Information for the Queensland Legal Walk 2023

See you at the Queensland Legal Walk 2023!

Thank you for registering for the Queensland Legal Walk on Tuesday 16 May. We have had almost 1,000 walkers register across Queensland and look forward to seeing you at the Walk in Brisbane!Please share your fundraising page with your colleagues and invite them to donate at You can find your own fundraising page by searching for your name.

Meet: Forecourt QEII Courts of Law Complex, 415 George Street, Brisbane
Time: 6.45 for 7am Departure
Route: 5km route heading down George Street, around QUT Gardens Point, across the Goodwill Bridge, along South Bank, and back across Kurilpa Bridge.
Afterwards: The Walk finishes back at the Courts Forecourt. Coffee, tea, and a light refreshment is provided by the Coffee Club. Walkers will gather for brief speeches and presentation of the trophies.



Available on the day will be bandanas $10 (or team packs of 10 for $70) and tote bags $15 (or 3 for $40).


It’s not too late to donate at All funds raised support access to justice, LawRight services and the Disbursement Fund, which helps pro bono clients with their out-of-pocket costs. We have now almost $60,000 in donations as well as around $30,000 in registrations so we are hopeful of reaching our target of $150,000 but need your support.


Things have developed in the team championships. Here’s the current team leaderboard, with Level Twenty Seven Chambers in the lead but North Quarter Lane, Clayton Utz, HopgoodGanim and Ashurst all at their heels.


There is some rain on the radar so bring a raincoat or umbrella! The Walk in Brisbane will only be cancelled with heavy rain or bad weather – stay tuned to our social media and website. In the more likely case of some scattered rain, the Walk will proceed and you are encouraged to make your own decision about whether you want to walk. The refreshments can be moved undercover and the trophy presentation may be adjusted as necessary.

We will not be offering refunds of registration fees – your donations will still support access to justice initiatives, and we will ensure any leftovers of the light breakfast is used by one of our nearby community partners.

Please be aware and considerate of traffic and other footpath users, particularly cyclists. Please keep to the left of the path at all times. Roads and footpaths are not closed, so you need to be conscious of your surroundings. Please follow the directions of marshals. In Brisbane, the police will accompany the Walk along George Street.

Copyright © 2023 LawRight, All rights reserved.

Register for the Queensland Legal Walk 2023

Register for the Queensland Legal Walk 2023!

We are delighted to invite friends and supporters of LawRight to register for the Queensland Legal Walk 2023. It’s coming up soon on Tuesday 16 May – bright and early at 7am as usual!

Join planned walks in cities across Queensland – or just take a stroll in your own neighbourhood. All money raised will help LawRight and our pro bono partners to deliver free legal assistance to vulnerable Queenslanders.


WHAT: A 5km walk to raise funds to support LawRight

WHEN: 7am, Tuesday 16 May 2023

WHERE: Walks will be held in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns and Tamborine Mountain. Maps of the routes can be found here. (Unofficial walks are also encouraged for those who can’t travel to these areas!)

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: Register to join the walk, make a donation, or ask your friends and family to chip in, and help LawRight to reach their fundraising goal of $150,000.


You can register at

If you’re organising a team, you can register online, give us a list of your team members, or we can give you a discount so all your team members can register themselves without separate payment. Please contact us for more info.


We’ve popped some answers to FAQs online at but please don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 3846 6317 or

Copyright © 2023 LawRight, All rights reserved.

LawRight Newsletter - March 2023

LawRight News, March 2023

Queensland Legal Walk – 16 May 2023

Mark your calendars for this annual celebration of your pro bono contribution.  We look forward to sharing more details of how to walk + give to support LawRight and increase access to justice.

In case you missed it…

Our Annual Report is full of stories about the impact our members have on some of the challenges faced by our clients. Enjoy them here as well as these highlights:

Refugee rights

Mary is a single mother and English is not her first language. She needed to work but as she was not considered a resident, she was not eligible for the government childcare subsidy and could not afford childcare. Mary applied for an exemption to the residency requirement under hardship provision, but was rejected. A member firm helped Mary have the decision reviewed and Mary is now eligible for the subsidy.

