20 March, 2020
In response to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT (‘ALS’) has moved quickly and decisively to protect our people, our clients and our communities. Their health and well-being is paramount.
We are ensuring that we adhere to new health guidelines in an effort to contain the spread of the infection throughout the community. We are limiting all non-essential external ‘face to face’ contact and using teleconferences and audio-visual link services where possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already impacted NSW and ACT courts with caseloads currently under review. Our Business Continuity Strategy will ensure that ALS solicitors and support staff on the ground will still be providing essential legal services to Aboriginal people and their families, who need our help.
We urge our clients with upcoming court matters and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in need of legal assistance to please contact us on one of our toll free numbers:
1800-765-767 for police charges and court matters.
1800-733-233 for care and protection and family matters.
These are difficult times for us all, but rest assured, the ALS has a clear focus on how we maintain our operations, continuing to deliver our legal and broader support services to our communities. Changes to service delivery will require a transition period as we help our people and our clients prepare for this change and we will continue to review our position as the situation evolves.
As part of our ALS COVID-Response Plan, we are currently working to enable ALS staff to work remotely wherever possible unless working in the office is absolutely essential for client matters where a physical presence is required and there are no appropriate alternative arrangements.
With high-levels of uncertainy and anxiety within the community, the ALS is closely monitoring the advice of NSW and ACT Health authorities and we are encouraging our staff to utilise our employee assistance program as needed.
We ask for your support and understanding during this period. We will continue to keep all of our staff, clients and communities updated through regular communications, including via our website and social media pages (facebook and twitter).
For further information and daily updates on the COVID-19 outbreak, you can visit the websites listed below:
ALS Chief Executive Officer - Karly Warner