti-Discrimination Laws
Click here to read our submission.
Submissions to the Queensland Legal Affairs, Police, Corrective Services and Emergency Services Parliamentary Committee on the Police Powers and Responsibilities and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011
ATSIWLAS has provided feedback to the Committee on the Police Powers and Responsibilities and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011.
Click here to read our submission. Click here to read the report.
We recently assisted a client with an unfair dismissal and discrimination claim. Our client was dismissed following her return to work after a period of absence assisting her elderly mother. After applying to Fair Work Australia, we were able to successfully negotiate with the employer to settle the matter. We would like to thank barrister Rebecca Nichols for providing us with pro bono assistance in this matter.
We recently appeared for a grandmother where the Department of Communities (Child Safety Services) was seeking a custody order in relation to a child with disabilities. The Department alleged that our client was unable to care for her grandson because of his disabilities. We successfully asked the court to dismiss the Department’s application because there was no evidence that the child was in need of protection. Accordingly, the matter was finalised at the second mention.
ATSIWLAS is regularly assisted by lawyers and barristers on a pro bono basis. We would like to acknowledge the contribution of the following practitioners and firms:
1. Barrister Rebecca Nichols provided us with assistance in relation to an unfair dismissal and discrimination matter.
2. Barrister Lisa Stewart acted as counsel for our client in an appeal against a decision of the Department of Communities (Child Safety Services) in QCAT.
3. Barrister Patrick Van Grinsven assisted us to provide an advice to an Aboriginal organisation that had a property law enquiry.
4. Herbert Geer provided us with advice about a hearing under the Domestic and Family Violence Act 1989 where our client was the respondent.
5. Stephen Page of Harrington Family Lawyers provided us with procedural advice in relation to a hearing.
6. Lawyers from Legal Aid Queensland have provided us with assistance in relation to child protection and domestic violence matters.
7. Barrister Justin Carter provided us with an advice in relation to obtaining, issuing and contesting Certificates of Aboriginality.
We would also like to thank the Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House for assisting us to access pro bono resources.