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Thelma Schwartz

Thelma Schwartz is the Principal Legal Officer of the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS), which is an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisation providing legal and non-legal support services to Aboriginal &/or Torres Strait Islander victim/ survivors of family violence and/or sexual assault. QIFVLS is a state practice with five regional offices servicing over 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander regional and remote communities in Queensland.

Thelma Schwartz is a legal practitioner with 21 years practising experience in Queensland and the Northern Territory in commercial litigation as well as extensively in criminal law litigation. Thelma has worked extensively with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, providing legal services and legal representation as a criminal defence solicitor with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS) for 9.5 years representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and youths in regional, rural and remote Far North Queensland across the Magistrates Court, Children’s Court, District Court, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. 

Thelma is currently working in executive management as the Principal Legal Officer of QIFVLS. Thelma has experience in the intersection of justice responses and victim/ survivor experiences and expectation given her work for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and victim/survivors. Thelma identifies as of Torres Strait Islander heritage alongside her German/Samoan and Papua New Guinean heritage. In relation to Thelma’s extensive work in regional and remote Queensland, she was awarded the Regional Woman Lawyer of the Year in 2018 by the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland and was also an Award Finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2019 in the categories of: Indigenous Lawyer of the Year; Not-for-Profit Lawyer of the Year and the Women in Law Excellence Award.