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Annual report highlights for 2020–21 (video)

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Margaret McMurdo: I'm Margaret McMurdo chair of the Legal Aid Queensland board. I'm delighted to introduce the Legal Aid Queensland Annual Report for 2020-21. It highlights our achievements and challenges over the past year as we continue to to deliver legal services to vulnerable and disadvantaged people across Queensland.

[Visual description: 35,389 applications approved, more than 121,500 duty lawyer services, 1,853,163 website visits, 137,090 contact centre calls, 84,262 legal information and referral services.]la

Margaret McMurdo: As for all of us navigating the COVID19 pandemic has been an ongoing challenge.

Margaret McMurdo: I am so proud of the great resilience and adaptability of our Legal Aid Queensland lawyers, staff and management. To always meet our core commitment, delivering quality legal services to our clients. In 2021 we continued to build our profile as a center of excellence in the fields of law in which we practice. We have again shared our considerable expertise in criminal, family and civil law with the legal and community service delivery sectors as well as the public.

Margaret McMurdo: In November 2020 we released the updated domestic and family violence best practice framework which combined expertise from Legal Aid Queensland and the Queensland Law Society to help all practitioners deliver consistent high quality advice and support to those experiencing domestic violence. We also began offering free domestic violence and child protection advice clinics in the Richlands/Inala area. Providing residents with legal advice to keep them safe and helping them apply for legal aid or for a domestic violence protection order. Another innovation was our law for all podcast channel providing information about legal issues affecting everyday people with everyday problems.

Margaret McMurdo: Over the past 12 months we continued to implement our first nation strategic plan which sets outs our steps to becoming an employer of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lawyers and staff and a centre of excellence for legal service delivery to Queensland's First Nations people. Our organisation continues to be enriched by increasing numbers of talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and lawyers we now have 4.64% of staff identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander well exceeding the aspirational 3% target adopted by the Queensland government. This year our First Nation staff delivered cultural capability training to those in our regional offices and helped us improve our engagement with First Nations community across greater Brisbane and regional Queensland.

Margaret McMurdo: With the permanent appointment of Ms Nicky Davies as Legal Aid Queensland's chief executive officer we have achieved another significant milestone 60% of the organization's executive team are now women. Matching the 60% of women membership of its board and overall 77% of Legal Aid Queensland staff are now women again leading the way for positive change.

Margaret McMurdo: It takes many busy hands big hearts and fine brains collaborating to ensure a limited budget provides disadvantaged and vulnerable Queenslanders with quality legal services right across our vast decentralised and multicultural state. I hope the talent focus and commitment of everyone contributing to Legal Aid Queensland's fine work this year will inspire and renew you as it does me.

Read the 2020-21 annual report at www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/annual-report.

Last updated 4 March 2022

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