Media Release: Legal Services to continue in the Torres Strait Region and Northern Peninsula Area

Communities in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) will have continued access to
legal services thanks to a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Torres Strait
Regional Authority and Attorney-General’s Department.

Since 2011 the agencies have cooperated to fund the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal
Service (ATSILS) (QLD) Ltd, to deliver Indigenous legal services in the Torres Strait and NPA region.
The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Chairperson, Mr Joseph Elu, said the partnership is an
important step in ensuring quality legal assistance, advice and representation for Torres Strait
Islander and Aboriginal clients in the region.

“The renewed MOU between the TSRA and Attorney-General’s Department secures the funding for
Indigenous legal services in the Torres Strait and NPA until 2018,” Mr Elu said.

“The ATSILS receives funding each year from the TSRA to enable them to provide these services.”
The ATSILS works together with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal communities, key government
and non-government stakeholders to manage the delivery of services in a professional, culturally
competent and community-sensitive manner, to influence policy change, and to deliver high quality
legal services for Indigenous people within or exposed to the justice system.

“ATSILS staff in the region provides vital services in criminal, civil and family law and plays an
important role in delivering education programs to enhance individuals’ understanding of the legal
system,” Mr Elu said.

“The TSRA looks forward to its continued partnership with the Attorney-General’s Department and
ATSILS in delivering quality legal services in our region.”

Community members in the Torres Strait and NPA can contact ATSILS by calling 07 4069 1091
(Thursday Island office) or 07 4069 3970 (Bamaga office).

View Media Release



ATSILS Corporate Plan 2015 -2017



ATSILS Corporate Plan 2015-2017

On behalf of my Board of Directors and staff, I am pleased to present our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services 2015–2017 Corporate Plan.  This Plan is integral in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) Ltd (“ATSILS”) continuing to set the standard in terms of the delivery of quality legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Queensland.

My Directors and I are particularly proud of the achievements of senior management and staff and their tireless efforts.  As the Chairperson and on behalf of our entire Board, we will continue to embrace ethical, accountable, transparent, decision-making systems, policies, practices and procedures which are crucial to our longer term strategies.

ATSILS will continue to deliver services in accordance with the Australian Government’s Indigenous Legal Assistance Program. Reflective we believe of the confidence vested in us and other stakeholders, it is very pleasing to report that our funding cycle with the Commonwealth’s Attorney-General’s Department has gone from a three-year funding cycle to a five-year funding cycle.

Such is also a great assistance when it comes to forward-planning – one of the touchstones of this, our Corporate Plan.  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 – acknowledging in particular, assistance provided to us by the Queensland Legal Aid Commission in terms of assisting our organisation with the very high costs associated with delivering crucial services in our State’s most remote regions.

ATSILS will continue to lead by example.  My Directors combine extensive cultural and business knowledge with excellent leadership skills and a deep respect for lore and culture. While our challenges are complex and often difficult, we remain focused on producing ground-breaking results that change our peoples’ lives for the better.

I also encourage our communities as well as our key government and non-government partners to embrace this Plan and actively contribute toward its successful implementation.

If you would like to access an electronic version please click here > ATSILS Corporate Plan 2015 – 2017.

Kind Regards,

Ken Georgetown
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) Ltd.