Domestic violence debt

Marie had experienced domestic violence for over 15 years and didn’t know she was liable for a $60,000 debt. She didn’t know the creditor and suspected the debt was from a contract her ex-partner had entered into. She was also reluctant to provide bank statements to the creditor, as they might disclose her location to her ex-partner. LawRight’s pro bono duty barrister at Enforcement Hearings in the Brisbane Magistrates Court negotiated with the creditor’s agent to provide redacted statements and appeared in court to explain why Marie wasn’t complying with the court summons. Marie felt relieved and safe.

Fighting for rehab

Jay wanted to attend residential rehab for his addiction issues but he faced many barriers. The landlord of the room he rented wanted to charge him a heavy penalty for breaking the lease while he was away. Jay also owed thousands of dollars of debt to payday lenders and his options to get ahead were limited. LawRight collaborated with Jay’s homelessness support workers to help Jay end the lease without penalty. He found alternative suitable housing, got waivers for his debts and got himself to rehab.

Changes at LawRight

Later this month, we will farewell our Joint Director, Sue Garlick, who leaves LawRight on 23 March. She has no immediate plans other than a period of recharging to prepare her for a new chapter at the right time.

Sue joined LawRight in 2006 as the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic policy officer and also served as the HPLC Senior Lawyer and our Deputy Director. In 2017, together with Linda Macpherson, she became our Joint Director. Throughout her time with LawRight, Sue initiated and developed a wide range of access to justice innovations including an annual legal literacy training day for front-line community workers; LegalPod – a boutique legal service for young people transitioning from the Child Safety system; and, the Legal Health Check project, which developed over several years into state, national and Indigenous projects, including the Law Yarn. Sue’s deep commitment and contribution to LawRight, our most vulnerable clients and the sector has been tremendous, and we will miss her greatly.

We look forward to sharing with you news of LawRight’s next leadership chapter.

Copyright © 2023 LawRight, All rights reserved.

LawRight Newsletter - December 2022

LawRight News, December 2022

LawRight Annual Report

We have once again elected to publish an Annual Report over-flowing with stories and statistics. We enjoy the opportunity to reflect on the impact of our collective efforts– whether as members, volunteers, students, judges or community and health workers.

As our Patron, the Honourable Chief Justice Helen Bowskill observes in the Report’s foreword:

“Access to justice is an essential element of the rule of law: in essence, it is the means by which we as a society give practical content to the principle of equality before the law. But although there are now more lawyers than ever before, paid legal services are not accessible to all. LawRight’s services are essential to bridging that gap.

The many legal practitioners, solicitors and barristers, who have volunteered their time to enable LawRight to provide those services over the past year are to be congratulated and applauded.

As Ruth Bader Ginsberg has observed, that is a sign of true professionalism: doing something that makes life a little better for others who are less fortunate.”

Thank you to all of you and we hope you enjoy some positive summer reading here.

New LawRight President

At the AGM on 21 November, a new Management Committee and President were elected. Thank you to the Honourable Roslyn Atkinson AO for her energetic and effective leadership over the last three years and we welcome Jacqueline Wootton, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills as our new President. We farewelled Gabriella Ritchie of McCullough Robertson and Francesca Bartlett of The University of Queensland and thanked them for their service.

The new Management Committee is:
President – Jacqueline Wootton, Partner Herbert Smith Freehills
Secretary – Tania Boal, Partner MurphySchmidt
Treasurer – Tony Denholder, Partner Ashurst
Binari De Saram – Queensland Law Society
Andrew Crowe KC – Bar Association of Queensland
Stephen Knight, Partner Minter Ellison
Tim Longwill, Partner McCullough Robertson
Hon. Roslyn Atkinson AO
Hamish Clift of Counsel
Angela Rae of Counsel

Farewell Law Society House and hello holidays!

After four and a half years at Law Society House, LawRight’s main office is moving! All LawRight services close for the summer break on 23 December and reopen on 9 January. Our application form and head office phone lines will close on 16 December.

We wish you all safe and relaxing holidays.

Copyright © 2022 LawRight, All rights reserved.

Record fundraising at Red Wine for Justice

Thank you!!!

Thank you to everyone who helped make Red Wine for Justice a fabulous success. We raised $80,000 on the night, including an auction record of $53,000 crowned by the premier lot – a bottle of 2008 Penfolds Grange Vintage donated by Andrew Crowe KC and won by Matthew Jones for $7,050.

