Remote work for QIFVLS staff

Solicitor Team Leader Taylah McCarthy (centre) and Case Management Officer Andrew Adidi (second right) with Cooktown District Community Centre staff.

Armed with an understanding of the unique needs of the Far North, the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS) has begun its remote circuit work for the year.

Solicitor Team Leader Taylah McCarthy and Case Management Officer Andrew Adidi completed their Cooktown Court Circuit last month, working from a base in the remote town for four days.

The pair travelled to the surrounding communities of Hope Vale, Wujal Wujal and Laura, meeting with clients, attending court, engaging with stakeholders and delivering Community Education (CE) and Community Legal Education (CLE) sessions.

QIFVLS remote circuit work also has teams of two travel from the Cairns head office for one week each month on a Cape A Circuit, to Weipa, Napranum, Mapoon, Coen and Kowanyama; and a Cape B Circuit, to Pormpuraaw, Aurukun and Lockhart River.

Taylah said the aim of the organisation’s two-person unit approach to circuit work was to provide a holistic, wrap-around service.

“The solicitor’s role is to provide and meet all the client’s legal needs such as providing the client with advice, attendance at relevant meetings and conferences, assistance with negotiations, representation at court and any other legal needs that may arise,” she said.


“Our Case Management Officer (CMO) role is an identified position, and they are responsible for meeting all the client’s non-legal needs and providing a culturally sensitive approach.

“CMOs can assist with linking in clients to relevant support agencies, for example assistance with housing and counselling.

“They also assist with the breakdown of the legal language barrier that can often arise, particularly with vulnerable clients in remote communities who already have limited access to support services and may not have previously spoken to a lawyer or had to attend court before.”

Taylah said most court matters related to child protection, and domestic and family violence.

“We will often have clients where we are already retained for the matter, and we will appear at court,” she said.

“Then there are clients that come to us on the day of court for their matter as they do not have a lawyer, and we can provide advice and assist them with appearing on the day.”


Taylah said community education was of great benefit in the visited areas, which had limited support services. Topics covered include healthy and unhealthy relationships, elder abuse and bullying.

Colleen of Gungarde Community Centre
Aboriginal Corporation

“Our education sessions are aimed at community members and workers to educate and bring light to matters in an informal, engaging and interactive manner,” she said.

“We seek to inform those people of the relevant concepts and principles of the varying areas of law. We focus on the underlying structures, law and legal processes.”

Taylah said QIFVLS provided invaluable support to vulnerable clients in remote communities.

“It is important work that we do for clients that may otherwise not have access to legal services,” she said.

“Particularly face-to-face contact with legal services, as there are very few services that travel to the communities to provide assistance and advice in the areas of law that we cover.


“We also service our local areas surrounding Cairns – Mossman, Atherton, Mareeba, Kuranda, Yarrabah and Innisfail.”

QIFVLS also has Health Justice Partnerships with health services in surrounding areas.

“Our service identified there was a need to provide clients with broader reach, early intervention, accessibility and enhanced service delivery in the health and wellbeing domain,” Taylah said.

“QIFVLS aims to provide a holistic legal service to clients who primarily seek health and wellbeing support, as opposed to legal assistance or advice.

“The HJPs cater for further accessibility to legal services, early intervention and identification of legal issues and a better quality of service.”

QIFVLS is a non-for-profit organisation that provides advice and assistance in the areas of Family and Domestic Violence, Child Protection, Family Law, Victim Support and Victims Assist. It has offices in Cairns, Thursday Island, Bamaga, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Mount Isa and Brisbane.

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One Response

  1. I am biased as I work as part of management for QIFVLS. However I cannot overstate the benefit for community that our outreach services provide. The underscoring skills of making and maintaining good relationships with community is the key to this successful approach. Well done to Taylah and Andrew and all of our other teams who get out into the communities to do this fantastic work.

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