A celebration of the achievement and dedication of the great team at ATSILS.

Service Suspensions

Welcoming new members of the team in MT Isa

Our Chief Executive Officer, Shane Duffy and our Principal Legal Officer, Greg Shadbolt spent several days out on Kalkadoon country this week catching up with our Mt Isa staff and stakeholders.
It was a good opportunity to meet and yarn-up with newer staff for the first time as well as provide support to our new Regional Manager at Mount Isa, Dominique (Dom) Leong. It was also great to catch up with His Honour District Court Judge Nathan Jarro – who was on court circuit this week in Mount Isa.
L to R
Greg Shadbolt, Leith Seymour (CSO); Shane; Katie Rose (lawyer – crime); Mariah Wilde (seated – CSO); Dominique Leong (RM); Alenza Mariana (lawyer – crime); Shay-Lee Laing (lawyer – crime); Amrit Prihar (lawyer – crime); Scott Sier (seated – lawyer – crime – Normanton office); Tjabadungah Yanner (admin – his last day today); and Natasha Burns (Through Care – Youth

Farewell to long serving CSO – Trevor Draper

Farewell Trevor
The ATSILS Family farewelled Court Support Officer Trevor Draper on 3/2/2023. Trevor is moving on to his next adventure after almost 24 years with the organisation.
Trevor worked in both our Toowoomba and Maroochydore offices and truly epitomised ATSILS values in his approach to working with colleagues and clients. As a Court Support Officer, Trevor was a vital part of our service delivery and a highly valued member of our legal team. Trevor established strong connections with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community across the Sunshine Coast region and worked tirelessly to assist clients to navigate the justice system and overcome the barriers to accessing justice.
Trevor will be dearly missed by colleagues and the community, but we are very grateful for the considerable time he dedicated to ATSILS in helping the team advance the legal rights of our clients.
All the best Trevor!

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: https://history.atsils.org.au

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.


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.

ATSILS welcomes a new ThroughCare Manager and Learning & Development Coordinator

ATSILS warmly welcomes our new ThroughCare Manager and Learning & Development Coordinator to the team. Helen and Aiden are pictured (seated) below embarking on their ATSILS induction journey.

Helen is our incoming ThroughCare Manager – and will lead a state-wide team focused on diverting clients (at high risk of re-offending) from the justice system. Helen is a descendant of the Ugurapul/Yuggera people of the Ipswich area. Helen is currently studying her Masters in Aboriginal Studies and brings a wealth of experience in working with young people.

Aiden joins us as the Learning & Development Co-ordinator. Aiden has recently completed his Masters of Organisational Psychology and has formerly worked at UQ and in local government.

A big thank you to the HR Team and legal staff in attendance for facilitating a great welcome!


2017 Lisa Watson Memorial Award – Congratulations Julie

Julie_LisaWatsonMemorialCongratulations to Julie Corpe on being awarded the “Lisa Watson Memorial Award” at our annual staff awards recently. Julie is our amazing Finance Officer & WHS Advisor at ATSILS HQ always willing to go the extra mile in supporting staff to ensure our clients receive the highest quality of service. Julie said “Lisa was such a beautiful soul and to receive this award it’s just such an honour.”

The Lisa Watson Memorial Award is presented each year to the staff member who, like Lisa herself, best exemplifies our organisation’s core values of care, share and respect.

Lisa was known for the level of commitment, integrity and passion that she brought to her various roles and was exceedingly well respected by all who had the privilege to know her. Lisa’s legacy shines on through our staff with her passion for social justice, her people and dedication to our important work continuing to inspire staff like Julie who is a most fitting recipient of this honour.


2017 Ricky Webke Memorial Award – Congratulations Rayna Smith

Rayna_RickyWebkeAwardCongratulations to Rayna (pictured right) for taking out the 2017 Ricky Webcke Memorial Award at the ATSILS Annual Staff Awards.

This Award is presented each year to our Organisation’s most outstanding Court Support or Field Officer. It bears the name of a truly remarkable man, the late and great Ricky Webke (known to some as George Appleton-Smith) – who was coincidentally, the inaugural recipient of this award when such were introduced on an annual basis in 2006.

Like Ricky, Rayna is a dedicated Court Support Officer, has performed her role with distinction and is passionate about doing her bit to enhance the lives of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members who come in contact with the justice system.

Court Support Officers perform a vital role, they are the frontline of our culturally competent service delivery with strong connections to community. They are experienced in assisting clients navigate the justice system and enhance communication between our clients and legal practitioners.


Our Regional Offices – Thursday Island

Connection to culture and delivering legal services on country that make a real difference to the lives of his people is what attracted Regional Manager C’Zarke Maza to Thursday Island.

In this video C’Zarke gives insight into range of services we provide across the Torres Strait. In locations such as Thursday Island our team provide outreach legal services, traveling great distances following remote court circuits to ensure access to justice for our most remote communities.

Thursday Island – Regional Office
Services Provided: Criminal, Civil and Family Law
Address: 25 Douglas Street, Thursday Island 4875 (PO Box 81)
Phone: (07) 4069 1091
Fax: (07) 4069 1678

Always remember ATSILS is here for clients 24/7 on our Free call legal assistance hotline:
1800 012 255.


Prisoner Throughcare Conference 2017

Prisoner Throughcare - Team 2017
Last week our Prisoner Throughcare Officers from across the state came together for their bi-annual conference in Brisbane. It was a great opportunity for staff new and old to discuss common ground and also the diverse challenges related to their specific roles and regions.
The conference program provided a great platform for staff to share knowledge, hear from external service providers critical to their program delivery, and engage in interactive sessions aimed at team building and networking.
Focus topics included – Throughcare case scenarios, handling resistance, Commonwealth reporting and understanding domestic violence.
Congratulations to Gerald, Greg, Graham, Emma and all the team on a successful event and thank you to our guest presenter from CREST for the great insights and contribution to the program.
ATSILS is committed to developing its workforce to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system. Our Prisoner Throughcare team is funded by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and our PTCO Officers are early intervention and prevention specialists highly skilled at supporting offenders to make the necessary changes in their life needed to break their cycle of their offending.
Our Prisoner Throughcare teams operate out of our Ipswich, Murgon, Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton offices and we have dedicated officers working specifically with youth offenders, adult male and female offenders. In addition the team has recently expanded to include specialist roles targeting high risk domestic violence offenders.
To find out more about the program visit:

Student Placements

ATSILS Student Placements ATSILSStudent placements with a human rights based organisation like ATSILS are an important element in inspiring the next generation of legal practitioners on a path of social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Recently our Strathpine Office had he pleasure of hosting Tayleigh who is in the final stages of her law degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Reflecting on her 3-month placement Tayleigh said that she has learnt so much about the court processes, clients and also the organisations policies, procedures and administration. She got to attend court at Pine Rivers, Sandgate and Redcliffe, and was able to accompany staff on watch house visits and take part in video link interviews with clients.

She said it was a real eye opener  to witness the social disadvantage and legal issues effecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. She loved the teamwork and environment at the Strathpine Office who work tirelessly to ensure the legal rights of the local community are protected. Tayleigh said she would highly recommend a student placement with ATSILS to any individual with an interest in social justice.

Further, with Adam Chapman (pictured, Right) studying his law degree while working as our Court Support Officer, having students to assist the team supports a two-way learning approach. Mr Andrew Ferrett, our Regional Manager (pictured, Left) is an attentive, interactive and well-respected student supervisor.  Also pictured is Jasmine Ross (Right of Centre) who commenced with us as a Practical Legal Training student, and now works with us.

Interested in a Student Placement with ATSILS? Find out more: