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.

ATSILS Adopts New Branding

Today, 1st February 2023, ATSILS officially adopts its new branding. 
Our staff have been working tirelessly over the past month to transition all of our communication resources to the new branding and from this date forward we will operate under a new logo and visual identity.
Our 50th anniversary of service was seen as a great opportunity to embrace a new corporate identity in a way that honours our proud history and helps usher in a new era of advancing the legal and human rights of our clients.
Our new logo represents a journey through the legal system supported by ATSILS. The concept forms a subtle ‘Q’ that gives a sense of location and also forms a magnifying glass to reference our role in monitoring the legal system to ensure the rights of our clients are upheld. The colour palette selected reflects the rich diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Queensland.
We’d like to thank strategic design agency Relative Creative for their work in developing the branding and Goreng Goreng contemporary artist Rachael Sarra for creating the specialty artwork that helps connect the brand more deeply with the communities we serve.

ATSILS History Timeline

In December 1972 we opened the doors of our first office in George St, Brisbane. This week to mark our 50th anniversary, CEO Shane Duffy launched – ‘ATSILS History Timeline’ to staff and key stakeholders.

‘ATSILS History Timeline’ is an interactive web resource and can be viewed at:

The timeline maps our justice journey beginning with the organisation’s founding by grassroots community and legal volunteers responding to injustice in 1972. From there it winds through the last five decades of Queensland’s socio-political landscape, along the way highlighting key milestones important to our growth and communicating our future vision.

From modest beginnings in early 1972, ATSILS has grown into a state-wide service with over 250 staff and twenty-five offices across the state.

ATSILS growth and development would not have been possible without the support of our diverse communities, as well as the dedicated services of countless board and staff members throughout the decades and there are more stories to tell. So please note that the initial publication of our timeline is only the start. Over the next 12 months, the site will continually evolve and give voice to more of our communities and sister organisations so important to our story.


We’d like to thank everyone who joined us at the launch in person and online, it was great to share the occasion with you.


Queensland Path to Treaty – Yarning Sessions

Queensland Path to Treaty
Yarning Sessions – Ipswich and Logan
IPS have been engaged by the Queensland Government to conduct a series of community yarning sessions across the state. You’re invited to participate and share your views.
Links to RSVP for a session and more information, including other areas they are running sessions can be found here:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants will be provided with a $50 voucher as reimbursement for their time.

ATSILS adopts a new brand to mark 50 years of service.

December is the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service in Brisbane.

To mark this milestone we wish to advise our clients, communities, and stakeholders that we are adopting a new logo and visual brand.

ATSILS Board of Directors endorsed the undertaking of the corporate rebrand project in mid-2022 under the theme ‘ATSILS – 50 Years Strong’.

First Nations creative agency – Relative Creative was engaged to undertake the strategic design phase & we thank them for their creativity and vision throughout the project. We’d also like to thank Goreng Goreng artist Rachael Sarra who was commissioned to create a specialty artwork that has been integrated into our visual identity to communicate our strong commitment to community and culture.

Their innovative creative practice combined with the leadership of the ATSILS team has established a brand that we are proud to present to our communities and stakeholders. It is a brand that we believe honours our proud history, will connect more deeply with our communities, and aligns well with our ongoing mission of advancing the legal and human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout.

Please note our transition to the new visual branding will begin throughout December to coincide with our 50-year celebrations. Implementing the branding across all our communication resources is expected to continue into early 2023.

To read more about the story behind the new ATSILS branding click here.


R U OK? Day 2022

Today is R U OK?Day, a national day of action when we are reminded that every day is the day to ask, ‘are you OK?’ and start a meaningful conversation with someone you care about who might be struggling with life.
Find tips on how to ask, and what to say if someone says they aren’t OK, at #RUOK

Sorry Business – Vale: Kevin Graham Rose.

