LawRight Summer Reads #2
From 3rd Space to Zig Zag

LawRight’s Community and Health Justice Partnerships nurture partnerships at 17 different community and health services. Our staff and pro bono lawyers work on-site with doctors, social workers and community professionals to solve complex problems together, instead of “siloed” processes that leave disadvantaged clients on a “referral roundabout”.

In 2019-20, LawRight’s C&HJP’s delivered 15,000+ hours of pro bono help to 540 clients, most of whom received over 10 hours of legal services.

3rd Space – a Fortitude Valley drop-in centre

T. left home at 16, and has lived with violence for most of his life. His partners used his credit to cover their own purchases and left him with utilities debts after relationship breakdowns. He can’t afford safe housing because he pays 50% of his income to creditors. Pro bono lawyers vigorously negotiated his $12,000 of debt with the Administrator, creditors and the Australian Financial Security Authority, reducing it to nil.

Multicultural Australia – partnering with Corrs Chambers Westgarth since 2007

“I joined the Refugee Civil Law Service to assist refugees experiencing disadvantage in Australia. I have assisted clients from Iraq, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia with debt collectors, car accidents and even just incorrect billing details. English is not usually the first language of clients, which is an unfortunately common factor in how their situations ended up requiring legal intervention. So it’s rewarding resolving a matter, knowing someone is genuinely better off from your assistance.”

– Volunteer lawyer

Anglicare Homelessness Services Hub, Cairns

Joe, a former truck driver with limited literacy, had been living in a homeless hostel for more than 6 months with advanced terminal cancer at the time he saw LawRight. We helped him access >$67,000 from his super fund, arrange a will, liaise with Centrelink and work with his doctor to consider an Advanced Health Directive. Joe used the money to rent accommodation for himself and his elderly mother. He also fixed up his car for a last big road trip, his final wish as an old truckie.

Mater Young Adults Health Centre

“As the Director of the Mater Young Adult Health Centre (MYAHC) I have seen first-hand the immense benefits of the Health Advocacy Legal Clinic here at the Mater. At MYAHC we work with young people facing significant medical conditions. The effect of having legal problems on top of existing medical challenges places considerable additional burdens on these young people. With the support and advocacy of the [LawRight] team, these legal concerns are often able to be addressed swiftly and comprehensively. This is transformative for young people in these situations as they previously had believed these legal concerns to be insurmountable.”

– Dr Simon Denny, MYAHC Director

Zig Zag

“Young women living with the impacts of sexual violence have a myriad of complex systems and issues to navigate upon their roads to stable housing and personal recovery. LawRight and its volunteers have made such a difference to many young women.”

– Community Worker

Read more in our Annual report