Jacqui’s Story

Jacqui is a university social work student who is rebuilding her life, despite many challenges. Her parents severely abused her as a child and in a common manifestaion of trauma, later partnered with a violent abuser. During that relationship she committed property crimes and was imprisoned. Following her release, Jacqui began to rebuild her life by seeing a counsellor to deal with PTSD and depression and enrolling at university. To complete the practical placement for her degree, she required a Blue Card (working with children check).

When Blue Card Services (BCS) rejected Jacqui’s application due to her past criminal history, pro bono volunteers with our QCAT service helped Jacqui apply for review of BCS’ decision. A LawRight member firm and barrister provided ongoing representation to help Jacqui prepare evidence and participate in a compulsory conference. BCS was ordered to reconsider its decision but decided to maintain its refusal. However, six days before the final QCAT hearing, BCS again reconsidered its decision and this time, issued Jacqui with a Blue Card.

This seems a good outcome, but it was 1,007 days from when Jacqui applied for a Blue Card to when she was issued with one – a process that takes most people just a few months. LawRight considers there are structural and individual inequalities in both the extent of these delays and the reasons Blue Card provides for making their decisions.

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