Our trips to Broken Hill, Menindee, Wilcannia, Bourke and Brewarrina to meet with Elders in the communities, allied health workers, and members from the Local Aboriginal Land Councils, were a first step in listening to and understanding the myriad of legal problems faced by isolated and remote communities. Hearing so many terrible situations where legal problems had compounded for people, escalating one issue on top of another, left us feeling that there is so much to do in regional areas to ensure people there have access to justice.
We heard from Elders about financial abuse through unconscionable conduct, especially from funeral insurers. Other issues included humbugging, mounting fines and difficulties in accessing basic aged care advice and support.
We are hoping to establish meaningful partnerships with these communities so we can provide ongoing and regular legal support and address the many serious issues they face. We recognise this is just a beginning and meaningful relationships take time as well as consistency on our part.
Reconciliation is action and we are determined to take it.