Through its new health justice partnership in Cairns with Indigenous health service Wuchopperen, the QPILCH Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic recently assisted “Shanti”, a young mother experiencing homelessness whose de facto had suicided just 3 months prior. The HPLC advocated with community agencies to arrange temporary housing while working on removing Shanti’s old tenancy blacklisting, a listing which the HPLC considered to have been unlawful from the outset. The HPLC successfully negotiated the removal of the listing, avoiding a tribunal process which would not have been viable for Shanti given her vulnerability. This left Shanti and her young children able to access stable housing options and begin their grieving.
Shanti is one of approximately 80 clients assisted by the Wuchopperen HPLC since it began four months ago. The model integrates legal and non-legal support and aims to combat health-harming social conditions within a highly disadvantaged group. It is run by Torres Strait Islander lawyer Donnella Mills and has just been boosted by a pro bono partnership with pioneering Indigenous law firm Marrawah Law.