Service Suspensions

Community Legal Education – QATSICPP Forum Cairns

CLE Staff Cairns - 2023On 1 February, Julie Kefford and Pree Sharma attended the Youth Justice Family Led Decision Making Community of Practice hosted by QATSICPP which is a monthly forum where 4 community-controlled organisations from across Queensland come together to reflect on program implementation and practice, identify shared issues, share successes and help QATSICPP identify what needs to be advocated on the sector’s behalf.

Julie delivered a detailed community legal education presentation on youth justice issues including police interactions with our young people, understanding rights and diversion options as well as an overview of legal processes and jargon. The CLE was well received. We look forward to further opportunities to expand on this CLE into more specific aspects of the law. We thank QATSICPP for this opportunity and their commitment to breaking down barriers for our families and young people engaging with the criminal justice system.


What is the Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Act 2020?

A first of its kind, the Act recognises Torres Strait Islander lore in Western Law and establishes a process for the legal recognition of Torres Strait Islander traditional child rearing practice.

‘Meriba Omasker’ and ‘Kaziw Kazipa’ is made up of language terms from Eastern island language and Top Western island languages of the Torres Strait and collectively is translated as ‘for our children’s children’.

Find out more by visiting the Office of the Commissioner (Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa) website:


View the legal information fact sheet developed by Legal Aid QLD, ATSILS QLD and QIFVLS:

Ailan Kastom child rearing practice in Torres Strait Islander families
How do I get Ailan Kastom recognised under the law? 

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:

Licensing Muster Event – Bamaga (18th August 2020)

NPA Licensing Muster – (held in conjunction with the Licensing Mob)
Bamaga – (18th of August at 8am – 4pm)
Licence Muster events provide remote communities with access to a range of licensing, registration and ID services! Whether you need help with your registration & licence renewals, photo ID cards or you need a to sort out a SPER debt, there will be a deadly team of cross agency professionals there to help you!
The NPA Licensing Muster Initiative is a cross-agency collaborative initiative of the following:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS)
Queensland Police Service
NPA Community Justice Group
Licensing Mob (Department of Transport and Main Roads)
NPA Family and Community Services
View Event Flyer:
The NPA Licensing Muster Initiative is a cross-agency collaborative initiative of the following:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services QLD (ATSILS)
Queensland Police Service
NPA Community Justice Group
Licensing Mob (Department of Transport and Main Roads)
NPA Family and Community Services.

Current Access to ATSILS Legal Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

ServiceAccess_NeedLegalHelp_OfficeLocations_COVID-19_1During these uncertain times, please be assured ATSILS (QLD) is still currently providing legal assistance both in and out of court for our clients but with changes so as to protect our staff, our clients and our communities from the spread of COVID-19.
Some courts are closed and some only let a few people inside the court at a time. We are using telephone and video links where we can and adjourning matters that we can. We have cancelled all our non-essential travel to communities.
If you have a matter in court, please call the ATSILS office that is helping you before your court date. We can advise you what to do next by phone.
As of today 24/03/2020 we encourage all contact with ATSILS staff to be made via phone unless we have made other arrangements with you. All face to face lawyer/client contact and workshops with community groups will be officially suspended by ATSILS (QLD) as of 26/03/2020. We know things will keep changing so it is important to stay in touch with your local office.
If you are not sure which ATSILS Office is helping you, please call 1800 012 255.
For all state-wide contact details for ATSILS offices visit:
We will also do our best to share any changes in how we will be delivering services or changes to Court procedures, so please check our social media channels regularly for the latest updates.
View ATSILS Media Release re: Suspending Face to Face Contact with Clients:
Follow us on for the latest service delivery updates:

Community Legal Education Network Workshop

87464778_3196345357257220_5096653470425939968_oKate Greenwood our Prevention, Intervention and Community Legal Education Officer shares her wisdom on how to produce and publish podcasts as a medium for community legal education outreach.

