Service Suspensions

Temporary Service Suspensions – Mt Isa

Mount Isa Region

As of the 30th May temporary service suspensions were put in place in relation to all criminal law matters for adults in Mount Isa itself – other than for existing files. We continue to service children and circuits courts etc.

These suspensions are expected to be in place until the end of July at this juncture – (to be revisited earlier dependent on the success of current recruitment initiatives to fill current vacancies). Legal Aid Queensland has been assisting to fill the void by transferring staff. We have also temporarily transferred a staff member from another of our offices to Mount Isa to assist.


All current service suspensions across Queensland are linked below:

ATSILS Temporary Service Suspensions – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) Ltd

Service Suspensions

Temporary Service Suspensions – Ipswich Region

Regrettably, ATSILS Ipswich Regional Office will be temporarily suspending services at Richlands Magistrates Court for all new in custody matters, adult duty lawyer and Saturday Court (we will still undertake in-custody matters for existing clients). This will come into effect as of Monday, 29 May 2023. Staff will still conduct services for Childrens Court matters on Thursday, including ongoing matters and duty lawyer services. Our office will continue to act for all current ongoing matters and staff will also appear in the Murri Court. For the Murri Court, our Ipswich Regional Office will continue to accept referrals.

At this stage, the temporary suspension of services will be until 31 July, however this will be subject to review. It will be brought forward if a replacement staff can be recruited and onboarded sooner than anticipated, however the suspension period could also be extended if recruitment takes longer.

For more information on all temporary service suspensions across Queensland view:

Service Suspensions

ATSILS Funding Emergency – CEO Shane Duffy speaks with ABC

Our CEO Shane Duffy speaks with ABC Far North QLD about the current funding issues crippling ATSILS around the nation & why urgent government intervention is needed. #ATSILSFundingEmergency


Listen here:

ABC Far North Queensland – 17 May 2023 07:47:42 (

Service Suspensions

Temporary Service Suspension – Sunshine Coast

Maroochydore – Regional Office

A temporary suspension of service that includes, appearing for fresh arrests in a duty lawyer capacity, will commence in the Sunshine Coast region as of Monday, May 15th, 2023 – this service suspension will be for those persons held at the Maroochydore and Caboolture watchhouses and who are to appear before the said Courts between Monday to Friday inclusive.

Such suspension would also entail our not then taking carriage of the said matter(s) the defendants appearing before those Courts have ongoing.

Our current criminal team in the region is having real problems maintaining current workloads and meeting the demand for services.

For more information on our statewide service suspension please see:

Service Suspensions

Recognition of Service – C’Zarke Maza

ATSILS Staff - C'zarke MazaATSILS CEO Shane Duffy, & our Director of Sector Engagement and Communications, Graham White were in Cairns last week and enjoyed a catch-up with previous ATSILS employee C’Zarke Maza, who is now the inaugural Commissioner – Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice).

C’Zarke was a much-valued member of the ATSILS family and spent over 10 years with us as a legal practitioner and as the Regional Manager of our Thursday Island Office. During his time with ATSILS, C’Zarke worked tirelessly to enhance access to justice for the most remote communities throughout the Torres Strait Islands and Northern Peninsula Area regions. He successfully established collaborative partnerships with communities, key government and non-government stakeholders to influence positive change and enhance the delivery of high-quality legal services to these regions.

In recognition of his important contribution to ATSILS history of service, the executive took the opportunity to present C’Zarke with a 50-year commemorative polo shirt while in Cairns.

Service Suspensions

Client Services Trainee Graduate – Brisbane

Congratulations to Akotapu Paongu who has graduated as one of our Client Services Trainees in Brisbane,

While undertaking her traineeship with ATSILS, Akotapu Paongu also took the initiative to become a Justice of the Peace as was sworn in at the Brisbane Courts just over a year ago. Since then she has been delivering JP services to support the team from our reception in Brisbane.

We congratulate Akotapu on all her achievements and great work and we wish her all the best on her journey ahead with ATSILS.

Service Suspensions

Job Opportunities – Legal Practitioner Roles (Brisbane, Cairns & Townsville)

ATSILS - Legal Job Vacancies

ATSILS (QLD) has a range of legal practitioner job vacancies available across the state.

Join us and be a part of a leading social justice & human rights service dedicated to advancing the legal and human rights of our clients.

  • Supportive team environment
  • Flexible working arrangements with salary sacrifice options
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Rural and regional lifestyle benefits
  • Rewarding career journey

Applications close soon mid-April. Check our vacancies page for more information on the specific roles.

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
Service Suspensions

MEDIA RELEASE – Another Tragic Loss of Life – Mareeba

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS) extends our deepest sympathies to the family and community of the young man who tragically lost his life during a police response in Mareeba.
ATSILS CEO Shane Duffy said, “Our legal team are working with the family of the deceased and are providing legal assistance and advice in relation to the investigation.”
“This is yet another tragic loss of life, and a fate all too often experienced by Aboriginal people when coming into contact with police or reaching out to police for help. “You would have to ask what de-escalating responses were attempted by the police prior to the fatal action taken? These tragic outcomes due to lethal force undermine confidence in the police and community safety.”
“The Crime and Corruption Commission will be providing independent oversight of the Police Ethical Standards Command investigation. Once again we reiterate, police should not be investigating police,” Mr. Duffy said.
It has been over 30 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) handed down its 339 recommendations. Tragically there is a broken record of over five hundred Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody recorded since this time.

Media Release [PDF]



Service Suspensions

Cairns Regional Office Upgrade!

Our Cairns office has had an upgrade, and our CEO – Shane Duffy and Director of Communications and Sector Engagement – Graham White, had a chance to view the completed works while in town meeting with the team. The upgrades were undertaken to meet the needs of our growing workforce and the interior design incorporates our new branding and landscape images to give the space a strong sense of connection to the region we service.

The executive spent valuable time with staff from the Civil, Criminal and Family law teams, the Throughcare team and the client services team discussing local service delivery opportunities and issues. They also met with the Atherton Community Justice Group, Family Responsibilities Commission, The First Nations Justice Officer, working to develop collaborative partnerships to improve service outcomes for community and clients.

Our Cairns office offers Criminal, Civil & Family law services as well as Throughcare services to communities in FNQ.