Community Legal Centres Queensland
Quarterly Newsletter | September 2020
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Welcome to our Quarterly Update - the latest news from Community Legal Centres Queensland.

Community Legal Centres Queensland 2020 State Conference - November 2020
Given the recent setbacks with COVID-19 in the state, we've taken the decision to move our 2020 State Conference online this year. We're planning a fully interactive online conference with compelling speakers, live Q&As, panel discussions and opportunities to network. Registrations open soon. If you have any questions please get in touch with Louise Mullins by email.

COVID-19 Commonwealth funding
Community Legal Centres (CLCs) in Queensland have had their capacity enhanced with an additional $5.1 million of funding from the Commonwealth to help meet the community’s needs as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions. An addition $1.1 million was invested in Queesnland CLCs by the Commonwealth to enhance infrastructure so that services could be provided remotely. This much-needed funding has been welcomed by the sector at a time when free legal services are more in the demand than ever.

Sector Survey 2020
The results are in from our recent Sector Survey 2020! Queensland community legal centres are resilient and have leveraged the challenges COVID-19 have created. It has allowed them to be innovative in the way they deliver services to help their communities. See our Sector Survey summary.

Webinars for the sector
We delivered 10 free webinars to support our sector's work this past quarter. This included webinars to support our Digital Strategy work, human rights training and support to protect the wellbeing of community legal centres' staff. View our on-demand webinars.

Australian Law Awards
Community Legal Centre Queensland’s Carly Hanson was a finalist in the Australian Law Awards for Innovator of the Year. Carly was nominated for her sector digital strategy project that addressed how Queensland's Community Legal Centres approach technology change and help bridge the digital divide. Read more here.

Portable Long Service Leave
Portable Long Service Leave for the community services industry in Queensland is now a reality! The legislation passed in June 2020 and we are awaiting proclamation and the regulations, which will include further important details including the scheme start date. Find out more here

The team at Community Legal Centres Queensland
News from the sector

Call for release of vulnerable people in prisons

Caxton Legal Centre and Queensland Advocacy Inc (QAI) have co-signed an open letter recommending state governments implement measures to protect vulnerable inmates from COVID-19, by considering early release or alternative accommodation. 

Read more

ADA Law launches

ADA Law was officially launched by the Attorney-General, The Hon Yvette D'Ath at the Supreme Court Library, this week. 

ADA Australia's human rights advocacy service will now operate as ADA Law, a registered community legal service. As a community legal service they provide legal advice and representation in addition to advocacy services for guardianship and administration matters.

Go to the ADA Law website

Disaster readiness project

Townsville Community Law will lead a statewide project that aims to build the capacity of the legal assistance sector to continue working during disasters. The project will include best practices around models of collaborative service delivery, regional service planning, induction, training and competency for the sector.

Find out more in this Proctor article

TASC National meets the growing service need

TASC National has introduced new roles to ensure its legal and social justice services are accessible across its broad rural and regional catchment. The TASC Ipswich team has recently moved to larger premises, in Brisbane Street, to support the growing service demand.

New Legal Assessment, Intake and Referral Officer positions have been filled in Ipswich and Toowoomba to bridge the gap for people seeking information and assistance. Two positions were filled by former legal volunteers at TASC National, Matt Ash and Rhiannon Anderson. Belinda Robinson starts shortly as a second lawyer in Roma.

More support for Queensland families

The Queensland Coronial Legal Service (QCLS) has received a five-year funding boost to assist more families throughout Queensland who are involved in any aspect of the coronial process. 

The QCLS is delivered via a partnership between Caxton Legal Centre and Townsville Community Law. It provides representation for family members throughout the coronial process including to obtain information from the Coroner’s Court, provide information and details of the family’s concerns to the Coroner and also appearing in some inquests.

Read more

New mental health legal directory

ADA Law, in partnership with Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI), has launched a new online mental health legal directory MHLaw Qld.

It is a one-stop directory where you will find comprehensive information and services to help you navigate legal and other issues, which impact people experiencing mental health issues in Queensland.

QAI latest update

Queensland Advocacy Inc (QAI) has published an Easy English guide to the Human Rights Act and it is preparing to launch a set of complete factsheets explaining the rights in the Act.

QAI is back to working in the office, including in a new and expanded office space adjacent to their original office.

It has increased the capacity to its Human Rights Legal Service, with a full-time solicitor and establishing a social work service to provide an integrated service for their most vulnerable clients. It has also recruited two new Mental Health Solicitors and a new Systems Advocate.

Rural and remote social security project

Basic Rights Queensland is leading a project to address the unmet need for social security advice for people in regional and remote Queensland.

The project seeks to increase awareness of legal rights, support and referral pathways relating to social security issues. The project includes five-year funding to provide a prioritised access phone service, and further legal education for workers in rural and remote organisations and their communities.  

New appointment brings together social and legal work

Caxton Legal Centre has appointed Helen Wallace (pictured) as its new Social Work Practice Director. Caxton Legal Centre says it is the first appointment of its kind at a community legal centre in Australia. Helen is now responsible for leadership of social workers across Caxton Legal Centre programs.

Queensland's community legal centres in the news

Upcoming events
Find more on our events page
Keep up-to-date with vacancies in the sector here.
Submissions from the sector
  • Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service's submission to the Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Bill 2020
  • Environmental Defenders Office's submission to the Inquiry into the Queensland Government's Economic Response to COVID-19.
  • Tenants Queensland's submission to Inquiry into the Queensland Government's Health Response to COVID-19
  • Aboriginal Family Legal Service Southern Queensland's submission to the Criminal Code (Choking in Domestic Settings) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2020
  • Queensland Advocacy Inc made a submission on the Disability Services and other legislation (worker screening) Amendment Bill 2020.
  • Queensland Advocacy Inc also made a submission to the Disability Royal Commission on Emergency Planning and response in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Queensland Advocacy Inc. made a submission to the Senate Select Committee on the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on people with disability in Queensland.
  • Queensland Advocacy Inc. also made a submission to the Disability Royal Commission on Group Homes.
  • Caxton Legal Centre's submission to the Criminal Code (Choking in Domestic Settings) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2020
  • Women’s Legal Service's submission to the Criminal Code (Choking in Domestic Settings) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2020
  • Environmental Defenders Office's submission to the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Plastic Items) Amendment Bill 2020
  • Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service's submission to the Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Legal Service NQ's submission to the Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020
Community Legal Centres Queensland pay our deepest respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of the land in Australia, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and culture. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and commit to fostering a culture of learning from and working with First Nations peoples in the spirit of reconciliation and access to justice.
Community Legal Centres Queensland
PO Box 12102
George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4003

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