Community Legal Centres Provide High-Quality Legal Advice and Linkage Services

Community legal centres provide high-quality legal advice and linkages with other service providers  that allows people to properly recover from challenges. #HandsUpforJustice is about ensuring Centres have the resources they need to deliver this.  

At TASC we feel equally passionate about this and strive to provide excellence in the way that will benefit our communities and clients alike. That is why we put our #handsupforjustice!   

@handsup4justice

Community legal centres provide crucial support to communities in crisis

Community legal centres provide crucial support to communities in crisis and need the resources to prepare for disasters so people can recover more quickly.

#HandsUpforJustice is calling for funding to ensure disaster preparedness and recovery in our communities.

We support #HandsupforJustice and encourage local communities to who live within the Greater South West region to call TASC Legal and Social Justice Services on 07 4616 9700 if they have been impacted by the recent disasters.@Handsup4Justice

#Legal #Justice #Advocacy

Volunteer Opportunities Webinar with USQ

TASC Legal and Social Justice Services is collaborating with the University of Southern Queensland’s School of Law and Justice to offer volunteering opportunities to students and alumni.

Drawing on our long-standing relationship, TASC staff and Founding TASC Member, Mark Orchard, joined together with Associate Professor of Law Caroline Hart, to discuss what a community legal centre does, as well as details about our volunteer program.

CEO Frances Klaassen OAM, said the webinar was a fantastic way to collaborate with USQ and spread the message of volunteering at TASC.

“We’d like to thank USQ for the opportunity to collaborate with their School of Law and Justice to help students and alumni find volunteer or career pathways at TASC and beyond,” Ms Klaassen said.

“With our dynamic host, Professor Caroline Hart, I really enjoyed shining a light on volunteers, as well as our growing organisation – we can’t wait to welcome USQ students and alumni into the TASC family.”

Did you miss the webinar and would like to know more?

You can view the recording of the webinar here: https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/dW5mY6ETMLWCKde

Please use password: kUc6L^s#HQWs

There are many types of legal volunteers that we can support, these being PLT Program Students, Lawyers/Solicitors or Barristers, and law students. The main legal volunteers are looking for currently are:

  • Lawyers in practice, to assist clients on a pro-bono basis (specifically in areas of law that may be outside of our current scope).
  • Evening Legal Advice Solicitors (clients often come to us with legal matters surrounding family law, but again often can be something that sits outside of our scope)
  • Legal Intake and Referral Officers (the first point of contact for clients when they access our services).

In line with government requirements, all volunteers need to have a current Blue Card (NB: solicitors may be exempt) and Disability Worker Screening Card. If you don’t already have these documents, TASC’s online volunteer portal will help guide you to complete the application process.

Does this sound like you? Click here to apply to be a volunteer at TASC!

TASC attends Senior’s Expo in Toowoomba

The TASC Team were excited to attend the Senior’s Expo this year in October, organised by the Garden City Toowoomba branch of National Seniors Australia.

TASC’s Senior’s Legal and Support Service (SLASS), dynamic duo Kim Raine and Kym Allen commended the event, with over one hundred and five other display sites joining TASC at USQ’s Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre.

Our team were able to speak to over 150 seniors and retirees on the day, to spread the word that social work delivers free legal advice, information and support to people in Toowoomba and Ipswich (and surrounding areas).

TASC can assist in many ways – especially if someone they trust is hurting them or taking advantage of them financially.

We may be able to help with:

  • Legal advice and information
  • Social work support
  • Short-term counselling
  • Advocacy
  • Referrals to other services
  • Community education on elder abuse.

During the pandemic TASC has also seen a rise in elder abuse and the Seniors Expo was a chance to spread the message that elder abuse is never ok.

Remember, elder abuse can manifest in many different ways – financial, emotional and neglect. If you’re worried about a family member or if you feel you may need some support, call our friendly team on (07) 4616 9700.

This service is available to anyone aged over 60 years and First Nation’s people aged 50 years and over – however please call us to check your eligibility.

New Statistics Revealed: Elder Abuse

Thanks to The Chronicle for helping us highlight the important, yet devastating issue of elder abuse in our community.

Over the last six months (as of 9/07/2021), TASC has unfortunately seen a significant increase of people accessing our services due to elder abuse – from 2020, we have seen an increase of 66%.

CEO Frances Klaassen OAM said that due to the ongoing pandemic, older people are more exposed to abuse from those closest to them than ever before.