Thank you to those who donated wines for drinking, auction and raffling, and to those who bid generously for our 44 auction lots.

We are especially grateful to our entertaining guest speaker, Justice Peter Applegarth AM, and to our special volunteers – our MC Bridget O’Brien, sommelier Andrew Buchanan and auctioneer Yianni Mooney.

All funds raised will enable LawRight to continue our financial counselling service for the rest of the financial year. This service increases the effectiveness of each of the pro bono Community and Health Justice Partnerships and responds to vulnerable community members who were further impacted by the March 2021 floods.

Copyright © 2022 LawRight, All rights reserved.

LawRight Newsletter - 30 September 2022

LawRight News, 15 September 2022

Proactive pro bono

Housing crisis
LawRight is on the frontline of the national housing crisis, which has now broadened to impact many groups in our community but has pressured vulnerable populations for decades, compounding other systemic inequities. LawRight was created to serve these communities, and we have included our clients’ voices in many proactive law reform activities. However, it is still our strategic pro bono collaborations with community support services that offer the greatest impact, especially at the “eleventh hour” when the client needs a legal help to avoid significant consequences.

Emergency help to avoid eviction into homeless
Last week, a young mother and her children faced eviction into homelessness. Her community worker connected her with us as she needed to defend a QCAT application just a few days later. Pro bono lawyers prepared submissions to which the landlord had no satisfactory response and the application was immediately dismissed. Her community worker wrote: “Thank you again for the most amazing support for [our client] during this time… this has bought [her] some more time to find a new residence.”

Crypto scam impacts Centrelink payments
Another client was caught by a cryptocurrency scam, which Centrelink interpreted as assets and stopped our client’s payments. This in turn impacted their access to housing. Our advocacy to Centrelink saw their payments reinstated.

Supporting women in prison
Our financial counsellor and staff lawyers deliver regular tenancy and financial literacy training to women in prison, strengthening their capacity to sustain housing post-release.

The long shadow of Robodebt
We shared our concerns at the first robodebt inquiry in 2017 and will be supporting people who want to engage with the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme.

Joanna, a survivor of family abuse, mental illness and homelessness found casual employment as a teenager, but her life was so chaotic that she did not report this income to Centrelink. Almost a decade later, when her life was getting back on track, she received robodebt letters from Centrelink, alleging a $20,000 debt. She said: “I cried… I thought – my life is ruined now. I’m going to be forever paying this back. I already had pressure and anxiety and it made me want to jump in a hole.”

Joanna entered into a payment plan which would take her more than 38 years to pay off. She continued to receive letters which “petrified” her the debt and took away her hard-won hope.

Red Wine for Justice

All our amazing LawRight services rely on fundraising. After 18 months of delay, we are ready for record bids at Red Wine for Justice on Friday, 14 October. Even if you can’t attend, nominate an agent, form a consortium or sort out your Christmas shopping list (not to mention your bragging rights!) with these auction highlights

  • Picnic for eight, hosted by the Hon Roslyn Atkinson AO and the Hon Ann Lyons
  • High tea for five, hosted by the Hon Margaret McMurdo AC and the Hon Margaret White AO
  • A dozen bottles of 2016 E.Guigal Hermitage Rouge, donated by Craig Rogers of King & Wood Mallesons
  • 2008 Penfolds Grange Vintage, donated by Andrew Crowe QC
  • 1980 Lindemans Bin 5734 Vintage Port, donated by the Hon Catherine Holmes AC

There are just a few tickets left if you want to register to attend. Book here:

Copyright © 2022 LawRight, All rights reserved.

LawRight Newsletter - September 2022

LawRight News, 15 September 2022

Real estate agents and domestic violence

The disturbing interplay between domestic violence and insecure accommodation is addressed by many LawRight services, as we bridge the gap between laws and lived experience. Despite legislated protections for tenants impacted by violence, neither tenants nor their real estate agents can easily navigate these complex scenarios. Community lawyers are needed to ensure a just and appropriate outcome.    

Jess lived in rooming accommodation with her abusive partner. When she confronted him about withdrawing money from her account he became violent, damaging the property and kicking down the door so it couldn’t be locked. Jess called the police, who made a police protection notice on the spot to protect Jess from further violence.

