Law Yarn to help improve Indigenous health

Published Wednesday, 30 May, 2018 at 12:58 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

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.

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.

“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.”

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.

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