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Improving the Family Law System for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clients

Table of Contents

Introduction

Discussion

Conclusion

References

Introduction to Family Law System

The matter that the concerned report is going to have is as follows: Firstly it deals with the overall background of the tribal groups of Australia such as Aborigines and Torres Strait islander. The second aspect that is going to be mentioned in this report is about the aspects of the Family law for the Aborigines and the Torres Islander and in the further case the matters that are going to be discussed in this report are as follows: Firstly the barriers that the Aborigines and the Torres Islander generally face in order to access the concerned family laws, Secondly the report is also going to have an in depth and vivid account about the initiatives that needs to be taken by the concerned governing body to effectively overcome the barriers that the Aborigines and Torres Islander generally face while accessing the Family Law and the last factor is that the kind of effectiveness that concerned initiatives generally have on the Aborigines and the Torres Islander1.

Discussion on Family Law System

Barrier for Aboriginal and Torres Islander for Accessing the Family Law System

There are several barriers that the Aboriginal and the Torres Islander needs to face in order to access the family law system are as follows: Firstly they are not that much literate about the Legal matters and the other allied aspects and that is one of the roadblock which makes them not to access the Aborigines and Torres islander the family law system other than this it is also an evident fact to state that the aborigines generally tends to undergo the legal frustration. Secondly comes to the aspect that the Aborigines and the Torres Islander also face the barriers because most of the Aborigines and the Torres Islander are illiterate and they in turn is quite sure that they are not at all aware about the legal things that are there2.

It is one of the biggest hurdle that they have to face while they try to access the facility of the Family law and that in turn makes their life quite miserable in nature, other than this it is also an evident fact to be mentioned in this concerned report that of the language because the language that they generally use is of quite primitive in nature and that is the reason most of the people don’t understand that what they are trying to convey and that is one of the biggest reason why they are not that capable enough to access the benefits that are there in the family planning law.

It is also an evident fact to state that they also have a problem of communicating and networking with others and the reason behind that are as follows: Firstly comes to the aspect that they live in the region which are not at easy to get access and that is the reason why most of the aborigines and the Torres Islander remains isolated and most of them are not getting the access of the Family Law and that in turn make their lives quiet difficult in nature and there is also a problem of the language which the others people don’t understand at all and that is the reason which makes their life quite difficult in nature. It is also an evident fact to be mentioned in this report that the Aborigines and the Torres Islander is quite weak financial in nature and that is the reason they hardly or have no relationship with the legal system4.

Initiatives that have been developed to overcome these barriers and its effectiveness

A number of initiatives have been recognized that can adhere to the policy, which has been developed to overcome the barriers of family law. These initiatives are based on a partnership approach between government and community, with a focus on:

Meaningful partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders

Current literature specifies that service delivery and resolution initiatives designed for “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander” clients need to be developed and expanded in collaboration with individuals, organizations, and groups. Where appropriate, complementary programs should be provided to expand the range of services available in the mainstream and specialized services in the “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander”. It also shown that in order to be effective, services for clients in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island need to be “champions” in local communities that can increase community use and contribute to improvement and development. This initiative is based on power-based models, a way to focus on community strengths rather than the flaws of some indigenous organizations5.

Acknowledgement of Traditional Mechanism

An additional main principle takes in acknowledgement of “traditional dispute resolution approach” (e.g. community-based approaches led by community elders) as well as acknowledgement of their importance (focus on restrictions arising from criminal, civil, human rights and equal opportunity law as well as uneven professional duties). Generally, the literature shows that what needs to be resolved in conventional conflicts must be understood through an understanding of language, culture, and the relationship between communities and indigenous straight and families. The related policy often emphasizes the importance of understanding that “healing” often includes “unfolding and dynamic process of collective and individual problem solving” for the communities6.

Enhancing Recruitment, Assessment and Support for Carer

Effective guides on the recruitment and retention of indigenous carers can be found. This includes recognizing the potential of their relative caregivers and increasing the role of community members in increasing their understanding of the practice of caring for children, especially in the people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island. Moreover, work must be done at the legislature and policy level to remove the real and the perceived barriers to “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities” becoming registered carers, such as previously convicted criminals cannot act as guardians. Also, the stigma of being a key player needs to be alleviated through the development of culture conscious recruitment, screening and training processes.

Strategy for recruitment of careers may be more effective in Aboriginal and Torres Strait island when they are community-based and conducted by Indigenous communities through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agencies. In this way, the engagement and resourcing of these organizations in the recruitment, evaluation and support of the carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defines that culturally proper methods can be used to inform people through cultural understanding and community knowledge. Agency can link between the Department and carer (or potential supervisor) to eliminate the shortfall that come with non-indigenous model of assessment, recruitment and provision for carer and provide more appropriate advice for these communities7.

Supporting Awareness, Outreach and Legal Literacy Initiatives

Awareness about the accessibility of these services and the promotion of legal literacy within Aboriginal and Torres Islander people on local base through the distribution of properly disseminated and formulated community education program. It also identifies “value of educational programs delivered by Aboriginal people who have cultural connections to audience, and the use of locally produced visual and oral resources to promote processes to others throughout the region and beyond”. Moreover, it also recommends that the member of local communities who have use specific service create effective representatives for such services8.

Conclusion on Family Law System

The facts that can be well concluded from the above mentioned study are as follows: Firstly comes to the background of the Aborigines and the Torres. The second aspect that is going to be mentioned in this report is about the aspects of the Family law for the Aborigines and the Torres Islander and in the further case the matters that are going to be discussed in this report are as follows: Firstly the barriers that the Aborigines and the Torres Islander generally face in order to access the concerned family laws, Secondly the report is also going to have an in depth and vivid account about the initiatives that needs to be taken by the concerned governing body to effectively overcome the barriers that the Aborigines and Torres Islander generally face while accessing the Family Law.

References for Family Law System

Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia. (2010). Indigenous Plan: 2010–2013. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.

Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia. (2014). End of Plan Report: Indigenous Plan 2010–2013. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.

Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia. (2012). Statement of Strategic Intent.

Family Court of Australia. (2012). Annual Report 2011–2012. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.

Family Law Council. (2012). Improving the Family Law System for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clients. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.

Ralph, Stephen. (2012). Indigenous Australians and Family Law Litigation: Indigenous Perspectives on access to justice. Canberra: Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

Reconciliation Australia. (2014). RAP Innovate Template. Accessed online at www.reconciliation.org.au/raphub/program/innovate-rap/ on 1 March 2014.

The Law Society of Western Australia, ‘Access to Justice Issues Face by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Western Australia’ (October, 2017) The Law Society 1, 3-6.

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