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Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) Launches Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan 

WLSQ Seeks Expressions of Interest for First Nations Advisory Group 

July 3, 2024 – Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) proudly launched its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), marking a significant milestone in its commitment to nurturing a society that values and respects the First Peoples of this nation. 

The launch event, held at kuril dhagun in the State Library of Queensland, was attended by community leaders, stakeholders, supporters and staff, underscoring the importance of Reconciliation.  

“We need to be active allies in advocating for law reform and systemic change to address the injustices faced by First Nations people. Our commitment is to create a culturally safe and inclusive service that ensures First Nations women have the same access to legal and social justice as all other women in Queensland,” said Nadia Bromley, CEO of WLSQ. 

The bespoke artwork created for the Reflect RAP by Rachael Sarra, a proud mixed race, First Nations woman from Goreng Goreng Country, was also unveiled at the event. Sarra’s vibrant creative practice embodies her experience and her belief that art and design are vital to communication, connection, and culture.  

The goal in developing the WLSQ Reflect RAP, supported by the WLSQ RAP Working Group (RWG), is to create a culturally safe and aware place for the women who seek WLSQ services and for WLSQ staff. The need for such a plan is underscored by alarming statistics.  

Violence against women and children is a problem of epidemic proportions in Australia. Rates of violence are even higher for certain groups, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. 

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, family violence, sexual assault and abuse are major causes of personal harm, family and community breakdown, and social fragmentation. This violence is compounded by the ongoing effects of colonisation and racism, for example from non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners and their families, and is perpetrated by men of all cultural backgrounds. Continuing impacts of colonisation include displacement from Country and kin and disruption or loss of culture. These are driving factors of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, children and families. 

In 2022-23, 7% of WLSQ clients identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, a figure that does not reflect the over-representation of First Nations women in the justice system. This discrepancy highlights the urgent need for targeted efforts to remove barriers and ensure equitable access to services. 

WLSQ is committed to addressing these challenges through a multifaceted RAP approach that includes: 

  • Ensuring cultural safety and inclusivity for clients and staff. 
  • Strengthening connections with First Nations communities. 
  • Advocating for law reform and systemic change to eliminate discrimination and injustice. 

The recent RAP launch event began with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Kathryn Fisher. This was followed by speeches from Rachael Sarra, the artist behind the WLSQ RAP artwork, and Karina Hogan, a founding member of the WLSQ First Nations Advisory Group. The event also included a moving dance performance by The First Creatives, showcasing the talent and contributions of First Nations people in our community. 

WLSQ is also seeking expressions of interest for the WLSQ First Nations Advisory Group. The First Nations Advisory Group provides strategic advice to WLSQ, based on the collective experience and knowledge of current and emerging realities, and needs in First Nations communities. If you’re interested in applying, please complete the Expression of Interest by July 21 here.   

WLSQ invites you all to join us in this journey towards reconciliation and justice. Together, we can work towards safer futures for all women and children in Queensland. You can read the full WLSQ Reflect Rap here 

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