It was fantastic to meet with key stakeholders in Townsville last week as we work to strengthen productive partnerships to enhance the delivery of our quality legal assistance, specialist court representation and some of our early intervention and prevention initiatives.

Our Stakeholder Engagement team had the privilege of spending time with:

  • Jean from the Townsville Justice Group to discuss the re-establishment of Murri Court and how we can work better together to assist clients and support this important court service;
  • Melissa, Tanya and all the fantastic team at Mission Australia to discuss the critical support they provide to vulnerable kids and the success they’re having in diverting many away from further contact with juvenile justice system. A true highlight was seeing the innovative work ATSILS and Mission Australia are doing together under the current MoU in delivering cultural camps to youth at high risk of re-offending. These camps are delivered by proud Juru man and our youth Prisoner Throughcare Officer – Trevor and are designed to connect youth with culture, give them a sense of belonging and strengthen their identity as key triggers for them to start making positive changes in their lives; and
  • The Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal & Advocacy Service working to combat racism, violence, poverty, sexism and discrimination of all kinds that affect the interests and aspiration of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander women.
Change the Record


A major national inquiry into the over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must focus on identifying tangible solutions that address the underlying causes of imprisonment, says the Change the Record (CTR) Coalition. In welcoming today’s announcement of an Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) inquiry into the over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the coalition of peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, human rights and legal organisations has said it is essential that the inquiry focus on practical measures that invest in and strengthen communities.

CTR Co-Chair Shane Duffy said, “For a long time we have been calling for the Federal Government to take a leadership role on these issues, and so we welcome the Turnbull Government beginning to step up to the plate”.

“This year marks 25 years since the landmark Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC), but our people continue to experience imprisonment and violence at crisis rates. The new ALRC inquiry offers an important opportunity to shine a comprehensive light on these issues at a national level, and identify tangible actions for all levels of government” said Mr Duffy.

At the time the RCIADIC report was handed down  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were seven times more likely to be in prison, now in 2016 that figure has risen to 13 times. At the same time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are experiencing high rates of violence, being 34 times more likely to be hospitalised for family violence related assault.

“We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates, and experience of violence, are strongly linked to social and economic disadvantage and so the inquiry must include a focus on early intervention, prevention and diversion programs” said Mr Duffy.

View Full Media Release


Last week the Marketing and Communications team visited our Townsville office to capture some key insights into our specialist Court Support and Prisoner Throughcare roles. It was fantastic to hear about some of the innovative work they’re doing to support the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Our Prisoner Throughcare Program (PTC) in Townsville assist women, men and our young people at high risk of re-offending by connecting them to culture, community and support services relevant to their particular needs. The support networks the team design for each case provides clients with a strong platform for them to break their cycle of offending. The program is a prime example of a justice reinvestment approach in action with both proactive and reactive responses used to successfully divert many away from the criminal justice system.

It was also great to spend time with our Court Support Officers (CSOs) and it quickly became clear why they are the heart & soul of our culturally competent service delivery. Our CSOs are usually local people with strong connections to the community. They are highly skilled professionals that can effectively engage mob, enhance communication between our lawyers and clients and do their best to ensure mob understand their legal rights at all times. Our committed CSOs work hard to break down the many barriers preventing equal access to justice for the most vulnerable people in our communities.

A big thank you to Michael and all the team for their warm welcome and especially to the staff who took time out of their busy schedules to share their stories and talk about the inspiring work they’re doing on camera. Stay tuned for the upcoming video resources starring the deadly Townsville team.

SWQ Court Circuit Oct 2016

Last week our Director of Communications and Sector Engagement Graham joined Di and Divina on the road to justice in South West Queensland. Graham got to see first hand the great work they do in assisting clients on rural and remote court circuits in this vast region.

The journey was a good opportunity to gain insight into the high demand for our services in these rural locations with the team working long days dealing with a high volume of matters and roughing it in the flash 5-star court facilities in towns like St George.

In many regions across this great state ATSILS undertake court circuits to ensure access to justice for the many mobs living in locations where no -one else will go. At the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service a critical element of our business model is making sure our services reach not only the socially disadvantaged but also the geographically disadvantaged in rural and remote locations.


This series of videos explain the court process for domestic and family violence to provide you with the information you need to take part in the legal process.

If you are applying or responding to a domestic violence order, there is information here for you.

Domestic Violence Orders are part of a strategy to protect the safety of all members of our community and to stop the violence.

  1. What is domestic and family violence?
  2. What is a Domestic Violence Order?
  3. How to apply for a Protection Order
  4. What happens in court?
  5. What if I’m served?
  6. Understanding the conditions of a Domestic Violence Order

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service provides innovative, professional and culturally competent legal services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people & their families across Queensland.


Hear from some of our dedicated team working to change Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives for the better.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service provides innovative, professional and culturally competent legal services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Queensland.


Full-time & Flex Hours | Applications Close Tuesday 25th October

A dynamic role with loads of variety, team support and client liaison balanced by quiet time in routine correspondence, data entry, search and reporting. This role will appeal to the reliable, strong workflow-focused Field Officer dedicated to providing information and education regarding access to legal rights. Roma is a busy town about 4 hours west of Brisbane, or 35 min flight. You will usually enjoy your own office-space, the opportunity to learn both on-the-job or in group and blended training. After a qualifying period, apply for paid Study Leave.

A keen interest in the criminal justice system is ideal, but you do not have to have legal industry experience. Strong references, your own car and ability to provide on-call service is essential. A lot of our work is now done online, particularly sending and receiving files and information from our Charleville Regional Office and the support team there. Show us your skills online today.

Please apply now, online with your Resume ready to upload and your responses to our six Selection Criteria well-worded, accurately entered as a demonstration of your skills.

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