It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge and pay our respects in relation to the recent passing of Kevin Rose, who up until then was the Regional Manager of our Ipswich office (previously of our Toowoomba office). Kevin’s passing has been greeted with a spontaneous outpouring of sympathies from across the legal profession – such was the esteem in which he was held. Kevin leaves behind a loving wife (Selena) and two children – as well as many friends. To his family in particular, we offer our heartfelt condolences. Kevin has left a big hole in all of our hearts.
Kevin was admitted to the Bar in 1996 and remained in private practice as a barrister for the initial phase of his legal journey. During this period he was also a part-time Associate Lecturer in Law (and tutor) at James Cook University. Kevin’s career has been one which exemplifies his dedication and passion in terms of assisting the most disadvantaged. Kevin joined our organisation in 2005, and prior thereto had been both the Legal Practice Manager and Principal Legal Officer of our then sister organisation in Townsville. Kevin also worked for a period with Legal Aid Queensland (2002-2003) and prior to that, as the Principal Legal Officer of the then Mackay ATSILS (1999-2001).
Kevin was drawn to the law later in life than most – having worked as a Train Controller with the Queensland Government Railways (1977 – 1992), where he was promoted on 3 occasions. Kevin gave freely of his time and also sat on a number of Boards – including the Kambu Health Service at Ipswich and the Toowoomba Youth Service. When in Mackay Kevin performed voluntary work assisting street kids and other homeless people.
Kevin was rightly proud of the fact that he was awarded the Ipswich City Medal, Australia Day 2011 for service and commitment to the Ipswich Community as a barrister. Other awards include the Ipswich Ambassador Award, Ipswich City Council 2010; the North Queensland Bar Association Prize, James Cook University (JCU) (highest marks in criminal law) 1992; the Roberts Leu and North Scholarship, JCU 1992; winner of the JCU Moots competition trophy for 2 years; 1993-1994. Kevin was also nominated for the Ipswich Citizen of the Year 2011 and Pride of Queensland award 2012.
Kevin’s personality and outlook on life is well demonstrated in the following quote from one of his work colleagues at ATSILS: “Kevin was one of those people who always looked for the good in people; always wanted to help people; and who always showed kindness. There’s not much of a better legacy than that to leave behind.”
On the 18th of this month, Kevin was to have celebrated his 63rd birthday – gone too soon. Whilst Kevin was an excellent lawyer and advocate on behalf of his clients, better still, he was a wonderful human being. Kevin will be deeply missed but never forgotten.
Again, our respects and deepest condolences to his family.

Do you need help with making a Will?

Did you know ATSILS (QLD) has a state-wide civil law team that can help clients make a valid Will?

Listen to Uncle Bunji on why it’s essential to have a Will in place and how to access help.


To contact an ATSILS office visit:


ATSILS Change in Auditors – Notification

Change in Auditors:

We advise that the organisation has changed its auditors in the financial year 2021/2022 from Vincents Chartered Accountants, Santos Place, 34/32 Turbot Street, Brisbane to Grant Thornton Australia Limited, Level 18,145 Ann Street, Brisbane.

The change in auditors is in accordance with good corporate governance practice.


ATSILS meets with The Federal Attorney-General in Gladstone

Gladstone ATSILSThis week ATSILS CEO Shane Duffy and the team servicing Gladstone had the pleasure of meeting with The Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus MP. The Attorney-General was in regional Queensland conducting his first visits with legal assistance providers since becoming Attorney-General.
Meeting with the Attorney-General at the Gladstone Courthouse proved a great opportunity for the team to give a firsthand account of the important work ATSILS undertakes in providing access to justice for the most vulnerable in the community.
The ever-increasing demand for legal assistance was a key service delivery challenge on display in Gladstone during the AGs’ time there. During the visit, our CEO took the opportunity to announce that in the coming months ATSILS will be expanding its service by establishing a permanent office and workforce in Gladstone to respond to the identified legal needs of the community. This will include additional criminal law and court support officer positions. Currently, members of ATSILS criminal law team travel down from Rockhampton to service the Gladstone community. Having criminal law staff permanently based in Gladstone is critically needed to improve access to justice for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the region.
ATSILS would like to thank the Attorney-General for the valuable time shared in Gladstone. Throughout discussions, it was clear the Attorney-General had a deep understanding of the vital role legal assistance providers play in the justice system. He was sensitive to the service delivery challenges highlighted by the team and keenly aware of how far current resourcing is being overstretched in the legal assistance sector in attempts to meet spiralling demand.