However, a week later, the real estate agent evicted her on the basis of ‘disturbing the peace’ and damage, required her to vacate in a fortnight, left her with a large repair bill and took her bond. All of these actions, even where lawful, miss the legislative intent. Jess tried to self-advocate and provided the agent with a copy of the protection order, but she was ignored and her experience of violence was minimised. On top of everything, the agent (black)listed Jess on a tenancy database, restricting her access to alternative accommodation. She moved in with her parents.

When Jess had a premature birth months later, the Mater hospital social workers were concerned about her housing stress and connected her to our on-site Health Justice Partnership. LawRight successfully advocated to withdraw the blacklist. We connected Jess to DV legal assistance to vary the protection order to include her child and are now addressing a number of debts and payday loans that Jess accumulated when leaving the relationship.

The social worker told us: “…access to onsite legal support has directly supported the best healthcare outcomes and a safe discharge from hospital for this vulnerable family. Great work and a great outcome”.

Bid by phone at Red Wine for Justice

If you are unable to attend Red Wine for Justice on Friday, 14 October, you can still help LawRight raise funds and emerge with a wine to prize. You can nominate a friend as your bidding agent – just let us know before the event who your agent is, and we will provide more details and ensure you receive the catalogues for the main and silent auctions on the night. Contact us at

There are still a few tickets still left if you want to register to attend. Book here:

September law reform

Decriminalising begging, public intoxication and urination offences

Our Community and Health Justice Partnerships recently made submissions about these offences with the assistance of our member firms. We noted how public spaces offences increase and exacerbate homelessness, rather than resolve it. We also traced the impact of charges for these offences on training and work opportunities – with Blue Card Services routinely deeming these offences as unsuitable for people working with children. Understanding and addressing the causes of these behaviours in the homeless population, enabling people to access relevant health and social supports and not imposing unmanageable fines are all better uses of policing resources. We also met with Inquiry staff and our community worker colleagues at the Anglicare Homelessness Hub in Cairns to discuss the causal links between public offences and homelessness. Read our submission here.  

These views also informed our public response last month to comments from a Gold Coast councillor who advocated for a return of the vagrancy act in response to homelessness.


LawRight has been extensively involved since 2019 in the reshaping of national defamation laws, given that these matters represent up to 18% of the practice of the State Courts office of our Court and Tribunal Services. We want to ensure that the challenges faced by self-represented litigants who manage or comment on social media platforms are properly considered, as they are indicative of people with low household income who struggle to navigate complex processes. Our recent (and fifth) submission argued for a simpler, fairer complaints and defence process. Read it and our other submissions on the Model Defamation Provisions here.

Copyright © 2022 LawRight, All rights reserved.

LawRight Newsletter - 31 August 2022

Bridging the gap

LawRight positions lawyers at locations and into processes where people who are already vulnerable need legal help. Without lawyers, their situations are likely to worsen and opportunities for stability inevitably reduce. This newsletter highlights three processes where the impact of our members’ pro bono intervention is profound.

Victim survivors of violence

People who are homeless (or at risk of homelessness) experience higher rates of violence, including sexual violence, but accessing support for victims is not easy. Liaising with bureaucratic systems and obtaining relevant medical and psychological reports is complicated and can potentially re-traumatise.

Our Community and Health Justice Partnerships lawyers help bridge this gap and deliver this support in conjunction with the health and social workers at the community locations we partner with. Over 15% of our files are Victim Assist applications and in 21/22 we secured >$146,000 of financial support and access to support services to help victims recover. Many more clients were guided to advocate for themselves. Some of these outcomes have taken years to secure or have been rejected initially, so we are also working on systemic change with the agencies involved.

Access to work and training

LawRight assists with almost 30% of Blue Card reviews at QCAT, and >50% of our clients with Blue Card reviews are referred to us by QCAT. Over 20% of clients we assist with Blue Card matters have the decision of Blue Card Services set aside. While the safety of children is paramount, the reasons why a person is denied a Blue Card (working with children check) often intersect with their vulnerability. People from remote Indigenous communities or with a history of living with domestic violence may be denied Blue Cards for reasons that are typical of systemic disadvantage (such as lack of opportunity to respond effectively to criminal charges). These same reasons are barriers to meaningful participation in BCS’s assessment of their circumstances, yet adverse decisions impact their access to employment or further training and frequently take over two years to review. LawRight’s co-location at QCAT (and our research into these challenges) is critical to disrupting these cycles of inequity.

