How to apply for legal aid Services for children and parents

We give free legal advice and can help
you at court.
Legal Aid NSW can help you with:
• Family law
• Criminal law
• Debts – a loan or money you owe
• Things you buy – like a car
• Losing your home
• Renting
• Discrimination or being harassed
• Domestic violence
• Child welfare, care and protection
• Centrelink benefits
How to apply for legal aid
Services for children and parents
Child support
If you need a lawyer to represent you, you
need to apply for a grant of legal aid. You
must fill in an application form and pass the
means and merit tests.
Parents in child support matters
If you need legal help about child support call
our Child Support Service on 9633 9916 or
1800 451 784 (if out of Sydney area).
You can get the application form from:
• Legal Aid offices (numbers on the back)
• duty lawyers at local courts; and
• the internet
Children and young people
The application form will ask about your
income and what you own.
A grant of legal aid is not always free. You
may be asked to pay for:
• some or all of your legal costs at the start
• and/or end or your case; and
• the other party’s costs, if you lose your case.
• Mental health and guardianship
• Victims compensation
Special services
• Standing up for your rights
People with mental health problems
Where we are
If you or your mob has a legal problem because
of mental health (or mental illness) you can call
the Mental Health Advocacy Service on
9745 4277.
We have 22 offices across metropolitan and
regional areas in NSW. Check on the back on
this brochure for your area.
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People in gaol
You or your mob can contact the Prisoners
Legal Service about prison or criminal law
matters on 9219 5888 (no money to call, reverse
the charges).
Call our Child Support Service on 9633 9916 or
1800 451 784 (outside of Sydney metropolitan
Our lawyers appear for Aboriginal young people
in criminal cases in the Children’s Court. See the
duty lawyers at Bidura (Glebe), Campbelltown
and Parramatta Children’s Courts. In other courts
see the duty lawyer at the court.
Veterans and their dependants
If you or your mob has legal problems because
you are a veteran you can call the Veterans’
Advocacy Service on 9219 5148. They can tell
you about your rights and entitlements.
Criminal matters
Any Aboriginal young person who needs urgent
legal help can call the Legal Aid Youth Hotline
on 1800 10 18 10. It is open during the week from
9.00am to midnight. On Friday to Sunday and
public holidays, it is open 24 hours.
If you are going to the Local Court about a
criminal matter, talk to a duty lawyer who may
be their everyday.
Human Services Community Services NSW
care and protection matters
The duty lawyer may not be able to assist you to
finalise your case on the first day. You may need
to adjourn your case.
Our lawyers represent Aboriginal children and
parents in care and protection matters if Family
and Community Services NSW takes a case to the
Children’s Court. Talk to the duty
lawyer at the Children’s Courts.
If it is your first time, be at the Local Court by
9.00am to talk to our duty lawyers.
If your case has been adjourned or you are
pleading “not guilty” you should contact a Legal
Aid office well before your hearing.
Legal Aid may also help you in criminal matters
before the District Court, Supreme Court or the
Court of Criminal Appeal.
Our lawyers can help if you are on remand
(imprisoned and waiting for your matter to
come before the court) and want to apply for
bail to the Supreme Court.
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Legal Aid NSW offices
Call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 for help
over the phone, or your nearest Legal Aid office
to arrange a free advice interview.
323 Castlereagh St
Tel: 9219 5000
TTY: 9219 5126
Level 8, Civic Tower
Cnr Rickard Rd &
Jacobs Sts
Tel: 9707 4555
‘Kildare Court’
Level 2
13-17 Kildare Rd
Tel: 9621 4800
Level 4
74–76 Burwood Rd
Tel: 9747 6155
Level 4
171–179 Queen St
Tel: 4628 2922
Level 2
25 Smart St
Tel: 9727 3777
Level 4 Interdell
Centre 47 Scott St
Tel: 9601 1200
Ground Floor39
East Esplanade
MANLY 2095
Tel: 9977 1479
Level 4
29 Molesworth St
Tel: 6621 2082
Civil & Family Law
Level 5, 91 Phillip St
Tel: 9891 1600
51–55 Bolton St
Tel: 4929 5482
Level 2
55–57 Berry St
NOWRA 2541
Tel: 4422 4351
Criminal Law
Parramatta Justice
Level 1,
160 Marsden St
Tel: 8688 3800
95 Byng St
Tel: 6362 8022
95 Henry St
Tel: 4732 3077
Level 1
424–426 Peel St
3–5 Stapleton Ave
SUTHERLAND 2232 Tel: 6766 6322
Tel: 9521 3733
Wagga Wagga
Regional Offices Best Place
Morrow St
Coffs Harbour
41 Little St
COFFS HARBOUR Tel: 6921 6588
Tel: 6651 7899
73 Church St
64 Talbragar St
DUBBO 2830
Tel: 4228 8299
Tel: 6885 4233
Level 2
37 William St
Tel: 4324 5611
Can’t get to a Legal Aid NSW office?
Who else can help you?
You can get free legal information, referral and,
in some cases, legal advice by telephoning
LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 9am–5pm
Monday–Friday. If you live in the country, and
there is no Legal Aid NSW office near you, you
can call LawAccess, talk to a Registrar at your
local court or see a private lawyer who does
legal aid work.
Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT
The Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT (ALS) gives free
legal advice and provides legal representation in criminal
and children’s care and protection matters.
Visit our website for more information:
Call the ALS on 1800 765 767 or visit them on their
website at
LawAccess NSW
Get free legal information and in some cases legal
advice over the phone by calling 1300 888 529 or go to
Community Legal Centres
You may get free legal advice and help from Community
Legal Centres in NSW. To find a Community Legal Centre
near you call 9212 7333 or go to:
Community Justice Centres
Free help if you are blewin’ with your family, friends or
neighbours. To find a centre call 1800 990 777 or go to:
If you are hearing/speech impaired, you
can communicate with us by calling the
National Relay Service (NRS) on 133 677.
This publication is intended as a general guide to the
law. It should not be relied on as legal advice and it is
recommended that you talk to a lawyer about your particular
At the time of printing, the information shown is correct but
may be subject to change.
For more information contact LawAccess NSW on
1300 888 529.
Produced by Publications, Legal Aid NSW. For more copies
call 9219 5028, email [email protected] or
Need any legal help?
Ask Legal Aid NSW
Specialist services to help
Aboriginal people
•Help at court
•Free legal advice
and info
•Free workshops
Chamber Service
Most local courts have Registrars who can give you free
legal information and will help you fill out legal forms.
To find out when you can see a Registrar call your local
Indigenous Women’s Contact Line
This toll-free line is taffed by Aboriginal women, and is
open Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri. 1800 639 784.
Private lawyers
The Law Society of NSW has a list of private lawyers in
your area. Call the Law Society’s Solicitor Referral Service
on 9926 0300.
If you can’t pay for a lawyer and have been refused legal
aid you may be able to get help from the Law Society’s
Pro Bono Scheme. Call them on (02) 9926 0364.
Wirringa Baiya is a community legal centre for
Aboriginal women, children and youth living in NSW
providing free legal advice and representation relating to
violence. Call on 1800 686 587 or 9569 3847.
Photos: Dani Pontes
Original artwork by Tanya Martin, Ngemba People, Bourke
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If any Aboriginal person is arrested in NSW, police must
call the ALS 24 hour telephone custody notification line.
July 2011
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