“Our older generation have become more reliant on family, friends and carers over the past 18 months, which has left them exposed to being taken advantage of in all forms of abuse,”

“Financial abuse often comes hand in hand with situations like: family agreements around properties or granny flats not being fulfilled, coercion and control over financial matters where the older person is clearly being disadvantaged or pressure on bill payments, leading to personal lending – just to name a few. Along with this, nationally there has been a spike in domestic violence cases during the pandemic.” Frances said.

Clients often feel like they are bystanders in their own lives and not being supported to make important decisions. At TASC we want to support people to stand up for themselves and to educate the community about the importance our older community members.

TASC is focused on working with government and other social services organisations and advocacy groups to expose and address this serious issue

TASC believes there are three key steps to ensuring our older community is protected from abuse – they are:

  1. Keep an open line of communication, listening carefully and acting appropriately.
  2. Helping the older person identify that what they are experiencing is elder abuse.
  3. Respecting their boundaries and choice to either seek help or not.

Remember, TASC is here to help – so if you live in Toowoomba or Ipswich, you can call us on 07 4616 9700 for more information and guidance surrounding elder abuse.

If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, call the Queensland Government’s Elder Abuse Helpline on 1300 651 192.

Click on this link to read The Chronicle article: https://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/toowoomba/local-expert-says-elder-abuse-is-up-by-more-than-60-per-cent/news-story/1cfd76af1f767f957ed264bac8b1de13

National Sorry Day

On National Sorry Day, we acknowledged and remembered the mistreatment of our First Nation’s Stolen Generations who were forcibly removed from their families and Country.

TASC staff attended USQ’s National Sorry Day Ceremony, where they joined together with other attendees to commemorate, have a yarn and enjoy the activities on offer.   

TASC’s Social Justice Advocate Aunty Sharron Jackson reflected on the strength of the Stolen Generations.

“I always reflect on the resilience of our Stolen Generations to pull through the unknown times of their destiny. Tragically, many have not been able to reconnect back to family and country further intensifying their intergenerational trauma.” Aunty Sharron said.

Aunty Kathleen Wincen, Solicitor also attended and reflected on her experiences of Sorry Day. 

“Over twenty years ago I was one of the more than 250,000 people that walked over the Sydney Harbour Bridge for Reconciliation. I stood with pride in my heart as a young Budjiti woman, that so many people were making a stand for a way forward for Australia as a nation. To heal the wrongs of the past and to make a difference to the future. It was a historical moment. One of the greatest things to come from this stand for me and my family was the apology to the Stolen Generation in 2008,” Aunty Kathleen said.

“On National Sorry Day, I got to feel that sense of wanting to make a difference again, when I visited the University of Southern Queensland with my work colleagues, as the University marked the occasions of National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week in the courtyard of the Toowoomba’s campus. We’ve seen movements for change over the last twenty years, and at its heart, reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians and this is what I witnessed today at the University of Southern Queensland.”

Ipswich open day & volunteer program launch

In May, we opened our doors to the public for an Open Day in Ipswich celebrating our newly relocated office as well as to launch TASC’s Volunteer Program. 

Attendees at the open day had a great time networking, socialising and getting to know what it would be like to volunteer in our Legal Services Team. 

Frances Klaassen OAM, TASC’s CEO said that it was a great way to bring together Law Week and our new volunteer program to display what we do and how volunteers can be involved.

“TASC is a unique community legal centre, in that volunteers can learn how to truly make a difference in a real-world setting. Thank you to everyone who attended!” Frances said.

We also began the week by celebrating a volunteer that had been with us for her student placement – Hollie MacDonald. Hollie is picture below left with Kym Allen, Social Justice Services Senior Practitioner. 

Looking to volunteer with TASC?

At TASC National, we want to give our volunteers a meaningful and worthwhile experience, from the moment you walk through the door, to the moment fly to your next adventure.

We see volunteering as an opportunity for our organisation to inspire, nurture, encourage and promote the amazing people in our community.

If you’re interested in volunteering at TASC, send us an email: volunteer@tascnational.org.au or visit www.tascnational.org.au

TASC hosts domestic & family violence forum

“We all play our part”

In May, TASC Legal and Social Justice Services welcomed members of the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council at our Toowoomba office.

Along with the Domestic Violence Action Centre and Mercy Community, TASC staff shared our innovative work in addressing domestic and family violence working with clients throughout Greater South West Queensland.

Toowoomba’s Senior Solicitor and Domestic Violence Action Centre Committee Member, Louise Secomb said: “Domestic Violence prevention is everyone’s responsibility and the more we talk about it and work together, the more we can continue to educate our families and friends to identify what domestic violence is so we are proactive about prevention instead of reactive.”

For more information on how you can play your part in ending domestic violence in our community visit www.qld.gov.au/notnownotevertogether