Complex litigation

Litigation in the District and Supreme Courts is high-stakes financially and technically difficult to navigate. LawRight relies on the resources and skills of pro bono barristers and law firms to bridge the gap – for the whole of Queensland. Over 60% of our clients are referred by Legal Aid Queensland or other Community Legal Centres that do not have the expertise or resources to support clients in these matters.

Proceedings discontinued for massive debt
A defendant named in a Supreme Court claim for more than $500,000 believed he was not responsible for the debt and the co-defendant agreed. Without funds to afford a lawyer, they prepared and filed an inadequate defence. It took multiple appointments with pro bono and staff lawyers to prepare amended defences, make and respond to requests for particulars, undertake disclosure, prepare for various review hearings, and draft affidavits setting out their side of the story.  These are complex processes that most typical Australians cannot navigate by themselves. Eventually, the plaintiff agreed to discontinue proceedings against both defendants. Our clients told us the assistance they received was “invaluable” and that they could not have done it without our help.

“Kind soul” whose representation ended decade-long case
Irene has severe and complex mental health issues which impact her ability to engage in the legal process. She was the defendant in District Court proceedings that started in 2008 and limited progress had been made.  The Court asked LawRight to assist and a member barrister took a direct brief to represent Irene at mediation, where the matter finally settled after more than a decade. Irene appreciated the “kind soul” who gave “some of the professional time to assist the less privilege[d]”. 

We agree that LawRight members are kind, but perhaps they are motivated even more by the essential and strategic link between access to justice and the rule of law, which protects us all.

Red Wine for Justice – Friday 14 October 2022 
Red Wine for Justice is another opportunity to be kind and increase access to justice! Secure the fabulous auction wines and raise funds to support all LawRight services. We are sorry the event has changed dates so often – if you aren’t sure if you (and your friends) are registered or not, please email to check. Additional tickets are available at

Copyright © 2022 LawRight, All rights reserved.

RWFJ Update - 11 August 2022

Red Wine for Justice – August update

New date confirmed – 6pm, 14 October 2022

We are delighted to announce a new date for Red Wine for Justice – Friday 14 October.

We have moved all the lovely wine back into storage and look forward to a Spring event.

All tickets remain valid and we look forward to seeing you on 14 October. If you can no longer attend and would like a refund or to transfer your ticket, please contact us at More tickets will be available shortly at

Copyright © 2022 LawRight, All rights reserved.

LawRight Newsletter - August 2022

Red Wine for Justice
Red Wine for Justice was scheduled for Friday 29 July, but with covid continuing to rampage, we postponed it. We are all disappointed and our sincere apologies to everyone inconvenienced by this change.

The event is now rescheduled for Friday 14 October and we will reopen registrations soon. All tickets from previous dates remain valid, and there will be more available.

We are looking forward to finally enjoying this elusive event.

From crisis to capability

Our Mater Health Justice Partnership and our Financial Counselling Service rely on your generosity at our fundraising events. Both of these services help clients shift from crisis to capability. We adapt our approach as the client needs, to carefully build their knowledge and self-advocacy skills.

As a young HJP client recently reflected: “You left me with initiative but still helped me when I needed it.”

16-year-old Tara has no trusted and responsible adults to turn to. When she had to vacate her regional student rental to access treatment and rehabilitation at the Mater, the landlord (who had been advised of her circumstances) demanded additional rent and issued a breach notice. Tara felt unheard and overwhelmed. LawRight negotiated the withdrawal of the breach notice, waiver of the remaining rent, the return of the bond and the reinstatement of Tara’s clean rental record.

After learning to trust us, Tara disclosed a history of sexual abuse. We helped her apply to Victim Assist Qld and linked her with Mater clinicians to provide trauma support and counselling.

After learning to trust herself, Tara reached out after she was fined while driving without supervision on L-plates – she had been buying groceries for younger family members who rely on her support. LawRight armed her with the knowledge and confidence to self-advocate and the fine was downgraded to a caution.

When Tara was impacted by the 2022 floods and couldn’t access disaster payments, she reached out to LawRight again and we linked her with our Financial Counsellor. Together, they are building Tara’s financial literacy, increasing her resilience and helping Tara access her entitlements.

Copyright © 2022 LawRight, All rights reserved.