As the year draws to an end it’s an opportune time to reflect on the achievements of Caxton Legal Centre. Chief Executive Officer Cybele Koning’s words from our forthcoming Annual Report describe some of the highlights…
This year, while continuing to deliver legal services integrated with social work support across our core areas, we experienced unprecedented growth with the introduction of several new programs. The Bail Support Program helps men on remand at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, the Brisbane Correctional Centre and the Woodford Correctional Centre apply for bail and access social work support services. The Older Persons Legal and Advocacy Service (OPALS) is a health and justice partnership between Metro South Health and Caxton Legal Centre, bringing together lawyers, social workers and health professionals to achieve proactive early intervention for older patients who are at risk of or experiencing elder abuse. OPALS is being piloted at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and in related health services in Metro South Health, and will be expanded to other locations in the following two years. The Financial Protections Service is an outreach service delivered by our community worker and is for individuals who are thinking about later life and want to chat about financial decisions that need to be made or about concerns they have about how to protect their finances and prevent circumstances of financial elder abuse.
The passing of a Queensland Human Rights Act represents one of Caxton’s most important law reform outcomes, the centre having taken a leading role in the preceding campaign to introduce this law. We will now gear up to provide community education and legal assistance to clients. Caxton’s strong practice in discrimination law will provide a neat springboard for upholding the additional rights afforded under the Human Rights Act, especially in the areas of social housing, education, disability, state health care and prisons.
On 22 and 23 July 2019, Caxton Legal Centre co-hosted with Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia the 6th National Elder Abuse Conference at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. The theme was ‘Rock the Boat’ and over 500 delegates attended. The considerable planning and research efforts to present stories of older Australians and to bring together experts from diverse backgrounds culminated in a very successful conference.
More details on Caxton’s achievements in the past year will be available with the release of our Annual Report in early 2020.