New Online Legal Toolkit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

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15 March 2016

New Online Legal Toolkit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

The ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner and Women’s Legal Centre today launched a new Online Legal Toolkit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The toolkit has been developed by the ACT Human Rights Commission and the Women’s Legal Centre, in conjunction with the Aboriginal Legal Service and Care Inc.

‘The toolkit can be immediately accessed on people’s smart phones and devices when they find themselves in circumstances of high stress to negotiate issues,’ said Dr Helen Watchirs, Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner.

‘It gives useful and practical information on their rights in specific situations, and where to get help.’

‘At the Women’s Legal Centre we see many Aboriginal women who are facing workplace issues, family breakdown or are engaged with Child and Youth Protection Services,’ said Elena Rosenman, Executive Director of the Women’s Legal Centre.

‘Many of these women are involved with legal processes without any legal advice, which means they are at risk of making agreements or undertakings that do not respect their rights,’ continued Ms Rosenman. ‘This site will give all Aboriginal people in Canberra a starting point, some accessible information and point them in the direction of more assistance.’

The toolkit was developed based on feedback from the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. It includes information on:

  • Care and Protection
  • Discrimination at work
  • Police and security guard contact in public spaces
  • Debt and payday lenders

The toolkit can be accessed via internet web browsers on computers and tablets, as well as being added to the home screen of smart phones.

It is available for free at   

Media contact: Sean Costello, ACT Human Rights Commission  0424 369 231

Holiday Hours – 2015/16

The Women’s Legal Centre will be closed from midday on Thursday 24 December 2015 and will reopen at 9 am on Monday 4 January 2016.

Our Advice Line will be closed from Monday 21 December 2015 and will reopen on
Monday 18 January 2016.

If you are in immediate danger please ring Emergency Services on 000.

If you need assistance in regards to domestic violence please  Domestic Violence Crisis Service on  02 6280 0900 (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week). If you need legal advice the Legal Aid Advice line will be open from 4 January 2016. Please phone 1300 654 314, Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5.00 pm.


New Federal funding to establish a specialist domestic violence unit

Friday 16 October 2015

New Federal funding  for the Women’s Legal Centre to establish a domestic violence unit

The Women’s Legal Centre today welcomed one of the biggest single injections into its funding in the Centre’s 20 year history. The Centre will receive $1.05 million over three years as part of the Australian Government’s recently announced $100 million package to respond to family and domestic violence.

Executive Director of the Centre, Elena Rosenman said the Centre would use this funding to establish a new specialist domestic violence unit within the Centre.

“This funding will significantly increase our ability to assist women experiencing domestic violence in the Canberra community.”

“While women in crisis need specific assistance to protect their immediate safety, to ensure that safety is sustainable and long term, women need intensive, sustained and expert legal advice and representation throughout their legal processes, particularly in the Family Court. They also need support to access other essential services. This funding will allow the Centre to provide that support to women in the Canberra community who are most at risk.”

“The Prime Minister has been clear that this a gender-based issue and I am pleased the Government has resourced a specialist women’s legal centre to address it here in Canberra. With less than three full time lawyers, last year the Women’s Legal Centre assisted 1200 women, we provided close to 3 000 pieces of advice and took on close to 200 cases. Two thirds of the women we assist have experienced domestic violence. Ninety-five percent of the Aboriginal women we assist have experienced violence. Assisting these women to keep themselves and their children safe is central to our work.”

“We are seeing an unprecedented level of interest and support from all levels of Government, both sides of politics and the broader community. We look forward to working with key domestic violence organisations and bodies in Canberra to make sure this unit is effective and responsive and part of an integrated response to domestic and family violence in our community.”

Confronting Family Violence

Stories like Emma’s remind us that we need to work towards a world that is free of family violence. Her strength through adversity is extraordinary, and it highlights that the rest of us need to be just as strong in standing up for services that support women like her. …Here in the ACT, the Women’s Legal Centre and our other community centres will see their funding fall off a cliff in 2017 with hundreds of thousands of dollars being stripped from their budgets. Read more.

Women’s Legal Centre Launches Online Donations

Women’s Legal Centre (ACT & Region) have launched online donations! Click here to donate!

The Women’s Legal Centre is a small community legal centre. We provide free advice on a wide range of legal issues including domestic and sexual violence, divorce and separation, employment, property settlement and victims’ compensation. With less than three full time lawyers, last year we assisted 1200 women, provided close to 3 000 pieces of advice and took on close to 200 cases. Two thirds of the women we assisted with family law matters experience domestic or family violence.

With less than three full time lawyers, we simply could not do our work without the support of the community and pro bono assistance from private practitioners. Your regular donations will make a huge difference to our ability to continue providing our services to the most vulnerable women in Canberra.

Are donations tax deductible? Yes

Will I receive a receipt for my donation?
Yes, immediately sent to you by email when approved.

Budget 2015: Australian of the Year Rosie Batty says more money needed to combat ‘family terrorism’

Australian of the Year Rosie Batty has labelled domestic violence “family terrorism” saying the federal budget should allocate more money to combating it.

The more of our resources that are directed at trying to ensure our survival, the less that are directed to frontline services. – Women’s Legal Centre ACT and Region executive director Elena Rosenman

Read More