Hosted in our Brisbane office training room this month, a network of community legal education professionals from Legal Aid Queensland and Community Legal Centres Queensland joined the discussion on how they structure and deliver their brand of legal education services to the community with Kate leading the discussion on how to produce podcasts.

Sharing knowledge and expertise with colleagues on a regular basis is critical to building capacity and enhancing services delivery in line with the needs of the community and it was great to host this inspiring group this month.



QUT Indigenous Pre Law and Justice Program visit to ATSILS

EQASA0yU0AEBze_It was great to have students from QUT’s Indigenous Pre Law and Justice Program visit our Brisbane office this week. These bright and deadly ones spent time with our team to learn more about the important role of ATSILS in the function of the justice system and our work in protecting and advancing the legal & human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The students were welcomed by our Director of Sector Engagement and Communications – Graham White, and members of our Legal, Court Support and Prevention, Intervention and Community Legal Education teams enjoyed sharing insight into the key roles they undertake in delivering legal services to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Increased representation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the legal sector is an important element in addressing the ongoing disadvantage our people experience in the justice system. AT ATSILS we are committed to fostering partnerships with progressive academic institutions like QUT (Queensland University of Technology) and welcome the opportunity to play our part in inspiring the next generation of legal practitioners along their career paths.

Photo Credit: (QUT Indigenous Pre Law and Justice Program)

National Reconciliation Week celebrations this week on Thursday Island

IMG20190527124359ATSILS took part in National Reconciliation Week celebrations this week on Thursday Island, attending the ’67 Referendum Day Community Gathering and Morning Tea with Elders at the Anglican Church Community Hall.

ATSILS participated in providing an information stall for the community along with other Thursday Island Social Justice Interagency Services.

Big esso to the coordinators of the event for inviting us to participate, the “Black Paradise” band for providing the tunes and most importantly the Elders who shared with us their fascinating stories of the events leading to the 1967 Referendum.






Community Legal Education: Torres Strait Islands – September 2018

Community Legal EducationOur CLE Team will be delivering community legal education sessions in the following locations across the Torres Strait Islands next week.

Dauan Island
Where: TSIRC Office
When: Monday, 24 September 2018 at 10am

Ugar/Stephen Island
Where: TSIRC Office
When: Tuesday, 25 September 2018 at 10am

Poruma/Coconut Island
When: Wednesday, 26 September 2018 at 10am
Want to talk to a lawyer?

Community members are welcome to come and talk to us about a range of civil, criminal and family law issues including:

  • Your rights & responsibilities when interacting with police
  • Attending court
  • Child protection
  • Traditional Adoption
  • Divorce/separation
  • Domestic violence
  • Debts and unpaid fines
  • Driver licences
  • Superannuation
  • Wills
  • Consumer law

*Have another question? Just come and ask! We look forward to meeting you.

ATSILS Thursday Island has a team of lawyers able to assist you with a range of legal issues. Come meet with us and learn how to access ATSILS services and what we can do to help you. You can also contact the Thursday Island Team on: (07) 4069 1091


Community engagement in the Far North

Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, people standingMossman – Kuranda – Yarrabah

Staff from our Brisbane office ventured to Cairns, Mossman Kuranda & Yarrabah recently to meet with community members including representatives from the local justice groups. The team shared legal education resources related to blue card applications, provided information sessions and application assistance for the Royal Commission into Child Abuse and discussed some of the key justice issues facing these communities.

In Yarrabah the team met with local shire Mayor Ross Andrews and and Gindaja. It was great to hear about the important work being undertaken by the Gindaja Community Justice Program and to spend time with their Coordinator Lerissa and talk about ways we can work together to help address some of the justice and social problems facing the community. Some of the key issues discussed included problems related to domestic violence, driving offences and issues arising from breaches of community alcohol management plans.

ATSILS is committed to engaging with community regularly to ensure our services are responsive to local need and this trip provided an important opportunity to connect with local people and identify areas of need in relation to legal education and awareness.

to connect with local people and identify areas of need in relation to legal education and awareness.