QPILCH News - Issue 35 - June 2015

One Hour Appeal - Donate your rate!

QPILCH is asking members of the legal profession to donate the equivalent of your hourly rate to support vulnerable young people, people who are homeless, those experiencing mental health concerns and self-represented litigants to receive free legal services co-ordinated by QPILCH.

HPLC and MHLP lawyers help mental health client avoid homelessness

When David first met with a lawyer from our Mental Health Law Practice (MHLP), he was in a locked mental health ward under an involuntary treatment order and facing eviction from his public housing property due to the Department of Housing issuing a First and Final Strike under their Anti-Social Behaviour Management Policy.

By the time David had spoken with us, the Department had applied to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to terminate his tenancy.

Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic (HPLC) volunteer lawyers from Herbert Smith Freehills prepared submissions and successfully represented David at the QCAT hearing, helping him to avoid homelessness. Read David's story...

Queensland Legal Walk

Thank you to everyone who supported the 8th annual Queensland Legal Walk. Over 1,000 members of the legal profession participated in the Walk on 12 May in Brisbane, Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns, and for the first time, on the Gold Coast a few days later.

The event was a wonderful celebration of the legal profession's contribution to the community through its pro bono efforts, and raised almost $40,000 to support legal services for disadvantaged Queenslanders through QPILCH. The top fundraising individuals and team were awarded the inaugural 'Justice Cups' with North Quarter Lane Chambers - for the second year running, awarded the team trophy and Haylely Grossberg taking out the individual honours.

Tackling domestic violence in Townsville

Each week since the start of 2015, two women have been killed because of domestic violence. Now more than ever the community needs to stand together and show that domestic violence is not acceptable.

QPILCH staff recently volunteered alongside fellow practitioners in the Townsville legal sector at the Tackle Domestic Violence campaign launch. Read more about the event here...

Helping elderly widow to keep her house

Our Self Representation Service recently assisted "Wilma", a 72-year-old widow in poor health to apply to set aside a default judgment compelling her to perform a contract to sell her rural home (worth around $170,000) for $30,000 and a second-hand car.

We gave Wilma some urgent advice about her options and helped her to draft her application, affidavit and supporting submissions, and prepare for the hearing. The District Court set aside the decision.

Wilma told us: "I don't know what I'd do without you, you are angels. Please pass on my appreciation to all your volunteers who helped me, I'm so grateful for all you've done". Read more about Wilma's case.

"Well and truly stuck" without the Self Representation Service

"When I first came to QPILCH after reading your flyer in the [local] Courthouse, I was well and truly stuck and it has only been through the assistance given by your organisation that I have become able to achieve justice."

Our Self Representation Service has been helping "Thomas" in the Supreme Court, to obtain a stay of proceedings for the appointment of trustees for the partition and sale of his rural property. Thomas says that QPILCH's advice has helped him to navigate the courts"in a way which allows me to feel confident that I am doing all that I can to achieve a successful and well informed outcomes. This has been achieved by your volunteer lawyers and staff who have taken the mystery out of the court processes for me and I thank them all." Read more about Thomas's case here.

Shining a light on the legal needs of vulnerable young people

The Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic has been working with Brisbane Youth Service (BYS) to shine a light on the legal needs of young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Since 2009, the HPLC has operated an outreach legal clinic for vulnerable young people in collaboration with BYS and HPLC partner law firms, King & Wood Mallesons and Holding Redlich. The HPLC also helps young people transitioning from state care to independence through LegalPod.

A recent ABC article about the HPLC at BYS and our Legal Health Check illustrates the growing importance of assisting marginalised young people to effectively navigate the legal system. Read more here...


Queensland Legal Walk - photos from around the state


Gold Coast


Sunshine Coast



Red Wine for Justice - 31 July

A highlight of the legal social calendar, Red Wine for Justice is coming up on 31 July. The evening features a fine wine auction, lively competitions, delicious canapés and wine tastings.

If you can donate a bottle of fine wine for auction, please contact us. See our website for more information.

Homeless Connect

Collaboration with community agencies is a key part of the outreach model of the Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic.

On 20 May 2015, HPLC staff and volunteer lawyers furthered our connections within the community sector by assisting people experiencing or at risk of homelessness at the Brisbane City Council's Homeless Connect event. We thank HPLC partner firms McCullough Robertson, Minter Ellison, Clayton Utz, Herbert Smith Freehills, Allens, Ashurst, MurphySchmidt and Holding Redlich for generously supporting the event. Read more about Homeless Connect here...