‘Legal problems with money, housing, court and families will lead to poor health if they are not resolved. Poor health impacts on your capacity to make good decisions and care for your children, for example resulting in engagement with the courts or child protection system.
‘It is no coincidence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – among the most incarcerated people in the world – also have some of the poorest health outcomes in the world.’
Wuchopperen Chairperson, NACCHO Deputy Chairperson and LawRight lawyer Donnella Mills said health and legal needs are often interlinked.
“We know that legal problems with money, housing, families and crime can often lead to poor health outcomes for people if they are not resolved,” Mrs D’Ath said.
The State Government allocated $55,000 to not-for-profit community legal organisation LawRight to develop a legal ‘health check’ project to help identify the potential legal needs of Indigenous people
Law Yarn helps health practitioners yarn with members of the Indigenous community about their legal problems and connect them with legal help.”
At today’s launch in Cairns, Mrs D’Ath said Law Yarn was a free, innovative conversation starter to help Indigenous people identify their legal issues
See Ministers Press Release Part 2
Queensland Attorney General Yvette D’ath has launched the cutting edge health and justice resource ‘Law Yarn’ at Wuchopperen today.
Download the Law Yarn Edition
So… what is Law Yarn ?
Law Yarn is a unique resource which supports good health outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Law Yarn helps health workers to yarn with members of remote and urban communities about their legal problems and connect them to legal help.
Legal problems with money, housing, crime and families will lead to poor health if they are not resolved.
Without Law Yarn the problems won’t be identified and will instead be ignored. This turns them into bigger problems
What are the key legal problems faced by the community
Law Yarn uses images of cyclones, mangroves, stars and journeys to help vulnerable communities recognise their legal problems in context and learn where to get help
Law Yarn, an initiative of community legal service LawRight, will see specially trained Wuchopperen health staff yarn with clients about legal issues which might be affecting them, and connect them to the free on-site legal services delivered by LawRight and Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service.
The health staff will use the highly visual, culturally appropriate Law Yarn tool to help clients feel at ease, and identify and discuss legal problems.
Wuchopperen staff are currently being trained to use the resource, with the program being rolled out in the second half of 2018.
Law Yarn will run until the end of June 2019 and will then be evaluated by distinguished legal academics Fiona Allison, Chris Cunneen and Melanie Schwartz.
Part 2: Law Yarn to help improve Indigenous health
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has launched a legal ‘health check’ for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Cairns, as part of National Reconciliation Week.
Mrs D’Ath said Law Yarn would be trialled at Wuchopperen Health Service Limited, the Cairns-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical service where LawRight and the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS) operate weekly legal services.
“Health practitioners will be trained to help a person complete their Law Yarn,” she said.
“The resources use Indigenous symbols by artist Rikki Salam to represent the main legal problems – money, housing, family and crime – to help structure the yarn.
“A handy how-to guide includes conversation prompts and advice on how to capture the person’s family, financial, tenancy or criminal law legal needs as well as discussing and recording their progress.”
Mrs D’Ath said LawRight has worked with Wuchopperen and QIFVLS and consulted with the Health Justice Partnerships Network and Health Justice Australia to make this innovative project happen.
“The trial will undergo independent academic evaluation but other Australian legal and health services have already shown an interest in the resource,” she said.