Free legal service launches for unrepresented asylum seekers in Queensland


Free legal service launches for unrepresented asylum seekers in Queensland
14th July, 2016

Salvos Legal Humanitarian and MDA Ltd have announced we will partner to deliver a free legal clinic for people seeking asylum in Queensland.

The initiative was inspired by the large number of people seeking asylum in the state who need access to a lawyer for assistance with their protection visa applications. Current figures show there are approximately 3000 unrepresented asylum seekers in Queensland who require legal help.

The legal clinic will prepare statements of claim and assist people seeking asylum to complete Department of Immigration and Border Protection forms for the purpose of lodging protection claims. MDA will work alongside Salvos Legal Humanitarian to provide holistic support.

“There is currently only one free legal service for people seeking asylum in Queensland. By partnering with MDA to create a new service, we can attempt to address the overwhelming demand for legal assistance and support people seeking asylum who may otherwise go unrepresented,” said Charlotte Yellowlees, Associate, Salvos Legal Humanitarian.

MDA CEO Kerrin Benson said: “We are excited to work with Salvos Legal Humanitarian and look forward to complementing the work already being undertaken for people seeking asylum.

“Support from the community will be vital to the clinic’s long-term sustainability. We hope this initiative gives impetus to the establishment of additional clinics across the Greater Brisbane area to meet the demand, as more people are invited to lodge their protection claims,” Ms Benson added.

The legal clinic will operate from MDA’s Woolloongabba premises with opening hours to include weekday evenings and Saturdays. It is expected to open for bookings in August 2016 and will be available to MDA clients.

Salvos Legal Humanitarian is seeking community support to ensure the legal clinic’s long term viability and is keen to hear from law firms, solicitors, law clerks and migration agents who are eager to make a difference for asylum seekers. For information about volunteering or donating to the Asylum Seeker Clinic, or to make a booking to see a legal representative, please visit:


About Salvos Legal
Salvos Legal Humanitarian is a free law firm for disadvantaged and marginalised people throughout Queensland and New South Wales. It provides advice and representation in the areas of criminal law, family and children’s law, welfare, debt, housing and refugee and immigration law. Salvos Legal Humanitarian has so far advised and assisted in over 16,400 cases for free As at 13 July 2016, made possible by fees earned by its ‘sister’ commercial law firm, Salvos Legal. Both firms are wholly owned by The Salvation Army.

About MDA Ltd
MDA is an independent non-government organisation committed to delivering a welcoming community where all new arrivals can contribute and participate in a multicultural society. We provide a variety of services to refugees, migrants, people seeking asylum and international students. Our work covers essential day-today activities, along with more complex settlement issues such as housing, training and employment. MDA was formerly known as the Multicultural Development Association.

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Free legal service launches for unrepresented asylum seekers in Queensland